Fun Facts About Orangutans

Orangutan Fun Facts:

 Kesi on ground

Orangutans are highly intelligent and use tools:

They will poke twigs into holes to catch insects, chew up leaves and use them as sponges and use branches and sticks to test the depth of water before entering it.

Orangutans are sometimes referred to as “red apes.”  

Orangutans are the only Great Ape found outside Africa.

Orangutans are the only “red” ape.

Orangutans are the only strictly arboreal ape, meaning that they spend their lives in the forest canopy.

Orangutans breed slower than any other primate and have approximately 3 offspring in their lifetime. 

Sumatran orangutans have lighter hair, longer beards and narrower cheekpads than Borean orangutans.

Brachiating  Orangutans brachiate (swing arm-over-arm through the forest) better than any other ape.

There are two species of orangutans: Sumatran, Pongo abelii,  Sumatran

and Borean, Pongo pygmaeus.  Bornean

Orangutans are the only apes in the world that are from Asia. 

Orangutans are diurnal which means they are active during the day. 

Orangutans have opposable thumbs which means they can touch each of their fingers with their thumb. 

A male orangutan’s cheek pads keep growing for most of their life. 

Orangutans have 32 permanent teeth (the same amount as humans).  They have sharp canine teeth with the male orangutan having longer canine teeth that they use for threat displays and fighting. 

Mosquitoes bother orangutans just like they do humans and they will use branches like fly swatters to swish them away.

When it rains or the sun is hot an orangutan will hold a leafy branch or two over its head to protect itself from getting wet or overheated. 

Most orangutans build a nest every night high up in a tree and sometimes even add a roof of leaves. 

Orangutans can make approximately 13 to 15 different vocalizations. 

The name “orangutan” translates into English as “man of the forest”. It comes from Malay and Bahasa Indonesian orang (man) and hutan (forest). 

At this time orangutans can still be found in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra.

Legend says that orangutans can speak but choose not to because they fear they would be forced to work if were they ever caught talking.

An orangutan arms can have a reach of more than 8 feet!  How tall are you?  Probably not 8 feet or higher.  So, an orangutan can have a reach of a length longer than you are tall!

In their true habitat, male orangutans live alone and females live alone or with their infants.

Male orangutans reach a height of approximately 4.5 feet and females about 3.5 feet tall.

An orangutan is expected to live in their true habitat between 35 to 50 years (when not having their lives interrupted by poachers or other humans).  There are cases of orangutans in captivity living over 50 years–but what kind of life is that?  Give me 35 years of freedom instead of 50 years in a cage.

Female orangutans usually have one baby at a time and will only have one every 6 to 7 years.

Orangutans eat tropical fruits, leaves, sprouts, bark and insects.

Baby orangutans cry when they’re hungry, whimper when they’re hurt and smile at their mothers.