One of the key facts about orangutans is that this forest-dweller is the only species of ape that is not found in Africa. The female of this particular species of ape spends most of her life in the forest canopy and rarely comes down to ground level. Orangutans are diurnal, meaning that they are active during the day and make a nest of leaves in the forest canopy at night, usually in the fork of a tree.
Some of the key facts about orangutan females are that they can weigh anywhere between 30 – 50kg’s and measure a height of 1.1 metres whereas the males weigh in at anywhere between 50 – 90kg’s and are taller than the females, usually no taller than 1.5 metres in height. The males are usually solitary and tend to prefer sleeping on the ground, with their head pillowed on their arm.
They choose a territory and will defend it against intruding males. The females also tend to be more solitary, but may congregate in loose-knit groups with their young.
Orangutan males reach sexual maturity at about 12 years of age. It may take up to 20 years of age for the males to develop the full facial disks created by their fibrous cheek flanges and the accompanying throat pouches.
The females of this ape species usually reach puberty at 10 years of age but may take up to 15 years to reach sexual maturity. The females give live birth to a single infant, though they may occasionally carry twins. The gestation period is roughly 265 days and the female will not breed again until the infant has reached roughly 8 years of age.
One of the key facts about orangutans is that a female will produce offspring no more than four times in her lifetime. The youngster is generally weaned at 3 years of age and the female will carry him on her back for the first four years when travelling. They become self-sufficient at 6 or 7 years of age.