How Strong are Orangutans? Facts about the Strength of Orangutans that will Surprise You

How Strong are Orangutans

Orangutans, the biggest tree-dwelling mammal, are easily recognizable thanks to their bright red fur and long, strong arms that allow them to swing from tree to tree. Among apes, orangutans stand out as particularly distinct. They are highly intelligent and spend the majority of their lives in the treetops.

They are peaceful creatures that would prefer to spend their time munching on fruit than getting into a fight with one another. There is widespread interest in the topic of orangutans’ physical prowess. Their massive stature and untamed appearance raise the question: how strong are orangutans, exactly?

If you’re equally intrigued, keep reading; below, we’ll go through what scientists have learned about the strength of orangutans.

How Strong Are Orangutans?

Few animals can compete with orangutans in terms of strength. Strong and powerful orangutans use their shoulders and arms for tree-climbing movement. In order to get around in the trees, these apes rely heavily on their arms and shoulders, which explains why they are so powerful in this area.

To put things into perspective, an orangutan’s grip strength is 7 times compared to a human, and they have a strength of grasp 4 times compared to a man. Orangutans, despite their size and strength, are the kindest of all apes; they are solitary animals that rarely fight. 

Here are some orangutan facts that will give you ideas about the strength of orangutans :

  • Male Orangutan Height: 1.25 to 1.5 meters, or 4.1 to 5 feet.
  • Male Orangutan Weight: 50 to 90 kilograms, or 110 to 198 pounds.
  • Female Orangutan Height: Around 1 meter, or 3.3 feet.
  • Female Orangutan Weight: 30 to 50 kilograms, or 66 to 110 pounds.
  • Orangutan Grip Strength: 600 pounds.
  • Orangutan Arm Strength: 500 pounds.
  • Orangutan Bite Force: 2,560 N or 575 PSI.
  • Orangutan Arm Length: 7 to 8 feet.

So, it is quite clear that the orangutan is among the strongest of the great apes. They can bite down hard and lift things that are more than double their own weight. Male orangutans tend to be significantly stronger than females because of their larger size.

Why Are Orangutans So Strong?

Despite being far smaller than both gorillas and chimpanzees, orangutans have earned a reputation for their ferocity. Although orangutans typically weigh less than the average person, their tremendous arm muscles allow them to effortlessly move from tree to tree.

The habitat and lifestyle of orangutans contribute to their strength. Rarely do these monkeys venture down from the trees to the ground below. They get around primarily by swaying from tree to tree. They’ll even scale the sides of a tree to get at the fruit higher up. Orangutans devote the majority of their strength to their forelimbs so that they can do the numerous tasks that demand it.

Male orangutans are strong. They can easily lift more than twice their body weight. Although females are smaller and less powerful than men, their strength still seems to be directly proportionate to their weight. Female orangutans are so strong that they can easily carry their babies while also bearing their own weight.

So why are orangutans so strong? Because they must rely on their muscles for survival in the wild. They don’t just use their muscles for climbing trees, but also for defense against potential threats. For good reasons, orangutans are held in high regard as one of the world’s strongest apes, owing to their remarkable physical features and strength. 

How Strong are Male Orangutans Compared to Females?

Female and male orangutans have very different physical appearances. Unlike their larger male counterparts, female orangutans tend to be significantly shorter and lighter.

Couple Orangutans taking rest on a branch of a tree

Male orangutans have long arms in addition to their hefty muscles. Depending on body type and species, the spanning length of the arms might be as much as eight feet.

Orangutans of both sexes have the ability to lift more than double their body weight, though the male has a slight advantage because of his greater size. Male orangutans are significantly stronger than female orangutans. This disparity might not exist if female orangutans were the same size as males.  

How Strong Are Young Orangutans?

Even though a baby orangutan only weighs about 10 pounds, it is surprisingly powerful. Even at an early age, they have amazing hand and foot strength.

For at least five months after birth, a baby orangutan will stick to its mother and won’t go far from her side. They can now more easily do things like hang from branches, climb trees, and navigate tight corridors as they mature.

After a while, the orangutan’s grasp can be more powerful than the grip of human fingers. Although they are smaller than other animals of the same age and size, young orangutans are surprisingly powerful!

When Compared to Humans, How Strong Are Orangutans?

When the question arises of how strong orangutans are compared to humans, the answer is roughly 5 to 7 times, despite being one of humanity’s closest living cousins. The force of their bite is nearly four times that of a human’s. Thus, in a direct conflict, an orangutan would be able to easily defeat a human.

To put your strength in perspective, consider that an orangutan can easily lift weights that are over twice as heavy as its own body weight. The average orangutan has a lifting capacity of up to 500 pounds, which is more than two times its own weight. Bodybuilders, both men and women, can squat over a thousand pounds, but the ordinary person can only manage a few kilos more than that. 

In terms of bite force, humans come out on the losing end once more. The biting power of an orangutan is 575 lb/in2, while that of a human is only about 162 lb/in2. Grapple power is another aspect to think about.

Compared to an orangutan’s 600 pounds, the average male human’s maximum grip strength is only 73 pounds. True, an orangutan would probably defeat a human in a fistfight.

So from every aspect, orangutans are far stronger than humans. 

Gorilla vs. Orangutan: Who Would You Bet On?

A gorilla would easily defeat an orangutan in a strength competition.

For the record, no other app out there is as powerful as a gorilla. Compared to orangutans, they are noticeably bigger and heavier. The bite force of a gorilla is significantly greater. It’s impossible for a gorilla to lose to an orangutan in a game of tug-of-war. 

To put it another way, a gorilla weighs two times as much as an orangutan. Their stature isn’t noticeably different from average, but the weight gain gives them an advantage.

When compared to the orangutan’s 575 lb/sq in., a gorilla’s bite strength can reach up to 1,300 lb./sq. in. Even though they have certain physical similarities, gorillas are far stronger and more powerful than their smaller cousins, the orangutans. 

Despite the fact that these two apes’ paths rarely intersect due to their various habitats, the gorilla would win a fight with an orangutan if they ever did. Although they are powerful, orangutans can’t hold their own against gorillas. So, bet your money smartly!

Are Orangutans Stronger Than Chimpanzees?

In spite of their physical similarities, chimpanzees and orangutans have very different abilities. When compared to an orangutan’s maximum lifting capacity of 500 pounds, a chimpanzee’s maximum lifting capacity is only about 250 pounds. 

Orangutans are almost twice as tall as chimpanzees. If these two species ever got into a fight, the orangutans would undoubtedly triumph due to their superior strength and size.

Another category in which orangutans triumph is grip strength. About 600 pounds of force can be exerted by an orangutan’s grip, while a chimpanzee is only about 440 pounds. Bite strength is comparable between the two animals, but the orangutan is the clear victor. 

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Does an Orangutan Have a Tail?

Orangutans, like other apes, do not have a tail.

Are Orangutans Dangerous?

Orangutans are not dangerous. They are usually gentle and shy away from human contact since they are not aggressive.

How Much Weight Can an Orangutan Lift?

Orangutans have a maximum lifting capacity of 226 kilograms or 500 pounds. It’s about the size of seven Olympic-sized dumbbells.

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