What Do Orangutans Eat? What Fruits Do They Go 'Bananas' Over? | Kidadl


What Do Orangutans Eat? What Fruits Do They Go 'Bananas' Over?

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Orangutans are very strange apes. They have proportionately very long arms; their arms are even longer than their bodies.

Do you know that orangutans are endangered and only found in the islands of Borneo and Sumatra? Hence there are only two main species left in the world: the Bornean orangutan and Sumatran orangutan.

Orangutans eat about 400 different types of fruits in the wild regions where they live. Do you know how important orangutans are to nature? Orangutans eat varieties of fruits and seeds. When these seeds pass through the body of orangutans and come out with their poop, they start to germinate on the ground. This is very important to spread different varieties of fruits all over the forest. These new plants also help later generations of orangutans to feed. Isn't it amazing how these animals help in saving the environment in such a unique way? Well, in this article, you will learn more fun facts about orangutans.

After reading about the diet of Bornean orangutans and Sumatran orangutans, do check out how long do monkeys live and how many hands does a monkey have?

Do orangutans eat birds?

Orangutans are mainly fruit-eating animals and eat a variety of fruits to fulfill their energy requirements. But they can also eat some other things like leaves or tree bark. Some species of orangutans are omnivorous, so they eat both plants and animals. They eat other animals, but they do not form a big part of an orangutan's diet. An orangutan's diet is 90% fruit.

Orangutans also eat some small animals, insects like termites and ants, lizards, bird's eggs, and even some small birds. As orangutans are wild animals, it is very common for wild animals to eat other animals, but wild orangutans do not frequently eat other animals. They turn their diet to birds and other animals only when there is a shortage of food or their protein requirements are not fulfilled. Their main diet includes fruits and leaves, and sometimes even the bark of trees.

What kinds of fruit do orangutans eat?

As orangutans are fruit-eating animals, they eat a lot of different varieties of fruit that are available in the forest. They eat so many different fruits to meet the nutritional requirements of their body. Every fruit they eat has a different type of nutritional value which gives their large bodies enough energy to swing from one tree to another. Fruits are nutritious not only for them but for us and many other animals.

Orangutans are always associated with bananas. But other than bananas, they eat a variety of fruits like apples, durian, oranges, figs, mangoes, rambutan, ficus fruit, etc. Ficus fruit is one of the favorite fruits of orangutans. They love to eat this fruit.

Other than this, they also eat tree bark, shoots, coconut, nuts, flowers, plants, honey, young leaves, berries, bamboo, and a lot of other things. Do you know that orangutans also eat soil? Yes, they sometimes eat soil when they are traveling along the jungle floor, although they prefer to be in the trees.

What's an orangutan's favorite fruit?

You probably think that an orangutan's favorite fruit is obviously banana. But that's not true. An orangutan loves bananas, but they are not their favorite fruit. The favorite fruit of an orangutan is durian fruit. All orangutans love this fruit.

Durian fruit has spikes on its shell, so orangutans throw away that shell and eat the soft fleshy part of the fruit. They also spit away the seeds of this fruit. Durian fruit has a very strong smell and tastes like garlic custard. Orangutans love this fruit so much. Even baby orangutans can also eat the soft flesh of this fruit.

Other than durian fruit, orangutans also love rambutans and figs. They are also on the top list of favorite fruits of orangutans. So, next time when someone asks you about the favorite fruit of an orangutan, remember that it is not a banana; it is a durian fruit.

Sumatran orangutans relaxing.

What do baby orangutans eat?

A baby orangutan can eat almost all the things which an adult orangutan eats. All orangutans love fruits. Fruits are very nutritious, that's why your mom forces you to eat fruits. But orangutans' mothers do not force them to eat fruits because fruits are all they eat; they love fruits! You should also eat fruits which your mom buys for you from the supermarket.

Young baby orangutans are also fed on their mother's milk, just like human babies. When they grow a bit older, they are fed fruits like other orangutans. Baby orangutans are too young to chew properly, so their mothers crush fruit or leaves with their teeth to make it firm so that a baby can chew it. Just like any adult orangutan, baby orangutans also love durian fruit. Fruits provide all the required nourishment to the babies, which they need for their growth.

How much do orangutans eat?

Orangutans are members of the big ape family, which includes chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and humans. Yes, we are also a part of the ape family. Orangutans need a large amount of food to give energy to their big bodies. Since they eat mainly fruits, they do not have to eat a lot of them because fruits have a great amount of nutrition in them.

On average, orangutans spend six hours a day eating. It is not like they wake up and eat for 6 hours straight. They have to first search for food, and then they get to eat it. Do you know that they spend more time foraging than they do eating? They eat at different times of the day, which amounts to 6 hours a day. When orangutans are kept in captivity, they need to be fed three times a day. An average male orangutan can eat 8000 kilojoules of food in a day, while a female can eat 7000 kilojoules a day. Their big bodies need this much nutrition to work properly.

How To Feed Orangutans

Orangutans generally live in forests and feed on their own. They do not need anyone's help for feeding. But humans have brought these animals to cities for their benefit or for some other reasons. They have been kept in zoos to give young kids knowledge about different types of animals. Orangutans are also very intelligent, and yet they are also often kept as pets by many people. This leads us to think, what do orangutans eat, so we can feed them.

Well, from this article we know what kind of food they need. You can feed your orangutan or any other orangutan (not one in the zoo) all those things which we discussed earlier. Those food items include leaves, tree bark, small insects, fruits such as mango, apple, durian, figs, banana, ficus, rambutan, orange, and vegetables like carrots and spinach.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'What do orangutans eat?' then why not take a look at 'Monkey symbolism', or 'Orangutan facts'.

Kidadl Team
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Kidadl Team

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