Gorilla Facts

  • Gorilla sort distances and beat their chests, when showing off.
  • Adult gorillas sleep in a new nest every night.
  • A mature male leader of a gorilla group is called a silverback, after the saddle of white hair on its back.
  • A young male gorillas form their own groups by kidnapping females from other groups. Mountain gorillas spend almost all their lives at 2800 to 3400 m above sea level, in damp, cloudy conditions. The male gorilla is far larger than humans, and is the largest of all the primates — big silverbacks can weigh as much as 200 kg.
  • The bond between a mother gorilla and he; young is very st roux. Babies are not properly weaned until they are three years old, but may stay with the mother for another year, or until another baby has been born.
  • Some gorillas supplement their plant diet by eating handfuls of potassium and calcium-rich soil.
  • If a gorilla cannot keep up with the group because of a wound, the silverback slows down so it is not left behind. When aggressive male gorillas beat their chests and mock-charge one another, they give off an armpit odor powerful enough to be detected 25 m away by humans.
  • Despite their huge strength, silverbacks are gentle with their offspring, allowing them to play on their backs.
  • The ‘nose-prints’ of gorillas are as distinctive as human fingerprints — no two are identical.