Facts About Gorillas


  • The DNA of gorillas is very similar to humans – about 98-99% the same. This is more than any other animal in the world.

  • Gorillas often interact with others from other species and sub species. For the most part these types of interactions are very amicable.
  • African apes (gorillas, chimpanzees and bonobos) diverged from a common ancestor about 5 million years ago and belong to the family Hominidae. Gorillas and chimpanzees walk quadrupedally (on all fours) and use their knuckles to carry the weight of their head and torso.
  • There are only about 700 mountain gorillas and they live high in the mountains in two protected parks in Africa. Lowland gorillas live in central Africa.
  • A group of gorillas that live together are called a troop.
  • Gorillas have been observed displaying emotions such as grief.
  • Young male gorillas usually leave their family group when they are about 11 years old and have their own family group by the age of 15 years old. Young female gorillas join a new group at about 8 years old.
  • A gorilla can live for 40 – 50 years.
  • Gorilla family groups each live within relatively small areas of land. Different groups can however occupy converging areas and co-exist peacefully.
  • Silverbacks are the mature males in troops. They are very kind hearted though, and will even care for orphaned offspring on their own.

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