Gorillas' natural habitats cover tropical or subtropical forests in Africa. 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.
Gorillas have a patchy distribution. The range of the two species is separated by the Congo river and its tributaries. The western gorilla lives in west central Africa while the eastern gorilla lives in east central Africa. Between the species and even within the species, gorillas live in a variety of habitats and elevations. Gorilla habitat ranges from montane forests to swamps. Eastern gorilla live in montane and submontane forests ranging 650–4000 m (2132-13,123 ft). Mountain gorillas live in the montane forests at the higher ends of the elevation range while eastern lowland gorillas live in submotane forests at the lower ends of the elevation range. In addition, eastern lowland gorillas live in montane bamboo forests as well as lowland forests ranging from 600–3308 m (1969-10,853 ft) in elevation. Western gorillas live in both lowland swamp forests and montane forests and live in elevations ranging from sea level to 1600 m (5249 ft). Western lowland gorillas live in swamp and lowland forests ranging up to 1600 m (5249 ft) and Cross River gorillas live in low-lying and submontane forests ranging 150–1600 m (492–5249 ft).
Gorillas live in groups called troops. Troops tend to be made of one adult male or silverback, multiple adult females and their offsprings.|Row 1 title = Range |Row 1 info = West and east central africa in many habitats including forests and swamps. |Row 2 title = Size |Row 2 info = Weight: 140-230kg (310-510lbs)
Length: Same as hieght
Body Hieght: 1.65-1.8 metres (5ft 5 inches-5ft and 11 inches) |Row 3 title = Diet |Row 3 info = Vegetation |Row 4 title = Weapons and Traits |Row 4 info = Are very strong about 7 times stronger than a human, are very intelliegent. However, multi-male troops also exist. Silverbacks are typically more than 12 years of age and named for the distinctive patch of silver hair on their back which comes with maturity. They also have large canine teeth which also come with maturity. Both males and females tend to emigrate from their natal groups. For mountain gorillas, females disperse from their natal troops more than males.Mountain gorillas and western lowland gorillas also commonly transfer to second new groups.Mature males tend to also leave their groups and establish their own troops by attracting emigrating females. However, male mountain gorillas sometimes stay in their natal troops and become subordinate to the silverback. If the silverback dies, these males may be able to become dominant or mate with the females. This behavior has not been observed in eastern lowland gorillas. In a single male group, when the silverback dies, the females and their offspring disperse and find a new troop. Without a silverback to protect them, the infants will likely fall victim to infanticide. Joining a new group is likely to be a tactic against this.However while gorilla troops usually disband after the silverback dies, female eastern lowlands gorillas and their offspring have been recorded staying together until a new silverback transfers into the group. This likely serves as protection from leopards. All male troops have also been recorded.
The silverback is the center of the troop's attention, making all the decisions, mediating conflicts, determining the movements of the group, leading the others to feeding sites and taking responsibility for the safety and well-being of the troop. Younger males subordinate to the silverback, known as blackbacks, may serve as backup protection. Blackbacks are aged between 8 and 12 years of age and lack the silver back hair. The bond a silverback has with his females forms the core of gorilla social life. Bonds between them are maintained by grooming and close proximity. Having strong relationships with males is important for females as males give them mating opportunities and protection from predators and infanticidal outside males. However aggressive behaviors between males and females are common although they rarely lead to serious injury. Relationships between females may vary. Maternally related females in a troop associate closely and tend to have friendly interactions. Otherwise, females usually have little friendly interactions and commonly act aggressive towards each other. Aggressive interactions between females tend to be centered around social access to males with males intervening in fights between females. Male gorillas have weak social bonds, particularly in multi-male groups with apparent dominance hierarchies and strong competition for mates. However, males in all-male groups tend to have friendly interactions and socialize through play, grooming and close proximity, and occasionally they even engage in homosexual interactions.
Battle against the Black BearEdit
An American black bear that has forced its way into an animal exhibit in an exotic wildlife park is foraging in some bushes, looking for some berries or fruit to eat. Nearby a group of western lowland gorillas are peacefully feeding on some bamboo sprouts. One of the baby gorillas wanders away from the group and starts to play with a stick, smacking the bushes with the stick. The bear hears the commotion and looks over from its foraging, spotting the young gorilla. It decides that the small creature would be an easy meal and charges at the gorilla. The youngster looks up from its fun and spots the bear charging at it. It screams in fear and runs away, the bear is in hot pursuit. Despite the head start the baby gorilla can't outrun the bear and it is soon only a few centimeters away from its prey. Just as it is about to grab the gorilla a large fist comes seemingly out of nowhere and catches the bear on the chin.
The bear is stunned by the punch and this gives the baby gorilla the chance to escape from the bear. The owner of the fist is revealed to be a large silverback. The huge gorilla roars at the bear and grabs it by the neck trying to strangle it. The bear swings its head around and drives its teeth into the gorillas arm, making the gorilla release its grip. The bear raises up onto its back legs and swipes at the gorilla with its claws but the silverback is not deterred. It tries to punch the bear again but the bear clamps its jaws down on the gorillas arm but this time it does not let go. The gorilla roars and tries to shake the bear off but it just won't let go. The gorilla picks up a nearby rock and smashes the bears head with the rock, until the bear is dead. The gorilla beats his chest in victory and returns to his group.
The Gorilla won due to its superior size and intelligence meaning it was both brains and brawn.