Species: G. gorilla (Western Gorilla), G. beringei (Western Gorilla)
Common Names: Gorilla
The two species of gorilla are separated by their range. Both live in central Africa, with western gorillas living in the west, and eastern gorillas in the east. Their habitats are diverse, including mountainous forests, swampy wetlands, and many other environments.
Gorillas are plant eaters, and much of their time is spent foraging for food. They get most of their water through the vegetation they eat. They will occasionally eat insects.
Gorillas have few natural predators, though leopards may prey on them. Gorillas travel in large groups, known as troops, for safety. Typically one adult male (the silverback) is in charge of a troop, which is made up of adult females and their children.
Gorillas are large, stockily built apes. Males can weigh up to 500 pounds, while females weigh up to 250 pounds. An adult male can stand nearly six feet in height, with an arm span up to eight and a half feet wide.
Gorillas usually have black hair. They may also have reddish hair on their foreheads. Adult males develop grey hairs on their back, which has led them to be known as “silverbacks”. Certain subspecies, such as the western lowland gorilla, have lighter hair that may be grey or brown.
The eastern gorilla has darker and often thicker hair than the western gorilla.
Aside from chimpanzees and bonobos, gorillas are the apes most closely related to humans. They are known to be very intelligent, and some in captivity have even been taught a form of sign language to communicate with humans.
Gorillas are known to use tools, such as sticks and rocks, which is a sign of intelligence.
Gorillas are popular across many types of fictional media, including movies featuring the giant ape King Kong, and video games featuring the gorilla Donkey Kong.