Gorillas

Gorillas the largest primate species and rank the most recognized and endangered species in the world.

Gorillas are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Sub-Saharan Africa. They’re peaceful, family oriented, plant-eating animals that live in complex social groups called troops. The genus Gorilla is divided into two species and four subspecies.

The western gorilla is made up of two subspecies: the western lowland gorilla which inhabits the lowland rain forests from Cameroon to the Congo River, and the Cross River gorilla, which inhabits a small forested region along the Cross River separating Nigeria from Cameroon.

The eastern gorilla is also made up of two subspecies: the eastern lowland, of the lowland rain forests of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the mountain gorilla, found in the montane rain forests and bamboo forests of Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo.

They are the largest living primates with DNA of 95 to 99% similar to that of humans meaning they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the chimpanzees and bonobos. Although they are able to stand upright, gorillas prefer to walk using their hands as well as their legs. Their arms are much longer than their legs, and gorillas can use the backs of their fingers like extra feet when they walk and this is called the knuckle walk.

Gorillas’ natural habitats cover tropical or subtropical forests in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although their range covers a small percentage of Sub-Saharan Africa, gorillas cover a wide range of elevations. The mountain gorilla inhabits the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests of the Virunga Volcanoes, ranging in altitude from 2,200 to 4,300 meters. Lowland gorillas live in dense forests and lowland swamps and marshes as low as sea level, with western lowland gorillas living in Central West African countries and eastern lowland gorillas living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.