Orangutan means “person of the forest” and comes from the Malay and Indonesian words “orang” (man) and “hutan” (forest).
Orangutan is also often written as orang-utan, orang utan and orangutang though the latter is generally interpreted as being incorrect.
Adult males can reach a height of arounf five feet tall a weight of around 100Kg. Females are much smaller – a third to half this size.
An orangutan’s arms are twice as long as its legs.
Male orangutans are split into two variants – flanged and unflanged – the former being dominant and actively sought out by females. Unflanged male orangutans rely on forcing themselves on unsuspecting females in order to reproduce.
Approximately two thirds of the orangutan’s daily diet is fruit.
Orangutans are widely acknowledged as being the most intelligent animal after humans.
Orangutans play a vital role in the distribution of plant seeds and therefore help to maintain biodiversity in their habitat.
Maturity is reached at 7 to 10 years old, and life expectancy ranges from 40 years in the wild to 50 years in captivity.
Orangutans have no tail.
The wild orangutan population has halved in the last 10 years alone.
The orangutan shares a massive 96.4% of human genes which explains much of the similarity, however this also leaves them vulnerable to some human diseases.
Orangutans live up to 100 feet above the ground and have little need to descend from their aerial territory.
Orangutan females give birth once every 8 years on average and this is a key factor in the decline and recovery rate of the species.
The wild orangutan population is declining at the rate of around 2000 every year and the species is likely to be extinct in just 10 years unless something is done to protect these creatures and their environment.