Gorillas

Gorillas are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa.

The genus Gorilla is divided into two species: the eastern gorillas and the western gorillas, and either four or five subspecies. They are the largest living primates by physical size. The DNA of gorillas is highly similar to that of humans, from 95–99% depending on what is counted, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the chimpanzees and bonobos.

Gorillas’ wild habitats include tropical or subtropical forests across Equatorial Africa from the Abertine Rift west to Nigeria. Although their range covers a small percentage of Africa, gorillas cover a wide range of elevations. The mountain gorilla inhabits the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests of the Virunga Volcanoes, ranging in altitude from 2,200–4,300 metres (7,200–14,100 ft). Lowland gorillas live in dense forests and lowland swamps and marshes as low as sea level, with western lowland gorillas living in Central West African countries and eastern lowland gorillas living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo near its border with Rwanda.

Looking for some great leaning resources for your kids, classroom, or yourself? Check out these new fact sheets and resources by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International
Page content via Museum of Zoology/ University of Michigan

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