ORANGUTAN

GENUS

SPECIES

Orangutans are only found in the tropical rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, which are Southeast Asian islands (parts of Indonesia and Malaysia). Orangutans are mostly herbivorous with varied diets, and typically eat fruit, leaves, tree bark, flowers, and insects. As of 2020, orangutans are classified as critically endangered by the IUCN. The greatest threats to their survival are habitat loss and fragmentation, palm oil production, logging, and the illegal trade in wildlife.

ECOLOGY & HABITAT

Pongo

Orangutans are a mostly solitary species, which is unique among primates. They therefore usually travel alone. Orangutans are extremely smart animals and demonstrate an ability to learn from each other. Even in the wild, they have an ability to use tools and construct sleeping nests. There is only about a 3.1% difference in DNA between humans and orangutans.

LOCOMOTION & BODY SIZE

P. abelii, P. pygmaeus

BEHAVIOR

An orangutan is capable of climbing through small branches of trees, regardless of the height, in their tropical rainforests. They have flexible hip and shoulder joints, and opposable thumbs and big toes that allow them to easily travel from branch to branch. The height and weight of orangutans differ by sex. Adult male orangutans can weigh up to 300 pounds (136 kg) and be as tall as five feet (152 cm). Their arm span can also be about 8 feet (243 cm). However, adult female orangutans are typically half that size.

LIFE SPAN

Orangutans can live to be over 50 years old when in captivity, but in the wild, their maximum lifespan is usually 35 to 45 years old.

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