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Gorilla

(Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla)

Conservation:

Gorillas are the largest and most powerful of all primates. They are peaceful animals and will only attack if threatened. However, due to humans destroying their tropical rainforest habitat as well as illegally hunting them for meat and big game hunting, the gorillas are listed as Endangered. The poaching of gorillas for meat is part of the bushmeat crisis in Africa. In Africa, forest is often referred to as 'the bush', thus wildlife and the meat derived from it is referred to as 'bushmeat'. This term applies to all wildlife species, including threatened and endangered, used for meat including: elephant; gorilla; chimpanzee and other primates; forest antelope (duikers); crocodile; porcupine; bush pig; cane rat; pangolin; monitor lizard; guinea fowl; etc.

Amazing Facts:

Fossils and biochemical data indicate the gorilla and two species of chimpanzee are more closely related to man than they are to the orangutan, the fourth of the great apes.

Sounds:

  • Humming - Happy, comfortable, usually when they find something good to eat
  • Belching - The most common form, used to communicate with each other
  • Crying - Like human babies, the gorilla babies cry when they need something.
  • Alarm - When something alarms the silverback, he alerts the rest of the group
  • Laughing - Gorillas also laugh when they are having fun.
  • Chest beating and Hooting - A male displaying his dominance.
  • Coughing - A vocalization used to warn/ward off outsider

Behavior:

Western lowland gorillas like to eat young bamboo shoots, which are very nutritious. They also eat leaves, stems, shoots, roots, flowers, fruits and grubs. Western lowland gorillas are almost entirely vegetarian in the wild. They are also thought to be unable to swim and avoid water. Gorillas are mainly terrestrial, spending most of their time on the ground.

General Description:

Native to lush tropical African forests, males can weigh up to 500 pounds and females can weigh up to 270 pounds. Adult males are known as silverbacks. They get this name because of the silver hair that is on their backs.
Order: Primate
Family: Pongidae
Genus: Gorilla
Species: Gorilla Gorilla

Gestation: 250-295 days
Range: Central African tropical secondary forest
Longevity: About 35 years in the wild, up to 50 years in captivity
Weight: 270-500 pounds