Gorillas are the largest humanoid monkeys and apes in general.
Along with chimpanzees and orangutans, they are the closest to humans. The gorilla genus includes two species, the eastern and western gorillas, which are very similar to each other.
The appearance of these animals inspires respect and even fear. Indeed, the height of gorillas can reach 1.8 m, and even more weight up to 140-200 kg! In comparison with a man of the same height, the gorilla looks much more impressive. The body of these animals is more square than elongated, the limbs are long and muscular at the same time, palms and feet wide. As a rule, the stomach of all gorillas is large because of the large number of gases in their intestines, the back is wide, sometimes a little saggy. The jaws of these monkeys are powerful and strongly protrude forward. Gorillas have wide nostrils and close planted eyes. The color of the skin and wool of these animals is black, the cubs may have a brownish shade of wool. In old male gorillas, the hair on the back gets a grayish hue, this color indicates the sexual maturity of the animal. Also, males have a more powerful nape, emphasized by the protruding wool on the top. However, these are the only signs that distinguish males from females – the sexual dimorphism of this type of monkey is not very pronounced. The hair of gorillas is long and thick. At first glance, this fur interferes with the animals in a warm climate, but in fact, in the gorilla habitat, the temperature at night can drop to +16 ° C and fur help them warm up.
Both gorilla species are found exclusively in West and Central Africa. They are inhabited by humid equatorial forests on the plains and slopes of the mountains. Gorillas live in groups of 7-15 individuals. Each family consists of one adult male and several females with calves and adolescents. Gorillas are sedentary animals, each family occupies a vast area, which is bypassed at intervals of several weeks. Like all monkeys, gorillas are active during the day, at night they sleep in the nests of branches, which are not reused.
Most of the time the animals spend in search of food, methodically bypassing the area in search of thickets of favorite plants. Moving gorillas on four limbs, using a permanent trail. When walking, they lean on the ground on the backside of the half-bent palm. This way of movement is characteristic of all great apes.
Despite the impressive appearance of the gorillas have a very calm character. Usually, animals phlegmatically chew food, watching the other members of the herd by the edge of the eye. The cubs behave more lively, play a lot, but their games are not loud. The male authority in the family is unwavering, so if there are any misunderstandings in the herd, then more often between females. Having quarreled, they raise a squeal and even bite each other. But the leader does not tolerate such squabbles for a long time, he gives his shrewd wives a couple of knockouts, and order reigns in the herd.
Real fights arise between males only if the young pretend to be the family of the old one, but even in this case, they prefer to limit themselves to demonstrating the threat rather than using it. The fact that gorillas have great muscle power and can inflict heavy injury to each other during the battle, so the males organize “image” competitions. At the same time, they rise on their hind legs, beat themselves in the chest with their fists, and shout.
Gorillas are absolute vegetarians, they eat only plants, giving preference to leaves and stems. Fruits make up a smaller proportion of their diet. Because of such a low-calorie diet, these animals have to spend 40-60% of the daytime feeding. These monkeys rarely drink, as they get the necessary moisture with food. Like orangutans, gorillas do not like water and try to take shelter during the rain under the thick trees’ crowns.
Gorillas breed all year round. Females mate only with the leader of the herd, the other males to continue the genus must first win the leadership. Pregnancy lasts 8.5 months.
First, the calf holds on to the mother’s wool, and she presses it to her chest, the grown-up baby moves on her back and the female carries it everywhere.
Adult calves move on their own, but they accompany the mother (up to 5 years) for a long time. Even after the young are completely separated, it passes through adolescence and finally, the gorillas become adults only by the age of 10-12 years. Gorillas live in nature for 30-35 years, in captivity life expectancy can reach 50-55 years.
