Six-week-old baby of a Western lowland gorilla. By Marek Velechovsky |
Six-week-old baby of a Western lowland gorilla. By Marek Velechovsky |

About western lowland gorillas.

Lowland gorillas are endangered, but they are a little more common than their relatives, the mountain gorillas. They are smaller in size, their hair is shorter and their arms are longer.

They live in communities of around 30 individuals. These groups are led by a dominant older male, often called a “silverback” because of the area of grey hair on its back and rump.

They can climb trees, but they usually spend the day on the ground.

The dominant male organizes the troop when it is time to eat and while “nesting” in leaves.

They are generally very peaceful animals, except when they feel threatened. When challenged, the dominant male reacts with great ferocity.

Baby gorillas are weigh only 2 kg when they are born and are completely dependent on their mother. After 4 months, infants start riding on their mum’s back, until they are 2 or 3 years old.

These are highly intelligent animals and, in captivity, they have even learned to communicate using simple human sign language.

The male is twice the size of the female, their bodies are bulky and their skull is largers than that of females.

These animals can travel long distances in order to obtain food. Troops are almost always on the move.

The only natural threat to these animals come from leopards and crocodiles. Humans pose the main threat because of habitat destruction and poaching.

These animals sometimes use tools to obtain food that they cannot reach. This is evidence that they have a higher intelligence than many other primates.

Gorillas communicate with one another, producing up to 25 different sounds.

Western lowland gorilla, Gorilla gorilla, group mammals on grass. By Erni |
Western lowland gorilla, Gorilla gorilla, group mammals on grass. By Erni |
Western Lowland GorillaCritically endangered
Gorilla gorilla gorilla1,2-1,8 m (4-6 ft)
Hominidae68-181 kg (150-400 lbs)
Primates35 years
MammaliaAlmost 9 months
100,000 individuals approx.They eat roots, stems, fruits, wild celery, tree bark and pulp.
They live on mountains, primary and secondary forests or lowland swamps in central Africa.Flatlands of Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

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