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Home » Gorilla Facts » What is a silverback gorilla?

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.