Totem of the Day is Orangutan! When Orangutan shows up as a sign, this means that it is time to show your best face to finish your goal. Examine the expressions of those around you and trust what you see, rather than what you hear. It is time to use your surroundings to your advantage, take time to realize what you have and creative ways to utilize them. Now is a time to increase your fruit intake to have an overall balanced health. The Orangutan is known for it's connection for the relationship between mother and child, communication, manifestation, and determination. Orangutan can come as a reminder to deepen the bonds between yourself and those you consider family. In particular, your mother or those that aided in raising you. At times, this spirit guide can be a sign to view your world in an analytical way in order to solve any problems you may be experiencing. Engage in determination and perseverance to get past any hard times that may come to you. Orangutan aids in teaching us how to gain control of our environment and to take advantage of our resources to make the best of every opportunity. Those that connect with Orangutan are resourceful and intelligent people, very expressive in communication while enjoying solitude to themselves. These individuals have an easy connection to nature spirits, a nurturing inclination towards others, and a knack for finding usefulness in the resources around you.
Orangutans, latin name Pongo, are omnivorous mammals that can live up to 40 years. The name Orangutan is a Malaysian word that stands for "person of the forest" and is quite accurate as these creatures are close relatives of man. There are two species of Orangutan: The Bornean Orangutan and the Sumatran Orangutan. Bornean Orangutans are known for weighing more and possessing larger cheek pads, or flanges, which are rigid half-circles on their face. Some males have these flanged features, while others do not. While unflanged males may develop this feature, it is unknown how or why. On average, a female Orangutan will reach 45 inches tall with a weight of around 81 lbs while males will reach over 50 inches tall with a weight of over 190 lbs. They have an enormous arm span and some males have been known to possess a 7 foot arm length from fingertip to fingertip. This special adaptation allows them to spend the majority of their life in the treetop canopy of their rain forest habitat. They are the largest mammals able to live in trees. They will even sleep high up in the trees within the leafy branches and using large leaves to create shelters and bedding. Foraging during the day, Orangutans will search for primarily fruit, leaves, insects, bark, and, on rare occasions, meat. While eating meat is rare for these apes, they are known to ingest over 500 different plant species. Fruit makes up over 60% of their diet. These solitary creatures have strong bonds between mother and child, even living together for up to 6 or 7 years until the child knows enough skills to live on their own. Females only give birth once every eight years which allows for the child to stay longer, this span of time between births the longest of any animal. Male orangutan are loners and possess a great, rumbling call that can be heard over a mile away to mark territory. The large throat sac seen on male Orangutans are used in creating these Long Calls. Of the four great ape species, gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos are all located in Africa while the the Orangutan is the only Asian native species.