Here are some BIG Gorilla facts:
- Gorillas live in Africa. Many of them live in the forests and swamps, some live in the mountains.
- Silverbacks are the largest gorillas. They are the male leaders of mountain-dwelling gorillas. They decide where the group will go, when they will eat, and where they will sleep. The Silverbacks also protect the group from predators (animals that naturally prey on other animals).
- Gorillas eat mainly plants. They eat seeds, leaves, and stems. A small portion of their diet (the kind of food a person, animal or community usually eats) is made up of termites and caterpillars.
- Gorillas live in groups made up of a Silverback male, who is the leader, and several female gorillas and their offspring. Some males decide to leave the group and live alone.
- Gorilla families tend to stick together. Gorillas laugh, play and even cry. They interact much like human families do. Young gorillas play together, usually biting and wrestling. Mothers feed and groom their offspring. Babies often ride on their Mother’s backs. Young gorillas spend a lot of time with their fathers. Fathers protect their young, and even let them sleep in their nests. Researchers have seen Fathers playing with their offspring, just like human fathers do. Overall, gorillas are gentle and shy.
- Since gorillas live in areas with lots of vegetation (a group of plants), vocal communication is important. Gorillas start out communicating with their mothers when they are young. Babies grunt, scream, and cry out to get their mother’s attention. This helps mothers keep track of where their babies are, as well as let them know what their needs are. Adults vocalize as many as eight times an hour. These noises range from quiet grunts to screaming. Sometimes gorillas communicate by the way they stand, or by their facial expressions, just like people do.