The gorilla is the largest of the great apes with a standing height of 4 to 5.8 feet and an armspread of 6 to 6.9 feet. Weight for females is 134 to 308 lbs. and for males 297 to 605 lbs. The face, ears, hands, and feet are bare, and the chest of old males lacks hair. A pad of skin and connective tissue, which is relatively dense and fibrous in nature, is present on the crown. Mature males have a saddle of whitish hair which extends onto the thighs and earns them the name “silverback”. While gorillas are primarily terrestrial, like other primates, they are capable of climbing. Surface locomotion is quadrupedal, the soles of the feet and the middle phalanges of the fingers being placed on the ground. Gorillas are reluctant to cross even the shallowest of streams. Platform nests are built for sleeping. They are diurnal, with most activity taking place between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Although they are nearly entirely vegetarian, some will accept meat or take insects. Gorillas are social, living in groups. Groups can range from 2 to 30 in number and, if a group has more than one mature male, one will be dominant. The population is estimated at 40,000, although it is declining due to habitat loss, as well as poaching.
Did You Know?
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the Ape Exhibits at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.