Orangutans are covered in long, flowing red or orange fur, except for their faces which are bare. Their arms are longer than their bowed legs, their arm span is longer than their height and their hands are much like those of a human. There are three species of orangutan - Bornean orangutans which are more heavy-set, Sumatran orangutans and the Tapanuli, which was only confirmed as a species in 2017.
Orangutans have hand-like feet which are incredibly dexterous and agile enabling them to travel with ease through the trees. They exhibit very intelligent behaviour - they use tools such as sticks to fish out termites, ants and bees from holes in trees. Orangutans have also been observed making themselves a type of glove from leaves to protect their hands from thorns and spikes and even using a large leaf as an umbrella to shelter from the rain.
Orangutans spend around 90% of their time in the forest canopy looking for food, and sleeping. They are not normally found above 500 metres and prefer low-lying tropical peat forest because of their diet preferences. Orangutans need vast stretches of forest to find enough food and when travelling through the trees can snap and break off branches, creating gaps in the canopy. This allows light to reach the forest floor, encouraging natural new growth and regeneration. Orangutans are also important disperses of seeds. Their diet is comprised of 60% fruit with the stinky durian fruit being a favourite. Orangutans are known to eat over 400 different foods and when fruit is scarce, the will resort to eating bark and leaves.