7 more things you never knew about gorillas!

To see the first 7 silverback facts click here.


1. Gorilla language

Gorillas communicate vocally and scientists are trying to piece together what the sounds gorillas make actually mean. So far 17 call types have been distinguished including grunts, grumbles, hoots and whinnies, but researchers can’t decode exactly what gorillas are chatting about.


2. Using tools

Unlike chimpanzees, gorillas are rarely seen to use tools. Only a handful of people have witnessed gorillas using tools, such as making bridges with logs, testing water depth with sticks and using bamboo poles to rescue trapped young gorillas.


3. Big brains

The brain of a silverback gorilla can weigh up to 540 grams (1.2 pounds), which may not sound like a lot until you hear that the human brain weighs only 140 grams (0.3 pounds)!


4. Extended family

There are four distinct subspecies of gorilla, and these are the eastern lowland mountain gorilla, the western lowland mountain gorilla, the mountain gorilla and the cross river gorilla.


5. Keen sense of smell

A gorilla has a better sense of smell than a human, as gorillas need to use all of their senses to detect danger. A silverback male can smell an unfamiliar gorilla entering his territory before he can see it.


6. They have natural ‘shoes’

The hands and feet of gorillas are covered in thick skin and coarse hair to protect them from nettles and other stingers that would harm a bare human foot.


7. They have great taste

Gorillas have sophisticated taste buds that can detect the difference between poisonous and non poisonous plants, keeping them safe from harmful plant toxins.


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Image from www.flickr.com/photos/dkeats/290811211