Gorillas are the Most Powerful Primate on Earth and are 10 times stronger than Humans.
Gorillas are one of the closest living relatives to humans. We share somewhere between 96% and 99% of our genes with these great apes.
The last common ancestor lived around 8 million years ago when its evolutionary lineage split into two tribes; one leading to modern gorillas, the other leading to us, chimps, and bonobos.
As a result, gorillas differ from other great apes, and the most differentiating factor is their size and strength.
They are the biggest and strongest primates on Earth, having no natural predators.
Despite that, gorillas are critically endangered, and only about 320,000 individuals are living in the wild.
This is Wild and Domestic, and today we will tell you a story of gorillas, the most powerful primates on Earth.
Today we know, much much more about these great apes, but there are still many things left unanswered.
For example, scientists are still unsure about how many separate subspecies of gorillas are there.
Two species of gorilla – western and eastern gorilla.
What’s sure is that there are two species of gorilla, western and eastern gorilla.
Both species live in the rainforests of Central Africa, just about 500 miles (800 km) apart, and each has two subspecies.
Eastern gorillas are known to be slightly darker and bigger than their western counterparts but mainly differ by the sounds they make.
That’s why we’re going to talk about the gorilla species as a whole.
For starters, males usually grow up to 5.6 feet (1.7 m) and weigh up to 450 lbs (204 kg), while females are smaller, with a height of 4.92 feet (1.5 m) and a weight of 220 lbs (100 kg).
The body structure of a Gorilla
Their size alone is jaw-dropping, but what’s even more surprising is their body structure.
Gorillas live on the ground, but their arm span can reach up to 8.5 feet (2.6 m), which is way longer than their stocky legs.
It indicates that ancestors of gorillas used to live in the trees, where long arms helped navigate through the jungle and swing from branch to branch.
Modern gorillas use their arms for knuckle-walking, but they’re also capable of walking on two legs, mainly when carrying objects.
Gorillas have protruded abdomens and huge chests, which is the central part of their communication.
Gorillas’ behavior in the wild
These apes rapidly beat their chest when they want to attract potential mates or scare off competitors.
That’s why gorillas rarely fight with other individuals in their tribe. The chest-beating sound alone is enough to show one’s prowess.
Such an intimidating method of communication is the reason why scientists used to think that gorillas are fierce and aggressive predators.
In reality, gorillas are herbivorous, eating a diet consisting of leaves and fruits.
However, during seasons when such food is difficult to come by, gorillas also indulge in ants and termites.
Why Gorillas are so intelligent?
Gorillas are capable of using rudimentary tools like sticks to fish out insects out of their nests, a behavior also recorded in chimps.
On a similar note, gorillas are also known to test water depth and even cross rivers using sticks.
However, don’t allow their herbivorous and intelligent nature to fool you – gorillas can be extremely dangerous and are the most powerful primates on Earth.
Their bite force is about 1300 PSI, which is over 10 times stronger than humans Luckily, gorillas only use such a bite to chew harder food like roots and nuts. Also, they have 32 teeth, just like humans. 6 Most Powerful Bites in the Wild
How strong is the body of a Gorilla?
Gorillas have a muscle density that’s over 4 times higher than humans’.
It means that they pack 4 times more muscle in the same area than humans! To support such muscles, gorilla bones are at least 3 times denser than humans.
These factors result in the insane strength that they possess.
Gorillas are known to easily break banana trees, and there are even cases where they bent cage bars to escape captivity.
How strong is a gorilla compared to a human?
It’s difficult to test the strength of apes, but some speculate that gorillas are 20 times stronger than human beings!
There’s a recorded case where a gorilla lifted 1,800 pounds (816 kg) with ease but some theorize that these apes are capable of lifting 10 times their body weight.
For comparison, an average male can’t even lift his own body weight.
Additionally, gorillas can punch with a force of 2700-lbs (1225 kg), while an average man punches with a force of about 400 pounds (181 kg).
It takes about 1400-pounds (635 kg) to fracture a human skull, meaning that a gorilla could basically knock your head off your shoulders.
So how do gorillas go about sustaining such power?
Most gorillas in the wild only eat twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
Research indicates that grown gorillas consume about 6,000 calories of food per day while growing teens consume nearly 9,000 calories!
For comparison, an average human needs somewhere from 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day.
Gorillas live in what’s called troops, usually consisting of 3-10 individuals, but there are recorded troops of over 30 individuals. Every troop is led by what’s called a silverback.
That’s the alpha male of the troop, because of the gray hair on its back.
It’s not uncommon for a troop to have a single male, who mates with many females in his troop and protects them and their offspring from danger.
When male offspring grow up, they have three options. The first is to become the subordinate of their father and help protect the troop without a chance of mating.
The second is to split off and establish their own troop. The third, the most daring option is to challenge the silverback and attempt to take their place.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of the most powerful primate on Earth, let’s talk about its place in the African ecosystem and what threats they face.
Threats to Gorillas
Gorillas live in the rainforests of central Africa, the same place inhabited by many intimidating animal species like crocodiles and hippopotamus. 6 Animals That Can Defeat A Gorilla
However, because of their imposing size, gorillas don’t really have natural predators.
The only animals that are known to occasionally prey on gorillas are leopards, but they only attack immature individuals and don’t take their chances on silverbacks.
Another animal that sometimes pose threat to gorillas is their ape cousin chimpanzee.
Despite sharing a similar diet, it’s observed that gorillas and chimps don’t engage in territorial disputes in areas where their populations overlap.
However, there are recorded cases of chimp communities actively attacking gorilla troops and injuring infants. GORILLA VS TIGER – Who Would Win in a Fight?
Why are gorillas endangered?
That being said, the biggest danger to gorillas is humans. Poachers are hunting gorillas for several reasons, the primary being bushmeat.
In some parts of Africa, ape meat is considered to be the biggest delicacy, having all sorts of health benefits.
The elite is ready to pay incredible sums of money to have some gorilla on their plates.
It’s estimated that annually, about 3,000 gorillas are slaughtered for meat in Cameroon alone.
Additionally, gorilla body parts from hands to heads are used in traditional medicine,
which isn’t based on modern science and most likely doesn’t serve any therapeutical effect.
Also, collectors buy gorilla body parts to enrich their sick displays of animal trophies.
Finally, some poachers are taking young gorillas captive and selling them to private zoos.
Gorilla Habitats destroyed due to logging and mining
However, poaching isn’t the biggest threat to gorillas. It’s corrupt logging and mining businesses that are destroying the rainforests in central Africa.
This region is rich in natural resources like gold and coltan, which are required for most user devices like computers and smartphones.
To access these resources, companies are cutting down forests inhabited by gorillas, and setting up huge operations that drive gorillas further away.
Infectious diseases in gorilla habitat
The final threat for gorillas is infectious diseases. With the increasing human contact, many viruses have wreaked havoc in gorilla tribes.
In the past decades, there have been several Ebola outbreaks that have destroyed some of the biggest gorilla populations.
Today, there are just around 315,000 western gorillas and 5,000 eastern gorillas living in the wild.
Low reproduction rates and human activity in their habitat are making it difficult to protect these fascinating species from extinction.
Now you know everything you should about the most powerful primate on Earth. From their incredible size and strength, to what threats they’re facing in the wild.
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