How gorillas communicate

Strutting walk – a dominant stance to appear bigger
Adult male gorillas adopt a particular kind of walk when they are trying to assert dominance. They become stiffened, their hair stands on end and they walk with their arms bowed so as to appear larger to intimidate potential rivals and impress females.

Question bark – three short barks to locate one another
Living in the dense surroundings of the African forests means that visibility is often poor or restricted. This is why the silverback uses a series of short, sharp barks when he encounters a hidden individual or when he cannot find a member of his troop.

Roar – a fearsome cry when feeling threatened
When a male gorilla is under threat, he bares his teeth and makes a low-pitched roar, accompanied by lunging and stamping to demonstrate his strength. Upon hearing this roar, the group will often hide behind him in anticipation of danger.

Pout face – a pout when infants are feeling leſt out
Young gorillas pout when they feel distressed, pursing their lips, with the mouth slightly apart. This face is most often pulled when they are left behind by their mothers, or when they’re denied something that they want, indicating light distress.

Play face – a friendly smile when playing
Play-fighting is an important social interaction for gorillas. When the fights get rougher, in order to ensure that each gorilla knows that it’s still a game, they adopt the play face, an open- mouthed expression without showing the teeth, distinguishing play from aggression.

Chest-beating – an aggressive display to threaten approaching rivals
When threatened, gorillas slap their chests with their hands. Adult males have air sacs on either side of their throat, which compress as the chest is beaten, making a very distinctive noise that adds to this loud and intimidating routine.