What Do Gorillas Eat?

There are two main types of gorillas: the western gorillas and the eastern gorillas. The eastern and western gorillas get their names from where they live in the wild. Eastern gorillas live in the forests of East Africa, while western gorillas live in the jungles of West Africa.

The two species of gorillas are further divided into four subspecies. The western gorillas are made up of the west of lowland subspecies and the cross-river subspecies, while the eastern gorillas are made up of the mountain subspecies and the eastern lowland subspecies.

Each of the four different kinds of gorillas has another way of eating. The other diets of the gorilla’s subspecies are caused by the different types of plants that grow in their different habitat ranges.

All gorillas, though, are primarily herbivores and eat mostly the leaves, shoots, bark, and fruits of the plants in their habitats. All gorilla subspecies also eat a small number of invertebrates.

As the enormous great ape in the world, adult gorillas need to eat about 40 pounds of food every day to keep their big bodies going.

Gorillas in the Cross River

The cross-river subspecies are one of the two subspecies that make up the western gorilla species. It gets its name from where it lives, in the area upstream of the Cross River.

The subspecies are the rarest in the world, and only about 250 of them are left in the wild, so it is a critically endangered species.

Even though the cross river gorilla is closely related to the western lowland subspecies, it is different in a few ways, such as how its skull and cranial vaults look. The cross-river subspecies live in west Africa’s forests, usually between 328 and 6,683 feet above sea level.

But like all other subspecies of gorillas, the cross river gorilla is struggling to find enough space because people are moving into the gorilla’s natural habitat. Cross-river gorillas are the least studied subspecies, so little is known about how they act or eat.

Much of what we know about what these subspecies eats comes from studying what they leave behind. Studies like these have shown that the Cross River gorilla eats mostly fruits when trees are full of them.

But between September and January, when there aren’t as many fruits, the gorillas switch to eating stems, leaves, and tree bark instead. Most of the time, these food sources come from healthy plants that grow near where the gorillas live.

Gorillas in the Western Lowlands

The western lowland subspecies of gorillas is the smallest in terms of size. Adult males of this subspecies weigh an average of 310 pounds, while adult females weigh an average of 200 pounds.

But the range of this subspecies is the largest of all gorillas. It includes parts of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon, and the Congo.

The species is still listed as “critically endangered,” though. Western lowland gorillas are unique in that they can make tools out of simple things like twigs. No other gorilla subspecies have been seen doing this in the wild. People have seen adults use sticks to check how deep the water is before jumping in.

The subspecies have also been studied by using sticks to get termites, ants, and other invertebrates, which make up a big part of their diet, from holes in the ground. Like most gorillas, the western lowland subspecies eat plants and fruits primarily.

The fruit that the lowland of the west gorillas like best is soft and full of sugar and fibre. When there aren’t enough fruits, gorillas will eat shoots, bark, and roots. Scientists have studied these subspecies’ eating habits and found that the gorillas eat a diet with a good balance of nutrients.

Gorillas in the Eastern Lowlands

Mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas are the two types of eastern gorillas. Eastern lowland gorillas live in the forests of Central and East Africa.

They usually live in areas with a range of altitudes, from lowland forests to mountainous rainforests. Like all other gorillas, the eastern lowland subspecies of gorillas mostly eat plants. They eat plants’ fruits, stems, and leaves in their natural habitats.

Studies have shown that this subspecies of gorilla eats about 104 different kinds of plants. Despite what most people think, this subspecies does not eat bananas. Instead, it destroys banana plants so they can eat the pith.

Because of what they eat, this subspecies is constantly running into people, especially in places where their natural range overlaps with where people live. They are on the IUCN’s list of species in danger of going extinct.

Even though the eastern lowland gorilla eats termites and ants sometimes, they only make up a small part of its diet.

Mountain Gorillas

As the name suggests, mountain gorillas are a type of gorilla that lives in the mountains of Central Africa. They live between 7,200 and 14,100 feet above sea level. Only about 1,000 wild individuals are left, and they are all in the Virunga Mountains and the Albertine Rift.

They are listed as critically endangered. Mountain gorillas live in cold places at high altitudes, so they have thick fur to keep them warm.

Mountain gorillas are known for their thick hair, which is wider than the fur of any other subspecies. Mountain gorillas get most of their food from 142 different kinds of plants.

The mountain gorilla eats the most various plants of any gorilla subspecies. But because the mountain gorilla lives at a high altitude where fruiting plants don’t grow well, only three fruits make up its diet.

Stems and leaves comprise about 86 percent of the mountain gorilla’s diet. When it comes to the mountain gorilla’s diet, the roots and flowers are the following most essential plant parts.

The seeds make up about 7% of the gorilla’s diet, and the flowers make up about 3%. Even though the mountain gorilla is primarily a vegetarian, the subspecies sometimes eat grubs, snails, and ants, which are thought to make up about 2% of its diet.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top