MOUNTAIN GORILLAS

 Gorilla are found in Africa, their ground dwelling herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central parts of Africa .Gorillas are divided into types of species the eastern gorillas and western gorillas they have two subspecies. The largest living primates. Gorillas are similar to human beings sharing 99%; Gorillas are next close apes to humans after the chimpanzees and baboons.

Gorilla’s natural habitats cover the tropical subtropical forests in Africa. Although they range in small number in Africa, Mountain Gorillas inhabit the Albertin Rift Montana cloud forests of the Virunga volcanoes, ranging from an altitude of 2,200-4300 meters. Lowland Gorillas inhabit the dense forests and lowland gorillas live in the parts of central West Africa countries and eastern lowland Gorillas live I the Democratic Republic of the Congo near the border of Rwanda.

Mountain Gorillas are one of the two subspecies of the eastern Gorillas, there are populated in the Virungas volcanic mountains of central Africa, within three National parks, Mgahinga in the south-west part of Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, there are endangered species.

The other population of the giant apes in found in Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable National parks, which are considered to be a separate subspecies. There is a total of about 880 mountain Gorillas in the world.

Mountain Gorillas are descendants of ancestral monkeys and apes round in Africa and Arabia. There is evidence of ape sound in East Africa about 22-32million years ago.

The fossil record of mountain Gorillas live in a poor area and their history is not clear, the area is about 9 million years of primate that involve the common ancestor with humans and chimps, the genus Gorillas started emerging. Although it’s of certain about the relatives of the Gorillas. Mountain Gorillas have been isolated from Eastern lowland Gorillas for about400, 000 years and this made them to be separated from the western gorillas from approximately 2 million years ago.

 Mountain Gorillas are called the Gorilla gorilla beingei which inhabit the Bwindi and Virungas while the lowland gorillas are the Gorilla graueri found in lowland o west of the Virungas after a long research the two species of Gorillas were divided in 2003 by the world conservation Union (IUCN)

PYHSICAL APPEARANCE

The mountain Gorillas have a fur, which often thicker and than that of lowland species, the your enables them to live in colder temperatures. The ape’s can be identified by their nose prints which are very unique to every individual of the Gorillas.

Male Gorillas weigh about 195kg and upright standing height of 150cm which is usually weighed twice more than females, at a minimum weight of 100kgs and a height of 130cm.

This subspecies is on an average of the second largest species on the eastern lowland Gorillas, the other subspecies of the eastern region Gorillas are larger. Adult male Gorillas have bony crests on the top and at their skulls, giving their heads a more conical shape. These powerful muscles in their chests, attach to the lower jaws. The adult females have chests, but less small, the Gorillas have dark brown eyes and a black ring around their iris. The older Gorillas in a family is regarded as a sliver back with a saddle of gray or silver color hair which is developed on their backs as they age with time.

The hair on the back becomes shorter on the most parts of the body, and their arm hair is always longer.

Height

They stand a height of 1.7 in height,and an arm span of 2.3m .The tallest silverback is recorded in history with about 1.94m with an arm span of 2.7m,a wide chest of 1.98m and a weight of 219kg,the Gorilla was seen in the Northern Kivu in the 1938.there was an unconfirmed record in 1932 of another individual that weighed 218kg.

The heaviest silverback is recorded to have 1.83m,the gorilla was seen in Cameroon and this weighs about 266kg.mountain Gorillas are quadruped and terrestrial, the mountain Gorilla climbs in tree branches ,this is when the branch carries a lot of weight, this is capable of running Up to 6meters,the apes are great than all other human like, the arms are longer than the legs, it moves by knuckle-walking, the Gorilla supports its weight on the backs of the curved fingers rather than palms.

Mountain Gorillas are most active in the morning at 6:00am and 6:00pm, during these Hours Mountain Gorillas spend most their time eating and feeding a lot of food which sustains their bulk stomachs.

The Gorillas is very active in the morning and rests during the late mornings and around midday, in the afternoons it moves before resting in the night hours. Each Gorilla builds its nest from the surrounding vegetations to sleep in, but everyday Gorilla construct new ones for every night use. The infant Gorillas sleep in the same nests with their mothers. Gorillas live their nests at sunrise around 6am; unless it’s colder they will tend to stay longer in nests warming.

