14
Feb

Facts about Silverback Gorillas

Facts About Silverback Gorillas

Facts about Silverback Gorillas

Silver back gorillas are big primates. They’re closest to humans after bonobos and chimpanzees. Their DNA is almost the same as humans, about 98%. Gorillas live in the forests of East, Central, and Western Africa. There are two main types of gorillas: eastern and western.

Types of Gorillas

Eastern gorillas are of two types: the Mountain gorilla and the Eastern Lowland Gorilla (also called Grauers Gorilla). Western gorillas have two subspecies: the western lowland gorilla and the Cross river gorilla. The Eastern Lowland gorilla is the largest, then the mountain gorilla. The Cross River gorilla is the smallest.

Population of Gorillas

Gorillas are in danger. There are over 300,000 Western lowland gorillas, 5,000 Eastern lowland gorillas, 1,000 mountain gorillas, and less than 400 Cross river gorillas. All gorillas are endangered because their numbers have dropped a lot. People, habitat loss, and hunting for meat are the main threats.

Silverback Gorilla – Size, Height, and Lifespan

 Facts about Silverback Gorillas

Gorillas live in groups led by a silverback. A silverback is a grown-up male gorilla. They have grayish hair on their back and shoulders. A silverback is much bigger than a female. They can weigh up to 270 kilograms. Gorillas become adults at about 8 years. They become silverbacks at 12-13 years when their hair turns white or gray.

Leadership Among Silverbacks

Silverbacks fight to be leaders. They can leave the group to start their own or try to take over another group. Some stay in their group and help the silverback. There’s only one dominant silverback in a group. He decides everything and mates with all the females. A group has 5 to 35 gorillas.

Strength of a Silverback Gorilla

Silverbacks are very strong. They’re twice as heavy as a man and much stronger. They have lots of muscles. No one has fought a silverback, but they’d surely win.

Are Silverback Gorillas Aggressive?

Silverbacks are usually peaceful. They get angry if there’s a threat. They warn intruders first. If that doesn’t work, they attack. They’ll protect their group, especially babies.

What Do Silverback Gorillas Eat?

Silverbacks eat plants, fruits, and insects. Mountain gorillas eat stems and leaves. They eat depending on the season. They don’t eat meat.

Where to See Silverback Gorillas

Silverbacks live in Africa. Western lowland gorillas are in many countries. Mountain gorillas are mostly in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. You can see them in national parks.

How to See Silverback Gorillas in Africa?

You have to visit Africa to see silverbacks. Many tour companies offer trips. You need a permit and money for transport, stay, and food. Older people can also go gorilla trekking. You can see gorillas in parks like Bwindi, Volcanoes, and Virunga.