Western Gorilla Facts
Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|1.4m - 1.7m (4.7ft - 5.5ft)|
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
|100kg - 200kg (220lbs - 440lbs)|
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
|35 - 50 years|
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Rainforest and dense jungle|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Leaves, Fruit, Flowers|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Human, Leopard, Crocodile|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Large head and long arms|
Western Gorilla Location
Map of Africa
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 its 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 its 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 effect 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 be as low as 300 individuals.
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First Published: 13th July 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
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