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Gorilla Facts

Are gorillas fine with water?

This is another interesting debate; we could easily say yes or no; but these answers ought to be backed up by some evidence. The majority would passionately oppose the motion because gorillas are rarely seen swimming in water; perhaps that’s only a characteristic of humans among the great apes; or because they rarely drink water.

But interestingly, the reason why gorillas don’t drink water is not because they fear it but because they do not really need to look so far for it. Gorillas have enough of water in their diet and less often have to look for streams from which to drink. Yes gorillas do not swim but that doesn’t mean they cannot jump into the water. Some lowland gorillas have been observed to cross shallow swamps in order to access food across the swamp. But this they do while maintaining the water to their waist level.

It would be insane to say that gorillas have raincoats and umbrellas to use when it rains so rain-time is not fun time for the gorillas, but they will sit still like they don’t really care. If there is a nearby cave, the alpha may direct his family there, but if there isn’t a nearby shelter, these mammals will sit still; after all it can never rain for a month non-stop. Their thickly forested habitat also shelters them from the heavy rains most of the time but many a time their thick hairy coat has to insulate them in times like these.

Are Gorillas Stronger Than Humans?

The mystery of how strong or weak a gorilla is in comparison to man has not fully been investigated; but continues to stand as one of the most interesting debates in among gorilla enthusiasts today. We would not be wrong to picture their might basing on their size, weight and ferocious appearance but all these do not make standard mathematical measurements.

When you meet a well-grown mountain gorilla uprooting bamboo shoots, you might be forced to think that it is so easy to do the same, but if offered an opportunity to try this technique with your bare hands you will be forced to solicit for a machete instead.

A fight between two angry male mountain gorillas is something you would rather watch on TV than just a few meters away in their natural habitat. The strength exhibited in the fists that these giant apes exchange will most definitely make you call you mommy like a baby. You would not want to get into such a fight as the referee but the reflex action will be to race off for your life.

Researchers have at least managed to tell us that man cannot singlehandedly contain an infant mountain gorilla of four months. This leaves us wondering then how strong a fully grown alpha will be. One interesting comparison states that if we put together a team of ten (10) energetic heavy weight boxers, a silverback mountain gorilla would easily break their limbs and ribs even if they were on drugs.

A gorilla’s strength has inspired a number of works of art like the legendary movie, King Kong but until now we are not certain about how strong they really are. It would therefore be wise for us to put on our best manners when we are around the gorillas.

Between the trees and the ground, where do gorillas dwell more?

Gorillas are primates and no one can win a debate against that. The majority of primates spend above 50% of their daily time brachiating. This is sometimes influenced by their feeding patterns, because most of them feed on the fruits high above in the trees and also set up their nests in the trees.

Primatologists have ascertained that chimpanzees spend about 33% of their day on the ground and the remaining 67% is spent in the trees high above; while the peach-colored orangutans of Asia spend 100% of their days sitting in the trees above or brachiating. Gorillas especially the mountain gorillas which easily access their food from the ground only climb trees for about 20% during their days when hiding away from predators and sometimes when they choose to build their nests in the trees. 80% of their time is spent roaming the earth from below the forest canopy.

Can gorillas move on twos like man?

Gorillas can either walk on fours or twos depending on the circumstance but they often traverse the earth on four limbs support themselves on their knuckles (knuckle-walking). There are a few occasions when gorillas will be seen moving on twos. Firstly, if gorillas have to use their hands to old food, they are forced to resort to using two legs. Gorillas also stand on twos when they feel threatened; with an intention of appearing bigger and scaring away their enemies. Sometimes the playful juveniles get onto their two feet to exhibit, or when they are playing.

Chimpanzees and humans use tools, how about gorillas?

The masters of tool use are indeed humans and the chimpanzees and they design tools depending on a number of factors like the condition of their habitat, necessity and different other reasons. Chimpanzees have most popularly made tools for feeding and drinking while some publications say that they have learnt to sharpen sticks and use them to spear down smaller mammals like the bush babies and duikers.

Gorillas use tools less that the chimps and humans do but their tool use is highly observed in nesting. When they are nesting, they pull together different branches and leaves and lace them together to form a perfect bed for a night. Perhaps the level of brain development in these guys coupled with the formation of their fingers explains the possibility that in the future they may learn to develop more tools.

How are gorilla babies made and raised?

