Scientific Name: Gorilla beringei beringei
Diet: Herbivorous (vegetarian)
Habitat: Dense forest, rain forest
Average lifespan in the wild: 35 years
Size: Standing height, 4 to 6 ft (1.2 to 1.8 m)
Weight: 300 to 485 lbs (135 to 220 kg)
Group name: Troop or Band
Protection status: Endangered
What does a Gorilla look like?
The mountain gorilla has a robust build with long, muscular arms, a massive chest, and broad hands and feet. It is the hairiest race of gorillas; its long, thick black hair insulates it from the cold of living at high elevations. Few animals have sparked the imagination of man as much as the gorilla, the largest of the living primates. Most gorillas live in inaccessible regions in various dense forests in tropical Africa, and one subspecies, the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei), was not even known to science until 1902.
Where do Gorilla's live?
The world's remaining mountain gorillas live within four national parks, split in two regions that are 45 kilometers (28 miles) apart. One population of mountain gorillas inhabits the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. A census in 2003 recorded 340 gorillas here. The second population of mountain gorillas is found in a mountainous region referred to as the Virungas, which includes Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (Uganda), Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda) and Virunga National Park (Democratic Republic of Congo). Approximately 380 gorillas are found in the Virungas.
What does a Gorilla eat?
In the thick forests of central and west Africa, troops find plentiful food for their vegetarian diet. They eat roots, shoots, fruit, wild celery, and tree bark and pulp. It is perhaps surprising that an animal as large and strong as the mountain gorilla is primarily an herbivore. Mountain gorillas eat over 100 different species of plants. They rarely need to drink since their diet is so rich in succulent herbs, from which they get their water.
How big is a Gorilla?
The gorilla is the largest of the primates. Adult males are often twice the size of females and have a silvery back when fully mature. They live in highly complex social groups led by a dominant male in the lowland and swamp forests of Central and Equatorial Africa.
How do Gorilla's live in the group?
Although strong and powerful, gorillas are generally gentle and shy. They live in groups of 2-40 individuals, averaging about 11. Groups are led by a dominant male, the silverback, named for the silvery gray hairs that grow when the male matures. The silverback serves as the chief leader and protector of the group, to whom all group members defer. He decides when and where to forage, rest and sleep, arbitrates disputes among his family members and protects them from rival silverbacks or human predators.
Did You Know this about Gorilla's?
There are only about 720 mountain gorillas left in the world.
Humans and gorillas are 98% genetically identical.
Male silverback gorillas can weigh 50-100 pounds more - and are about 10 times stronger - than the biggest American football players.
When the group is attacked by humans, leopards, or other gorillas, the silverback will protect them even at the cost of his own life
No two gorillas have the same "nose print," or nose pattern, much like how two humans have identical fingerprints. In fact, researchers use nose prints to identify individual gorillas.
A gorilla's life is pretty simple. They spend 30 percent of their waking hours eating, 30 percent traveling and 40 percent resting and sleeping.
Grooming is an important part of gorilla society. It helps establish and reinforce bonds and friendships. It also promotes cleanliness, as gorillas comb through thick fur to remove parasites.
Gorillas are the next closest living relatives to humans after chimpanzees, sharing 98 to 99 percent of the same DNA.
Download free Gorilla wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
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Gorilla coloring pages
Download free Gorilla coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.