Gorillas are fascinating creatures. Read on for some really cool facts about these amazing animals.
Gorillas live in Central Africa.
There are two main species of gorilla, the Eastern Gorilla and the Western Gorilla.
The Western Gorilla lives in Western Africa in countries such as Cameroon, the Congo, the Central African Republic, and Gabon.
The Eastern Gorilla lives in Eastern African countries such as Uganda and Rwanda.
Gorillas live in a range of places from swamps to forests.
There are lowland gorillas which live in bamboo forests, swamps and lowland forests.
There are also mountain gorillas which live in forests in the mountains.
Gorillas are mostly herbivores which mean that they eat plants.
The plants they eat include leaves, stems, fruit, and bamboo.
Sometimes they will eat insects, especially ants.
A full grown adult male will eat around 50 pounds (about 23kg) of food in a day. Just one day! That’s a lot…clearly they get really hungry!
Gorillas form part of a group of animals called primates.
They are the largest species of primates.
The males are often twice as big as the females.
The males grow to around 5.5 feet (about 1.7m) tall and weigh around 400 pounds (about 181kg). They are clearly not meant to be messed with!
The females grow to 4.5 feet (about 1.4m) tall and weigh around 200 pounds (about 91kg).
They have long arms, even longer than their legs! They use their long arms to “knuckle-walk”. This is where they use the knuckles on their hands to walk on all fours. Cool!
They are mostly covered with brown hair. Gorillas from different areas may have different coloured hair. For example, the western gorilla has the lightest hair and the mountain gorilla has the darkest. The western lowland gorilla can also have greyish hair and a red coloured forehead.
When male gorillas get older their hair turns white on their back. These older males are called Silverback gorillas.
Yes, gorillas are endangered. Recently the Ebola Virus killed a number of them. This disease, coupled with people hunting gorillas, has put both species in more danger of extinction. That’s not cool at all. Imagine the world without these knuckling walking beauties?