Gorillas are mammals and therefore give birth to live ones. But before a baby gorilla is conceived two aspiring parents have to come together to copulate but in order for the baby to be made, the gorilla parties involved have to be mature. Males mature around the age of eleven (11) years while others mature at around thirteen (13) years but have the ability to make a baby even before they reach adulthood. For some males silvery hairs begin to grow on their backs at 13 years while the majority develop these hairs of majority around the age of fifteen (15) years.

Female gorillas mature faster than their male counterparts. Most females have their very first ovulation at six (6) years after which they go through a period of adolescent infertility which on average lasts about two (2) years. When she is mature, she will begin to entice the males in the family to mate with her; and this may involve mating with several males until more visible signs of pregnancy are observed. Mating in the gorilla family does not have a particular season and it goes on throughout the year.

The mother will then carry her young one within her warm womb for at least 8.5 months at the end of which she will give birth to a baby. A female gorilla normally gives birth to three (3) or four (4) young ones throughout its sexual productive life sometimes giving birth to twin baby gorillas.

Once the baby is born it begins to feed from its mom’s breasts until the time when it is weaned and becomes a Juvenile at the age of three (3) years but it continues to share a nest with its mother and to spend most of it day with her. The bond between the infant/juvenile and its father is not strong at this time; the baby is still “mommy’s boy”.

When the infant makes six (6) years, he learns to leave his mom’s side a lot more and often starts to build his own nest a few months later. He joins the party of the other playful juveniles in the family and enjoys to move about more than when he was a baby. If it’s a male it begins to learn from the adult males the art of survival; which in the jungle is a fulltime job.

However much they grow old, a larger percentage of gorillas, like humans; maintain connections with their mothers.

How did they get their name?

Surprisingly, gorillas were not discovered by a geographer or an explorer but by somebody whose intentions were totally different. But the beauty of these animals alone was enough to have him wondering what they really were or where they came from.

During the 6th Century B.C. Admiral Hanno of Carthage (present day Tunisia) together with a team of skillful sailors in sailed along the coast of West Africa in sixty (60) ships. As they patrolled the waters, they often docked at the ports along the West African coast for a night after which they would continue with their voyage.

One day as they rested on land, they came across a huge humanlike species which was covered in thick dark hair. They were eager to find out what the locals in the area called these species and on inquiring, they were told that it was a “tribe of hairy women”; a phrase that translates as “gorilla” in Greek. Admiral Hanno and his men were so anxious to share their discovery with friends and families after the voyage.

Since then, the name gorilla began to be used every time reference was being made to these “hairy humans” by authors like and environmental researchers like Thomas S. Savage. Apparently, several scientists believe that Admiral Hanno and his subordinates might have encountered another group of humans and not necessarily gorillas but if they were gorillas then they must have been the lowland mountain gorillas of west Africa because their larger brothers the mountain gorillas (gorilla beringei beringei subspecies) are only found in the forested highlands of central and Eastern African.

Who are the gorillas’ biggest enemies?

Gorillas have enemies; another similarity they have with humans and these should be blamed for the reduction in numbers especially in the mountain gorilla subspecies which today stands at only 880 individuals.

The greatest enemies of mountain gorillas are humans because they threaten gorillas in many different ways. In the past, a big number of gorillas were lost to hunters who hunted them down for their coats while others just killed them for fun. Gorilla poaching has reduced but a great deal of efforts are required if this vice is to be completely stopped. Humans have also impacted gorilla lives through destroying their habitats in pursuit of wood for charcoal and firewood. Additionally, even during the regulated mountain gorilla tracking safaris, some visitors defy the rule of keeping at least seven (7) meters away from the gorillas and in so doing they communicate fatal diseases to these animals. Wars and insecurities around the gorilla habitats have also threatened the survival of the gorillas because they are forced to leave their suitable habitats for more peaceful places which are sometimes difficult to adapt to.

Nocturnal hunters like the leopards also bear part of the blame for the loss of some gorillas. Leopards are known to be quite adaptive to different environments and some of these skillful hunters have been attracted to the green forested habitats of the gorillas. They sometimes lunch attacks on weaker or older member of the gorilla family or the infants mainly at night.

Gorillas also often become their own enemies. They fight among themselves especially the wild gorilla families and in the process many of their members are hurt while some gorillas especially the weaker infants die during the tussle. Fights are less among the habituated gorilla families but they rather experience attacks from wild mountain gorilla families.

Are gorillas fine with water?

