The gorilla, one of Nature's most intelligent
animals, is a fascinating creature as it shares
most characteristics with humans. Gorillas are
classified as primates and are the largest of
their kind in the world. Some of them can even
weigh up to 600 pounds. The only two types of
gorilla that still exist are the Eastern Gorilla
and the Western Gorilla. The Eastern Gorilla can
be found in the eastern parts of equatorial
Africa while the Western Gorilla occupies a
small range in western equatorial Africa.
Gorillas live in small groups known as troops.
Typically, each troop is led by the most
aggressive male called the silverback. He plays
a very important role as he makes all decisions
such as when his
troop should wake up, eat, move, and rest. He is
also the one who resolves conflicts among
members of the troop and protects them from
predators. The rest of the members comprise
several younger males called blackback, several
females and their offspring.
Affection and interaction are very obvious in
a troop of gorillas. Adult gorillas, especially
females, are really patient and loving while
nurturing their young ones. They are very
protective towards their young and are even
willing to step into a fight when they feel that
their offspring are in real danger. A very
strong bond among female gorillas is also forged
and this is very important in helping them
getting through some tough situations,
especially the death of young ones. This can be
a very emotional moment
as mothers tend to be very attached to their
Young gorillas imitate older ones in learning
to do many things. They engage in rough play
with one another for most of the time and this
makes them stronger. Rough play also teaches
them essential skills that will protect them and
enable them to survive on their own when the
time comes for them to leave their troop.
are really important, especially for young male
gorillas as they usually leave their original
troop to set up their own small groups when they
reach maturity at the age of eleven.
Another interesting and important activity of
gorillas is grooming. They spend hours on end to
ensure it is done properly. During this session,
each member of the troop will take turns to
remove small insects from the body of another
and will eat whatever they find. Grooming is the
time in which they will establish social bonds
with all members of the troop.
is also imitated by youngsters as they groom
each other after engaging in rough play.
The most devastating moment for the entire
troop is when their leader dies or gets killed.
They will stay with him
for many days to show their loyalty and mourn
their loss before they finally go their separate
ways to find a new troop to be part of or form a