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Western Gorilla


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Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli)
Western Lowland Gorilla at Louisville Zoo
Western Lowland Gorilla
Western Lowland Gorilla in Zoo Opole
The western gorilla is one of two gorilla sub-groups found on the African continent (the other being the eastern gorilla). The western gorilla is the most numerous species gorilla and also the larger out of the two.

The western gorilla is found inhabiting the tropical jungles and forests of western and central Africa, along with lowland swamps and secondary forests. All western gorillas are now considered to be critically endangered as much of their natural habitat has now been deforested or taken over by humans.

There are two separate sub-species of western gorilla which are the western lowland gorilla and the cross river gorilla. Although only slightly different in appearance, the two western gorilla species are distinguished by there differing skull and tooth sizes.

The western gorilla is one of the great apes, a group that includes orang-utans, gorillas, humans and chimpanzees. As with the other great apes, the western gorilla has a number of features which makes living in the jungle a bit easier, including having opposable thumbs which come in handy when the western gorilla is peeling fruit.

The western gorilla is an omnivorous animal, but the majority of it's diet is made up of eating fruit which the western gorilla is known to travel vast distances through the forests to find. The western gorilla also eats leaves, nuts and berries, along with insects and occasionally small animals such as lizards and rodents. The western gorilla has also been observed using basic tools in the wild in order to more effectively gather food.

Due to it's large size, the western gorilla has few real predators in it's native African forests, with large cats such as leopards and the odd crocodile being the only real natural threat to the western gorilla. The biggest threat to the western gorilla is habitat loss caused by deforestation and also being hunted by humans. Parts of the western gorilla's territory has also been taken over by civil unrest in recent years, which, along with poaching, has had a truly devastating affect on wild populations.

The western gorilla tends to live in groups which are led and protected by the alpha male. The alpha male western gorilla also mates with the females in his group, producing generally single offspring, known as babies. The western gorilla babies remain with their mother until they are a few years old and become independent.

Today, all western gorillas are critically endangered species but there are thought to be 95,000 western lowland gorillas remaining in the wild, significantly more than their cross river gorilla cousins, whose numbers in the wild are thought to to as low as 300 individuals.


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Western Gorilla Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Mammalia
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Primates
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Hominidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family...
Gorilla
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Gorilla Gorilla
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to...
Mammal
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Herbivore
Size(H):1.4m - 1.7m (4.7ft - 5.5ft)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
100kg - 200kg (220lbs - 440lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
40km/h (25mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
35 - 50 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Troop
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Critically Endangered
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Black, Grey
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Hair
Favourite Food:Leaves
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Rainforest and dense jungle
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
1
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Leaves, Fruit, Flowers
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Human, Leopard, Crocodile
Special Features:Large head and long arms

Related Animals

Cross River GorillaCross River Gorilla
Less than 300 remaining!
Eastern GorillaEastern Gorilla
The largest primate in the world!
Eastern Lowland GorillaEastern Lowland Gorilla
Less than 5,000 in the wild!
GorillaGorilla
The biggest of the world's primates!
Mountain GorillaMountain Gorilla
Isolated populations found in the mountains!
Western Lowland GorillaWestern Lowland Gorilla
One of the great apes!