Before the 6,000 years of the Ice Age in which many of the world’s species were lost, lowland and gorillas had their habitat close to the habitat of the mountain gorillas. However at the end of this disastrous age, their habitats were separated by a long area of savanna vegetation which stretches for about 900 kilometers.

Today they all still inhabit the tropical and subtropical forests of Africa in which they find shelter and from which they get their food. The major difference is that the mountain gorillas reside at higher altitudes (between 2,500 and 4,000 meters above sea level) than their counterparts the lowland gorillas. Some lowland gorillas have been transferred from their natural habitat to countries in the west but a reasonable population of these continues to reside in their natural habitats in West Africa.

Mountain gorillas; an endangered species are restricted to three countries and live in four protected areas the Virunga National Park in Congo; Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda; and Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks in southwestern Uganda.

What are the directions to the gorillas’ home?

Before the 6,000 years of the Ice Age in which many of the world’s species were lost, lowland and gorillas had their habitat close to the habitat of the mountain gorillas. However at the end of this disastrous age, their habitats were separated by a long area of savanna vegetation which stretches for about 900 kilometers.

Today they all still inhabit the tropical and subtropical forests of Africa in which they find shelter and from which they get their food. The major difference is that the mountain gorillas reside at higher altitudes (between 2,500 and 4,000 meters above sea level) than their counterparts the lowland gorillas. Some lowland gorillas have been transferred from their natural habitat to countries in the west but a reasonable population of these continues to reside in their natural habitats in West Africa.

Mountain gorillas; an endangered species are restricted to three countries and live in four protected areas the Virunga National Park in Congo; Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda; and Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks in southwestern Uganda.

What do gorillas call delicious?

Gorillas are principally herbivores who at least feed on a part of a green plant. Mountain gorillas spend much of their day roaming the ground in search of one or more out of the 38 plant species which they love to eat. These include celery, thistles, gallium, bamboo shoots and nettles but sometimes when the temperatures become too hot or when they fail to find a desirable feeding spot, they may end up feeding on barks of trees, dead wood and invertebrates.

The lowland gorilla on the other hand have a diet that mainly consists of fruits which they get from at least 100 species of trees and therefore end up climbing three more than the mountain gorillas in search of these colorful and sweet fruits.

Male gorillas consume more than their female colleagues; perhaps an explanation for the difference in size. Males eat up to 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of food day while the daily food consumption of an adult female gorilla is 18 kilograms (40 pounds).

Eating speeds vary among gorillas; normally basing on their age. The youthful gorillas, like the juveniles and blackbacks tend to eat their food faster that the infants and the aging gorillas. At the age of 35 years gorillas begin to develop weaknesses in their jaws while some of them begin to lose their teeth and this makes it harder for them to chew through their food.

What is a normal day in the gorilla family?

Gorillas have a basic day which is principally directed by their alpha silverback. They wake up from their nests around the same time the sun rises (around 6:30) and they will often destroy their nests there and then. Early in the morning the alpha silverback is already looking for where the group will have breakfast from, but the baby gorillas do not have to wait for the alpha’s signal to start feeding because they are normally clinging onto their mothers and feeding at least once every hour.

When the alpha locates an ideal feeding location, he will enjoy the first bite and then invite the rest of the family to feast together with him. Once all the gorillas have had enough, they begin to rest at around midday. During this time, members may decide to take naps while the younger gorillas prefer to play around.

After the resting episode, they resume their daily feeding campaign and then rest more in the later hours of the afternoon. During this time the members bond more; males strengthen relationships with their wives while new silverbacks begin to attract females to themselves. At the end of the rest period (around 6:00 pm to 6:00 pm), they begin to gather materials used in weaving together their individual nests for the night’s rest. When it is dark, the gorillas begin to enter their nests while the infants share a nest with their moms.

What is a silverback gorilla?

Silverback gorillas are often the largest and hairiest in the gorilla family but this does not signify that they are the oldest. At the age of thirteen (13) male gorillas begin to mature from blackbacks into adult males and by fifteen (15) years they begin to grow short silvery hairs on their backs; similar to no other part of their bodies. With shiny silver back, the male mountain gorilla begins to become more ambitious and proud and if he is not the only silverback in the family he may decide to topple the reigning alpha or break away from it with some of the group’s females to start a whole new family. Silverbacks are not only the largest but they often are the strongest of the family’s members and will normally passionately defend their territory even to the point of death.

What is the relationship between gorillas and humans?

