|Subspecies:||G. g. gorilla|
The western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is one of two Critically Endangered subspecies of the western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla). It lives in central Africa in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon in montane, primary and secondary forest, and lowland swampland. It is the western gorilla’s only subspecies and the smallest of the four gorilla subspecies.
So, what is the scientific name of western lowland gorilla? Keep in mind that the western lowland gorilla scientific name is Gorilla gorilla gorilla. There are two kinds of gorillas, and each type has two subtypes. Eastern and Western are the two species, and Cross River and Western Lowland are sub-species of the Western species.
Grauer’s and Mountain are sub-species of the Eastern species (are sub-species of the Eastern species). Western gorillas are different from other types of gorillas because their hair is brownish-gray, their crests are auburn, and they are smaller overall. Most eastern gorillas are black and bigger than western gorillas. As male gorillas get older, they get a silver color along their backs.
The species is diurnal, which means it is active during the day, and gorillas are the most terrestrial of all the great apes. This means that they mostly live on the ground, but sometimes they climb up into trees to eat or nest. They can also stand for short amounts of time on two legs.
Gorillas are the biggest primates, and they reach physical maturity between the ages of 12 and 15. Males can weigh anywhere from 350 to 450 pounds, which is almost twice as much as females, who can weigh anywhere from 150 to 250 pounds. Males stand between 5.5 to 6 feet tall. The average height of a woman is between 4’7″ and 4’11”. The sagittal crest on the back of the top of the male’s head makes the head big and pointy. This crest is where a lot of muscle fibers in the jaw attach.
This gives the animal the chewing power it needs to break down tough plants. Western lowland gorillas see and understand the world the same way humans do. Gorillas don’t have hair on their faces, hands, or feet, but they do have short, thin hair on the rest of their bodies. Gorilla hands and feet are big, and the palms and soles are made of leather. Their nails are wide and flat. Moreover, their hands are very skilled and can pick up small, fragile things.
Besides, their thumbs and toes are on the opposite sides of their feet like their hands. Gorillas, like all apes, have arms that are longer than their legs. Thus, this lets them walk on all fours. They are called “knuckle-walkers” because they walk on the tips of their fingers and the bottoms of their feet. So, this way of getting around makes calluses on the knuckles while keeping the fingertips sensitive enough to handle small objects.
Diet: What Do Western Lowland Gorillas Eat?
Western lowland gorillas mostly eat plant parts like seeds, leaves, stems, shoots, roots, and flowers. However, when the fruit is in season, they prefer to eat that instead. So, when they are available, they will sometimes eat insects like termites or ants as a supplement to their food. Western lowland gorillas spend a lot of time in and around trees, especially fruit trees because that’s where they get most of their food.
Even big males can sometimes be found up in the trees, but they are careful to stay close to the main trunk or on bigger branches that can hold their weight. Moreover, younger and lighter gorillas can climb trees higher and even move freely from branch to branch. Gorillas never eat all the plants in one area. Instead, the plants they eat grow back quickly, so they can stay in the same area for a long time.
The rainforests of central and western Africa include the countries of Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea.
Western Lowland Gorilla Reproduction:
Gorillas are usually shy and calm. They don’t usually attack other animals unless they feel threatened. But if you make them angry, they can be dangerous. They can show aggression by charging at what they think are invaders. Most of the time, they don’t hit the intruder. Instead, they rush past, turn, and then charge again.
Gorillas talk to each other by making sounds, sending signals with their eyes, and smelling each other. They aren’t as loud as some other primates but have at least 25 sounds that people can recognize. Males who are in charge also have a unique smell that they use to talk to other troops and stay in touch with their own. Gorillas beat their chests, which is probably their most well-known thing.
Most of the time, male gorillas do this at the end of a show meant to scare away other males or predators. The noise can be heard from far away. Females rarely beat their chests. Most of the time, they beat their hands against the insides of their thighs. But beating the chest can also be a sign of playfulness, especially in young ones. Young gorillas play much like humans do, playing tag and doing somersaults.
Western Lowland Gorilla Behaviour
The families of lowland western gorillas are called “troops.” These troops can have anywhere from 5 to 30 individuals, but the average is 11. The silverback male is in charge of the group, which also has several adult females and their young. Most of the time, the females form a bond with the silverback, but not always with each other. The silverback will stay in charge if he can beat other males.
A few young blackback males stay with the group until they are strong enough to take on the silverback. Moreover, young males are often kicked out of the troop to live alone or with other bachelors until they are old enough to start their own troops.
Thus, if a dominant silverback is pushed out, the new dominant male will usually kill the troop’s babies, which causes the females to start having babies too soon. So, this makes it more likely that the male will have children since his time as the dominant male is short-lived. So, females think that a male’s ability to fight is very important to the survival of their young.
When they are old enough, females will also leave their birth group to join a single male or a small group of other females. Moreover, this is important to avoid inbreeding and keep the gene pool safe.
Habitat: Where Do Western Lowland Gorillas Live
Western lowland gorillas like to live in the west and central Africa’s tall, lush tropical forests. Herbs, bushes, and vines, which are what it eats, grow best where the canopy is open and lets lots of light reach the forest floor.
Also, these tropical forests have a much wider range of tree roots and food, especially fruit, than mountain habitats. Western lowland gorillas spend most of their time on the ground. At night, they build nests on the ground or in the trees.
How Many Western Lowland Gorillas Are Left?
A study from 2018 says that there are still more than 360,000 gorillas in the forests of Western Equatorial Africa. However, 80 percent of these gorillas live in areas that are not protected.
Why Is The Western Lowland Gorilla Going Extinct?
So, why are western lowland gorillas endangered? The western lowland gorilla is in danger all over its range because of unsustainable logging, commercial hunting and fishing, and oil and gas development.
How Strong Is The Western Lowland Gorilla?
It is thought that a gorilla’s strength is about 10 times its body weight. Adult silverbacks are stronger than 20 grown-up people put together. On a bench press, a Silverback gorilla can lift 4,000 lb (1,810 kg), but a well-trained man can only lift 885 lb (401.5 kg).
Are Gorillas Aggressive?
Gorillas may be one of the animals that people know the least about. Even though gorillas are often portrayed as dangerous and aggressive, they are actually very gentle. By nature, they are shy and quiet and only act aggressively when they feel threatened.
Parvaiz Yousuf is a senior SEO writer and editor with an experience of over 6 years, who also doubles up as a researcher. With an MSc zoology degree under his belt and possessing complete Search Engine Optimization (SEO) knowledge, he works as a science journalist for a US-based website and Asian Scientist (A Singapore-based magazine). He also works as Director of Wetland Research Centre, Wildlife Conservation Fund YPJK since 2018. Besides, he has several publications to his name on cancer biology and biochemistry in some reputed journals such as Nature & International Journal of Molecular Sciences, & magazines such as Science Reporter, BUCEROS BNHS, and has an abiding interest in ornithology. He also worked as a Research Associate for JK Policy Institute.