You will surely enjoy all these wonderful mountain gorilla facts that takes you to a deep insight of these wild animals. The mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) emerges from the two subspecies of eastern gorilla. These types of gorillas are typically found in the Central Africa including three National Parks that are Volcanoes (North-west Rwanda), Virunga (Eastern Congo), and Mgahinga (south-west Uganda. They are known to reside in volcanic mountains. According to a survey conducted in 2010, the mountain gorilla population was recorded to be 790 individuals. These wild animals are believed to have been evolved from ancestral monkeys and apes dwelling across Arabia and Africa especially in the period of Oligocene. Scientists discovered some fossils that tell the story of about 18 – 22 million years ago.
Interesting Mountain Gorilla Facts
- As compared to other gorilla species, mountain gorillas have dense and longer fur that protects them against the cold breeze of winter. One of the prominent signs that distinguish mountain gorillas from other gorillas is their nose prints.
- The weight of male mountain gorilla measure around 195 kg (430 lb), while the shoulder height is about 150 cm (59 inches).
- The females weigh around 100 kg (220 lb), with the shoulder height measuring at 130 cm (51 inches).
- The mountain gorillas are considered to be the second largest species in the bear family with only eastern lowland gorillas being larger than these animals.
- The mature males are known as silverbacks and they are mainly responsible for looking after the gorilla groups as well as to provide a sheer defense against potential predators. They have silver saddle on their back which is why they are truly called silverback gorillas.
- The adult males are capable to reach the height of about 1.9 meters (6 feet 3 inches), together with an arm span measuring at 2.3 meters (7 feet 7 inches), and the weight of 220 kg (490 lb).
- The tallest male ever recorded was measured at 1.94 meters (6 feet 4 inches) back in 1938. However, according to unconfirmed reports, one of the silverbacks was shot dead that measured 2.06 meters (6 feet 9 inches).
- The heaviest mountain gorilla ever recorded was 266 kg (590 lb), with length measuring at 1.83 meters (6 feet).
- These species are adept run bipedally up to 6 meters (20 feet).
- They have arms longer than their legs.
- They consume most of their daytime for feeding and traveling as they are diurnal. The day starts with hunting then followed by resting at midday while foraging begins again at noon.
- Mountain gorillas construct their nests from the surrounding vegetation.
- These species maintain strong bond between male and female. However, the affiliation between females is not so strong.
- The mountain gorillas are highly sociable.
- They are not territorial animals.
- There are around 5 to 30 individuals in a single group.
- The majority of the males leave their group while 60% females will do so. The males will leave the group after 11 years of age.
- The female gorillas will leave the group after 2 – 5 years.
These types of gorillas are the inhabitants of Virunga Volcanoes, montane forests and Albertine Rift with an elevation of about 2,200 – 4,300 meters (7,200 – 14,100 feet). Nearly all species are known to reside in sleeping volcanoes such as Mikeno, Visoke, and Karisimbi. As these gorillas come from higher altitudes the vegetation started to become more and more abundant while it is sparse at elevated regions. The mountain gorilla habitat range is very much determined by the availability of food sources and those areas are typically preferred which are dominated by vegetation. According to George Schaller, mountain gorillas have ten separate zones; the bamboo forests at 2,200 – 2,800 m (7,200 – 9,200 ft); the Hagenia forests at 2,800 – 3,400 m (9,200 – 11,200 ft). Of all these forests, mountain gorillas can be easily found in Hagenia forests as there are gallium vines in these forests throughout the whole year. They tend to eat almost every part of the vine and that includes flowers, berries, stems, and leaves.
These species are herbivorous and the bulk of their diet is comprised of stems, leaves, shoots, and other plants matter. Mountain gorillas are known to consume more than 142 species of plants since more than 85% of their diet is composed of these vegetations. Apart from plants, they also consume roots (3.3%), bark (6.9%), fruits (1.7%), small invertebrates (0.1%), and flowers (2.3%). The fully grown males are adept to consume u to 34 kg (75 lb) of vegetation each day, and the females eat 18 kg (40 lb).
Mountain Gorilla Facts | Video