Next in the series, forests campaigner Richard George shares his 10 favourite facts about one of of our closest living relatives - the orangutan:

10. Orangutans are ticklish

There are two kinds of ticklish. There’s the gentle kind that feels itchy and the kind that makes you laugh uncontrollably. Many animals are the first kind of ticklish - it’s an evolutionary behaviour that helps them ward off potentially dangerous animals and insects. But only very few animals are the second kind of ticklish. In fact, it seems to be just us humans and our very closest primate relatives, including the orangutans.   

9. Orangutans’ arms can be longer than you are tall

Orangutan’s arms can grow to a reach of seven feet. To put that figure in perspective, think about the height of the tallest person you know - then add a foot or so onto them.

 8. Orangutans share 97% of their DNA with humans

This makes them one our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. Obvious similarities can be seen in hands, feet and faces. Orangutans also have 32 teeth - just like us. They smile and laugh - just like us.

7. Orangutans have the best daily routine ever

A wild orangutan’s daily routine looks like this: wake up, eat, take a relaxing nap, play, eat again, sleep. Okay, this isn’t so much an interesting fact for you as it is a wish list for me.

6. Orangutans have the closest relationship between mother and young of any non-human mammal

As infants, orangutans are completely inseparable from their mothers. Mother orangutans carry their offspring around for the first five years. They suckle them until they’re six or seven. And they sleep together in the same nest every night until they’re at least eight years old. Other than humans, no other animals exhibit as strong a bond between mother and child.

5. For female orangutans, there’s nothing sexier in a male than big cheek pads

Mature male orangutans have large flappy cheek-pads, known as flanges. The bigger a male’s cheek pads, the more attractive a female will find him.

4. Orangutans are talented engineers

According to researchers, orangutans show remarkably advanced engineering skills when building nests. They have an excellent understanding of the structural properties of branches, using thick branches to weave a strong scaffold for the nest and filling it with thin branches to construct a springy bed. What’s more, orangutan’s build a new nest every single day and they have their nest-building speed down to a very neat five or six minutes.

3. Orangutans have opposable thumbs and big toes

Like us, orangutans have opposable thumbs. But they also have opposable big toes which allow them to swing effortlessly from the tallest trees in the rainforest.

2. Orangutans love the taste of soap

Not only do they love durian, the smelliest fruit I’ve ever come across, but they also happen to enjoy the taste of soap which, surprisingly, doesn’t upset their stomachs. Though in many ways we’re very similar to orangutans, I wouldn’t suggest trying either at home...

1.Orangutans are one of the smartest animals on the planet

Orangutans match gorillas and chimpanzees in cognitive ability tests. And believe me, they don’t put these smarts to waste. But don’t take my word for it - take David Attenborough’s.  Click here to watch him hanging out with some very handy orangutans.

Orangutans are fascinating.

But they’re also in deep deep trouble. Their forest habitat is being trashed by palm oil companies greedy for quick profits.

So we’re doing everything we can to protect them and their habitat! Will you join us?

Share these 10 amazing facts on Facebook now, and then sign up to our petition to save our forests here: join the movement to stop deforestation

But the orangutan isn’t the only animal to have captured our heart here at Greenpeace. Follow the links below for some equally extraordinary facts about…

Polar Bears