What Do Gorillas Eat | Interesting Facts about Gorilla’s Diet

A Gorilla is busy in three different activities all throughout the day; feeding, traveling, and resting. Depending entirely on subspecies, the gorilla’s diet considerably differs. Let’s talk about what do gorillas eat! Mountain gorilla, for instance, primarily feeds on stems, leaves, shoots, pith, and fruits make up a small part of their diet. These types of gorillas mostly rely on bamboo for their consumption. Mountain gorillas have a flexible diet which is why they are seldom involved in group-conflicts regarding their food. The range of mountain gorillas averages 3 to 15 sq. km (1.16 to 5.79 sq. miles), with some species have a range of 500 meters (0.311 miles). The habitats of mountain gorillas are widely distributed. Eastern lowland gorillas also have a varied diet but it differs seasonally. They commonly feed on pith and leaves, while fruits make 25% of their diet. For the reason that fruits are not easily accessible, mountain gorillas have to travel farther each day. The range of their habitats is 2.7 to 6.5 sq. km (1.04 to 2.51 sq. miles). Eastern lowland gorillas are also known to feed on insects, with ants especially. They travel great distances than any other gorilla species, averaging 1105 meters (2.70 to 5.41 sq. miles). They also eat termite ants.

What Do Gorillas Eat

Gorillas as Seasonal Frugivores

Of all the primates, gorillas are known to consume more fruits possibly due to their gut size and body, suggesting normal adherence to an ape pattern of frugivory. They also eat more fibrous foods than their other primates. Unlike chimpanzees, gorillas commonly switch their diet when there is not ample food, which means that they are more likely to rely on diet-availability rather than diet-selection. Gorillas are very fond of eating sugary foods although they also eat foods containing tannins or fiber. Gorillas commonly eat herbaceous stems which are rich in proteins and low in tannins and they account for this diet at higher altitudes.

Gorilla Eating Stems - what do gorillas eat
Gorilla Eating Stems

Are Gorillas Vacuum Cleaners of the Forest Floor? | What Do Gorillas Eat

Gorillas fancy eating high-sugar foods together with the low-fiber foods containing high protein or sugar to tannin ratios. They tend to avoid leaves that are high in digestion inhabitors. Thus, gorillas are choosy in their frugivory and not aptly described as “vacuum cleaners”.  Leaves, shoots, and stems comprise 86% of the gorilla’s diet and fruits form only 2%. Other foods include dirt, dung, bark, roots, grubs, and snails but they are eaten to a far lesser extent than foliage. Some of the most common herbaceous plants that gorillas eat are nettles, celery, and thistles—which could grow up to eight feet. Gorilla also for the most part rely on scraggly Galium vine, which is available at all levels of the forest ranging from amid dense ground foliage to the tree-top branches, where it is easily accessible by weak immature as compared to by adults.

Gorillas are more likely to enhance their habitat within tall herbaceous vegetation both in the saddle and on the mountain slopes. For the reason that they have padded soles with which they press herbaceous foliage into the earth, which ultimately causes more quick regeneration due to the increased number of shoots sprouting from the nodes of the semiburied stems.

what do gorillas eat in the wild
Gorilla eating fruit

Conflicts Among Gorillas | What Do Gorillas Eat

Gorillas generally do not compete with one another in their foods unless the short seasonal growth limits the favored food. Pygeum fruit tree that grows about 60 feet tall is one such example, which is found on the few mountain ridges. Bracket fungus (Ganoderma applanatum) is another gorilla’s food and is a parasitical tree that seems a large solidified mushroom. Silverbacks typically consume these trees. Group conflicts often arise when they have limited bamboo patches in the saddle zone. Virunga gorillas mostly rely on pith, leaves, stems of vines and herbs, while in some regions, seasonal bamboo shoots are preferred.

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Waleed Khalid

A professional writer and a passionate wildlife enthusiast, who is mostly found hooked to his laptop or in libraries researching about the wildlife.

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