Endangered orangutans have lost muscle mass due to lack of fruit

New study from Rutgers University highlights the need to protect the environment

endangered habitatsprimates. They suffer from the rapid destruction of their habitual habitat and the threats associated with climate change. Now it turns out that the muscle mass of orangutans on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia has decreased due to a lack of fruit in the diet. This discovery surprised scientists - it is believed that orangutans are good at storing and using fat for energy. The research results are published by Scientific Reports.

Conservation plans should take into account the availability of fruit in areas of the forest that orangutans may have to occupy, as deforestation continues throughout their range, scientists say.

Researchers measured creatinine, a productvital activity generated by muscle rupture in the urine of a wild orangutan, to estimate how much muscle primates had when there were few fruits, compared to when there were a lot of them. The difference was huge.

The findings highlight that any further disruption in their fruit supply could have disastrous consequences for their health and survival.

Orangutans weigh about 82 kg and live up to 55 years inwild nature. Deforestation associated with logging, palm oil and paper pulp production, and hunting pose a threat to orangutans, whose numbers have declined dramatically in recent decades.

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