Blog Species Profile: Mammal

Western Gorilla Facts, Pictures, Video & In-Depth Information

The western gorilla is a critically endangered primate found within the forests of Central Africa. Regardless of its fearsome appearance, the species is especially herbivorous. The Cross River gorilla, considered one of two western gorilla subspecies, is the world’s most endangered great ape.

Learn on for western gorilla details, footage and in-depth info…

Western Gorilla Information At A Glance

  • Different Identify(s): Lowland gorilla
  • Scientific identify: Gorilla gorilla
  • Sort of Animal: Mammal, member of the order Primates.
  • Animal Household: Hominidae (the good ape family)
  • The place Found: Western equatorial Africa
  • Average Peak: Male: 55 m (61 in); Feminine: 1.35 m (53 in)
  • Weight: Male: 140 – 160 kg (308 – 352 lb.); Feminine: 70 – 80 kg (154- 176 lb.)
  • Conservation Standing: Critically Endangered

Different Fascinating Western Gorilla Details

  • A captive western gorilla named Koko discovered to use a modified version of the American Sign Language and was capable of understand numerous English words.

Meet The Western Gorilla: Introduction

Mature male gorillas are referred to as ‘silverbacks’ because of the gray-white fur on their backs.

The western gorilla is considered one of two species of gorilla, the opposite being the japanese gorilla. Both species are present in Africa; the western gorilla (as its identify suggests) is found further west than its japanese cousin.

Each western and japanese gorillas are family members Hominidae. Members of this family are referred to as nice apes, or hominids. The opposite nice apes are the chimpanzee, the bonobo, the three species of orangutan and man.

After the chimpanzee and bonobo, the gorillas are our closest dwelling relations. We share between 95 and 99% of our DNA with gorillas!

Western Gorilla Details: Subspecies

The western gorilla has two subspecies: the western lowland gorilla (G. g. gorilla) and the Cross River gorilla (G. g. diehli). The Cross River subspecies is the world’s rarest nice ape, with solely round 250–300 people remaining.

What Does The Western Gorilla Look Like?

You’ll be able to see a gaggle of untamed western gorillas within the video under…

The western gorilla is a large, powerfully-built animal with long, muscular arms and comparatively brief hind legs. Its pores and skin is black and leathery. A lot of its physique is roofed with coarse hair that ranges from black to darkish brown-grey in shade. The forehead could be brown or reddish-brown. The face, ears, palms and ft are hairless.

The gorilla’s face has a protruding forehead and a short muzzle with giant nostrils.

At round 15 years of age, male gorillas acquire a masking of brief, gray-white hair on their backs. Because of this, mature males are generally known as ‘silverbacks’.

Juveniles up to four years of age have a small patch of white hair on the rump.

There is a giant distinction in measurement between female and male gorillas, with males being significantly larger and weighing up to twice as much as females. Males may also be recognized by their giant, sharp canine tooth and the form of their heads, that are more conical and less rounded than these of the females.

female western gorillaFemale western gorilla

The typical standing peak of a western gorilla is 1.55 m (5 ft. 1 in) for males and 1.35 m (4 ft. 5 in) for females. The typical weight of a wild male western gorilla is 146 kg (322 lb.).

Differences Between The Western Gorilla Vs Japanese Gorilla

The western gorilla is barely smaller than the japanese gorilla, making it the world’s second-largest dwelling primate. Its hair is lighter in shade than the japanese species, with the hair at the front of the top typically being reddish-brown.

The food regimen of the western gorilla incorporates extra fruit than that of the japanese gorilla, and it tends to wander further when foraging.

The western gorilla often lives in smaller groups than the japanese gorilla.


Most of the time the western gorilla walks on all fours. It makes use of a type of walking referred to as knuckle-walking, during which the gorilla’s upper body weight is supported by the knuckles.

male western gorillaGorillas stroll on the soles of their ft and the knuckles of their arms.

When the gorilla is threatened or when carrying meals it should rise up and walk brief distances on its hind ft.

Despite its giant measurement, the western gorilla is ready to climb timber. Younger gorillas are nimble climbers however adults have a tendency to stay to the primary trunk and the most important branches. Giant silverbacks are the least possible members of the troop to be found in timber.

The place Is The Western Gorilla Found?

The western gorilla is present in western Central Africa.

The western lowland gorilla subspecies is present in Cameroon, Gabon, mainland Equatorial Guinea, the Angolan enclave of Cabinda, the Republic of the Congo, and elements of the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Cross River gorilla subspecies is restricted to a small area which spans the border of Nigeria and Cameroon, in the vicinity of the Cross River.

