TOP 10 FACTS ABOUT MOUNTAIN GORILLAS
Top 10 Facts About Mountain Gorillas : Mountain gorillas are fascinating creatures worth to encountering once in a life time, these beautiful creatures are endangered species fond of living in the forested highlands. Mountain gorillas in the whole world are found in East central region of Africa in 4 national parks that are Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga forest national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo. These national parks are the best destinations in the world for mountain gorilla trekking safaris.
Mountain gorillas are fascinating creatures and below are the top 10 facts you should known about mountain gorillas.
- AROUND 1,063 EXIST IN THE WILD
Mountain gorillas are listed among the endangered species and they are under threat due t loss of habitats loss, there are two species of gorillas in the world that is eastern and western gorillas. Mountain gorillas are sub-species are subspecies of the eastern gorillas, according to the last census, there are a total of 1,063 mountain gorillas have been recorded to be found in the world.
Mountain gorillas are found in two populations with the largest population found in Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable national park, the other population is found in the Virunga conservation Area comprising of Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Democratic republic of Congo.
- THEY LIVE IN TWO ISOLATED GROUPS
In the whole world, mountain gorillas are found in the East –Central region of Africa living into two isolated groups. One group is found in the Virunga Conservation Area comprising of 3 national parks that is Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park in Democratic republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla national park in Uganda. The Virunga region is dominated by a chain of Virunga volcanoes (Karisimbi, Visoke, Mgahinga, Muhavura, Nyirangongo, Nyamulagira, Mount Sabinyo and Mount Mikeno) inhabiting mountain gorillas on their forested slopes.
The other population of mountain gorillas is found in Bwindi impenetrable national park found in south western region of Uganda connecting to Sarambwe National Reserve in Democratic Republic of Congo.
- MOUNTAIN GORILLAS SHARE AROUND 98% OF THEIR DNA WITH HUMANS
Mountain gorillas are the closest relative to human being sharing 98% of their DNA with humans, the gorillas are so genetically similar to humans meaning they are exposed to human illnesses such as coldness, flue and others.
- MOUNTAIN GORILLAS ARE ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND MOST POWERFUL LIVING PRIMATES IN THE WORLD
Mountain gorillas are one of the biggest and one of the most powerful primates living on earth, an average mountain gorillas grows to the average height of about 4 to 6 feet tall and weighs about 300 to 485 Ibs (135 to 220 kg) though they vary according to the sex that is male and female.
- MOUNTAINS GORILLAS CAN EAT ALL DAY
One of the most fascinating traits about mountain gorillas is that they can eat all day long, mountain gorillas’ diet comprises of mainly leaves and shoots, snails, ants and barks. While in their presence you will enjoy watching them spend most of their time picking leaves and eat as well and some of them swinging on tree branches.
- MOUNTAIN GORILLAS COZY UP AT NIGHT
Mountain gorillas sleep together in groups, the gorillas build nest on the ground or in trees where they spend the night. The nests are made from foliage (leaves and stems), in their setting, infants share their mother’s nests as a way of keeping them warm and safe through the night.
- MOUNTAIN GORILLAS HAVE 16 DIFFERENT TYPES OF CALL (COMMUNICATION)
Mountain gorillas use a variety of behaviors and vocalizations to communicate, just like humans, mountain gorillas use body postures, facial expressions and vocalizations to communicate. Mountain gorillas use the following methods to communicate
- Communicating dominance – gorillas make appeasement vocalization accompanied by a submissive pasture like crouching, throwing vegetation, chest beating, strut stances and aggressive behaviors like hitting or kicking as a way of communicating dominance
- Play face – mountain gorillas most use facial expressions to communicate, similarly to human behavior you can use the facial expression to read the some one’s mood. To Mountain gorillas.
- Smiling and yawning – mountain gorillas occasionally communicate by showing their teeth (bare teeth where the mouth is open and both rows of teeth are showing). This is a sign of submission or appeasement. Male gorillas also reveal their teeth through yawns, yawns in males are communicate distress or anxious and could serve as a warning sign and display of dominance.
- Vocalizations – gorillas use many different vocalizations to communicate alarm, distress, aggression, contentment and group coordination. One of the most frequent vocalizations is the belch use to convey a sense of contentment between individuals.
- Chest Beat – a mountain gorilla’s chest beats have multiple meanings with the most known meaning being in times of aggression in males.
- MOUNTAIN GORILLAS LIVE IN FAMILY/GROUPS
Mountain gorillas are social creatures living in stable families/groups comprising about 10 individuals including silverbacks as the head of the family and the dominant male, females, juveniles and infants.
Males and female gorillas in each group are responsible for caring for their infants that is hugging, carrying and playing with them, the dominant silverback is responsible for the security of the whole family. Mountain gorillas live in their group until they are old enough, the males leave their groups to form or join other groups. This is done to avoid inbreeding.
- MOUNTAINS GORILLAS IN THE WILD HAVE A LIVE SPAN OF 40 YEARS
Mountain gorillas have an ability to live to over 40 years while in the wild, a mountain gorilla is classified as an infant at around 3 and a half years old, adults are from around 8 years. Males between 8-12 years are black backs, at 12 years the male develop a silver section of hair over their back and hips thus being called silverback.
- MOUNTAIN GORILLAS ARE ENDANGERED SPECIES
Mountain gorillas are endangered species, the a main threat of mountain gorillas is loss of their habitat due to increasing population, this results into turning their habitats into agriculture lands. Farming around mountain gorilla habitats as resulted into conflicts between humans and mountain gorillas as they venture onto farmlands to eat crops like maize and bananas. Mountain gorillas are also under threat of poachers laying snares intended for bush meat.