“Facts about Gorillas | Blog | Nature | PBS”

The Gorilla species is divided into two species: the eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringer) and the western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla)

There are two species of eastern gorilla: the mountain gorilla (Gb beringei) and the eastern lowland gorilla (Gb graueri)

The western gorilla also has two subspecies: the western lowland gorilla (Gg gorilla) and the river gorilla (Gg diehli)

The gorilla is the largest primate

A large male can weigh almost 500 pounds

Size varies by species and sex

Great female gorillas are smaller than their male counterparts

Eastern gorillas are usually larger than western species, with male eastern gorillas weighing up to 484 kilograms and females weighing up to 215 kilograms

Gorillas are the largest of the great apes

His stomach is usually bigger than his chest

The size of their stomach is due to their enlarged intestine, which digests the plants they eat

They have hands as large as humans, and small eyes attached to hairless faces

Eastern gorillas are distinguished from western gorillas by their darker coat color

Although gorillas can stand upright, they prefer to walk on their hands and feet

Their arms are much longer than their legs, and gorillas can use the backs of their fingers as extra legs when they walk, known as the knuckle walk

Gorillas eat mostly natural ingredients

Their diet also includes leaves, stems, fruits, seeds, roots, ants, and termites

A large male gorilla can eat more than 40 kilograms of plants per day

Their large stomachs can hold a lot of food and their strong jaws help them chew tough stems

Because they eat a lot of plants, which tolerate half of the water and the morning dew, gorillas rarely need to drink water

Gorillas are found in tropical and subtropical forest habitats

They cover a wide range, with mountain gorillas found high up in the mountains and lowland gorillas found at sea level

The western lowland gorilla lives in the rainforests of West Africa, including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Congo, and Equatorial Guinea

Cross River gorillas live in a small area between Nigeria and Cameroon

The eastern lowland gorilla lives in the rainforests of Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mountain gorillas live in the high tropical forests of Zaire, Rwanda and Uganda

Female gorillas reach sexual maturity at about six to eight years of age and may begin puberty several years later

When he is ready to breed, he will leave the protection of his soldiers and find another soldier or a single silver to live

Female gorillas give birth to one baby at a time

Newborn gorillas, called babies, are smaller than newborns

Baby gorillas weigh only 3 to 4 kilograms, which is half the size of a baby!

However, they grow faster than humans and reach about 12 years of age

They start crawling at about two months and learn to cling to their mother’s back before they learn to walk at about nine months

Newborn babies quickly become experts at holding onto their mother’s hair and can eat and sleep in a piggyback

Gorillas are known to nurse for up to three years, which is about the same time the mother is ready to give birth to a baby

A young gorilla stays close to its mother, sharing the nest, until it is four to six years old

Gorillas form groups called troops, which range in size from 5 to 30 gorillas

1 to 4 big men are threatened by the army, or “solafotsi”, some young men, several big women and their children

A strong and experienced man leads the army, making all the decisions for the army

He is responsible for the safety and health of his troops

Almost every day, the silverback will lead his troops to a new location where food is plentiful

After breakfast, each adult gorilla gathers leaves, twigs and branches to make a nest for the day to rest while the children play

After he sleeps, the gorilla eats again until he sleeps, when he makes another nest, either on the ground or in a tree

Gorillas live 35 to 40 years in the wild

Gorillas have no natural enemies or predators

The biggest threat to the species is humans

Gorillas are hunted by humans for their food called bushmeat

Logging and mining companies have destroyed the gorilla habitat

Local armed conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has caused refugees to pour into former gorilla habitat

Diseases such as the Ebola virus have devastated gorilla populations recently

Illegal pet trade is also dangerous

Behind every baby gorilla caught by hunters, several families often die

Both the eastern gorilla and the western gorilla are listed as “endangered” on the IUCN Red List

Conservation efforts by organizations, such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, and governments are making a difference for gorillas

A new protected area has been set aside for some gorilla populations

There are laws in eight African countries that regulate the capture and hunting of gorillas

Conservation groups work to promote gorilla awareness and education in local communities

Source: San Diego Zoo, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

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