Animal Class >> Herbivores


The orangutans are two species of great apes known for their intelligence and their long arms and reddish-brown hair. They are the most arboreal of the great apes, spending nearly all of their time in the trees. Every night they fashion nests to sleep in from branches and foliage. They are more solitary than the other apes, with males and females generally coming together only to mate. Mothers stay with their babies until the offspring reach an age of six or seven years. There is significant sexual dimorphism between females and males: females can grow to around 4'2" or 1.3 meters and weigh around 100 lbs, while fully mature males can reach 5'9" or 1.8 metres in height and weigh over 260 lbs. Fully mature males can be distinguished by their prominent cheek phalanges and longer hair. They are found only in rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, though fossils have been found in Java, Vietnam and China.

Facts about Orangutan

  1. Though an adult male orangutan can weigh up to 220 pounds (100 kilograms)-females weigh about half what males do-orangutans spend most of their time up in the trees. They are the largest of all arboreal animals.
  2. Equipped with very long, powerful arms and hook-shaped hands and feet, these apes climb and swing from tree to tree with ease.
  3. Sometimes heavier males can't find branches strong enough to hold their weight, so they climb down to get to the next suitable tree. On the ground, orangutans walk on all fours.
  4. Orangutans find their food in the trees where they live. More than half their diet consists of fruit. They also eat nuts, bark, and other parts of plants and trees. Every once in a while they eat insects such as ants and termites, as well as bird eggs.
  5. Orangutans even find the water they need for drinking up in the trees-in hollows, on leaves, or even on their own fur after a rain.


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