Orangutans are unique in the ape world because of their red fur and long, shaggy hair. They are the largest arboreal animals in the world, and their long arms and legs make them well-suited for life in the trees. Despite their size, orangutans are incredibly agile and can easily move through trees. But how much do orangutans weigh?
Adult male orangutans weigh, on average, 200 pounds (90 kg), whereas females are 1/3-1/2 the size of males. Some of the biggest male orangutans can weigh up to 300 pounds, but most individuals weigh considerably less.
There are three different species of orangutans, all differing in weight. In this article, we’ll look closer at each of them, the weight of baby orangutans, and gender differences.
Let’s get started.
Weight of Different Species of Orangutans
There are three species of orangutans: the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), and the Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis).
All three species are found in Indonesia and Malaysia. Let’s take a closer look at the weight of each species.
1. Bornean Orangutans
Bornean orangutans are the largest of the three species of orangutans, and they can weigh between 66–220 pounds (30-99 kg).
They are found in the rainforests of Borneo. They have a stocky build with wide faces and shorter beards.
Their fur is reddish-brown, and they have long, shaggy hair slightly darker in color.
The weight of males and females differ quite a lot, with males being substantially heavier.
Males: Full-grown male Bornean orangutans can weigh anywhere between 132-200 lb (60 to 90 kg).
Females: Females are much smaller than males and weigh between 88-110 lb (40 to 50 kg).
Baby Bornean orangutans are born weighing 3-4.5 lb (1.4-2kg) at birth.
2. Sumatran Orangutan
The Sumatran orangutan is found in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia.
Females rarely trek on the ground, and adult males do so even less frequently. Adult males are generally solitary, whereas females travel with their offspring.
The average weight of an adult Sumatran orangutan is around 66 – 198 pounds (30-90kg). These orangutans are proficient climbers and build nests in trees to sleep in every night.
Male: The adult male Sumatran orangutan is generally larger than the female. They typically weigh between 155 and 200 lbs (70 to 90 kg).
Female: The adult female Sumatran orangutan typically weighs between 66 and 110 lbs (30 to 50 kg).
Baby: A baby Sumatran orangutan, or “infant,” weighs about 3.3 lb (1.5 kg) at birth and will stay close to its mother for the first few years.
3. Tapanuli Orangutan
The Tapanuli orangutan is a species of orangutan that lives in the Batang Toru forest in North Sumatra, Indonesia.
It was only recently discovered in 2017 and is already considered the most endangered great ape species in the world, with an estimated population of just 800 individuals.
Tapanuli orangutans are not significantly different in size compared to other orangutans.
Female: Tapanuli females weigh an average of 82 lb (37 kg).
Male: Males have two stages of maturity:
- On average, a fully developed male weighs 165 lb (75 kg), which is significantly larger and twice the weight of the average female.
- Before entering the second stage, an adult male’s size and weight are much more similar to that of a female.
The most significant difference between the Tapanuli orangutan and other orangutans is its unique vocalizations.
The Tapanuli orangutan has a higher-pitched voice than other species of orangutans, and it also emits a distinctive “long call” that is used to communicate over long distances.
The Tapanuli orangutan is classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List and is facing extinction due to habitat loss and hunting.
If nothing is done to protect this species, it is estimated that the Tapanuli orangutan could be extinct in a few decades.
Final Thoughts on Orangutan Weight
As you can see, there is a lot of variation in the weight of orangutans. It is quite evident that males are considerably heavier than females. However, both sexes can weigh anywhere from 60 to over 200 pounds.
So, how much do orangutans weigh? Well, it really depends on the individual.
One final thing to note is that orangutans in captivity tend to weigh more than their wild counterparts.
This is likely due to their inability to be as active as their wild counterparts while having access to more than enough food.
How Big Is the Largest Orangutan?
Fully developed adult males of the largest orangutan species can weigh up to 300 pounds (136 kg). Females are much smaller, typically weighing half as much as males. The largest orangutan in captivity was an obese male named “Andy,” who weighed 450 pounds (204 kg) when he was 13 years old in 1959.
Is an Orangutan Bigger Than a Gorilla?
No, gorillas are much larger than orangutans. An adult male gorilla can weigh up to 440 pounds, while an adult male orangutan can weigh up to 300 pounds. Additionally, gorillas are much taller than orangutans, with an average height of around 6 feet for a male gorilla compared to an average height of around 4-5 feet for a male orangutan. So, while both animals are large primates, gorillas are definitely the bigger of the two.
What Is the Smallest Orangutan?
The smallest orangutan is the Northeast Bornean orangutan. These animals are found in Sabah and eastern Kalimantan and are smaller in size than other subspecies of orangutans.