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12 Orangutan Facts That'll Make You Go Bananas!

Stop monkeying around and feed your brain with these great ape facts!

Beano Team
Last Updated:  October 18th 2022

Here at Beano HQ, we're big fans of orangutans, even King Louie from The Jungle Book. We're such fans that we've decided to round up some of the most interesting facts concerning our relatives – we share 97% of the same DNA – and pop them on one handy page of great ape trivia!

1. There are 3 types of orangutan!

There are three kinds of orangutan: Bornean, Sumatran and Tapanuli. They're an endangered species as their homes are being destroyed due to deforestation and the growing number of palm oil plantations.

2. Female orangutans will often have a few children!

Up until they reach 30 years old, a female orangutan will give birth and leave 8 to 10 years between each one.

3. There's a special word for a group of orangutans!

While orangutans don't live in large groups, a collection of these apes is known as a buffoonery, which sounds like a right laugh!

4. Baby orangutans hang out with their mums until they're 7!

The first six or seven years of an orangutan's life is very important. Their mother teaches them everything, from what sort of food to look for and how to construct a nest. They're carried around for ages, too. But after that, they're off on their own adventures.

5. Orangutans eat a lot of fruit!

Researchers have found that an orangutan's diet is made up of 60% fruit. They enjoy mangoes, figs and lychees, as well as leaves, insects, bird eggs and tree bark.

6. Orangutans can live a long time!

They can live up to 40 years in the wild. An orangutan named Puan lived to the age of 63 in Perth Zoo, Australia!

7. Orangutans are strong but not very fast!

While orangutans can swing through trees with ease, they're not the quickest of apes when it comes to running. An adult can reach speeds of around 2.7 miles per hour, so it would take them almost 10 hours to run a marathon.

8. There's a name for those orangutan cheeks!

When male orangutans get older, they grow big cheeks like this chap above. Do you know what they're called? That's right, flanges. Female orangutans are fans of these kinds of cheeks!

9. Orangutans sleep about the same amount as humans!

That's right! The average night's sleep for an orangutan is around eight hours! That's pretty much the same as adult humans. We're not sure if teenage orangutans spend all Saturday napping, though.

10. Orangutans have long arms!

When their arms are stretched out, they measure around 7 feet from fingertip to fingertip. This helps them swing through the trees to look for food and shade.

11. Orangutan is a descriptive name!

Orangutan must have something to do with their orange fur, right? Wrong! In the Indonesian and Malayasian languages, orang is translated as 'person' and hutan means 'forest'. So, orangutan basically means 'person of the forest'.

12. Adult orangutans can grow up to 54 inches tall!

Well, adult males can grow to that size. Female orangutans grow up to around 45 inches tall. And when they're born, baby orangutans can fit inside a human's palm! So tiny!