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Fun facts: All about gorillas.

by Times News Service Gorillas are primarily herbivores, feeding mostly on leaves, berries, but they also enjoy termites, and other insects.

These fierce-looking beasts are actually very shy and smart apes. Closely related to humans and chimps, gorillas share 98 per cent of the same DNA. This largest species of primates was unknown to the world outside of Africa until 1847. Where in the world? There are two main species of gorillas, the eastern lowland and western lowland. Eastern Gorillas live in the tropical forests of Democratic Republic of the Congo and along the borders of Uganda and Rwanda. Mountain gorillas are a subspecies of eastern gorillas. Western gorillas live in the forests of Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola and Nigeria. Cross River gorillas are a sub-species of the Western gorilla. How smart are they? Gorillas rank among the most intelligent animals. In captivity they have been taught to use tools and sign language. Compared to chimpanzees, gorillas are calmer and more patient, but less curious and less eager to perform tricks. Scientists disagree on whether gorillas are conscious of their own identity. Growing up gorilla Female gorillas usually mate when they are about 8 years old, and males reach full adulthood at about 12 years old. The gestation period is 8.5 to 9 months. Mothers usually give birth to one baby, but twin births do happen. A baby gorilla starts to crawl around 2 months and walks at 5 to 9 months. Babies ride piggyback until about three years old. The youngsters stay with their mothers for three to four years. Young male gorillas usually leave their family group when they are 11 or 12 years old. Most males have their own family group by the age of 15. Young female gorillas join a new group at about eight years old. Dinnertime Gorillas are primarily herbivores, feeding mostly on leaves, berries, plants, fruits, flowers, shrubs, and vines, but they also enjoy termites and other insects. Occasionally, they will eat small animals. Adult males eat about 45 pounds (20 kg) of food per day. Facing extinction Gorillas face an uncertain future as many are critically endangered; this is largely due to habitat loss and commercial hunting. There are only about 700 mountain gorillas left. They live in two protected parks in Africa. Cross River gorillas have an even smaller population with about 300 individuals. [emailprotected]

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:6ZAIR
Date:Nov 2, 2016
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