Art, Plants and Animals

What does an organgutan look like?

Let's take a slightly closer look at these large arboreal mammals

The Bornean orangutan and the Sumatran orangutan are two species of orangutan that differ slightly in appearance.

The Bornean orangutan has a more elongated face than its Sumatran cousin. A characteristic feature on the face of the Bornean orangutan is its broad facial arch, which is shaped like an inverted ‘U’. This species of orangutan also has smaller ears and skin of a darker tone. Adult male Bornean orangutans have a distinctive thickening of hair around the neck, forming a so-called ‘beard’, which is a sign of gender maturity.


Sumatran orangutan, on the other hand, have a more rounded face, larger ears and skin of a lighter shade. They also have finer features and smaller size than the Bornean orangutans. Adult males have slightly longer and broader faces than females, and their hair thickening around the neck is seen to be less pronounced.

Both species have long arms, which enables them to move in the treetops, but Bornean orangutans tend to be larger and heavier than Sumatran orangutans.

The Tapanulian orangutan differs from the Bornean and Sumatran orangutans mainly in terms of genetics and morphological characteristics. It is smaller than the other species, has a longer, more curved nose and a more depressed eyebrow arch. The Tapanulian orangutan is also more pigmented than its cousins from Sumatra and Borneo, with a coppery tone to its hair.

As a joint activity with the children, we suggest making a cardboard figure of an orangutan to capture the appearance of this mammal.

Goal: to consolidate the image of the orangutan, exercise of fine motor skills


Time: 30 minutes


  • Cardboard
  • Orangutan template
  • Scissors
  • Paints
  • Glue
  • Black marker

Course of the task

  1. Print the template from attachment 1.1
  2. Trace the individual elements on the cardboard
  3. Cut out the separate elements
  4. Color the cut cardboard pieces
  5. Once dry, glue the orangutan’s face and paint the eyes, nose, and mouth with a marker
  6. Assemble the figure into a whole
14.11 Dzien Czystego Powietrza 1 E1668703355599

The post was created as part of a project co-financed by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt in cooperation with Naturschutzzentrum Oberlausitzer Bergland.