Top Facts About Orangutans


Learning about the different primates can be a lot of fun. Drawing similarities between some of the great apes and humans is a great way to consider what evolution may have brought us. There are so many different bits out there and here are just some of the top facts about orangutans:

  • The orangutan is a unique ape that is orange or reddish. In fact, we don’t really know why their fur is red either. When the sun catches it, there is a deep rust color.
  • The orangutan is the only ape that is strictly arboreal or prone to spending their lives in trees, particularly in the canopy of the forest. It is one of the top facts about orangutans because they nearly send their entire life going from limb to limb.Orangutan information
  • They are one of the slowest breeding primates and can have about three or four different offspring during the course of their lifetime. This is one of the top facts about orangutans that keeps them on the endangered species list.
  • When it comes to the different types of orangutans; Bornean orangutans have larger cheek pads and shorter, darker hair than Sumatran orangutans.
  • Orangutans come in two species; Pongo abelii or Sumatran and Bornean or Pongo pygmaeus.
  • When it comes to swinging from branch to branch, orangutans have just about every other ape beat. They use a one arm over the other swinging motion to move from branch to branch.
  • The cheek pads on a male orangutan will grow for most of their life. This is one of the top facts about orangutans that answers questions that get asked frequently.
  • The orangutan has opposable thumbs which do mean that they can touch their thumb and finger together. This is one of the top facts about orangutans that make it possible for them to use some of the tools they are known for.
  • The orangutans have sharp canines as well as a total of 32 teeth, which is the same amount humans have. The males have longer teeth because they are used in displays to threaten away danger and when they fight.
  • On days it’s super sunny or raining quite a bit an orangutan will hold leafy branches over their eyes to shield them from the elements. This is one of the top facts about orangutans that makes them so human-like.
  • Every night an orangutan will build a nest high in a tree so that they have a comfortable, dry and safe place to sleep. They are even known to add a roof that is made of leaves.
  • These great, red apes are capable of making somewhere between 13 and 18 different vocalizations.
  • The orangutan will generally live in their true habitat somewhere between 35 and 50 years. This is when they don’t have their life interrupted by a hunter, poacher or some other human. Some of the apes have lived over 55 years when in captivity. This is one of the top facts about orangutans that get brought up often.
  • A female orangutan generally only has one baby at a time and this only every seven or eight years.
  • The orangutan male can reach a top height of nearly four and a half feet with the females reaching to about three and a half feet.
  • The orangutan baby is capable of crying when they are hungry, whimpering if they have gotten hurt and even smiling at their mother. This is one of the top facts about orangutans that illustrate how human-like they are.
  • They are diurnal or more active during the daylight hours.
  • The diet of an orangutan is primarily made of sprouts, fruits, bark, leaves and some insects.


  • These creatures are the only great apes that actually come from Asia.
  • The orangutan has a reach of more than seven feet with their arms.
  • The word orangutan means ‘man of the forest’ in English. It gets its roots from Indonesia and Malaysia and its historical top facts about orangutans.
  • A mother orangutan’s relationship to her baby is second only to humans; it’s top facts about orangutans that illustrate their mothering skills They will carry and nurse them for five years or even as long as seven. The baby only has its mother for a companion for nearly eight years. They sleep together in a nest they build every night until the birth of another infant.
  • In regards to attitude with top facts about orangutans; they are a gentle giant with attacks on humans being virtually unheard of.
  • It is believed that Orangutans have seven times the strength as people do.
  • An orangutan is able to travel between 50 meters and 1,000 meters in a single day.
  • When it comes to top facts about orangutans you should know, most primates tend to live in large groups but the orangutan is different, preferring to live a relatively solitarily.

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