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Charles Herndon

on 7 October 2015

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Transcript of GORILLAS

What Is A Gorilla
Gorillas fit into the category of primates, and they are the largest of all of primates found in the world. There are only two species of them left in the world – the Eastern gorilla and the Western gorilla. Each one has a couple of subspecies as well that helps to further break them down into smaller groups.
Gorillas live exclusively in the tropical rain forests of Africa. Their distribution range is divided into two parts - almost 900 km separates the western and the eastern gorillas. The reason for this is probably that a formerly uniform area was split at some point, most likely during the ice ages. At that time, climatic changes caused the rain forest to shrink into a few refuge areas. The savannah, which spread between these refuge areas, was not an appropriate habitat for gorillas. Later, when the rain forest spread again over the whole of the African tropics, gorillas could only advance to the Ubangi and Congo Rivers
What Does A Gorilla Do For Fun ?
Gorillas live in groups. Groups of gorillas are called troops or bands. A band of gorillas can have as many as 50 members, though sometimes a band consists of as few as two members. Troops are led by a dominant male, called a silverback, which can often be identified by a gray strip of hair on his back.

Each time of day has its purpose for a troop of gorillas. Mornings and evenings are designated as feeding time. In the middle of the day, gorillas take a nap, play with other gorillas or groom one another. At night, the gorillas settle down in beds, made from leaves and twigs, to sleep.
Gorilla's 101
Hair and Skin:
Gorillas are covered with brownish hair on most of their body (except their fingers, palms, face, armpits, and bottoms of their feet).

The Head:
Gorillas have a very large head with a bulging forehead, a crest on top (it is called the sagittal crest, and is larger on male gorillas), tiny ears, and small, dark-brown eyes. Gorillas have no tail. Adult gorillas have 32 teeth, with large molars (flat teeth used for chewing food) and large canines (pointy teeth used for biting), which are especially large in the male gorillas. Gorillas each have a unique nose print (like we have unique fingerprints).

Gorillas have senses very similar to ours, including hearing, sight (they seem to be slightly nearsighted and to have color vision), smell, taste, and touch.

Hands and Feet:
Gorillas' hands are very much like ours; they have five fingers, including an opposable thumb. Their feet have five toes, including an opposable big toe. Gorillas can grasp things with both their hands and their feet
Baby Life
Gorilla infants are vulnerable and dependent, thus mothers, their primary caregivers, are important to their survival. Male gorillas are not active in caring for the young, but they do play a role in socializing them to other youngsters. The silverback has a largely supportive relationship with the infants in his troop and shields them from aggression within the group. Infants remain in contact with their mothers for the first five months and mothers stay near the silverback for protection. Infants suckle at least once per hour and sleep with their mothers in the same nest.Infants begin to break contact with their mothers after five months, but only for a brief period each time. By 12 months old, infants move up to five meters (16.4 ft) from their mothers. At around 18–21 months, the distance between mother and offspring increases and they regularly spend time away from each other.In addition, nursing decreases to once every two hours. Infants spend only half of their time with their mothers by 30 months. They enter their juvenile period at their third year, and this lasts until their sixth year. At this time, gorillas are weaned and they sleep in a separate nest from their mothers. After their offspring are weaned, females begin to ovulate and soon become pregnant again. The presence of play partners, including the silverback, minimizes conflicts in weaning between mother and offspring.
What does a Gorillas Diet Consist Of ?
Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla):
This subspecies consumes parts of at least 97 plant species. About 67% of their diet is fruit, 17% is leaves, seeds and stems and 3% is termites and caterpillars.
Where Can You Find A GORILLA ?

There are only about 700 mountain gorillas and they live high in the mountains in two protected parks in Africa. Lowland gorillas live in central Africa.

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.

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!

Young male gorillas usually leave their family group when they are about 11 years old and have their own family group by the age of 15 years old. Young female gorillas join a new group at about 8 years old.

Gorillas are herbivores. They spend most of their day foraging for food and eating bamboo, leafy plants and sometimes small insects. Adult gorillas can eat up to 30 kilograms of food each day.

An adult gorilla is about 1 meter tall to their shoulders when walking on all fours using their arms and their legs.

A gorilla can live for 40 – 50 years.

