Top Orangutan Facts
How much do you really know about orangutans? Chances are there is plenty still for you to explore. These facts will help you to get on the right track and to expand your knowledge of them.
Orangutans aren’t monkeys as many people believe but apes.
Orangutans are the largest animals that live in trees.
Orangutan bodies are covered with long hairs that are thin but that offer them protection.
It is believed that the senses of an orangutan are very similar in ability to those of humans.
Almost all of their time is spent in the trees when they are in the wild. Sometimes they are only about 10 feet above the ground and other times they can be more than 100 feet up in the trees.
They are solitary animals. The males are generally alone and the females only with their offspring.
Females take very good care of their offspring. They may stay with them until they are about 7 years of age before going their separate ways.
These apes don’t walk on their knuckles like gorillas do. Instead they curve their fingers in and use the palms of their hands for balance and movement.
They are extremely intelligent animals. They have the ability to adapt to new situations and to problem solve.
Orangutans do not swim but they can play in the water.
The word orangutan means man of the forest.
They tend to eat in the morning, take a long nap in the afternoon, eat again, play, and then sleep for the night. This is the common routine for orangutans in the wild.
While orangutans can walk on their legs, it is very seldom you will see them doing so. They are more likely to use their arms and to swing from one place to the next.
The average life span for an orangutan in the wild is from 30 to 40 years. In captivity the can live about 50 years.
Orangutans are the only known apes to come from Asia.
The orangutan is considered to be closely related to humans due to their anatomy, physiology, and behavior.
They have tremendous strength and most people don’t realize that. Instead they assume that since they are so silly they aren’t strong but that is a mistake that can lead to a dangerous encounter with an orangutan.
The rate of birth is extremely slow among orangutans – about once every 7 to 8 years. This is the longest span of time for all apes. It is also one of the highest for all animals.
Orangutans are very susceptible to a variety of illnesses both in captivity and in the wild. They include Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis, and different types of infections due to parasites.
They are very graceful in their movements, but they lack speed. This is why they aren’t much of a match when they do come into contact with their few known predators.
They generally will move about one mile per day from their previous location.
Orangutans generally produce the lowest number of offspring in their lifetime than any other mammal. Mortality rates are lower than any other ape though. This is due to them being loners, living in the trees, and the mothers being very nurturing of their young.
It is believed that after a young orangutan leaves its mother the females will often come into contact with each other again. The males travel far away which is part of nature’s way to prevent inbreeding of the species.