The adult male gorilla can consume up to 30kg of plants daily while a mature female can consume about 18kg. Gorillas process these quantities of food with the help of their chewing muscles that are quite strong and their teeth that are much like human teeth except the long pointed canines that are only possessed by mature male gorillas which are not used for feeding but rather for fighting other competing gorillas.
The Mountain Gorillas that inhabit the Virunga Volcanoes shared by Uganda, Congo and Rwanda and the pre historic forest of Bwindi in Uganda draw their food from about 38 varying species of plants majorly thistles, nettles, celery and galium. This stands in contrast to the western gorillas which draw their food from about 200 species of plants majorly from arrowroot and ginger families.
Gorillas stick to a mainly vegetarian diet, feeding on stems, bamboo shoots and fruits. Western lowland gorillas, however, also have an appetite for termites and ants, and break open termite nests to eat the larvae.
Besides plant species, gorillas also take in quantities of soil though irregularly which is considered to be neutralizing the poisonous substances contained in their food and that the soil contains some minerals that are missing in their plant foods.
Gorillas, the largest living primates, make their homes in central and east Africa. They function in a well-developed social structure and often exhibit behavior and emotions similar to the human experience, including laughter and sadness. Poaching, disease and habitat destruction remain threats for gorillas
Adult male gorillas weigh up to 440 pounds and can reach a height of six feet when standing on two legs. Mature male gorillas are known as “silverbacks” for the white hair that develops on their back at about 14 years of age.
Charismatic and intelligent animals, gorillas share 98.3% of their DNA with humans. They are our closest cousins after chimpanzees and bonobos.