Gorillas are considered to be very intelligent animals. 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.

Gorillas are endangered animals. Their habitat is destroyed when people use the land for farming and the trees for fuel. Gorillas are also killed by poachers and sometimes get caught in poacher’s snares meant for other animals.

Gorilla's From The Heart
- The Mountain gorilla is especially susceptible to human diseases.

- Eastern gorilla are predominantly leaf eaters (folivorous), while Western gorilla eat lots of fruit, too.

- Each gorilla builds its own nest or sleeping platform, however, a nest is not used for more than one night.

- Mountain gorillas are the most critically endangered, though all gorilla are endangered by loss of habitat and people hunting for their meat which is called “bushmeat.”

- Gorillas have a unique nose print!

- The Western Lowland gorilla’s big toe is farther apart from his other four toes than other gorilla species.
Female Gorilla's
Females mature at 10–12 years (earlier in captivity), and males at 11–13 years. A female’s first ovulatory cycle occurs when she is six years of age, and is followed by a two-year period of adolescent infertility.The estrous cycle last 30–33 days, with outward ovulation signs subtle compared to those of chimpanzees. The gestation period lasts 8.5 months. Female mountain gorillas first give birth at 10 years of age and have four-year interbirth intervals. Males can be fertile before reaching adulthood. Gorillas mate year round.
Male Gorilla's
Gorillas live in polygamous harem groups, generally composed of one male, several adult females, and their offspring. With an equal numbers of male and female gorillas born in captivity, however, housing gorillas in social breeding units inevitably means that some males will not have access to female social partners. Thus, the future of the captive gorilla population depends on the collective ability of zoos to house equal numbers of males and females. This study examined the behavioral profiles of two all-male groups of captive lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) to provide information on this type of housing situation. One group consisted of three sub adult individuals, while the other consisted of two sub adults and a silver back. Data were collected during two 6-month intervals, for a total of 284 hr. The behavioral profiles of the animals were stable over the course of the study but proximity patterns changed. Differences in feeding, solitary play, and object-directed behavior were found between groups, while no significant differences were observed in affiliated or antagonistic social behavior. At both institutions, group cohesion appeared to be high, particularly between sub adults; these individuals spent approximately 10% of their time engaging in social behavior and 25-50% of their time in close proximity (within 5 m). However, the Zoo Atlanta males spent significantly more time within 1 m and 5 m of each other than the Santa Barbara males, which may reflect a higher level of cohesiveness among members of the Zoo Atlanta group. The behavioral profiles of the animals in this study were similar to those found in bachelor groups of wild mountain gorillas. One notable exception was the absence of homosexual behavior between the silverback and subadults in Santa Barbara and the low frequency of this behavior between subadults in both groups. Although more longitudinal data are needed, these data suggest that all-male groups can be a feasible housing strategy for males at certain periods of their life span.
Mountain Gorilla's
As their name implies, mountain gorillas live in forests high in the mountains, at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet. They have thicker fur, and more of it, compared to other great apes. The fur helps them to survive in a habitat where temperatures often drop below freezing. But as humans have moved more and more into the gorillas’ territory, the gorillas have been pushed farther up into the mountains for longer periods, forcing them to endure dangerous and sometimes deadly conditions.
Western Lowland Gorilla's
The western lowland gorilla is the smallest subspecies of gorilla but nevertheless still a primate of exceptional size and strength. This species of gorillas exhibits pronounced sexual dimorphism. They possess no tails and have jet black skin along with coarse black hair that covers their entire body except for the face, ears, hands, and feet. The hair on the back and rump of males takes on a grey coloration and is also lost as they get progressively older. This coloration is the reason why older males are known as "silverbacks". Their hands are proportionately large with nails on all digits, similar to that of a human's, and very large thumbs. They have short muzzles, a prominent brow ridge, large nostrils, and small eyes and ears. Other features are large muscles in the jaw region along with broad and strong teeth.[4]

Captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) are susceptible to a heart condition known as fibrosing cardiomyopathy. Although the cause of the disease is unknown, the captive gorillas' diet may be a contributing factor. Aframomum melegueta, an herbaceous perennial plant that gorillas in the wild consume with gusto, contains substances with powerful anti-inflammatory properties that may protect gorillas' health.
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