Raya, a male orangutan, died in 2013, under the watchful eye of veterinarians, following a cruel showdown with neighborhood villagers on an Indonesian island named Sumatra.
Until then, scientists believed there were only two types of orangutan, one that dwells on Sumatra, and one on Borneo Island. They realized that their populations, as with the other primates on Earth — chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos — are waning. An estimated 60,000 orangutans in total are left.
Raya, however, was apart of a gathering of 800, in the Batang Toru woods of Sumatra. Also, scientists speculated that gathering may be somewhat different from the other orangutans on the remainder of the island. The orangutans associated with Raya tend to have thicker fur, and feast on a variety of foods.
An investigation of Raya’s skull, combined with a hereditary examination of a small number of his relatives, proved that Raya was not quite like the typical species of orangutan that also inhabit the island.
In a recent journal called “Current Biology”, a group of geneticists and researchers have reported that there’s a third type of orangutan on the planet, Pongo tapanuliensis, also known as the Tapanuli orangutan.
It’s the original yet, newly discovered great ape species to be projected in the logical writing in 90 years, since 1927, when the Bonobos were found.
In any case, there’s very little time to observe: This species just has around 800 individuals, which makes it endangered.
Some scientists simply do not believe, that these orangutan are their own species.
The analytical research was restricted to just one skull, and genes of just a few individuals. At times, nature may not provide a clear division line between types of species. However, we are clearly educated enough to understand the Tapanuli orangutan, is indeed very special.