Wild orangutans are known for their ability to survive food shortages, but scientists have made a surprising finding that highlights the need to protect the habitat of these critically endangered primates, which face rapid habitat destruction and threats linked to climate change. Scientists found that the muscle mass of orangutans on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia was significantly lower when less fruit was available. That’s remarkable because orangutans are thought to be especially good at storing and using fat for energy, according a Rutgers-led study in the journal Scientific Reports.
Deforestation is not an issue dominating headlines in the U.S. right now, but perhaps it should be, according to UC San Diego research. Deforestation has been linked to both the spread of infectious disease and climate change, and what is most alarming, it’s happening at a rapid rate.