Gorilla Facts

There are two different types of gorillas, eastern gorillas, and western gorillas.

The eastern species split into lowland gorillas and mountain gorillas whilst the Western species split into Cross River gorillas and Western lowland gorillas.

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Gorilla Facts for Kids

  • Gorillas live around 35 years in the wild and up to 50 years in captivity.
  • There are two gorilla species, the Western Gorilla and the Eastern gorilla
  • An adult male gorilla can weigh 500 pounds
  • They mainly eat a vegetarian diet on stems, bamboo shoots, and fruits.
  • They don’t have a lot of enemies except humans and sometimes leopards
  • Adult males are known as silverback gorillas

Where do Gorillas Live?

You will find lowland gorillas in the forests in both Western and Central Africa.

Angola, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic, Gabor and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mountain gorillas can be found in the mountainous areas of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda.

What Does A Gorilla Eat

They are herbivores so mainly eat vegetation (plants and fruit).

The ones (maybe a Zoo) in captivity will eat apples, bananas, and Guava.

Whilst, in the wild they can eat about 100 types of fruit from different types of plants found in their habitat.

Western gorillas tend to eat a high-fiber diet which includes stems, flowers, fruits, foliages, and even some insects.

Eastern gorillas because they live in the mountains and sometimes at high altitude the availability of fruits is not the same as some of their counterparts in lowland areas.

They will mainly eat lots of foliage.

Not Meat Eaters

They are not meat eaters so you will not find them eating any type of meat whatsoever.

However, they are known to eat invertebrates like ants, termites, and centipedes.

Why Are Gorillas Endangered

They are mainly endangered with a falling population due to gorilla habitat loss.

They mainly live on plants, bamboo, and foliage. Because of human encroachment into forest areas and lands being cleared for a growing human population the habitat area of the mountains is becoming less and less.

Diseases can also have a devastating impact on them.

Any exposure to a human illness can be devastating to the entire population.

Because they mainly live in groups simple diseases that humans can cope easily with can be devastating to a wild gorilla.

Why Do Gorillas Hate Rain

They are not natural swimmers and tend to keep away from lakes and rivers.

However, they do like to play around with water at times.

If it starts to rain they just sit and wait for this to finish, if a shelter is close by they will stay in the shelter until the rain passes.

Why Do Gorillas Have Big Nostrils

Western lowland gorilla has a much wider skull than some other species.

This might be an explanation as to why they have big nostrils but maybe this could be down to evolution.

One thing we do know is that they also have a unique nose print (just like fingerprints on a human).

Why Do Gorillas Walk On Their Knuckles

Their arms are much longer than their legs, this is why they walk around on all fours also called knuckle-walking. It helps to support their weight.

They mainly put most of the weight on the third and fourth digit of their curled hands.

How Big are Gorillas

A Male gorilla can grow to 6 feet tall from toe to head and weigh around 400 pounds.

A Female gorilla grows to 4 ½ feet tall and weighs around 200 pounds. They are the largest living primates with a DNA of 98% that is similar to that of humans.

They display behavior that is very close to humans. Each has its own personality, just like people.

Can Gorillas Learn Sign Language

They are incredibly intelligent.

They have been taught to communicate with people through sign language and will bond with humans in captivity, displaying affection and loss if they aren’t around those that they care for.

More Fun Facts about Gorillas

  • Gorillas, bonobos, and chimpanzees are listed as ‘African apes’.
  • Chimpanzees and gorillas developed the ability to walk on all four legs and make use of their knuckles to carry the weight of their torso and head.
  • They display behavior that is very close to humans. Each one has its own personality, just like people.
  • There are two different species and each species has two gorilla subspecies. The Western Gorilla has the sub-species of Western Lowland Gorilla and Cross River Gorilla.
  • The Eastern Gorilla has the two sub-species of Eastern Lowland Gorilla and Mountain Gorilla. All of the gorilla species and subspecies are endangered. This is due to the loss of their habitat as well as hunting.
  • The Cross River Gorilla has become one of the rare species with only around three hundred individuals left in the wild in Cameroon and Nigeria.
  • They display emotions such as grief or happiness.
  • They have a very well-ordered society.
  • They are very social animals with one adult male, called the ‘Silverback Gorilla’ that is in control.
  • A silver stripe of fur down his back shows that he is a fully mature adult.
  • Their group may have many females with both infants and juveniles, but when a male gorilla reaches the age of between 8 and 11 years, they will leave the group to go out and form a new group of their own.
  • They live in their family groups and usually only take up a small area of land. It is not uncommon to see multiple groups living in the same areas and existing peacefully together.
  • They use grooming as a way to bond together. The Baby Gorilla and young gorilla all get involved.
  • They have a specific order and will show respect and affection through grooming.
  • They eat plants and are listed as an herbivore.
  • Their diet is made up of stems, leaves, shoots, and some fruits. Sometimes they will eat small insects such as caterpillars, grubs, ants, termites, and snails.
  • They have also been observed using tools to perform tasks and access food.
  • Female gorillas will maintain the same nine-month pregnancy time as a human and their babies usually weigh around four pounds when born.
  • Although smaller than a human baby, they develop twice as fast as human infants.