The top facts about gorillas

Gorillas are a few most fascinating primates on planet earth. They are unique creatures sharing a lot in common with human beings. A trek through the African jungles and finally coming across a family of gorillas can be such inspirational and mind-blowing. If you are visiting Africa this 2023 for gorilla trekking, here are some of the top 10 facts you should know about gorillas.

Strictly 2 gorilla species exist in the Whole World.

Gorillas exist only in 2 major species: the main western and lowland gorillas. Each of these main gorilla species is further divided each creating two sub-species. A total of 4 sub-species survive in the wild and include the Eastern lowland gorillas (Grauer’s gorillas), Cross-river gorilla, Western lowland, and mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei).

Gorillas stay in families/groups

Gorillas live in families or groups each consisting of 2-50 members.  The adult or mature male leads the families –they are the dominant figures in every gorilla group family. The dominant male gorilla leads the group for many years and he is in charge protection of other members. He also leads the rest of the members to areas with palatable pastures to feed during the day.

They are the largest primates

Gorillas are without the biggest primates on planet earth. An adult gorilla weighs about 400 pounds and when standing, their height reaches about 6 feet. The western lowland gorillas are the smallest in size and the biggest of the subspecies are the Eastern Lowland gorillas.

They are vegetarians consuming up to 40 pounds a day

Gorillas’ diet is mainly plants, leaves, shoots, fruits, and tree bark. They spend a long day of their time feeding and an adult can consume about 40 pounds per day which is about 18 kg of food. Gorillas have strong jaws which allow them to feed on even the hardest stems or leaves.

Gorillas are human-closest relatives sharing up to 98.2% of DNA

After chimpanzees and bonobos, gorillas are some of the closest relatives to humans in the wild. About 98.2% of their genetic DNA is similar to that of humans and due to their close relationship; they are susceptible to infectious human diseases. Gorillas don’t have hair on their faces and they use knuckles/hands for walking.

Gorillas display emotions like humans

Gorillas being human closest relatives, often display emotions and are considered to be the most intelligent creatures. Like humans, gorillas experience emotions like sadness and happiness.

Gorillas are believed to be 6 times stronger than humans

Gorillas are naturally strong featuring remarkable upper-body strength. They are believed to be 6 times stronger than humans and can lift human beings with help of their chests, arms, and back. Their robust bodies play a significant part in their strength and a male gorilla weighs about 300 to 500 pounds while females have a weight range of 150 to 200 pounds.

Female gorillas share the same gestation period as humans

The gestation period of female gorillas lasts for 8.5 months. A mother gorilla is capable of giving birth to a single gorilla and also twins, but it is rare. A newborn gorilla weighs about four pounds and mothers give birth after every cycle of about 3-4 years.

Gentle apes

Gorillas are not as fierce as it was shown in the King Kong movie. These apes are gentle and humble. They stay in family units with silverback leading the entire group/troop. They are generally peaceful in nature and they can charge at you when irritated.

Gorillas thrive in the sub-Saharan countries

Gorillas stay in the natural forests and occupy the humid lowland tropical forests and frigid highland woods. To find mountain gorillas, the best places to visit include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Virunga Conservation Areas. The western lowland gorillas live in the Western countries: Gabon, DRC, Cameroon, Nigeria, Angola, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and others.