Orangutans are part of the great ape family. There are four kinds of great apes: Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Bonobos & Orangutans.
Great apes are different from monkeys although they are both primates. Great apes don’t have a tail and they tend to be larger and heavier. They also have a bigger brain and can use tools such as sticks to help them get food or leaves to make a sunshade or umbrella. Orangutans live in
Borneo Orangutan Sumatran Orangutan
Orangutans are omnivores (they eat both plants and animals) but are mostly herbivorous (plants comprise most of their diet). They eat fruit (their favourite food), leaves, seeds, tree bark, plant bulbs, tender plant shoots, and flowers. They sometimes eat insects and small animals. Orangutans don't have to leave their tree branches to drink, they drink water that has collected in the holes between tree branches.
Orangutans are very intelligent. They have been known to use 100’s of found objects as tools; for example, they use leaves as umbrellas to keep the rain from getting them wet.
Orangutans are shy, solitary animals that are active during the day (they are diurnal). They live alone in large territories due to sparse food sources; they need a large area in order to get enough food and too many orangutans in one area might lead to starvation. But in heavily fruited rainforests they don’t need as large an area. The only long-lasting orangutan social group is the mother and offspring, who live together for about 7 years.
Each evening, orangutans construct a "nest" in the tree branches for the night in which they will curl up and sleep. These nests are made out of leaves and branches. Nests are shared by a mother and her nursing offspring. They often make a different day bed nest aswell.
Male orangutans are capable of very long, loud calls (called "long calls") that carry through forests for up to 0.6 mile (1 km). The "long call" is made up of a series of sounds followed by a bellow. These calls help the male claim his territory, call to females, and keep out intruding male orangutans. Males have a large throat sac that lets them make these loud calls.
Orangutans usually move by swinging from one branch to another; this is called brachiating. Orangutans can also walk using their legs (but rarely do). Most orangutans do not swim but some smart ones have learned to do so to catch fish
Orangutans are the only great ape from Asia. They are found in tropical rain forests in northern Sumatra, Indonesia and in low-lying swamps in Borneo, Malaysia
Orangutans are mature and capable of reproducing beginning when they are 7 to 10 years old. Females are pregnant for 8.5 to 9 months and give birth to a single baby. Young orangutans are weaned from their mothers at about 6-7 years of age.
The animal that poses the biggest threat to the orangutan is man (who uses its habitat and sells young orangutans as pets).
Orangutans are an endangered species. They are decreasing in numbers quickly as they lose habitat to people. Further aggravating the problem, baby orangutans are caught and sold around the world as pets.