Gorilla | Size, Species, Habitat, & Facts

Where do Gorillas live?

Gorillas live in Central Africa. There are two main species of gorillas, the eastern gorilla and the western gorilla. Western gorillas live in West Africa in countries such as Cameroon, Congo, Central African Republic and Gabon. Eastern gorillas live in East African countries such as Uganda and Rwanda.

Gorillas live in a number of habitats from swamps to jungles. There are lowland gorillas that live in bamboo forests, swamps and lowland forests. There are also mountain gorillas that live in the mountain forests.

What do Gorillas eat?

Gorillas are mainly herbivores and eat plants. The plants they eat include leaves, stems, fruits, and bamboo. They sometimes eat insects, especially ants. A fully mature male will eat about 50 pounds of food per day.

How big to they get?

The gorillas are the largest primates. Males are usually twice as large as females. Males grow to about 5 ½ feet tall and weigh about 400 pounds. Females grow to 4 ½ feet tall and weigh about 200 pounds.

Gorillas have long arms, even longer than their legs! They use their long arms to “walk on joints”. This is where they use their knuckles to crawl. They are mostly covered with brown hairs.

Gorillas from different regions can have different coat colors. For example, western gorillas have the lightest fur and mountain gorillas have the darkest. The western lowland gorilla may also have gray fur and a red forehead. As male gorillas age, their fur turns white on their backs. These larger males are known as silverback gorillas.

Are Gorillas endangered?

Yes, gorillas are endangered. Recently, the Ebola virus has killed some of them. This disease, combined with hunting gorillas, has put both species at greater risk of extinction.

Interesting Facts About Gorillas

Gorillas have human-like hands and feet, including opposite thumbs and big toes.

Some captive gorillas have learned to use sign language to communicate with humans.

Gorillas live in small groups called armies or bands. In each troop there was a silver-backed male leader, several female gorillas and their offspring.

Gorillas live about 35 years. They can live longer, up to 50 years, in captivity.

They sleep at night in the nest. Baby gorillas will stay in their mother’s nest until they are about 2.5 years old.

Gorillas are generally calm and passive animals, however, Silverback will protect his army if it feels threatened.

They are highly intelligent and have now been observed using tools in the wild.