There’s so much to learn about these fascinating primates, from their habitats to their habits, you are bound to learn something new and wonderful. Let’s find out more about the impressive gorilla.
Gorillas Share DNA With Humans
Humans share up to about 98.3% similar DNA with gorillas. This makes them highly genetically similar to humans and it makes studying them even more fascinating and rewarding. However, this also, unfortunately, means that gorillas are vulnerable to all the cold and flu viruses that humans contract, except that they are without immunization against them. It’s even more reason to protect these majestic animals at all costs.
They Can Use Tools
Over the years of observing and studying, these higher primates have been recorded using tools. They’ve explored the creation of cutlery, and even their own rendition of ladders to aid their young in climbing trees. They can even learn and perform sign language, which is a fascinating feat.
Scientists have also observed gorillas making use of branches and sticks to measure water depth before crossing a river, for instance. It’s no secret they are highly intelligent primates.
There Are Two Main Gorilla Species
There are two types of gorilla species – eastern and western gorillas. These are further divided into four subspecies. The two western species are the western lowland and the cross river. The two eastern subspecies are the eastern lowland gorilla and the Mountain gorilla. eastern gorilla subspecies are blacker in color while western gorilla subspecies are more brownish-gray.
Gorillas Have Human Emotions
It has been observed by scientists that gorillas in fact have individual personalities, just like humans. They are capable of feeling and displaying genuine emotions such as grief, love, and compassion. Along with individual personalities, gorillas display changes in moods and other subtle nuances and mannerisms that humans are familiar with.
They Have Very Long, Thick Hair
These beautiful beasts live in high-altitude places, up to 7,612 feet above sea level (2,320 meters). In order to stay warm in these conditions, they have particularly long, thick hair. Gorillas usually inhabit tropical climates which of course means very rainy conditions for most of the year. They thrive in these types of conditions because they are safely wrapped in a long, thick coat of hair.
They Can Speak and Use Sign Language
Communication between these primates happens as a very vocal ‘belch’ vocalization. When it comes to intimidation tactics, communication includes the beating of their chests, and in the case of males, strutting with stiff legs. You will also see charging as a demonstration of aggression.
A gorilla’s height can equate to that of a fully-grown human, at about 5’5” feet (165 cm), and they can weigh well over 440 lbs (200kgs). The adult males – silverbacks – can be up to 10 times stronger than a human. Unless of course you can also tear down a banana tree, or bend an iron bar with your bare hands.