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Orangutan Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Thomas Philip
In this lesson you will learn about orangutans. You will learn about how they look, where they live, what they eat, and how many of them are left in the world today.

What is an Orangutan?

What's that in the tree? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's an orangutan! Orangutans are the world's largest tree-climbing mammals. They are apes, which means they are large, tailless primates. Basically, a primate is a mammal with hands, hand-like feet, and forward facing eyes. That might sound familiar, because you're a primate, too!

Orangutans are covered with long orange and brown hair and they are about 5 feet tall when standing. They weigh anywhere from 70-180 pounds and have long arms that stretch out to 8 feet when open. They can live to about 50 years in the wild. They are such fascinating animals and there's so much to learn about them.

Picture of an orangutan
Orangutan

Where do Orangutans Live?

Orangutans live in the wild on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, which are part of the country of Indonesia. Indonesia is a country made up of several islands and it is located on the continent of Asia.

Map of Indonesia
Indonesia Map

They live in a tropical environment, which is usually warm and rainy. The name orangutan comes from the native words 'orang hutan' which means 'person of the forest'. In fact, they mostly live in the trees and don't have many reasons to come down. They get water from the rain that collects on leaves. Sometimes they even use large leaves as umbrellas to protect themselves from the heavy rains while they're in the treetops. They are very intelligent animals!

What do Orangutans Eat?

Orangutans forage for food. This means they spend a long time, at least 6 hours a day, looking for food and eating food. They find all of their food in the trees and build nests in them. They mostly eat fruits. In fact, they eat over 300 different kinds of fruits. They also eat leaves, tree bark, nuts, and sometimes insects.

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