Interesting Physical Characteristics
- - The largest primate is the Gorilla, which can weigh up to 600 pounds.
- - Unlike humans, gorillas have an opposable big toe, as well as thumb. Therefore they can manipulate objects with their feet as well as their hands.
- The arms of a gorilla are longer than their legs (and their armspans are about 1 foot longer than an adult male), which is why they prefer to walk on their knuckles (although they can walk on two feet also).
- An adult gorilla has six times the upper body strength of an adult human male.
- They have a large bulging forehead mainly to protect their eyes
- Gorillas’ also have stomachs, which are larger than their chests due to their enlarged intestines.
- Similar to humans, gorillas go through two sets of teeth in their lifetime (baby teeth and permanent teeth).
- - They also have 32 teeth, which is the same as us!
- They have fingernails and toenails instead of claws. This is true for all primates.
- Most gorillas have dark skin, and black to brown hair except the Silverbacks. They develop silver hair across their backs and thighs as they go through puberty and sexually mature. This creates the illusion that they are bigger than they are!
- - Adult gorillas lack hair on their fingers, palms, soles, nose, lips, ears, and chest.
- Similar to a fingerprint, gorillas have a unique nose print! This is used by researchers to distinguish gorillas in the field.
- Unlike monkeys, gorillas do not have tails!
Other Fun Facts
- The Mountain gorilla is especially susceptible to human diseases.
- Mountain gorillas are currently also the most endangered, though all gorillas are endangered because of hunting and a loss of their habitat.
- Gorillas build their own nests to sleep at night, but a nest is not used more than once.
- Gorillas live in “troops” of about 5 to 9 gorillas.
- Gorillas live in Africa in the following countries: Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo.
- Human birth control pills also work on gorillas
- Baby gorillas nurse up to three years!