Western lowland gorilla

Gorilla gorilla gorilla

Common name

Western lowland gorilla


It is usually found on the margins of forests, secondary forests, riparian forests and jungle clearings.








260 days.

Number of offspring




A very high percentage of its diet is vegetarian, ingesting a large amount of herbaceous plants, fruit, bushes, climbing plants and sap. They also eat termites, but at a lower percentage compared to vegetables.


around 50 years

Biology and behavior

Gorillas are mainly terrestrial and quadrupedal, although juveniles (which are lighter) have been observed jumping from branch to branch.

With folivorous habits, gorillas have to spend a lot of time feeding in order to obtain the energy intake necessary for their body weight. Because of this, they do not travel long distances, at most about 2 km a day. They feed during the day and evening, and rest for a couple of hours at midday. At night they create nests in trees to sleep, this keeps them away from the cold ground and the dangers that the night brings.

Gorillas do not have a marked mating season. They live in very stable social groups, normally of 5 to 10 individuals. Groups are harems composed of a male, females, and their offspring. The male is usually called “silverback” due to the silver hue they have in that area. Juvenile females usually leave the group where they were born to join others. Juvenile males also leave the group in order to form their own harem and thus have access to fertile females for reproduction. When a male has managed to form his own harem, he will remain in it forever, as long as he knows how to defend it from other males.

Grooming, as in all primates, helps establish and reinforce the social bonds of the group, although it is not as common among gorillas as in other primate species.

The number of gorillas in Africa is declining due largely to habitat loss. Human beings are cutting down the forests where these and other animals live without measure. Furthermore, the African population is increasing so much that they are invading areas where these animals previously lived. Another threat is hunting. The demand for “bushmeat” and the high demand for the meat of these animals means that gorillas are in the sights of hunters.


Gorillas are the largest primates living today. They are very intelligent, they can learn very quickly and use tools to get food.

African savanna
Equatorial jungle
Madagascar Island