People are often drawn to our fellow primates because we share very similar genetics and many physiological and even psychological traits. Except that most primates are way stronger than us. And the strongest of all primates are the legendary gorillas. These beasts are usually scary to just look at. But a lot of people don’t know about heir “soft sides” and their cognitive abilities. So, let’s delve into the 15 Unbelievable Facts About Gorillas.
- There are two species of gorilla – the eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei) and western gorilla (G. gorilla). Each of these is divided into two subspecies – eastern lowland gorilla (G. b. graueri) and mountain gorilla (G. b. beringei), and western lowland gorilla (G. g. gorilla) and cross river gorilla (G. g. diehli).
- Gorillas and human share about 98.3% of the same DNA. They are actually our closest relatives after chimpanzees and bonobos.
- Gorillas live mainly in Central Africa. There are two main species of gorilla, the Eastern Gorilla and the Western Gorilla. The Western Gorilla lives in Western Africa in countries such as Cameroon, the Congo, the Central African Republic, and Gabon. The Eastern Gorilla lives in Eastern African countries like Uganda and Rwanda. Gorillas mainly live in environments like swamps to forests, but some also live in mountains. They are also ground-dwellers who live make their nests on the ground rather than in the trees, as most primates do. That’s because their size and strength allows them to intimidate and fight off their enemies rather than have to run from them.
- Gorillas are mainly herbivores and they eat tons of leaves, stems pith, fruit, and bamboo. But they are also known to eat insects, particularly ants. An average fully-grown male gorilla needs to eat about 22 kilograms of 50 pounds of food a day.
- Gorillas are the strongest and biggest primates living, right now. Males are usually about twice the size of females. An average male is about 155 cm or 5 ½ feet tall and weigh around 180 kilograms or 400 pounds. An average female is about 122 cm or 4 ½ and weigh about 90 kilograms or 200 pounds. And, in terms of their strength, average male gorillas are about 4 to 9 times stronger than average human males.
- Gorillas have arms that are not only incredibly strong but are also longer than their legs. This is because they use the knuckles of their hands to walk on all-fours.
- The feet and hands of gorillas are very similar to ours. They have opposing thumbs and big toes, for example.
- Some gorillas, held in captivity, have learned to use sign language to communicate with humans.
- Gorillas have an average lifespan of about 25 years, in the wild. They sometimes live up to 50 in captivity.
- Contrary to the popular belief, gorillas are actually pretty calm and friendly, as long as they aren’t attacked or feel that their nest or offspring are threatened. However, silverback gorillas are actually the most aggressive of all gorillas and can attack humans and many other animals without being provoked. Especially males. Especially alpha-males.
- Grown gorillas sleep at night in their nests. similar to humans. Baby gorillas sleep with their mothers until they are two and a half years of age.
- Gorillas have 25 different sounds that they make in order to communicate with each other. They are also known to use tools like bamboo sticks as ladders, sticks to test the depth of water and to eat ants without being stung. Although they don’t use tools as often as chimpanzees.
- Gorillas have unique fingerprints and nose prints.
- Studies show that gorillas display individual personalities that can range significantly, much like humans.
- On average, female gorillas give to to a single baby every 4 to 6 years and about 3 to 4 times in their lives, making their population growth pretty slow, which in turn, makes it difficult for their populations to bounce back following significant declines.
So, as you can see, gorillas are fascinating creatures that have individual personalities and are not only very strong, but also very intelligent. But they are also in danger of extinction and this deserves everyone’s recognition, we can’t let these magnificent creatures die out. An that’s it for this 15 Unbelievable Facts About Gorillas article.