With the close difference with the human genes, with only 1.6% difference from the gorillas species. Gorillas have become a unique ape species that draws a lot of attention to primate travelers.

The recent studies concerning the gorillas suggest that; gorillas are made of two species that are subdivided into four more other gorilla species. Scientists suggest the gorilla population located in Bwindi impenetrable national park, would make up the third sub specie of the Eastern gorillas.

Gorillas are divided into the western gorilla species and the western gorilla species. The eastern gorilla (gorilla beringei) is sub divided into the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) and the Eastern lowland gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri). The eastern gorilla gene specie is believed to have another gorilla sub species to amount to three sub species.

The western gorilla (gorilla gorilla) gene is divided into two sub species that include; western lowland gorilla (gorilla gorilla gorilla) and the cross river gorilla (Gorilla gorilla deihli).

Distribution of the gorilla species

Gorillas inhabit the areas of central sub-Sahara Africa and tropical forest. The western gorilla species are located in west central Africa and the eastern specie are located in the East African region.  Depending on the types of the species, gorillas live in swampland and montane forests.

The mountain gorillas live in the high most montane at the higher revelations while the eastern lowland gorillas prefer more a lower sub montane forest or sometimes to the bamboo sub montane forests. The western gorilla species live in lowland forests and swamps, and for the cross river gorillas, these prefer living in the sub-montane and low laying forests.

Physical description

Gorillas are ground dwelling herbivores apes. They move by knuckle walking, through sometimes they are seen moving upright. The upright movement is for a very short period of time, and it is witnessed when they carry objects for they have been recorded using various tools such as sticks.

Gorillas are the largest living primates, with adult males making a height from 1.4 to 1.8 m on average, females being shorter with a height from 1.25m to 1.5m. Wild male gorillas can weigh from 136kg to 200kg and more. The female gorillas on average weigh lesser than the males with a weight of 68 kg to 133 kg.

The physical description of the gorillas helps to different the subspecies. The eastern gorillas are bulk in size with thick hair, a broader chest and long face. The w the western gorilla are more slender in size, with a brown or greyish color and a reddish forehead. All the gorilla species uniquely have individual finger prints.

The old male gorilla obtain greyish back hair to the hips, remarking it as a silverback, while the young gorillas that have matured to obtain the grey hair are referred to as black backs. The silver backs grow strong and big canine teeth that comes with age.

Social behavior

Gorillas live in troops that are made of females, infants and silver backs being the most dominate in the entire groups. The silver backs are responsible for safety, decision making, leading to the feeding sites and mediating conflicts.  Guerrilla troops can only be made of male groups or others that compose of females and their infants. The female gorillas and male gorillas’ emigrant from their natal troupes especially for the females. The females move to other groups that are dominated by the silver where they have offspring’s.


There are about 25 vocalizations recorded in the gorillas. Gorillas use these are a way to communicate within their troops or outside to the other gorilla groups.  Depending on the activity, feeling and sounding of the gorillas, they will make various vocals depending on such factors.

During social interactions, gorillas tend to make barks and grunts. These are made to indicate of find out the location of a group member. Roars and screams are made when a threat is sensed as an alarm or warning mainly done by the silver backs.

For intergroup communications, suggestion of contentment, while feeding and resting, deep rumblings are made by gorillas.  The most famous physical expression of the gorillas; chest beating is usually done when the females are ready for mating.

Intelligence and use of tools

Gorillas are considered intelligent great apes that are capable of using various tools and objects. With a number of research carried out on gorillas, these have been seen expressing emotions in general. They are believed to carry joy, grief, laughter through their expression. Gorillas are believed to think about the past and future basing on the on going research by scientists.

Reproduction and mating

The female gorilla species have a gestation period of 8.5 month , where they give birth to one baby gorilla. Rare occasion have been witnessed where gorilla give birth to twins. In Bwindi impenetrable national park of Uganda. the Nkuringo gorilla family recorded the birth of a twin set, in 2004. But later died when the mother gorilla couldn’t take care of them.  female gorillas mature at the age of 10-12years while the males mature at the 11 -13years.


leopards are the only possible predators to the gorilla species, as remains of gorilla were once found at a leopard dare. Gorillas are herbivorous  apes, making them not a predator to ant wildlife.

The eastern gorilla species are located in Uganda , Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo. The western gorilla species can be sighted in the countries of Gabon, Cameroon, central African republic, Equatorial Guinea and D.R.C

Gorilla trekking in these countries has been a great preference for the primate lovers, as they get to experience these great apes in their natural habitat.  Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park , are the homes of the mountain gorillas in Uganda. In Rwanda, volcanoes national park is the only protected area in the country that is home to the eastern gorillas. Democratic republic of Congo is home to the eastern low land gorillas in Virunga national park and Kahuzi Beiga  national park.

The gorilla specie is one not to miss out seeing , while one takes on the safari expeditions in its home destinations.




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