Gorillas

If you want to learn about gorillas, this page contains lots of useful information about the habitat and lifestyle of the gorilla, as well as how it is affected by changes to the rainforests.

Silverback Gorilla

The Gorillas are the largest living primates, and are ground-dwelling herbivores inhabiting the African forests. Gorillas are divided into two species and (still under debate as of 2008) either four or five subspecies.

DNA of gorillas is 98%99% identical to that of humans, and they are the next closest living species to humans after the two species of chimpanzee. Gorillas live in tropical or subtropical forests. Their range covers a small percentage of Africa, but gorillas can live at a wide range of altitudes. The Moonly untain Gorilla lives within the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests of the Virunga Volcanoes, at altitudes ranging from 2225 to 4267 m (7300-14000 ft). Lowland Gorillas inhabit dense forests and lowland swamps or marshes as low as sea level.

Gorillas move around by knuckle-walking. Adult males range in height from 1.65-1.75 m (5 ft 5 in 5 ft 9 in), and in weight from 140204.5 kg (310450 lbs). Adult females are often half the size of a silverback, averaging about 1.40 m (4 ft 7 in) tall and 100 kg (220 lbs). Occasionally, a silverback of over 1.83 m (6 ft) and 225 kg (500 lb) has been recorded in the wild. Obese gorillas in captivity have reached up to 270 kg (600 lb).

The facial structure of gorillas is described as mandibular prognathism, which means their mandible protrudes farther out than the maxilla. The Eastern Gorilla is more darkly colored than the Western Gorilla, with the Mountain Gorilla being the darkest of all. The Mountain Gorilla also has the thickest hair. The Western Lowland Gorilla can be greyish or brown or with a reddish forehead. Gorillas that live in lowland forests are also more slender and agile than the more bulky Mountain Gorilla. Virtually all gorillas share the blood type (B) and, like humans, they have individual finger prints.

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