These monkeys have no enemies in their natural environment: their large size, strength and collective support make them invulnerable to other animals. In their turn, gorillas do not show aggression to their neighbors: they graze together with ungulates on forest meadows, do not pay attention to smaller monkeys. Their only enemy is a man, or rather, some poachers. The locals initially did not hunt gorillas, but as the civilized world learned about gorillas, they became valuable exhibits in zoological collections. In this regard, a kind of craft emerged: adult gorillas are killed to cut off their paws, which is a kind of fashionable souvenir of the rich. The surviving cubs are resold to private zoos. A separate problem is human infections, which affect the gorillas. Previously, among the local’s such diseases as influenza, for example, were unknown, now tourists are carriers of viruses. Gorillas that are not immune to influenza are very hard to carry in the wild and often die. To top it off, these animals suffer from a constant reduction in their habitats. Continued deforestation and civil wars in the gorilla region have put them in a critical position.
In captivity, these animals are well tamed if they are brought up by humans from childhood. But the treatment of gorillas requires an understanding of their psychology – they are not circus artists and are not designed to learn tricks. With a calm and respectful attitude gorillas can easily find mutual understanding with humans. The western plain gorilla called Coco was the first animal to master human speech. It is true that due to the peculiarities of the structure of the vocal apparatus, the monkey can not reproduce human sounds, but words replace gestures. During 40 years of her life, Koko has learned about 2000 English words by hearing and mastered about 1000 gestures in the language of the deaf-mute. With these words, she not only informs the caretakers of her immediate needs, but also expresses abstract concepts, complex feelings, and even jokes.
Gorilla Height and Weight
Gorillas are the tallest living primates. Their arm spans measure 2.6 meters and they have a height of 1.25 to 1.8 meters. They live in groups called troops with a silverback or a male leader as a leader. The eastern gorillas are smaller and have darker fur than their western counterparts. They live 35 to 40 years in the wild. While they may be shorter than us, they are much stronger and much more powerful than us.
The two main subspecies of gorillas are the western lowland and the cross river. Both are around two to four meters tall. Both of them can reach the sky when climbing. They can even be up to four years old and weigh up to 140 kilograms. The average newborn gorilla weighs from three to five pounds, while a human can weigh up to seven pounds. The silverback is sexually mature, and the youngest of the group is about 1.2 meters tall.
Both subspecies are smaller than the other. Males are longer than females, which gives them a longer reach with their arms. The adult male gorillas can lift over eight hundred pounds, while females are only half that size and weigh around 70 to ninety kilograms. They are much heavier than their female counterparts, which is why they can weigh so much. They can lift over eight hundred kilograms (1800 pounds), but their arms are shorter than their legs and feet.
The western lowland gorilla is smaller than its southern cousins. While the two subspecies are similar in size, each one is distinct and has a pronounced crest. Their larger home ranges and less food make these animals smaller. But their weights are a little confusing. The western lowland gorillas are the tallest apes and can reach four to five meters. The length of their chest and stomach are the largest parts of their body.
The adult male gorilla is about four to five years old, while the females are only about a year old. The western lowland gorilla has the biggest crest and hind feet of all the primates. The males also weigh more than the females and are more mature. A Western lowland gorilla can measure up to two meters. The black hair on their heads is very striking and their skin is covered in white spots and patches.
The western gorillas are the tallest gorillas, with a peak of up to 1.8 meters. The gorillas have two arms and two legs. They stand on their legs and use their arms only occasionally. They also use their arms. They have stronger hands and longer arms than their legs. Their arm length is nearly double the height of their legs. In addition, they have long, slender faces and flat face.
Both male and female gorillas are roughly the same height. Females weigh more than their male counterparts, but they do not look the same. They are very different, but they have similar physical characteristics. They are both robust and black, and they have a protruding abdomen. Their ears are small. Their brow ridges are prominent. They have a short and pointed nose and a long neck. The head and legs of a female are shorter than those of a male.
While humans are taller than gorillas, their arms reach much farther than ours. A strong human would find it difficult to punch a gorilla, and a weak one could not hold him. The gorilla population is estimated to be only a few hundred in the wild and the western gorilla population is estimated to be between 100,000 and 2,600. However, their fingerprints are found in the 21st century’s technology.
The average height of a male gorilla is 165 cm. A female gorilla can be about the same height. A male can grow up to 1.8 meters and weigh up to 220 pounds. The male can reach 183 cm, or six feet, in height. They can reach 225 kg, which is about 500 lbs. Some obese gorillas in captivity have a height of 270 inches, which is a little taller than the average human.