Gorillas are the biggest of the worlds primates and live in the forests in some parts of Africa. Gorillas are herbivores, eating vegetation, fruits, shoots, berries and leaves but they have been known to eat small animals and insects. A male can eat up to 40 lbs. (18 kg) of vegetation each day.
Fast Facts about Gorilla
1. Gorillas are thought to be the most closely related to chimps and humans. It is said that the DNA of gorillas is 98-99% identical to human DNA!!
2. There are two different gorilla species (each with two sub-species). The Western Gorilla has the sub-species: Western Lowland Gorilla and Cross River Gorilla; while the Eastern Gorilla has the sub-species: Mountain Gorilla and Eastern Lowland Gorilla. Gorilla of different subspecies vary in coat length, size, hair colour, and jaw and teeth size.
3. You may have seen baby gorillas being carried on the back of their mothers, but for the first few months after birth the mother holds the baby gorilla to her chest.
4. An adult male gorilla is called a silverback because of the distinctive silvery fur growing on their back and hips. Each gorilla family has a silverback as leader who scares away other animals by standing on their back legs and beating their chest!
5. Gorillas are considered to be very intelligent animals. They are able to see in colour. All of their senses are very highly developed. They are known for their use of tools and their varied communication. Some gorillas in captivity at a zoo have been taught to use sign language.
6. Gorillas will never sleep in the same nest twice. They make a new one when they nap in the afternoon and before they sleep for the night.
7. Gorillas can walk upright but prefer to do so on their knuckles. They have four fingers and a thumb just like humans.
8. Adult male gorillas weigh up to 440 pounds and can reach a height of six feet when standing on two legs.
9. Gorillas rarely attack humans. But in an encounter a person should stay still and refrain from staring or pointing at the gorilla.
10. Gorillas can live up to 35-50 years.