Here are many useful orangutan facts for kids including orangutan diet, habitat, and physical features. The orangutans are the two great apes species that are endemic to Malaysia and Indonesia. Currently, they are found in the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo. Orangutans belong to the family of Hominidae.
They are believed to have emerged some 400,000 years ago and were divided from great apes 15.7 to 19.3 million years ago. They are arboreal species and are known to spend most of their time in trees. Unlike gorillas and chimpanzees, orangutans display reddish-brown hair color. Females and males are varied in size and appearance.
They are solitary animals. Orangutans primarily feed on fruits, insects, bird eggs, vegetation, bark, and honey. Orangutans can live up to 30 years in the wild. They are considered to be the most intelligent primates.
Orangutan Facts For Kids
- A large massive body, powerful arms, bowed legs, and thick neck is what defines orangutan. The entire body is covered with the reddish-brown hair. They have a grey-black skin.
- Sumatran orangutans display light-colored coats.
- These species have a large head and a noticeable mouth.
- The length of the female measures around 127 cm (4 ft 2 in), with the weight averaging 45.4 kg (100 lb). Adult males grow around 175 cm (5 ft 9 in) in height with the weight of about 118 kg (260 lb).
- The arm span of a male orangutan measures around 2 meters (6.6 feet).
- They tend to communicate with several sounds.
- The average lifespan of orangutans is 30 – 40 years in the wild and 50 – 60 years in captivity.
- They are classified as endangered species.
- The long-call of orangutans can be heard
- Orangutans are solitary animals and they spend most of their time in the trees of peat swamp and dipterocarp forests. They are generally found in lowland swampy and mountainous regions.
- Sumatran orangutans are found at a height of 1500 meters (4921 ft), while Bornean orangutans do not live beyond an elevation of 1000 meters (3281 ft).
- Orangutans build their habitats in cultivated fields, grasslands, shallow lakes, and young secondary forests.
- They remain busy in three activities all throughout the day; feeding travelling, and resting. The day begins with the feeding for about 2 to 3 hours at morn. They travel at noon while at midday orangutans take rest.
- In evening, however, they start building their nests for the night. They are generally not good swimmers, but they have been observed wading in water.
Feeding Ecology and Diet
- Orangutans are regarded as opportunistic foragers. They have a varied diet. The bulk of the orangutans diet is composed of fruits; they are known to eat 65 – 90% of fruits.
- They fancy eating sugary and fatty pulp fruits. Generally, orangutans consume Ficus fruits are also preferred.
- They consume 317 numerous food items including shoots, insects, leaves, shoots, bark, bird eggs, and honey.
- Males reach the maturity age after 15 years.
- The gestation period lasts for 9 months.
- The female litters their first offspring at the age of 14 or 15 years, after which they give an interval of 8 years.
- The female alone nurtures the young orangutans in which males do not contribute.
Tigers are the prime predators of orangutans. Some other predators include crocodiles, wild dogs, and clouded leopards.