Ready to learn about some amazing apes, gang? Then join National Geographic Kids as we explore the wonderful world of gorillas, with our top ten gorilla facts…

Gorilla facts!

1. There are two species of gorilla: eastern and western

Each species splits into two groups, known as subspecies. The four gorilla subspecies are eastern lowland gorillas, eastern mountain gorillas, western lowland gorillas, and western cross river gorillas!


All wild gorillas live in central Africa, in an area split by a vast rainforest. One side has western gorillas, while the other has eastern!

2. Gorillas are very social animals, who live together in groups

a mother gorilla holds her infant baby

Gorillas spend a lot of time moving around their habitat in family groups known as ‘troops’. Each troop can contain up to 30 gorillas! This usually includes a dominant male, several females, and their young offspring.

3. Gorillas can weigh over 200kg and stand as tall as an average human!

Gorillas are mostly herbivores, which means they only eat plants. However, some subspecies have been known to eat insects and snails, too!


An adult gorilla can gobble up to 30kg of food each day – that’s a lot of leaves!

4. Adult males are known as ‘silverbacks’

a silverback male gorilla stands on some grass

These powerful males can be more than 10 times stronger than an average human – they can tear down banana trees, bend iron bars and bite with more power than a lion! For the most part, though, they’re gentle giants, only using their full strength when they feel threatened.

5. Gorillas are very clever, and have been recorded making and using tools!

Scientists have spotted wild gorillas using sticks to work out the depth of rivers and streams, making ladders from bamboo to help baby gorillas reach the treetops, and even fashioning ‘cutlery‘ from twigs – helping them to scoop up and snack on stinging insects! Gorillas can live up to 40 years old, so they have lots of time to learn.

6. Gorilla noseprints are as unique as human fingerprints!

As a result, scientists can identify individual gorillas by paying close attention to the shape of their nose. Unique scars or marks on their faces help, too!


Amazingly, gorillas share a whopping 98% of their DNA with humans!

7. Primatologist Dr. Dian Fossey famously studied these incredible creatures

a baby gorilla holds a branch

The scientists work with gorillas was revolutionary at the time. Like Dr. Jane Goodall‘s work with chimpanzees, Dian gave the gorillas she studied names and learnt about their personalities. Her work led her to become passionate about protecting gorillas from poaching.

8. A captive gorilla called ‘Koko’ learned sign language!

Hanabi-Ko, known as ‘Koko’, was a female western lowland gorilla. Over her lifetime, she learned over 1,000 signs and was able to understand more than 2,000 English words.


Koko created many beautiful paintings throughout her life. She even took a photograph of herself in a mirror in 1978 – one of the earliest animal selfies!

9. Sadly, gorillas are critically endangered

gorilla facts | a gorilla with a mouthful of leaves

The biggest threat they face is habitat destruction, which leaves gorillas with fewer safe spaces to live. As their natural habitat declines, gorillas have to venture closer to areas where humans live, where they’re more likely to catch human diseases or fall victim to poaching.

10. However, conservation efforts ARE working!

One subspecies, the mountain gorilla, has recently seen a record population high! At the last count, 1,063 of these awesome apes were found in the wild. Yay!


Learn about the gorilla-loving teen on a mission to save great apes!

What did you think of our great gorilla facts? Let us know in the comments below!




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  • lola

    This website is amazing

  • lola

    they are beautiful creatres

  • Macaw88

    Gorillas are cool!

  • Macaw88


  • Layla Corman


  • Sharkie


  • wow

  • Amara

    so many facts!

  • The facts are soo cool

  • Thats cool

  • lazy gorilla

  • Leela

  • Lazy

    i love gorilla

  • Rami

  • Jared

    The 10 facts were all amazing and is very fascinating.

  • Gigi

    wow this is cool

  • Cool

  • hillmang4

    nice facts

  • gorabbitgirl

  • gorabbitgirl



  • Cool creatures

  • Ella

    Wow this is so cool

  • VAN

  • VAN


  • G t

  • Ella

    Wow this is so cool

ANZ subs takeover March 2020 MPU

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