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Western Gorilla

Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli)Western Lowland Gorilla in Zoo OpoleWestern Lowland GorillaWestern Lowland Gorilla at Louisville Zoo
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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:Leaves, Fruit, Flowers
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Human, Leopard, Crocodile
Special Features:Large head and long arms

Western Gorilla Location

Map of Western Gorilla Locations
Map of Africa

Western Gorilla

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.

Western Gorilla Comments

samera
"wow I love gorillas+"
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First Published: 13th July 2010, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 13 Jul 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 13 Jul 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 13 Jul 2010]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 13 Jul 2010]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 13 Jul 2010]

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