Fun Fishy Fact

The orangutans move around the Borneo forest by swinging among the trees and spending little time on the forest floor. Fruit is the larger part of their diet. They regularly eat figs, and keep regular. They have pretty strong stomachs and will eat the fruit of the climbing plant Strychnos ignatti, which is a source of strychnine. Most of us would keel over after breakfasting on those fruits but not the Orangs, they just drool a lot for a while. They also like honey and birds eggs, and will also indulge in insect eating.

Those Orangs living in Borneo appear to have been paying a lot of attention to current concerns over wellness and fitness programs. The physical exercise and lots of fruit have been a standard part of their lifestyle for a very long time. Minerals they get by occasionally coming down to earth and eating it.

But what about their omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids? Their only choice is fish, and that’s a problem because they can’t swim. Scavenging dead fish washed up at the edges of large ponds is not Cordon Bleu stuff – fresh is required for that. Russon has reported on their fishing tactics (1). They lean over a pond and stab at the catfish until they give themselves up and flop onto the shore in a panic.

Russon went to the trouble of directing a movie of this by stocking a pond with excitable young catfish extras and filming the stars jabbing away with great élan. Their little grey cells were much enhanced after their dinner. Now all they’ll need is to drink a glass of red wine a day, and maybe try and cut back on the strychnine.


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