Facts about Western Lowland Gorillas – Facts, Lifestyle, Diet, Where to find, Trekking Guide, How to track and much more Tips
The Facts About Western Lowland gorillas: The Western Lowland gorillas are interestingly the sub-species of the Western gorilla. While on gorilla safari in Africa, there are 2 types of gorillas you should expect to see, explore more about their behaviors and capture the best pictures. The 2 gorilla types include Western and Eastern gorillas- these are further broken down into 4 sub-species of which the Western Lowland gorillas are part.
These gorillas are part of the Western gorilla together with the Cross-River gorilla that thrives mainly in Nigeria and Cameroon. The two sub-species of the Eastern gorillas include the Eastern Lowland gorillas and Mountain gorillas.
Of the 4 sub-species of gorillas, the Western Lowland are small in size but a large population of them still thrives on African continent. A sum of about 350000 Western Lowland gorillas thrive in most of the extensive swamps and forests of Central and West Africa.
Western Lowland gorilla scientific classification
Common name- Western Lowland gorilla; Kingdom- Animalia, Class Mammalia, Genus species is Gorilla gorilla gorilla and belong to family Hominidae.
Where do Western Lowland gorillas live?
They live in the jungles and swamps of Central Africa in Angola, Central African Republic, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Majority of them live in the Republic of the Congo and interestingly, these apes can be sighted in the wild or at the zoo.
The Western Lowland gorillas are considerably the smallest of all the 4 species of gorillas in Africa. An adult Western Lowland gorilla weighs up to 270kgs- those in the wild and they weigh more in captivity. Females’ weight=102kgs and stand up to 4.5ft.
While in the wild, these primates live up to 40 years and in captivity, up to 60 years. They are also known to be very social species of primates living in groups or families, each group is headed by a dominant silverback.
Silverback gorilla takes responsibility of looking after the rest of the family members, find greener pastures and he displays great sense of intelligence. A mature male silverback can stand 5-6ft and generally, these apes weigh from 150-400 pounds. While they share the same weight with humans, these apes are estimated to be 7 times stronger.
These gorilla species don’t have tails but have rough hair covering their bodies excluding the feet, face, hands, ears and others. Mature males/silverbacks can easily be distinguished from others since they grow silver hair on their backs. Generally, they are intelligent and use tools to perform different tasks such as extracting food or measure the depth of water in the rivers prior crossing.
The Western Lowland gorillas are largely herbivorous apes- spending most of their time feeding on fruits, leaves, berries, shoots, tree barks, roots, pulp and more. They spend a long day feeding till midday when they rest, sleep or play. A mature adult Western Lowland gorilla is capable of feeding up to 18kgs of food per day. Unlike other primates, the Western Lowland gorillas often don’t roam to far areas to look for what to feed on.
A female lowland gorilla like other gorilla species gives birth to single babies. Their gestation period lasts for about 9 months and the newborns are tiny in size with weight of about 4 pounds. Like most gorillas, Western Lowland gorillas are threatened by a number factors including poaching, habitat loss, climate change, infectious diseases and more.
Nesting & communication
These gorillas live in families like other gorilla species each family led by a silverback. They make nests after a long day of feeding and it is where they spend a night. They have over 22 distinct ways of communication- barking, hooting and screaming. Each of these vocalizations has its own meaning and also, they use different sign language to pass message to the rest of their colleagues.