5 things you probably didn't know about orangutans
With the temperature quickly dropping in Northeast Ohio, there is no better time than now to plan your visit to The RainForest. There’s so much to see and learn but the best part—it’s a balmy 80 degrees inside year round.
And of course, no visit to The RainForest is complete without visiting the always entertaining Merah and her fellow orangutans on the second floor. Merah, the smallest of the Zoo's Bornean orangutan troop, makes up for her size with her never ending energy and determination to get someone to play with her.
Born in 2014, Merah turned five this past October and still has a lot of growing to do! In celebration of her fifth birthday, keep reading to learn five things that you probably didn’t know about orangutans.
1) The orangutan is one of humankind’s closest relatives – we share nearly 97% of the same DNA as well as 28 distinct physical characteristics!
2) Orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling animals on Earth. Other apes, like gorillas, climb up to the canopy to feed but do not spend much time there and are mainly land dwellers. Adult male orangutans, weighing over 300 pounds, spend over 90% of their time in the treetops, eating fruit, leaves and the occasional termite or vine.
3) Have you ever noticed that male orangutans have much larger faces than the females? These are called “cheek pads” and are used to display dominance to other males. They are made mostly of fatty tissue and are supported by the musculature of the face. Mature males also have large “throat pouches” that allow them to make loud calls in the wild.
4) Orangutans have long arms. No, like seriously long arms. With an average arm span of over seven feet from fingertip to fingertip, these apes swing from branch to branch with ease. Standing at an average height of five feet, their arms hang at their feet near the ground.
5) Orangutans can only be found on two islands in the entire world, Borneo and Sumatra. These amazing creatures live in the trees and are considered an endangered species due to deforestation threatening their populations in the wild.
With your newfound knowledge on orangutans, you absolutely must pay them a visit at The RainForest this winter. Merah can’t wait to see you there!
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