Mountain gorillas are unsurprisingly one of the closest animals to humans in relationship. Their appearance is remarkably similar to the human form, only more hairy. When you look at the palm and fingers of man’s closest relative, the chimpanzee and then look at those of a gorilla you will agree that the gorilla’s finger formation are more less like the human fingers; only darker and magnified. Gorillas also dwell more on the ground than up in the trees among all other primates; a characteristic that only man does best with a few humans building tree houses.

When scientists measure relatedness among species they base on a number of factors in genetic composition like the nuclear DNA the unstable mitochondrial DNA. In terms of nuclear DNA, gorillas have up to 98.4% of the genetic composition humans while gorillas share 89.7% of the mitochondrial DNA with the humans. Gorillas come in second after the chimpanzees (both the common chimpanzees and the bonobos) which have 98.8% of the human nucleic DNA and 91.2% in terms of mitochondrial DNA.

What makes a gorilla sick?

Gorillas are not immortal beings and they therefore suffer from a number of diseases some of which claim their lives. While the adults’ immune systems might be stronger, if a baby falls sick, the hope that it will heal from the sickness is minimal. Because of the similarity in the genetic composition with humans, gorillas and humans can exchange sicknesses but gorillas stand in a more vulnerable position to contract communicable diseases like colds, coughs and even Ebola if they come too close in contact with humans.

Gorillas also often have complications in their digestive systems principally intestinal worms and protozoans, and because they don’t have ready access to deworming vaccines or tablets like humans, they often live uncomfortably with parasites in their bodies.

The cold habitat I which they leave puts them in a vulnerable state to contract respiratory diseases exclusively pneumonia. And this easily weakens and kills the weaker and younger members of the gorilla family.

Additionally gorillas suffer from wounds which may either be due to natural causes like hurting themselves or sometimes when they fall in hunters’ traps. Some of these traps contain deadly chemicals, implicating that even if they flee, they will die of open wounds or the chemicals will kill them slowly.

Some gorilla’s illnesses come with old age, normally after making their 35th birthday. Gorillas begin to suffer from a sickness called periodontitis in which their gum muscles weaken and some gorillas begin to lose teeth which makes feeding les enjoyable. At this age they often suffer from arthritis which weakens their bones and muscles, leaving them in a state of reduced mobility.

Where do gorillas find their rest?

Gorillas treasure their rest and therefore mind a great deal about where they spend their nights. Gorillas sleep in nests which they make every day in a process called “nesting”. Nesting involves great efforts which include gathering materials like leaves and ticks which are laced together to form the perfect bed for the perfect rest. Every member in the family builds his own nest apart from the breastfeeding babies which have to sleep with their mothers.

Nests may either be built above in the tree or on the ground. Gorillas prefer the ground more than the trees but due to a number of circumstances like safety threats from predators and hunters, they may decide to build nests in the trees but bearing in mind that the branches can accommodate their weight for over ten (10) hours of sleep. The heavier silverbacks find it challenging to find fine spot to nest in the tree because of their great weight. Throughout the night, individual gorillas rest peacefully while the alpha and other silverbacks often wake up to ensure that the family is secure from attackers.

Nests are normally constructed starting from around 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm as the sun goes down and dismantled in the morning because gorillas will never sleep in the same nest for more than one night. Sometimes during the midday naps and late afternoon naps they make new but less sophisticated nets.

Where do gorillas find their rest?

Gorillas treasure their rest and therefore mind a great deal about where they spend their nights. Gorillas sleep in nests which they make every day in a process called “nesting”. Nesting involves great efforts which include gathering materials like leaves and ticks which are laced together to form the perfect bed for the perfect rest. Every member in the family builds his own nest apart from the breastfeeding babies which have to sleep with their mothers.

Nests may either be built above in the tree or on the ground. Gorillas prefer the ground more than the trees but due to a number of circumstances like safety threats from predators and hunters, they may decide to build nests in the trees but bearing in mind that the branches can accommodate their weight for over ten (10) hours of sleep. The heavier silverbacks find it challenging to find fine spot to nest in the tree because of their great weight. Throughout the night, individual gorillas rest peacefully while the alpha and other silverbacks often wake up to ensure that the family is secure from attackers.

Nests are normally constructed starting from around 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm as the sun goes down and dismantled in the morning because gorillas will never sleep in the same nest for more than one night. Sometimes during the midday naps and late afternoon naps they make new but less sophisticated nets.

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