- Gorillas are quadrupedal. They walk on all fours with the soles of
their feet flat on the ground and the knuckles of the hands curled and
planted on the ground.
- Gorillas live in groups of one fully adult male and several females.
- They play, sleep, and eat within this structured family group.
- The dominant male, often called the silverback male, leads the group.
He regulates what time the group wakes up, eats, and goes to sleep.
- Gorillas learn from their mothers and other adults what to eat, social
and sexual behavior and how to rear young. They care for their babies
with great affection, patience and playfulness.
- Gorillas eat some 200 types of leaves, tubers, flowers, fruit, fungus
and some insects. Favorite foods include bamboo, thistles and wild celery.
Gorillas do not drink water. They obtain all the moisture they need
from the vast amounts of foliage they consume. Males consume approximately
50 lbs. a day.
- Gorillas mate year-round. The female produces one offspring about
every fourth year. If her offspring gorilla dies in infancy, which happens
40-50 percent of the time, she will breed more frequently.
- A young gorilla remains with its parents three years after its birth.
- Gorillas recognize each other by their faces and body shapes. Each
gorilla has a unique nose print.
- Mature females are approximately half the weight of males. Infant
gorillas weigh about 2.3kg (5 lb) at birth.
- Western lowland gorillas are found in zoos all over the world. They
have been important in behavioral research because their intelligence
and body structure are closer to that of humans than any other primate
except for chimpanzees.