Information about: Orang-Utan

Index | Orang-Utan

Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.

Orang-Utan, or "Jungle Man," also known as the "wild man of the wood." A large ape with brick-red hair, brown skin, and small ears, now confined to the swampy forests of Sumatra and Borneo. "The largest specimen on record stood 4 feet 6 inches in height from heel to head, measured 42 inches around the chest, and between the finger tips stretched 8 feet." (W. T. Hornaday.) The weight of a full grown male orang may reach 250 pounds. The legs are very short. the arms disproportionately long, reaching to the ankle when the animal is placed in an erect position. The males have a longish beard, and they sometimes develop warty protuberances, called cheek callosities, on each side of the face. The resemblance to man in appearance is greatest in the females and in young animals. In its native home it lives in the tree tops, and seldom descends to the ground except for water. Instead of leaping from tree to tree like the monkey, they swing from one branch to another with great accuracy. In its wild state the orang makes a nest of leafy branches laid crosswise in a forked tree. It sleeps lying flat on its back on this nest, grasping an overhead branch with both feet and hands for security.