7 Unique Facts about Orangutans, Primates whose Population is Nearly Extinct


There are seven unique facts about orangutans that are rarely known. DOC ist’s photo

JAKARTA – There are seven unique facts about orangutans that are rarely known. This primate, originally from Indonesia, is in the spotlight because of its declining population.

According to World Wild Life, the name orangutan means “forest man” in Malay. This species lives in lowland forests and likes to eat fruit.

Also read: It turns out that the Sumatran-Borneo orangutans used to have giant bodies

To know more about the characteristics and habits of orangutans, here are seven facts reported by WWF:

1. There are 3 Species of Orangutans

These three species can all be found in Indonesia. Starting from the Bornean Orangutan, Sumatra, and what was just confirmed in 2017 was Tapanuli.

All three of these great ape species are critically endangered. It is estimated that there are only about 100,000 in Kalimantan, 14,000 in Sumatra, and 800 in Tapanuli.

Although these three species look similar, Bornean orangutans have darker fur than those on Sumatra.

2. The Largest Tree Primate

Orangutans spend a lot of their time hanging from trees and making them the largest primates that live in trees. Unlike gorillas who spend their time on land.

Unfortunately, the tree habitat inhabited by orangutans has begun to decrease. Kalimantan alone is projected to lose 220,000 km2 of forest between 2010 and 2030, for agriculture and infrastructure. That’s almost 30% of its total land area.

3. Have Long Sleeves

Orangutans have an arm span of about 2.2 meters. This is an impressive range considering that they alone are only 1.5 meters tall. These arms are even one and a half times longer than the legs.

4. Learning Everything from the Mother

Orangutan children will spend approximately 7 years of their life with their mother. They will learn many things, from how to swing to the food they usually eat.

The child’s long learning curve from its mother is affected because female orangutans will only have children once every 7-9 years, which is the longest interval of all land mammals.

Also read: 800 remaining, the Tapanuli orangutan species is approaching extinction

5. Male Orangutans Have Bigger Sizes

Male orangutans generally have prominent cheek pads called flanges and throat pouches. The height of these males can reach 1.7 meters with a weight of 68 kg. Meanwhile, the female orangutan is only about 1.2 meters tall and weighs 36 kg.

6. Likes to build nests for sleeping

These primates often build nests to serve as sleeping grounds. They can build a nest in as little as 10 minutes by gathering several large branches together.

When it’s the rainy season, orangutans usually add a roof using leaves. It is usually these nests that are used by researchers to estimate the number and size of these primates.

7. Intelligent Primates

Some orangutans will use tools to do things. Like using a stick to get termites and ants out of a tree hole.

They will also use palm pads made of leaves when they will hold fruit or thorny branches.


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