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Photo Credit: Gary M. Stolz Although the African elephant is the largest and most powerful of all living land mammals, it is also amo...

Friday, May 6, 2016

Gorilla

Photo Credit: Poleta33
Largest and powerful of all primates, the gorilla is a peaceable and sociable animal. Small family groups live in the highlands and forests of Africa.

Gorillas live in the wild only in the Zaire River basin. The two species, mountain and lowland, are separated by about 600 miles. Both are now recognized as endangered.

Each family group lives withing a fairly small area. However, groups that occupy the same area coexist peacefully.

One way in which gorillas establish and reinforce bonds is by social grooming. One gorilla will groom the other by combing through its fur with its fingers and teeth. In addition to the cleanliness it promotes, social grooming allows for contact and touch between the animals.

The gorilla is herbivorous, or plant-eating, as opposed to carnivorous, or meat-eating. It eats the fruit, leaves, and stems of a wide variety of plants that form the undergrowth of the forest floor. Bamboo shoots are a favorite.

Did you know? 
  • When a gorilla drinks, which is rarely, it soaks the back of its hand and sucks the water from its fur. 
  • As he matures, a males gorilla's skull develops a body ridge, which makes his head dome-shaped. 
  • Social grooming can relax a gorilla to the point that it will go into a trance.

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