Did You Know Gorilla Facts? Mountain Gorilla facts that you should know about

Gorillas are one of the most interesting attractions in Africa. There are 2 types of gorillas categorized according to their location and each of these is divided into two making four gorilla subspecies. The species of gorillas are; the eastern gorillas which are divided into the mountain gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas and the western gorillas which are further divided into the western lowland and the cross river gorillas. Gorilla trekking is a prime activity for travel to Africa.

Gorillas are critically endangered species of primates. Mountain gorillas can be seen in only three countries; Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC while eastern lowland gorillas inhabit the tropical rainforests of the DRC. The western lowland gorillas are found in Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Angola and Cameroon while the cross river gorillas are found in Nigeria and Cameroon.

There are a number of facts about gorillas that you will find interesting and these could be some of the things that will raise the strong interest for seeing them. Adventure in the wild safaris is the best travel partner for mountain gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some of the gorilla facts we thought you need to know are that;

  1. Gorillas are primates

A primate is any mammal that belongs to the taxonomic order primate. There are over 250 species of primates in the world and the gorilla is one of them. Gorillas and chimpanzees are often confused to be the same or one taken to the other. The two are totally different apes though they are all primates. Gorillas are very wise primates and their actions are a sign of their great intelligence and wisdom.

  1. Gorillas are herbivores

Gorillas have a vegetarian diet, they feed on bamboo, stems, shoots, fruits and leaves. They occasionally catch insects, worms and termites for snacks.

An adult gorilla eats about 18 to 20 kilograms of food daily. It is rare to see gorillas taking water and since they are mainly herbivores, the plants they feed on provide water to their bodies.

  1. Gorillas live in social groups also known as families

Gorillas live in forests and each one of them belongs to a family. A group of gorillas is called a troop. Each group consists of 5-30 members and each group is headed by a strong silverback which is in charge of various things like protecting its members from any enemy or danger, it is also the only one to mate with the females in the group and in case it realizes that there is another male that is mating with its females, there will be a severe fight.

  1. Gorillas have a gestation period of eight months and a half

Gorillas don’t have a specific birth seasons as they have been observed having babies at any time of the year. The gestation period of gorillas is 8.5 months and they most times give birth to a singles, twins are there but rare. Female gorillas give birth once in a period of about 5 years. At the time of birth, young ones weigh about 2 kilograms.

  1. Gorillas take nurse and take care of their babies until the age of about 3 years

Young ones of gorillas are called infants and there is a very close contact between the gorilla mothers and their infants up to about 6 months. They are nursed up to abo0ut 2.5-3 years when they can do things on their own. The silverback also takes part in the responsibility towards infants and in case these young ones lose their mother, the silverback takes care of them.

  1. The fur of male gorillas turns silver as they mature

Starting from the age of around 10-12, the fur on the back of male gorillas turns silver. This is a sign of maturity and this is the reason why they are called silverbacks.

  1. Male gorillas have to leave the group when they reach maturity

When the male gorilla is mature enough to lead a family, that is at the age of about 10 years. A group must not have a lot of males especially mature males apart from the silverback. Therefore when a male gorilla matures, it goes along with some females or snatches females from any other group and starts his own group.

  1. Gorillas are closely related to humans

The most closely related apes to humans are the chimpanzees and bonobos. After these two, the gorillas are said to be the next close relatives with a DNA of 97% that they share with humans. The difference of only 3% DNA separates a gorilla from a human being. This is the reason to why their physical make up is related to that of humans.

  1. Gorillas catch some diseases that affect human

Since gorillas are closely related to humans, they are prone to respiratory illnesses that affect humans such as a common cold and cough. This is the reason why sick people are prohibited from entering the forest to see gorillas.

  1. Some features of the bodies of gorillas look like for humans

Unlike other animals, gorillas’ hands look almost like for humans and they also have finger prints. These finger prints form dermal ridges which help in holding things and also provide the ability to hold firm when climbing trees. This should however not be a surprise if you have heard about the evolution of the apes.

  1. Gorillas are big and large

Physically, gorillas are the biggest and largest species of primates. Out of the various sub species of the gorillas, the Eastern lowland gorillas are the biggest and strongest with a mature male weighing up to 250kg. Comparing to human weight, a gorilla weighs about 3 times the weight of a strong human.

  1. Gorilla arms are longer than their legs

The arms of gorillas are longer than legs and are very strong. After knowing how strong a gorilla is, imagine a punch from a gorilla. It would be really painful and tough.

  1. Gorillas are very mobile

Gorillas are known to make a lot of movements in the forests. They are wake up in one location in the morning and will move to a different one by day time. They often change their sleeping nests every evening by constructing new nests where they will spent the night. The silverback decides on where to sleep.

Did You Know Gorilla Facts? Mountain Gorilla facts that you should know about

It is also important to know that other gorillas can survive in captivity apart from mountain gorillas. This creates higher chances of other gorillas to stay longer than mountain gorillas since the life expectancy is 35-40 in the wild and up to 50 years in captivity. Gorillas can imitate, chuckle at funny things, use tools and can learn languages if trained. It is interesting to know mopre about gorillas including the silverback strength, how gorillas fight, the strongest gorilla species and more as you prepare for your Bwindi gorilla trekking safari.