Habitats

The mountain Gorillas inhabiting the Albertan Rifts Montana, in the cloud forests and in the Virungas volcanoes that range from latitude off 2,200-4,300meters.most are found on the slopes of Karisimbi, Mikeno and the Visoke. The vegetations are very dense at the bottom of the mountains, becoming sparse at high elevations; the forests are cloudy, cold and misty.

The mountain Gorillas are herbivores, they feed on leaves shoots and stems of plant species. They also feed on barks, fruits, flowers. Adult males eat up to 34 kilometers of vegetation a day, while a female gorilla eats up to 18kilograms.

Mountain Gorillas stay in a home, an area that is used for one group in year and this is influenced by the available foods, such as bamboo trees.

The mountain Gorillas spends most of the time in the forests consuming stems, leaves, flowers, berries, and the Gorillas travel in the forest throughout the year with bamboo forests during the months of the year and it climbs to eat up the soft parts of the tree.

Social life of Gorillas

Mountain Gorillas are very social apes which live in a stable environment, together in a large group between adult males and females. Relationships in fellow women are relatively very weak. The mountain Gorilla groups are led by a male gorilla that supports and defends the family. In the Virungas Mountain Gorillas become silver backs at the age of 4.7years.

The group is composed of one male adult, and other black males of 61%, it contains 36% of females. The remaining Gorillas are made of infants from 2-5years, and few males and females.

The group sizes vary from five to thirty, an average of ten individuals, one silverback, young brother, half brother, and elder son, and other sexually mature females.

Most males in the groups live their family groups at the age of 11years old, although the separation is very slow. They chose to stay at the edge of the group until they choose to live. Males start travelling alone at the age of 2-5years  before they can attract females at the age of 11years to form their own group, well as females will migrate to another group at the age of 8years old to begin a new life before they settle down with a silverback.

The silverback determines the movement of the group, to feeding areas, protectorate, avoids conflicts from  the threatening environment whenever the group is attacked by leopards, humans, Gorilla groups, the silverback will be in charge to protect the family with all his might and willingness to the extent of losing his own life.

Infants stay close to the silverback during feeding, movements, games. When a female infant dies or leaves the group the silverback or older son will take over the family and stay in charge, of the off springs to the extent of allowing them to sleep in his nest.

 The silverbacks are capable of removing any snares of poachers from the feet and hands of every group members. In case a silverback dies or killed by a diseases, poachers or accidents, the group of family might be disrupted. Unless there is an accepted male descendant who takes positions in the family, to split them up. In case a new silver back joins the female, he may kill or the infants of the dead silverback

Aggression

Although their strong and powerful, mountains Gorillas are gentle and very shy. Their aggressive in their groups, but when the Groups meet, the silver backs from the groups engages in a fight, using their canines to bit and cause more injuries. Mountain Gorillas display their fitting charges, by sequence of nine steps, hooting, feeding, and rising biped ally, they through vegetables, beat their chests, one leg kick, sideways running, slapping and tearing of vegetables, thumping up the ground with palms.

Affiliation

The midday rest period is established for resting and reinforcing relationship groups. Mutual grooming is within social bonds, as they keep their hair free from dirt and parasites. This act is not common among Gorillas, although the female Gorilla always tend to groom their off springs regularly. The infants in the family play often, than the large gorillas, the playing acts helps them to learn how to communicate, behave within the group, including chasing, wrestling.

VOCALISATION

Twenty-five distinct vocalizations are recognized, but many of them are used for communication in groups well there in dense vegetations. The sounds of Gorillas are called grunts and barks which are usually heard as Gorillas are travelling, this indicates the directions where the individual groups have moved to.

The grunts may be used during social interactions, where discipline is required in a group. They scream and roar as an alarm or warning, the alarms are often produced by silverbacks. Deep, rumbling belches are heard frequently during feeding and resting periods. These happen inform of intergroup communication.

Fears in Mountain Gorillas

Mountain Gorillas fear a lot their predators, this shows how their very afraid of certain reptiles. Well the infants naturally behave in a way that whenever they see anything as long as it’s moving they chase it, they will go out their way to avoid caterpillars and chameleons. They are afraid of water only they can avoid getting wet from the moving water; Dain Fossey took an observation during his research that Gorillas obvious dislike rainfall.

Reproduction

Mountain Gorillas have a slow rate of reproduction system. Females give birth for the first time at the age of 10 years they will have offspring’s at three years to four years. Male Gorilla starts to bread at the age of 12 to 15 years when his already in charge of a Gorilla group.

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