Order: Primates
Family: Pongidae

What do gorillas look like?
Gorillas, a great ape, are about 1.5 meters tall, black to brown-gray. Males can weigh 200 kilograms, about twice that of females. Mature males are called "silverbacks" because as they mature have a broad, silvery-white saddle. Their feet are adapted for ground dwelling, but they have an opposable big toe. Their hands are adapted for "knuckle walking," with an opposable thumb.

Where in the world can you find gorillas?
In the wild, gorillas are found in the lowland or mountainous tropical rain forests of West Africa.

How do gorillas move?
Gorillas use their feet and hands to move referred to as "knuckle walking." They rest their weight on the back of their flexed fingers while walking on all fours rather than putting their hands down flat on the ground.

What do gorillas eat?
In the wild, they eat fruit, leaves, herbs shrubs, and vines.

How do gorillas communicate?
Gorillas have many vocalizations, from hooting to pig grunting. They beat their chest and break vegetation as a defensive display against outsiders. They communicate through facial expressions as well.

Are gorillas endangered animals?
Gorillas are an endangered animal. Their only predators are humans.

Copyright 2006 by John Pecore, all rights reserved.
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Last update: June 2, 2007