• “Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is the smallest
of all three subspecies - weighing around 180 kg (396 lb) for an
adult male - and lives in the tropical forests of West Africa.
Lowland gorillas in general are similar in appearance. The
western lowland gorilla is the most common type of gorilla
found in zoological facilities and is the species cared for at Busch
Gardens Tampa Bay.
• Eastern lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla graueri) is slightly larger
in size weighing up to 220 kg (484 lb) and darker in coloration
than the western lowland gorilla. They live in the rainforests of
• Mountain gorilla (Gorilla gorilla beringei) is the largest and
rarest of all three subspecies. Adult males may weigh over 227
kg (500 lb.) They are found at high elevations of the Virunga
Volcano range that separates Zaire from Rwanda and Uganda.
Their hair is longer and darker than their lowland counterparts
due to the colder climate of the high elevation. Mountain gorillas
are taller, have a more pointed head, have a wider gap in the
middle of the nose, and lack a reddish patch of hair on their
heads, common to lowland gorillas.”
“1. The western lowland gorilla inhabits the
tropical forests of Cameroon, Central African
Republic, Gabon, Congo, and Equatorial
Guinea (West Africa).
2. The eastern lowland gorilla inhabits the
tropical forests of Eastern Zaire.
3. The mountain gorilla inhabits the high
altitude (1,650-3,790 m/5,413-12,435 ft)
tropical forests of Zaire, Rwanda, and Uganda
(around the Virunga volcanoes).
4. The Cross River gorilla inhabits a small
area between Nigeria and Cameroon.”
“Gorillas primarily inhabit tropical forest habitats.
Tropical forests are characterized as having little
variance in temperature (around 23°C) and length of
daylight (around 12 hours).”
1. An adult male gorilla may
consume more than 18 kg (40 lb) of
vegetation per day.
2. Gorillas rarely drink in the wild
because they consume succulent
vegetation that is comprised of
almost half water as well as morning
“Gorillas are able to survive on vegetation such as leaves, stems,
roots, vines, herbs, trees, and grasses but such vegetation has
relatively low nutritional quality. Therefore, they must consume a
larger quantity, but it is available year-round.”
“Gorillas are non-territorial and
live in groups called troops that
generally consist of 1 to 4 adult
males (called silverbacks), some
juvenile males (called black-
backs), several adult females
“The oldest and strongest adult
male silverback is usually
dominant in the troop and has
exclusive breeding rights to the
“Troop populations usually range in size from
2 to 12 individuals with 9 being the average.
They are highly synchronized in their activity
patterns. If a troop consists of multiple “Gorilla troops have a home range
silverbacks they are usually the sons of the between 4-25 km2 (1.5-9.7 miles2).”
dominant adult male silverback. One of the
largest gorilla troops identified had 4
silverbacks, 5 blackbacks, 12 adult females,
and 16 young.”
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