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!

WEIRD BUT TRUE!

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!

WEIRD BUT TRUE!

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!

WEIRD BUT TRUE!

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.

WEIRD BUT TRUE!

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!

CONSERVATION HERO!

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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COMMENTS

  • rl

    I love gorillas! They are so smart!

  • Rj

    Gorillas are so cool

  • anson.lam

    So much amazing cool informtion about gorilla

  • CodTurner

    very nice intresting facts

  • I love these facts!!

  • Diana

    Can you share more facts about gorillas for exempel which animals benefit for having gorilla as a neighbor. Or as they mostly are herbivorer are their pop a resource as manure in their habitat

  • Legends

    Legendary Facts

  • Lucky 7

    Don’t let the gorillas to disappear!

  • Bianca

    YAS Omg yas gorillas finally! Gimme dat baby gorilla is so cute EEEEEEE

  • Gorilla lover

    YESSS I love gorillas we NEED to take action keep them in our lives! Because imagine a life without gorillas….HOW HORRIBLE!

  • Adelaide

    Thanks for all the knowledge!

  • cool jr

    fun I love gorillas

  • CarterT3437

    so good definitely recommend

  • adina

    it's amazing

  • shaya

    i lovee gorillas!

  • Max

    Wow this is so cool

  • Wow so cool

  • hello

    thank you. this helped me alot

  • hi

    it was nice having to learn about gorrillas

  • Dan

    This is so cool

  • JohnnyToghill

    Great.

  • Gorilla

    Gorillas are awesome

  • sea monster

    so cool

  • Animal

    nice

  • bode

    so cool

  • Taylormate10

    cute!!!

  • Neil

    Wow! I love gorillas so much!

  • Omar

    Gorillas are so cool!

  • ben dover

    good.

  • Anna cho

    so cool!! And so cute!

  • Ora

    I ❤️gorillas

  • Animal Lover

    So sad that they are on the verge of extinction.

  • Animal girl

    Sooo cool

  • wow!

  • POPPY

    THE BABY GORILLA IS SOOOOOOOOOOO CUTE!

  • Let's do something

  • Quinn

    I love this website. It is so helpful for projects and it helped me a lot in school.

  • Zac

    They are one of my favourite animals

  • lola

    This website is amazing

  • lola

    they are beautiful creatres

  • Macaw88

    Gorillas are cool!

  • Macaw88

    Cool!

  • Layla Corman

    THAT’S SO COOL

  • Sharkie

    Amazing

  • 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

  • CELINE

  • Cool creatures

  • Ella

    Wow this is so cool

  • VAN

  • VAN

    THOSE ARE COOL

  • G t

  • Ella

    Wow this is so cool

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