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How strong is a Gorilla?



How strong is a Gorilla?

Ever since the movie King Kong, people have depicted gorillas to be monsters, but the truth is they are peaceful and family-oriented, plant-eating animals that live in complex social groups, they are the largest of all primates, a group of animals that include monkeys, lemurs, orangutans, chimpanzees, and humans. No primate exceeds in size, and magnificence to this animal.

They are the largest primates in the world. They also are very close relative to humans as millions of years ago, they shared along with chimpanzees a common ancestor and that is why they have similar characteristics to humans, such as a relatively large brain, compact to its body, and opposable thumbs.

Biologist recognizes two species – The eastern Gorilla and the western Gorilla each of which has two subspecies. All Gorilla species are listed as endangered by the international union for the conservation of nature.

Range and Habitat

How strong is a Gorilla?
Tourists pose continued risks for disease transmission to endangered mountain gorillas – Science & research news | Frontiers

The western lowland Gorilla hence the cross-river Gorilla, the two western Gorilla subspecies inhabit the tropical rainforest in Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea, they also occur in a small portion of Nigeria and the westernmost tip of the democratic republic of the Congo.

Eastern Gorilla which includes, the eastern lowland gorilla and the mountain Gorilla can be found along the eastern border of the democratic republic of the congo, their range also includes part of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi.

The lowland subspecies live in rain forests while the mountain subspecies prefer higher elevation cloud forests.


How strong is a Gorilla?
Gorilla | Species | WWF (

Gorillas are quadrupedal, meaning they move around, walking on their knuckles, their huge arms provide balance and support for their large frames, size and weight varies between species and gender

With males reaching the height of 1.7m, 5.5ft and weighing between  170 to 240kg, 375 to 530 LBS, females usually weigh between 70 to 100kg, 154 to 220 LBS, female hands are shorter reaching a height of 1.5m, 4.9ft.


Gorillas are herbivores and therefore only eat fruit and leaves, they do not hunt or eat other animals but occasionally feed on small insects and termites, diets vary between species, mainly due to the availability of certain n foods and different habitats.

Some Gorilla species can consume over 200 species of plants and fruits. An adult gorilla is capable of consuming  18-20kg of food every day. Mike Tyson fights a gorilla to the Death

Social Structure

How strong is a Gorilla?
Spy Gorilla Comes Face To Face With Alpha Silverback | BBC Earth – YouTube

Gorillas live in groups called troops which can be made up of 2 – 40 animals, led by a strong experienced male known as a silverback, he has a major role to play as he is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the members of his troop.

The silverback makes all the decisions such as where the troop travels for food each day when they stop to eat or rest and where they spend the night.

A gorilla troop doesn’t stay in the same place for more than a day. Each morning the silverback leads his troop to a new area where food is plentiful, after a morning of munching, each adult gorilla gathers leaves, twigs, and branches to make a day nest for resting while the youngsters play. How STRONG is a GORILLA? – All about Gorillas.10 Most Fearless Animals in the wild

After their nap, the gorillas eat again until bedtime when they make yet another nest, either on the ground or on a tree for a good night’s sleep. Gorillas never use the same nest twice. Gorillas are generally peaceful creatures, but sometimes another male from another troop challenges the silverback.

To scare the unwanted gorillas away he beats his chest with cup hands to make a loud noise, screams, bears his teeth, and then charges forward, sometimes he breaks off branches and shakes them at the intruder.

How Strong Are Gorillas

It’s not easy to say how strong a gorilla is because it doesn’t show its strength often due to its gentle nature, however, according to experiments conducted an adult gorilla is 4 to 9 times stronger than an average human

. A  silverback gorilla strength is certainly formidable, All gorillas can tear down banana trees without trying too much and they’ve also escaped from cages by bending the iron bars.

Gorillas’ strength is estimated to be about 10 times their body weight, according to the Guinness book of records a silverback gorilla can lift up to 815kg, 1800 LBS of dead weight. In comparison, a well-trained human can lift a maximum of 410kg, 900 LBS.

This is a very rough calculation and there are many variables to consider but it gives us a good general picture.

Gorillas Jaw strength

Deadly parasite 'jumped' from gorilla to humans - BBC News
Deadly parasite ‘jumped’ from gorilla to humans – BBC News

Gorillas also have large and impressive canines and their jaw strength is much more formidable than their body strength. The bite of a silverback gorilla has been recorded at an impressive 1300 PSI, much stronger than a lion’s (650PSI), but not surpassing a great white shark(4000 PSI).

They also use their jaw to inflict damage and kill prey although this isn’t typical behavior.

Alpha Male Silverback

Gorillas deserve more than captivity for human thrills | Financial Times

Dominant silverback gorillas have been known to fight to the death to maintain their status in the group considering that gorillas have a large Omnivorous diet.

Many people wonder why they are so large in size and why they require so much strength, after all with so much muscle mass, it’s easy to assume they may have had a carnivorous diet largely comprised of meat to build so much muscle.

Animals such as the Belgian blue bull has a diet comprising of greens alone demonstrating that this isn’t always true. In fact, our muscle composition is largely due to our genes and not simply our behavior.

A gorilla’s strength and muscle mass are related to what anthropologists term robusticity in simple terms it is a trait derived from species ancestors and doesn’t relate to an animal’s current environment and behavior.

However, the adaptation of being strong and large has remained in gorillas today as it has allowed them to adapt to become successful.

2 Major reasons include

  • The requirement of huge jaw strength to consume and chew through hard plant fibers such as bamboo
  • And the competition for mates often favor muscle mass and strength


Gorillas are also intelligent, a few years ago, it was believed that only humans and chimpanzees could use tools but scientists discovered that gorillas can do so when needed.

They can use sticks or branches to perform simple tasks, once, a gorilla was seen introducing a long stick into the water to check its depth.

Many of the gorillas’ other behaviors have astonished scientists. When it seems that we know all about gorillas, they exhibit new unexpected skills.


It is easy to guess that gorillas don’t have natural predators when you see the size and power of a silverback, its physical characteristics and its social structure help them to prevent being prey to other animals, but this doesn’t mean that they are risk-free.

Leopards can kill an adult gorilla, in their habitat, they can find careless gorillas susceptible to becoming their food, leopards are the only animal in their range that can kill an adult gorilla. It is not an easy task.

Since the largest primates in the world are unyielding and organized. Therefore at the first sign of threat, they can admit alarm calls to warn the group.

Leopards and Man

Leopards rarely prey on adult male gorillas but they specifically prey on western lowlands gorillas, they usually avoid silverback leaders that are stronger and focus on young individuals or offspring, other possible predators are crocodiles lurking motionless in the water and can attack them when they come to drink water or when they walk in the middle of swamp forest. How STRONG is a GORILLA? – All about Gorillas

However, incidence with these reptiles is unlikely since gorillas rarely drink water directly from rivers or swamps. There is no bigger danger for gorillas than humans. Not even the attack of humans has such an adverse effect on the gorilla’s population as human activities.

The reason why people hunt gorillas are diverse but usually trade them. Humans capture gorillas alive to sell them or kill them to sell the meat. And this is a result of human encroachment.



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