The Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is a criticaly endangered species of the Western Gorilla. The other species of the Western Gorilla is the Eastern Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri). It is a primate mammal, and an ape.
The Western Lowland Gorillla has jet black skin with coarse black hair that covers its whole body, except its face, ears, hands, and feet. It has patches of chestnut-brown hair. The black hair of males becomes silver as it ages (and they are called silverbacks). It has a short nose, a large eyebrow ridge, large nostrils, small dark eyes, and small ears. It has no tail.
It has five digits on each hand and foot, which have fingernails and toe nails. Its thumbs are large. It has long arms. It walks with a hunched movement, with the knuckles of its hands touching the ground.
It is the smallest species of gorilla, measuring 180 centimetres (71 inches) tall. Females are smaller at 150 centimetres (59 inches).
The Western Lowland Gorilla is native to the forests and lowland swamps in countries in central Africa, such as Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. It prefers dense tropical forests and swamp forests with a lot of rainfall.
It is mainly herbivorous, eating fruit, leaves, bark, shoots, and seeds. It has canine teeth and large molars in the back of its mouth for grinding food.
It lives in groups led by one or more adult males, with 4-8 individuals. The male is not territorial. The groups live with other groups of gorillas and other primates.
The female Western Lowland Gorilla gives birth to one infant after a pregnancy of nearly nine months. Female gorillas do not show signs of pregnancy. The baby clings to its mother’s fur, riding on her back for the first two or three years of their lives.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM