♦ In Malay orang means "person" and utan is derived from hutan, which means "forest." Thus, orangutan literally means "person of the forest."
♦ Orangutans share nearly 97% of their genetic material with humans. Our close genetic relatedness with all the great apes make us sibling species.
♦ Orangutans' arms stretch out longer than their bodies - over 7 ft. from fingertip to fingertip - and are used to employ a "hookgrip."
♦ When on the ground, they walk on all fours, using their palms or their fists.
♦ When male orangutans are about 15 years old, they develop large cheek pads, which female orangutans apparently find attractive.
♦ When males are fighting, they charge at each other and break branches. If that doesn't scare one of them away, they grapple and bite each other.
♦ For the first few years of his/her life, a young orangutan holds tight to his/her mother's body as she moves through the forest in search of fruit. Later, he/she will follow the mother as she moves through the trees.
♦ Juvenile orangutans love to play and will "play fight" in the trees without showing any fear of heights.
♦ Like humans, orangutans have opposable thumbs. Their big toes are also opposable.
♦ Orangutans have tremendous strength, which enables them to brachiate (swing from branch to branch) and hang upside-down from branches for long periods of time to retrieve fruit and eat young leaves.
♦ Orangutans love to eat soap, which surprisingly does not upset their stomach, and will lather their arms before eating the frothy treat.