Gorilla (gorilla beringei)
A Very Exclusive Home
The world's total population of mountain gorillas, roughly 700, lives in protected parks in two Central African countries: Uganda and Rwanda.
What's a Silverback?
Adult males are called silverbacks due to the saddle-shaped patch of silver hair that grows on their back and hips.
Gorillas are Vegetarians
Gorillas are mostly vegetarians, though they frequently augment their diet with small invertebrates like termites and ants.
The mountain gorilla's gestation period is almost the same as a human: 8 1/2 months. Newborn gorillas weigh about 4 pounds. They begin to walk at 4 or 5 months, and transition fully to solid food - shoots and leaves - by 8 months.
Mountain Gorillas Like To Stay Warm
Mountain gorillas live in montane and bamboo forests at high altitudes between 8,000 and 13,000 feet. When it gets too cold on the mountaintops, they descend to more temperate elevations.
The Mountain Gorilla Family
Mountain gorillas live in troops, family groups typically headed by a single male with 3 to 4 females and their offspring. Sometimes more than one male shares leadership, and groups may have up to 30 individuals.
Gorilla Habitat Is In Danger
The biggest threat to the survival of the endangered mountain gorilla is deforestation, though poaching is also a problem. This aerial view shows the border of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.
No Two Noses are Alike
Gorillas can be identified by nose prints that are unique to each individual.
That's a Big Boy!
Male mountain gorillas, which typically weigh between 350 and 500 pounds and stand 6 feet tall, top in at almost twice what females weigh.
What's That You Say?
Researchers have identified 25 distinct vocalizations among mountain gorillas, many of which are used primarily for group communication within dense vegetation.
Mountain Gorillas Hate Water!
Mountain gorillas are afraid of water and will cross streams only if they can do so without getting wet (such as over logs). Researcher Dian Fossey also recorded their dislike of rain.
Gorillas Can Speak in Signs
Gorillas have demonstrated that they are capable of learning simple human sign language.
WWF's Work with Gorillas