Western Gorilla Habitat

The western lowland gorilla inhabits tropical forests and swamp forests in lowland areas. It favors habitat with a dense ground-level progress of herbaceous crops.

The Cross River gorilla happens in tough terrain in remote montane forests at elevations of as much as 1,900 m (6,200 ft.).

Western Gorilla Information: Conduct

western gorillaThe western gorilla may be recognized by the patch of darkish brown hair on its forehead.

The western gorilla lives in groups of 5 to 15 individuals referred to as ‘troops’. A typical troop consists of a male silverback, a number of adult females and their younger. Bigger troops can also include one or more youthful males, referred to as ‘blackbacks’.

The silverback leads the troop and protects it from predators reminiscent of leopards. It’ll additionally behave aggressively in the direction of other males, who supply a possible menace to the troop’s infants.

A male gorilla’s menace display includes standing upright, chest beating, tearing at vegetation and growling loudly. He may additionally charge at his opponent. Although precise preventing is rare, it may end up in the dying of one of many combatants – a silverback will defend his troop together with his life.

The species isn’t territorial, and the home of 1 troop might overlap with that of another.

The western gorilla is lively through the day, spending its time each foraging for meals and resting. In the course of the night time it sleeps in a nest constructed from vegetation. Gorilla nests are often built on the ground. Infants share their mother’s nests until they are weaned.


The western gorilla communicates using physical gestures, facial expressions and vocalizations including screams, barks, grunts, roars, laughs, and hoots. Over 20 totally different calls have been recorded.

Family Life

Feminine western gorillas often begin to reproduce at round 10 years of age. Males have to attend until they acquire possession of a troop earlier than they get the prospect to mate. This often occurs at 15 years of age, when the attribute ‘silverback’ hair appears.

Males who haven’t yet acquired troops of their own might both stay alone or in ‘bachelor groups’.

There isn’t any distinct breeding season; females turn into receptive for two to 3 days each month. The gestation interval for a western gorilla is 256 days / 8.5 months. The female sometimes provides delivery to at least one toddler, though twins sometimes occur.

A brand new-born gorilla weighs from 1.eight to 2.3 kg (4 to 5 lb.) and has a sparse overlaying of hair. At first, the infant is completely dependent upon its mom. It’s going to have started crawling and clinging to its mother by three months of age. An infant gorilla grows around twice as quick as a human baby.

The female nurses and carries her infant for three to 4 years.

A troop’s silverback might typically be seen enjoying with the group’s infants. He will even look after an infant if its mother dies.

What Do Western Gorillas Eat?

The western gorilla’s food regimen consists primarily of plant matter. Its most popular food is fruit, which it might travel up to four km (2.5 mi) per day seeking, nevertheless it additionally eats leaves, shoots, nuts and bark.

The gorilla may additionally sometimes eat invertebrates akin to ants, termites, worms and grubs, and small vertebrates similar to rodents and lizards.

The western gorilla forages for food each on the bottom and in timber. Grownup males eat roughly 32 kg (45 lb.) of food day by day.

Western Gorilla Predators

LeopardThe western gorilla has few predators. Even a leopard would have second ideas about attacking a full-grown gorilla.

An grownup western gorilla is a big and formidable opponent and has few, if any, predators. In normal circumstances solely the leopard would pose any type of menace. Gorilla infants are extra weak to predation, and could also be targeted by animals akin to birds of prey, crocodiles, leopards and other giant cats.

Is The Western Gorilla Endangered?

The western gorilla is rated ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN.

The western lowland gorilla subspecies has an estimated population of around 316,000 people.

The Cross River subspecies faces a high danger of extinction. Surveys carried out between 1990 and 2015 discovered that fewer than 250 individuals have been left within the wild.

The populations of each subspecies are reducing.

Threats to the western gorilla embrace:

  • Searching: The western gorilla is regularly killed by locals looking for bushmeat. The construction of latest logging roads into forests inhabited by gorillas has increased the danger considerably. Gorillas are additionally injured by traps set for other animals. Searching is presently the primary menace to the species’ survival.
  • Illness: Outbreaks of Ebola and other viruses additionally threaten the western gorilla. The mortality fee of an Ebola outbreak may be as excessive as 95%.
  • Habitat Loss: Deforestation has had a critical effect on the species. Both logging, and the clearance of forests for oil-palm plantations and different agricultural makes use of, has drastically lowered the gorilla’s natural habitat.

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