You've probably caught a glimpse of mountain gorillas on nature shows. These mammals thrive in the lush cloud forests of Central Africa. Although their population was once great, their numbers are quickly declining, and they are officially listed as an endangered species by the IUCN.
- We share about 98.4 percent of our DNA with mountain gorillas. This is slightly different from the 98.7 percent DNA we share with Chimpanzees.
- Because we share so much with gorillas, they are especially susceptible to human diseases.
- Baby gorillas will cling to their mothers for the first two to three years learning basic survival skills.
- Gorillas are classified as an adult at 8 years. After 12, male gorillas develop a silver line of hair on their backs that gives them the name silverback.
- Gorillas can live up to 40 years in the wild.
- Individual mountain gorillas can be identified by the shape and patterns on their nose. This works the same way we use fingerprints to identify individual human beings.
- Like many other wild animals, mountain gorillas use scent as a major part of their communication. They use it to identify environmental threats and which females are available for reproduction.
- The mountain gorilla's scientific name is Gorilla beringei beringei. Scientists believe that there are two species of mountain gorillas in the wild.
- They can live to fifty years old and reach top speeds of 25 mph.
- An average adult gorilla weighs between 204 to 227 kg.