Orangutans and gorillas are the largest apes in the world; have you ever wondered what would happen if they faced off against each other? True, orangutans live in Asia while gorillas are found in Africa, so they are unlikely to ever meet; still the thought is intriguing. So, in a fight of an orangutan vs. a gorilla, who would win? How do these two endangered great primates stack up against each other? Keep reading to find out!
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Orangutan Vs. Gorilla: Comparisons
Before we talk about which primate would win this match-up, let’s take a closer look at how orangutans and gorillas would compare against each other in various specific criteria. We’ll discuss the size, strength, speed, intelligence, and fighting capabilities of each animal.
Orangutans and gorillas stand roughly the same height; they can both grow up to about 5 feet tall. However, gorillas weigh almost twice as much as orangutans.
The largest orangutans weigh about 200 pounds, while the largest gorillas may weigh upwards of 440 pounds. Much of this additional weight is in the form of muscle.
As a result, gorillas are much heavier and denser than orangutans.
Orangutans are impressively strong for their size, but most of their strength is in their arms and is used for moving through trees. They can lift up to 500 pounds and have a bite force of almost 600 pounds per square inch.
Though these are impressive numbers, the gorilla’s added muscle weight makes them even stronger than orangutans. Gorillas can lift up to 1,000 pounds, and their bite force is around 1,300 pounds per square inch.
Without a doubt, gorillas have the advantage when it comes to strength.
Orangutans spend most of their time in trees, while gorillas spend most of their time on the ground. As such, they are each adapted to different speeds and methods of movement.
Orangutans are capable of short bursts of speed, though they can’t maintain high speeds for very long. Most of the time, whether walking on the ground or swinging from the trees, orangutans only move about 2 to 3 miles per hour.
Meanwhile, gorillas can run fast whether “knuckle-walking” (moving on all fours) or traveling on two feet. They can run up to 25 miles per hour and maintain their top speeds longer than orangutans can.
So, once again, gorillas have the edge in the category of speed.
Orangutans are known for being some of the most intelligent animals in the world. They are able to use a variety of tools, communicate using verbal cues and sign language, and learn many skills beyond what is instinctive to them.
Gorillas are thought to have some level of intelligence, but they are not nearly as smart as orangutans. They have a more disinterested personality, so they don’t display as much curiosity or desire to learn new things as orangutans do.
There’s a saying that says, in part, “if you give a gorilla a screwdriver, he’ll toss it over his shoulder; but if you give an orangutan a screwdriver, he’ll open up his cage and walk away.” This is a good way of summing up the difference in intelligence between these two creatures.
So, in this category, it would appear that orangutans have the edge.
Orangutans and gorillas have different fighting styles. This is partly due to their differences in strength, temperament, intelligence, and lifestyle.
Gorillas use their exceptional strength to toss opponents around, as well as to inflict damage from punching, hitting, and grabbing. They are also capable of causing mortal wounds with their impressive bite strength, and they are smart enough to target vital areas on an opponent’s body.
Orangutans are far less aggressive than gorillas, though they will fight back if pressed into a corner. Because of their intelligence, they can quickly process a situation and come up with a plan, which may include using tree branches or other tools to whack their opponents. They can also inflict some pain with their bite.
Still, gorillas are far more capable when it comes to a fight. Orangutans will fight only if they have no alternative.
Orangutan Vs. Gorilla: Who Would Win in a Fight?
As you can see from the preceding sections, gorillas have many advantages over orangutans. It is almost certain that, if the two were put in a room together and forced to fight, the gorilla would come out on top.
For one thing, the gorilla would be most likely to attack first. This would put the orangutan on the defensive from the very beginning.
What’s more, gorillas are bigger, stronger, and generally faster than orangutans. Their long, sharp fangs are capable of inflicting an incredible amount of damage, and their size advantage and aggressiveness would enable them to pummel an orangutan mercilessly before the orangutan could even think about mounting a defense.
Granted, an orangutan would quickly be able to size up the situation and might be able to escape into a tree; perhaps it might even throw fruit or nuts from the tree at the gorilla. But this wouldn’t be considered a victory for the orangutan; it would simply be a matter of the arboreal ape escaping with its life.
So yes; in a fight, a gorilla would almost certainly defeat an orangutan. Good thing for the orangutans that gorillas live on another continent!
Check out this video for a visual comparison of what a match-up between gorillas and orangutans might look like.
Orangutans are smart and might be able to use their intelligence to survive a fight with a gorilla. But gorillas are stronger, faster, and heavier than orangutans, and in a physical battle of pure strength, the gorilla would almost certainly win.