Sunday, April 15, 2012

Baby Gorillas Are Just Like Us!

Being that gorillas share about 98% of the same genes as humans, it is not surprising that they develop and mature in a very similar manner as we do! For instance, the gestation period for gorillas is around 8 1/2 months, which is very close to our average nine-month period.  Gorilla mothers usually wait about three to four years before having another baby because that is usually how long the infant stays with them.  Also, mothers usually only have about three offspring during their lifetimes, which is very similar to the average of about 2 children per human mother.  Similar to human babies, gorilla babies also love to cling to their mothers, horse around with their fathers, and make a mess when they eat.  Also like humans, gorillas use a wide variety of nonverbal communication with their young, such as animated facial expressions, eye gaze, and tactile signals like grooming and cuddling.

Although human and baby gorillas are indeed very similar in their development stages, it is interesting to note that gorillas do tend to mature more quickly than humans do.  For example, gorillas usually learn to crawl at about two months and learn to walk at nine months, while humans are still learning to sit up at around 6 months and then walking at about 1 year.  Also, female gorillas reach "puberty" between the ages of 10 and 12, and male gorillas reach this maturity between 11 and 13 years, while for humans it can range from ages 10 to 18.  

All in all, baby gorillas are very similar to human babies in most aspects.  They are also just as cute! Here is a video that is kind of cheesy but has some great footage and insight about how the gorilla mother cares for her baby.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is crazy that there is more and more information as to how humans and Gorillas are alike! I am wondering, are they mostly monogamous animals or do they have multiple partners? Just by reading what you posted, seems like they might stay with the same mate since they are so similar? Just a guess...