10 Facts About Orangutans

Orangutans are mesmerizingly big animals that are distinguished by their striking red and orange fur. From their unique dietary preferences and captivating appearance to their deep bonds with their young, orangutans are a captivating species that grabs our attention. To satisfy your curiosity about these magnificent primates, here are the top 10 facts about orangutans:

1. Orangutans live on trees despite their impressive size

Orangutans hold the title for being the heaviest and largest arboreal mammals, showcasing their adaptability to life in the trees. Their strong arms and prehensile feet allow them to effortlessly navigate through the dense canopy, finding food and creating nests to sleep.

2. Male orangutans develop chunky cheek pads

Male orangutans develop chunky cheek pads, scientifically known as flanges, as they mature. These prominent physical features serve as visual cues, indicating the orangutan’s dominance and maturity, helping them establish their place in the orangutan community.

3. Orangutans are known to use tools

Orangutans are highly intelligent primates and are known for their remarkable tool-use abilities, using sticks to extract insects from tree bark and displaying resourceful problem-solving skills. This sets them apart as one of the few non-human species with such cognitive capabilities.

4. Orangutans have three different species

The uniqueness of orangutans is evident in the existence of three distinct species: the Bornean, Sumatran, and Tapanuli orangutans. Each of these species has its own ecological and geographical niche, showcasing the adaptability and diversity of these remarkable primates.

5. Orangutans’ arms are super long!

Orangutans have exceptionally long arms that can span up to 2.4 meters (8 feet) in length. These impressive limbs are perfectly suited for efficient movement through the treetops, providing them with a great advantage in their forest habitat.

6. Orangutans have a strong mother-child bond

Orangutan mothers and their offspring share a strong bond, as infants rely on their mothers for survival, nourishment, protection, and learning essential skills. With female orangutans having a low reproductive rate of one birth every eight years, their young experience an extended dependency period.

7. Orangutans loves fruits

Orangutans have a strong preference for fruits, making them predominantly frugivorous. While they are primarily fruit-eaters, they also exhibit some omnivorous behaviors by occasionally consuming insects and small prey. This flexibility in their diet allows them to adapt to different food sources and adds variety to their meals.

8. Orangutans share 97% of their DNA with humans

Orangutans share a striking 97% of their DNA with humans, highlighting an incredible genetic similarity between our species. This close connection adds to the fascination and importance of understanding and preserving these extraordinary primates.

9. Orangutans have great dexterity because of their opposable thumbs!

Orangutans having opposable thumbs means that their thumbs can move independently and touch their other fingers, allowing them to grasp and manipulate objects with precision. This unique thumb structure enables orangutans to exhibit fine motor skills and perform complex tasks such as tool use, tree climbing, and food gathering.

10. Orangutans are at risk of extinction

All orangutan species are critically endangered, facing serious threats to their survival. Key challenges include deforestation, which destroys their habitat, and wildlife trade, which puts additional pressure on their already dwindling populations.

Conservation initiatives aim to protect orangutans and their habitats by preserving the environment, combating wildlife trade, and promoting sustainability, all with the goal of ensuring the future of these remarkable primates.


Orangutans are fascinating creatures with unique physical attributes, remarkable intelligence, and strong social bonds. Their adaptability is highlighted by their ability to thrive in tree canopies and the existence of three distinct species. However, their critical endangerment calls for urgent preservation efforts. By supporting conservation initiatives, we can secure a future for these incredible primates, ensuring they continue to flourish in their natural environments.