Male vs Female Gorillas: 9 Key Differences

Gorillas are amazing creatures with strong bonds that are playful, loving, and caring. Understanding the distinctions between male and female gorillas can be beneficial in comprehending certain of their habits.

Until they are around eight years old, it is difficult to distinguish between male and female gorillas. Other than genitalia, there are no physical distinctions between the sexes until that age. Both sexes are roughly the same size.

When gorillas reach adulthood, their physical attributes alter, making them distinguishable from members of the other sex. Additionally, they display distinct behaviors from one another, which aids onlookers in differentiating between them.

The Nine Principal Distinctions Between Male and Female Gorillas
1. Head Shape

The differences between a male and female gorilla’s heads are frequently easy to discern. A mature male gorilla’s head is usually formed like a cone because of prominent sagittal crests on the skull. Although they are smaller and less obvious than those of male gorillas, female gorillas also have similar crests.

2. Size

Male gorillas are larger than female gorillas in terms of height and weight. The smallest gorilla in this subspecies, the western lowland gorilla, has males that typically weigh 300–500 pounds and females that weigh just 150–200 pounds on average.

Females can grow to a height of 4.5 feet, while males can reach up to 6 feet. Although these figures pertain to lowland western gorillas, males in all subspecies exhibit a similar pattern of larger stature than females.

3. Reproduction

Male gorillas attain sexual maturity between the ages of 11 and 13, while females reach it between the ages of seven and eight. Females usually wait years to reproduce, even though they might achieve maturity at the age of seven. Additionally, most males wait until they are between the ages of 15 and 20 to father children.

4. Social Structure

A male gorilla gradually gets farther away from his troop each day until he is by himself. Until he forms a flock with mature females and begins to reproduce, he will usually remain by himself. However, females do not head a group; instead, they leave their troop at the age of eight and join another troop for procreation.

5. Offspring Care

Infants are cared for by female gorillas, who usually nurse them until they are three or four years old. Until the baby is around three or six months old and can walk, the mother carries it everywhere.

Although they don’t usually care for their young, male gorillas occasionally interact with them. In addition to shielding the infant from bullying, the male troop member urges the others to embrace the new member.

6. Color

Due to the silver hair that reaches their hips on their backs, adult male gorillas are known as silverbacks. Nevertheless, women have brown hair throughout their entire body, with the exception of their faces, fingers, palms, soles, and armpits. Men, on the other hand, have silver backs.

7. Grooming

Grooming is the responsibility of the female gorilla. They groom the silverback in addition to themselves and their progeny.

8. Diet

Gorillas consume fruit, leaves, stalks, and herbaceous plants. Although it is more typical for females than males, some gorillas also consume termites and ants. It is uncommon to see them eating meat because they typically don’t consume it.

9. Partner Choosing

Until they locate or create a mating unit, male gorillas will either remain by themselves or join bachelor herds, which are groupings of other males. Years may pass before they locate a troop. Instead of remaining alone, however, females quickly join a new troop or a lone male.

Highlights Male vs. Female Gorillas Comparing:

Gender Head Shape Size Offspring Care Color Diet
Male Cone-shaped and massive 300-500 pounds and up to 6 feet tall Socializes with offspring and promotes the rest of the troop to accept them Mostly brown with silver hair on their backs Leaves, stems, herbaceous plants, fruit
Female Significantly smaller, although still massive 150-200 pounds and up to 4.5 feet Care for their infants, nursing them for years and carrying them in their hands for months Mostly brown Leaves, stems, herbaceous plants, fruit, ants, termites