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Thursday, 17 November 2016


The name 'orangutan' means 'man of the forest' in Malay, though until recently Malayans did not use that term for the animal.

Orangutans are now found in the wild only in the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo.

Orangutans come in two species: the Borneo orangutan (or Pongo pygmaeus) and Sumatra orangutan (Pongo abelii).

Sumatran orangutans have a narrower face and longer beard than their Bornean cousins.


The earliest reference to an 'orang-outang' in English dates back to 1699.

When Charles Darwin visited London Zoo in March 1838, he entered the cage of an orangutan named Jenny who, he said, "was particularly fond of watching boys bathe".

Ken Allen (1971–2000) was a Bornean orangutan at the San Diego Zoo.  He became famous for escaping from his enclosure on three occasions in 1985. During his escapes, first on June 13, then on  July 29 and finally on August 13, 1985, Ken Allen would peacefully stroll around the zoo looking at other animals and never acted aggressively.

Ken Allen Wikipedia

In Argentina, orangutans are granted human-like rights


Unlike it's other great ape cousins, orangutans spend most of their lives in trees, where Orangutans live about 30-50 years, both in captivity and in the wild.

Deforestation of their natural habitat has cut the number of orangutans in the wild to about 6,000.


Orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling creatures on Earth.

Their bodies are especially adapted to living in the forest canopy; that unique swinging motion is called quadrumanous scrambling.

Orangutans not only have opposable thumbs like humans but also have opposable big toes.

Around a third of all orangutans do not have nails on their big toes.

In 2011, the orangutan became the third non-human primate to have its genome sequenced, after the chimp and rhesus macaque. This showed that orangutans and humans share 97 per cent of their DNA sequence.

Orangutans are still 2 per cent less like humans than chimps — who have 99 per cent of our DNA


More than half of their diet consists of fruits, which they find in the trees of Sumatra and Borneo and they also consume leaves, shoots and bird eggs,

Orang Utan eating a mature Coconut. By Eleifert - Wikipedia
Orangutans drink water they find collected in tree leaves.

Orangutans make spoons out of twigs and use them to open fruit and scoop out the seeds.

They are the least social of all primates. Females spend up to 25 per cent of their time with other orangutans. Males less than 9 per cent.

After mating, a female abandons her mate. The male has no role in caring for the young.

The orangutan has the longest childhood dependence on the mother of any animal in the world.

Young orangutans learn everything from where to find food and how to acquire and eat it to building a safe and secure nest from their mothers.

Orangutans build elaborate day and night nests. They may add additional features such as "pillows", "blankets", "roofs" and "bunk-beds" to their nest.

Orangutan nest. By Rob and Stephanie Levy - Flickr: Wikipedia

Orangutans warn off predators by making kissing noises.

Sources Daily Express,

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