Animals resemble a lot of characteristics with humans. Or, do humans resemble a lot with animals? In this article, we have provided facts about a gorilla.
We have tons in common with some animals. One of the animals that are widely believed to be similar to human are gorillas. Therefore, check out how much of a similarity you share with the big, hairy animal below!
Read: Where Do Tigers Live
Facts about a Gorilla
1. Different types of habitat
There are several subspecies of gorillas. These subspecies live in different parts of the wild. Some live in the mountain, cross river, western lowland as well as eastern lowland.
For example, one of the facts about a gorilla is that you may find eastern species of gorilla in volcanic mountain while the western lives at tropical jungle. Originally, they are found in Africa.
2. The same diet as a hedgehog
The diet of a gorilla can be considered the same as hedgehog. This is because they are herbivorous and can eat plants with a range of 140 different species.
However, to get the weight of 196 kilograms, they would need to consume around 27 kilograms of those foods per day. While the main diet is plant, they also occasionally consume caterpillar and termite as well as various small animals.
3. Ten times stronger than adult man
Gorillas may treat each other gently, but they have a great strength behind it. They won’t show their strength unless needed. However, if you could see a gorilla up close, you will understand how they are ten times stronger than a grown man.
There are some cases found where gorillas can bend metal bars in a cage. Banana trees can be torn down easily by gorillas.
4. Gorillas take their resting seriously
Gorillas have a unique rest and active balance—they would sleep for 12 hours. They would make a new nest every night. Although it only takes them five minutes to build a new bed, that’s how serious they are with their sleep.
For baby gorillas who are not able to make their own bed, they would stay with the mother. This may continue until the baby gorilla is three years old. Or, it can also stop when the mother has a new baby.
5. Social animal and has its own troops
Gorillas are known to be very social. Just like lion, gorillas have their own troops. A troop would consist of one silverback male and some female gorillas. A gorilla is considered a silverback gorilla as they reach sexual maturity where there will be silver patch on their back.
This facts about a gorilla will take around 12 years to develop. Once a silverback gorilla owns a troop, they can have at least one female. If more, they would mate with all the females in the group.
6. They can switch off their body scent
How would you imagine the scent of a gorilla? Fun facts about a gorilla, they can easily turn off their body odor. Yes, gorillas have control over their distinctive pungent aroma.
This special fragrance is used as a form of communication. It is used to let the group knows that they own the position of leader—in the case of a silverback gorilla. However, if they think they want to hide their authority, they would turn off the scent.
7. Gorillas were once not the largest primate
While gorillas are known to be the largest primate, it’s not forever that they have this title in their hand. Once upon a time, there is a bigger primate than gorillas. It was Gigantopithecus, a prehistoric animal that owns a height of 3 meters.
The said animal had a weight for up to 500 kilograms, which is twice as big as gorillas. However, now that Gigantopithecus is extinct due to ecosystem change, gorillas hold the title of the largest primate.
8. They can eat all day long
Gorillas eat all they long and with a reason. As they only eat leaves and shoots as the main diet, they have to consume a lot of them. This is because gorillas have a big body they need to maintain.
Therefore, they have to spend much time eating. It is known that mountain gorillas spend a quarter of the day just for the consumption matter.
9. Sleep together with the group
Gorillas are not only social when they are awake, but also when they are sleep. At night, gorillas sleep with the groups.
If they are sleeping in the ground, they would build some nests. They would also sleep in the trees by making nests out of foliage.
10. Different types of call
Gorillas have 16 different types of communication. Their calls are used for different purposes. When they are curious or alarmed, gorillas would do some short barks. In terms of intimidating, they would strut the legs, beat the chests, and roar.
Some other complex vocalizations that gorillas have are also used as contact call, sign of contentment, to locate one another.
11. Hold a long lifespan
Gorillas have a long lifespan. They would still be considered infants until they reach the age of three and a half. Gorillas are considered adults once they reach 8 years of age.
12. Don’t just stay in forest
While gorillas are living in the wild, problems happen when their habitat is getting degraded. If their habitat is being taken, they would seek for corps in the farm. While that would create a conflict, humans living in their habitat may cause the gorillas to get illnesses from human contact.
On top of that, people would also hunt and injure them. Deforestation is the source of this conflict.
13. Gorillas prevent inbreeding
Mountain gorillas don’t do inbreeding. They would prevent this to happen. Their family groups consist of ten individuals with only one male.
To prevent the inbreeding, once the infants get older, they would leave the group. They would seek for another troop to live in.
14. Our similar DNA could harm gorillas
It is said above that human contact may spread illness to gorillas. This is because we share a great amount of DNA with them. This means that human illnesses, such as cold, can create a big impact to gorillas.
What makes this dangerous is that humans have developed immunity to fight common illnesses like cold. Gorillas, on the other hand, don’t have the immunity.
15. Range of troops and how gorillas lead the path
The range of gorilla troop is around 40 square kilometres. The silverback will be the one who drag everyone in the troop to the path of their choice. This is why when a silverback dies, the troop will need a new silverback to lead their path.
16. There are two isolated groups
Currently, gorillas are living in two isolated groups. One of the groups is located in the national parks in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The specific place is in the Virunga Volcanoes.
The other half is isolated in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This facts about a gorilla is also located in Uganda, near the Sarambwe Nature Reserve, Democratic Republic of Congo.
17. Gorillas do social grooming as part of their bonding
Gorillas love to play and groom each other. The grooming means that they would comb each other using their teeth and fingers. This phenomena is called social grooming as part of their social bonds.
18. They can understand human sign language
Humans use sign languages in some events. Gorillas, along with some other apes like chimpanzees and orangutans, are able to learn this as well. They can understand basic human sign language.
19. Individual personalities and hold emotion
Another reason why gorillas are considered similar to human is due to their individual personalities. They are known to have emotions, such as compassion and griefs. Gorillas would display this to other primates, and that includes human as well.
20. Gorilla tourism can be a potential issue
Currently, there are some tourism that lets you watch gorillas in their habitat. However, if this facts about a gorilla is not managed well, this could potentially be an issue to the gorillas. Their behavior could be impacted as well as the health.
21. Close to extinction
Now, the number of gorillas are only around one thousand. They are now considered endangered. This is due to the disease, habitat loss and bush meat trade.
Humans are known to share DNA with gorillas. The number of similar DNA reaches 98 percent! That is even closer than our similarity with chimpanzees and bonobos. So, should we consider this world’s largest primate our cousin?
These facts about a gorilla shows how their social groups are more complex than other animals. Having personalities, making use of tools and showing emotions are among the things that make them similar to us!