Check out my links!

Koko's kitten

Dian Fossey

mountain gorillas pictures

My real world contact, Allison Kent

For my ALM project I choose to research Mountain Gorillas.

Appearance: Mountain Gorillas are mammals with thick black hair covering their whole bodies except their faces. The mountain gorilla averages 4-6 feet tall and weighs from 215-450 pounds. The mountain gorillas' arms are longer than legs, allowing them to "knuckle walk". When a male grows up the hair on his back becomes silver, giving the dominant male the name,"silver back". A mountain gorillas' face looks really similar to a humans, their eyes are just closer together than ours.

Habitat: Mountain gorillas live in the dense forests of tropical Africa: in Rwanda, Uganda, and Democratic Rebulic of Congo. They live on the ground but babies can swing from trees, too. At night, they bulid nest-like beds out of sticks, soft leaves, and moss.

Behavior: Mountain gorillas are very strong, which makes people think they are violent, but in reality they are very shy and gentle creatures. Mothers care tenderly for their babies until they are self-sufficient, but usually stay in the same troup when grown. The silverback male, the leader of the troup, decides where the group will go to forage, rest, and sleep. A troup consists of 2-40 members, of mostly families, middle-aged females, babies, and younger males.

Diet: Mountain gorillas are omnivores but mostly eat plants. A mountain gorilla's diet consists of over 100 different species of plants and some termites. They primarily eat bamboo shoots, wild celery, nettles, bark, roots, and berries. They rarley need to drink water because their diet is so rich in succulent herbs.

Threats: Mountain gorillas are endangered, there are only about 700 left in the wild, 350 in Virunga National Park. Some of their main threats are deforestation, poaching, and leopards.

Babies: A female gorilla starts to have babies at around age ten and has one about every 3-4 years or so. Twins are very rare to mountain gorillas. Baby mountain gorillas are born weak and tiny, weighing about four pounds. They are much like human babies, except they develop two times faster. They can sit up at 3-4 months and can walk soon after. To get around they ride on their mothers back, clutching to her hair. An infant suckles until about 3.5 years, when they start to eat regular food.

Fun Facts: Mountain gorillas share 98% of humans DNA!!!

Mountain gorillas weren't discovered until 1902.

A mountain gorilla's average life span in the wild is 35-50 years.

According to a recent study, mountain gorillas can get a virus similar to HIV/AIDS.