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Western Lowland Gorilla
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Quick Facts
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primata
Family: Pongidae
Genus: Gorilla
Species: gorilla
Subspecies: gorilla

Height: 54 - 66 inches
Weight: 225 - 400 lbs
Gestation: 250 - 285 days
Offspring: 1
Life Span: 40 years

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Western Lowland Gorilla

Gorilla gorilla gorilla

The Western lowland gorilla has broad shoulders, a muscular neck, and strong hands and feet. Their bodies are covered by short, thin gray-black or brown-black hair. A gorilla's face is bare however with a thick ridge above the eyes. A mature male Western lowland gorilla has silver fur on its back. These adult gorillas are called silverbacks. Gorillas can walk for short distances on two legs but generally get around by walking on all fours. When doing this, they walk on the knuckles of their front legs.

Western lowland gorillas are omnivorousWhat does omnivorous mean? but primarily eat plants. They survive primarily on fruit, leaves, and foliage. They do eat insects such as termites and ants.

The Western lowland gorilla lives in tropical rainforests in Western Africa.

The primary predatorsWhat does predators mean? of the Western lowland gorilla are leopards and man.

Western lowland gorillas live in structured family groups. A group will consist of one adult silverback gorilla, several unrelated females, and immature gorillas. The silverback regulates the schedule of its group. They will spend several hours in the morning eating, take a break in the middle of the day, and then eat again before nightfall. During the mid-day break, young gorillas play with each other while the adults sleep. While gorillas are social creatures and need other gorillas around to survive, the only very strong bond they form is the bond between a male and its mates. Western lowland gorillas are quiet, non-aggressive animals. There is very rarely any conflict between groups that have overlapping territory. When threatened, the male gorilla does everything it can to scare off the threat.

Young gorillas are born helpless and must be cared for at all times. They are carried by their mother until they are 3 months old. At that time they can crawl and ride on their mother's back. Often, the male gorilla will baby-sit while the female goes looking for food.

Western lowland gorillas are very intelligent and have been taught sign language.

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