Orangutan is one of the four great apes: in the world, the other three being gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos. At the same time, it is the only ape that is found in Asia, all the other three are from Africa. Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are presently found inhabiting the islands of Borneo and Sumatra only. They can be divided into two separate species, namely the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) and the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). Habitat destruction, poaching and predation have led to steep decline in the population of the animal. Read on to get some interesting facts and amazing information on orangutans.
Facts about Orangutan
Type Species: Pongo pygmaeus
Species: Pongo pygmaeus and Pongo abelii
Height (males): Around 175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight (males): Around 118 kg (260 lbs)
Height (females): Around 127 cm (4 ft 2 in)
Weight (females): Around 45 kg (100 lbs)
Natural Habitat: Rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra
Diet: Mainly fruits (with sugary or fatty pulp), along with young leaves, shoots, seeds and bark, insects and bird eggs
Age: 35 to 40 years (wild), 50 (captivity) years
Age of Maturity: 8 years
Gestation Period: 8 to 9 months
Number of Offspring: One
Interesting & Amazing Information on Orangutans
- In the earlier times, people thought an orangutan to be a person hiding in the trees, trying to avoid having to go to work or become a slave.
- Orangutan is the only ape that is strictly arboreal. At the same time, it is the largest tree-living mammal in the world.
- An orangutan baby has the longest childhood dependence on its mother in the world, averaging at six years.
- Orangutan females give birth only about once every 8 years, the longest time between births of any mammal on earth.
- A male orangutan uses its throat sac to make a very notable call that echoes through the forest. It is used either to locate and advertise their presence to females or to warn away other males.
- The hands of an orangutan are very much like that of humans. They have four long fingers and an opposable thumb.
- Orangutans are very intelligent. They have been known to use leaves as umbrellas, in rainy season, as well as cups, to help them drink water.
- Every evening, orangutans construct a ‘nest’, of leaves and branches, on trees, in which they will curl up and sleep at night.
- Orangutans do not swim.
- Orangutans have an enormous arm span. A male orangutan can stretch his arms as much as 7 ft (2.1 m) wide, from fingertip to fingertip.
- Orangutans are active in the daytime and spend lot of their time looking for food.
- The arms of an orangutan are incredibly long and almost reach down to their ankles.
- Orangutans are solitary animals, which generally come together only to mate and then part ways again.
- As a male orangutan gets older, its face starts developing cheek pads and the throat starts getting a pouch.
- Orangutans share almost 97 percent of the human DNA.