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Temporal range: 18.5–0 Ma
Orang Utan, Semenggok Forest Reserve, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia.JPG
Pongo sp. (orangutan)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Hominidae
Subfamily: Ponginae


Ponginae is a subfamily in the family Hominidae. Once a diverse lineage of Eurasian apes, the subfamily has only one extant genus (Pongo, the orangutans) which contains three extant species: the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis,) and the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). The Sumatran and Bornean orangutan are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN[1][2] — the less populous Tapanuli orangutan has yet to be officially listed.

Evolutionary history[edit]

The first pongine genera appear in the Miocene, Sivapithecus and Khoratpithecus,[3][4] six or seven million years before evidence of orangutans was found from Pleistocene south-east Asia and southern China.[5] Ponginae may also include the genera Lufengpithecus, Ankarapithecus, and Gigantopithecus. However phylogenetic analysis in 2004 which originally found Lufengpithecus and Ankarapithecus to be most closely related to the orangutan gave different results "under an analytical method that attempted to reduce stratigraphic incongruence",[6] instead placing them on the base of the stem of the African ape-human clade.[3]

The most well-known fossil genus of Ponginae is Sivapithecus, consisting of several species from 12.5 million to 8.5 million years ago. It differs from orangutans in dentition and postcranial morphology.[6]




  1. ^ Singleton, I.; Wich, S.A. & Griffiths, M. (2008). "Pongo abelii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 Jan 2011. 
  2. ^ Ancrenaz, M.; Marshall, A.; Goossens, B.; van Schaik, C.; Sugardjito, J.; Gumal, M. & Wich, S. (2008). "Pongo pygmaeus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 Jan 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Finarelli, J. A.; Clyde, W. C. (2004). "Reassessing hominoid phylogeny: Evaluating congruence in the morphological and temporal data" (PDF). Paleobiology. 30 (4): 614. doi:10.1666/0094-8373(2004)030<0614:RHPECI>2.0.CO;2. 
  4. ^ Chaimanee, Y.; Suteethorn, V.; Jintasakul, P.; Vidthayanon, C.; Marandat, B.; Jaeger, J. J. (2004). "A new orang-utan relative from the Late Miocene of Thailand" (pdf). Nature. 427 (6973): 439–441. doi:10.1038/nature02245. PMID 14749830. 
  5. ^ Bacon, A. M.; The Long, V. (2001). "The first discovery of a complete skeleton of a fossil orang-utan in a cave of the Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam". Journal of Human Evolution. 41 (3): 227–241. doi:10.1006/jhev.2001.0496. PMID 11535001. 
  6. ^ a b Taylor, C. (2011). "Old men of the woods". Palaeos. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  7. ^ Haaramo, Mikko (2004-02-04). "Pongidae". Mikko's Phylogeny Archive.  after Begun, 2002, Chaimanee et al., 2003 and Chaimanee et al, 2004.