Gorillas are some of the most fascinating and intelligent creatures on Earth.
These majestic animals are incredibly powerful yet gentle giants who inhabit forests in central Africa.
They play an important role in their environments and elicit awe and admiration from people around the world.
To learn more about these remarkable animals, here are some interesting facts about gorillas that you may not have known.
Fact #1: Gorillas are the largest living primates.
Gorillas are the largest of all living primates, and adult males can weigh up to 400 pounds.
They stand at the height of 4-6 feet and have thick fur that is either black or gray in color.
Gorillas are often thought to be more powerful than humans due to their muscular frames and long arms, which make them incredibly adept at swinging from branch to branch.
By comparison, female gorillas are typically half the size of adult males and weigh up to 200 pounds.
Fact #2: Gorillas live in family groups.
Gorillas are highly social animals that live in family groups of two to 30 individuals.
These family groups are led by the silverback, which is usually the largest adult male and serves as the protector of his group.
The other members of the group may include several females and young gorillas.
They often form lifelong bonds with their family and take great care of each other.
Gorillas communicate through a variety of vocalizations, postures, facial expressions, and hand gestures.
Fact #3: Gorillas are herbivores.
Gorillas are primarily vegetarian creatures that feed on leaves, shoots, stems, roots, and fruit.
Their diet is mainly composed of vegetation such as bamboo and other leafy greens.
Gorillas will occasionally consume small animals, such as insects, but this behavior is rare.
To get the nutrients they need from their plant-based diet, gorillas must spend a large portion of their day foraging for food.
They will often travel long distances in search of the best sources of nutrition.
Fact #4: There are two species of gorillas.
The two species of gorillas are the eastern gorilla and the western gorilla.
The eastern gorilla is the larger of the two, with males weighing up to 400 pounds and standing at the height of 4-6 feet tall.
They have thick fur that is either black or gray in color and their facial features are more pronounced than those of western gorillas.
The western gorilla is smaller and lighter than their eastern counterparts, with males weighing up to 200 pounds and standing at 3-4 feet tall.
They have thinner fur that ranges from gray to dark brown in color and their facial features are less distinct.
Fact #5: There are two subspecies of eastern gorillas
The mountain gorilla is found in the Virunga volcanoes region of Central Africa, while the lowland gorilla inhabits the forests of Central and Western Africa.
Both subspecies are endangered due to poaching and habitat destruction.
Mountain gorillas are listed as critically endangered, with an estimated population of 1,004 individuals left in the wild.
Lowland gorillas, on the other hand, are listed as endangered, with a population of approximately 100,000 individuals.
Fact #6: Gorillas are native to Africa.
Gorillas are native to Africa and can be found in countries such as Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In these countries, gorillas inhabit mountainous regions and dense forests.
They often live at elevations between 5,000-13,000 feet above sea level and typically remain within a few square miles of their home range.
The majority of the world’s wild gorillas can be found in the Virunga Massif, which straddles the borders of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Fact #7: Mountain gorillas are the most endangered of all gorilla subspecies.
Mountain gorillas are among the most endangered species on the planet, with only about 800 individuals remaining in the wild.
These gorillas inhabit the Virunga Massif and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Central Africa. They face a variety of threats, including poaching, habitat destruction, and disease.
Fact #8: Gorillas have very good memories.
Gorillas have remarkable memories that enable them to remember their family members and the locations of food sources.
They have also been observed using tools, such as rocks and sticks, to feed on termites and ants. Gorillas are incredibly intelligent animals that can even be trained in captivity.
Fact #9: Gorillas live up to 50 years old in the wild.
Gorillas can live up to 50 years old in the wild. In captivity, their lifespan can be even longer.
The oldest recorded gorilla was a female named Colo, who lived to the age of 54 at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.
Fact #10: Gorillas are highly intelligent animals.
Gorillas are remarkably intelligent animals with cognitive abilities comparable to those of chimpanzees and orangutans.
They are capable of problem-solving and learning new behaviors. Additionally, gorillas show self-awareness, use tools in the wild, and can even recognize themselves in mirrors.
Fact 11: Gorillas live in family groups led by a silverback male.
Gorillas live in family groups composed of several females, known as harem groups, and their offspring.
The leader of the group is a large silverback male who makes all the decisions for the troop. The other members of the troop follow him wherever he goes in search of food and shelter.
He guards them against danger and helps them build nests to sleep in at night. He also mediates conflicts and settles disputes within the group.
Gorillas form very close bonds with each other, often grooming one another’s fur and communicating through vocalizations.
Fact #12: gorillas have been observed using sign language to communicate with humans.
Gorillas, particularly those in captivity, have also been observed using sign language to communicate with humans.
Gorillas can use sign language to make requests and communicate basic emotions.
They are even capable of understanding simple human commands and responding appropriately. This demonstrates the remarkable intelligence and adaptability of gorillas.
Fact 13: Gorillas share 98.3% of their DNA with humans.
Gorillas share an incredible amount of genetic material with humans, with the two species being separated by only 1.7%.
This means that gorillas have 98.3% of the same DNA as humans and are considered to be our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom.
This remarkable similarity has allowed scientists to study gorillas to learn more about our own evolutionary history.
Overall, gorillas are fascinating animals that have so much to teach us.
From their complex social structures and impressive intelligence to their remarkable genetic similarity with humans, gorillas are truly awe-inspiring creatures.
With a little bit of luck, we can continue to observe and learn from these amazing primates in the years to come.