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The word "animal" comes from the Latin word animale, neuter of animalis, and is derived from anima, meaning vital breath or soul. In everyday colloquial usage, the word usually refers to non-human animals. The biological definition of the word refers to all members of the Kingdom Animalia. Therefore, when the word "animal" is used in a biological context, humans are included.
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About Gorillas

Posted by WishbonE at 1:55 AM

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

  • Gorillas are the largest of all primates.
  • Gorillas live in groups of 3-30.
  • Gorillas lifespan is between 30-50 years.
  • Each gorilla has a unique nose print.
  • Gorillas are quadrupedal.
  • Man is gorilla's only enemy.
  • Gorillas are generally quiet. They are not physically capable of making the same sounds as humans.
  • Like other apes, gorillas have no tail.
  • A gorilla's arms are shorter than those of an orangutan or gibbon.
Largest and most powerful of all living primates, the gorilla is a peaceful and sociable animal. It lives in the highlands and forests of Africa in small family groups. The first recorded gorilla sighting (by western civilization) was in the 5th century B.C. by a Roman explorer. There are three subspecies of gorillas living in different parts of Africa. The differences between them are very slight. Western Lowland Gorilla (gorilla gorilla), Eastern Lowland Gorilla (gorilla graueri) and Mountain Gorilla (gorilla berengei). The differences between mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas are slight and result mainly from adaptation to high altitudes. Mountain gorillas have longer body hair, higher foreheads, longer palates, larger nostrils, broader chests, shorter arms, shorter, wider hands and feet. Despite their size and current popularity, gorillas remained a mystery to people living outside of Africa until a missionary described them in 1847. After chimpanzees, gorillas are our closest relatives, sharing about 98 percent of our genes.

Gorillas live in moist tropical forests, often in secondary, or re-growing, forests or along forest edges, where clearings provide an abundance of low, edible vegetation. Mountain gorillas range up into cloud forest. Gorillas are the largest of all primates, with an adult male weighing between 350-600 pounds (157-273kg) and slightly smaller adult females weighing in between 150-300 pounds (66-136kg). The zoo gorilla that holds the world record for weight was more than 750 lb. (340 kg). They have large canine teeth and muscular arms but are actually very gentle and sociable animals.

Gestation is 8-1/2 months. There are typically 3-4 years between births. Infants stay with their mothers for 3-4 years. Females mature at 10-12 years (earlier in captivity); males 11-13 years, sometimes sooner if they assume leadership early. Lifespan is between 30-50 years. Gorillas eat some 200 types of leaves, tubers, flowers, fruit, fungus and some insects. Favorite foods include bamboo, thistles and wild celery. Gorillas do not drink water. They obtain all the moisture they need from the vast amounts of foliage they consume. Males consume approximately 50 lbs. a day.

The gorillas communicate to each other in a variety of ways. They grunt, cough and hoot and like humans, communicate many things though facial expressions and body postures. They also beat their chests with cupped hands and can charge for a short distance on two legs, although normally walk on four limbs – their feet and the knuckles of their hands. Gorillas are generally quiet. They are not physically capable of making the same sounds as humans. They generate about 25 distinct noises, however. Hooting can carry a mile through the forest and is usually exchanged between rival silverbacks. Other vocalizations include screams, grunts (indicating contentment) and high-pitched barks (indicating curiosity).

Gorillas live in groups of 3-30. A typical group consists of one silverback, one immature silverback, one immature male, three to four adult females, and three to six youngsters under eight years old. A female will usually transfer to another group, particularly if the silverback is her father and there are no other suitable males to mate with. Adult males usually leave after sexual maturity and start their own group or join other "bachelors."


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