10 Top Facts About Gorillas
10 Top Facts about Gorillas: Gorillas are termed as endangered primates with hairy bodies, hands, and legs just like humans and all the remaining gorillas reside in the African continent. There are several facts about gorillas as included in this article.
- Species of Gorillas.
One of the 10 Top Facts about gorillas is the species of gorillas. There are two gorilla species which include the western gorillas and eastern gorillas. However, the Eastern gorillas are sub divided into other sub species including the Eastern lowland gorillas and the mountain gorillas.
Eastern gorillas such as Mountain gorillas live in areas of high altitude and that’s the reason as to why they occupy the East Africa region with Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Eastern low land gorillas live in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) making DRC the best destination in East Africa where one can take part in gorilla trekking of both the mountain gorillas in Virunga national park and the Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Beiga National park
On the other hand, western species of gorillas prefer to reside in areas of lower altitudes.
- Gorillas share their DNA with humans.
Gorillas are largest species of primates falling under great apes and they share 98% of their DNA with humans. This implies that Gorillas behave like human beings, they are seen laughing, mating, breastfeeding, and many more only that they failed to speak like humans though they have their own sound and some gestures they use to communicate amongst themselves. Gorillas are normally seen beating up their chest, hooting, and making other loud noise.
- All gorillas depend of the same diet and they are majorly herbivorous.
However much gorillas weigh differently, the amount of food they consume on a daily basis is roughly the same. They mainly enjoy eating different plant species, bamboo shoots, leaves and sometimes small animals which they hunt in the jungle. This makes them wonderers as they meander in the entire forest and even climb up hills and mountains especially the eastern gorillas in search of food. This implies that Gorillas spend a full day feeding and rest at night.
- Gorillas sleep in Nests.
After spending a full day feeding, gorillas make comfortable nest up in the tree branches at night for rest. This is made from other tree branches and the foliage and the nest is used once implying that every evening gorillas make a new nest for overnight stay. However, some gorillas make their nests on the ground especially the silverback gorillas though in most cases they all sleep up in the tree branches.
- Gorillas are strong primates and intelligent.
Gorillas are strong and big primate species. For instance a male mountain gorilla weighs 180kg and is approximately 170 cm in length while a female average gorilla weighs about 135kg. A gorilla especially the silverback gorilla can fight anything including humans in defense of his family members since a silverback is known as the head of the family and therefore responsible for protection of the entire family against any harm. However, if gorillas are not interrupted, they are the calmest and peaceful primates but once aggressive, they can fight up the enemy up to death.
- Male adult gorillas are called silverbacks
A male adult gorilla is known as the silverback gorilla. This obtained the name from the existence of silver color that is visible at the back of all the adult male gorillas. So once a male gorilla matures and develops the silver or grey hair at the back, he obtains a name silverback and the young ones are called blackbucks.
- Gorillas live in groups/ families led by a dominant silverback
Gorillas live in a family / a group which is always under the leadership of one dominant silverback as the head of the family though in some cases there are gorilla groups led by two silverbacks but in this case, the silverbacks are seen fighting every now and again until they end up splitting and each silverback remain with his own family. The silverbacks also fight other silverback and snatch away the females from other families to make up a bigger family. In a group where there are more than one mature silverback, there is always a fight as each silverback wants to mate all the females in the group and this leads to a stronger silverback defeating the weaker one and hence chasing him away from the group to become a loner silverback until he finally gathers females and make up his own family.
- Female gorillas are considered mature at an age of 10
At the age of 10 years, a female gorilla is considered to be mature and fertile thus start having sex and producing and since gorillas share our DNA, the female gorillas also carry the pregnancy for a period of 9 months in an interval of 4-5 years.
- Male gorillas are considered to be mature at the age of 15
While a female gorilla is considered mature at the age of 10, a male gorilla matures at 15. At this age, a male gorilla is mature enough to start mating the females.
- Gorillas are endangered primate species
Gorillas are termed as endangered primates with over 100,000 species of western gorillas still thrilling in the wild. However, the eastern gorillas especially the mountain gorillas are termed to be more endangered primates with at least 1063 species of mountain gorillas remaining within the wild. The strongest reason behind the decline in population of endangered mountain gorillas is from human factor. The human encroachment on the habitats of mountain gorillas as people cleared the land for agriculture and hunting greatly reduced the population of mountain gorillas and reached an extent of being critically endangered. However, with time, the land encroachers were dismissed forcefully from the habitats of gorillas as now their population is seen rising and this has been achieved through various ways which include sensitization of the local communities that reside nearby the parks to know the advantage of gorillas, especially in the tourism industry.
Conclusion: The status of gorillas changed from critically endangered and recently it’s endangered with a hope of increase in the population in the near future as a result of conservation measures put in place by the responsible wildlife organizations.