Eastern Lowland Gorilla

Gorillas are the largest of the primates, weighing p to 400 pounds. They have a much heavier build than the chimpanzee, having more muscles, bigger canine teeth, and a much larger stature. The Eastern lowland gorilla has longer teeth, stronger jaws, and a broader body than the Western lowland gorilla.

Gorillas walk on all fours, but use the knuckles on their hands instead of their palms. Eastern lowland gorillas have black coats, and the males develop silver backs as they mature.

Food

Gorillas are mostly folivorous. They never eat all the leaves from a single plant. Instead, they leave plenty of leaves so that the plant can replace the leaves quickly.

Habitat

The Eastern lowland gorilla is only found in the tropical forests of eastern Zaire, Africa.

Social Structure

A single silverback and a varying number of females and children make up a group of gorillas. Unlike some other primates, the bond between each female and the silverback is stronger than the bond between different females. This is because the females leave the group to join up with another male.

As a result, the females in a group are not related, unlike other primate groups. The group travels about 1/3 to 2/3 of a mile each day, so they do not defend their territory very well. In fact, several groups will have overlapping territory with few disputes.

Birth & Offspring

A female will give birth to a single offspring after a gestation period of about 260 days. The baby can crawl at only 9 weeks and can walk at about 35 weeks. Babies are often killed if a rival male takes over a group. This allows the new male to mate with the females more quickly.

Senses

Gorillas are the smartest of the primates. They have been taught to use sign language to communicate words and have even put words together to form simple sentences.

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