When a baby gorilla is born it weighs on average 2.5 kg, which is about half the weight of a human baby.
Gorillas live in groups consisting of about 25 to 35 members. Usually there is one leading male, accompanied by several females with their young
However, this baby develops twice as fast. Within 40 weeks it can walk and reaching three years it slowly becomes independent.
At six years they are about 1.20 meter tall and weigh almost 70 kg.
At this age the female gorilla matures, though they continue gaining weight for the next four years. Males on the other hand do not reach maturity till they are ten years old.
When their black back starts turning into grey it is time for them to leave the parental group. They wander alone or join other males for some time, before attracting females who will join them.
In this way they form their own family.
Gorillas reproduce slowly, hence the world population doesn’t increase rapidly.
Gestation period is approximately 8.5 months and gorilla mothers give birth to a baby once every four years. Unfortunately at least 30% does not survive their first year because of diseases and accidents.
Another situation that causes death among the baby gorillas is when their father dies and another silverback takes over.
This new male often kills all the babies of his predecessor, securing his own genes in the posterity.
Hierarchy is clear and important within the gorilla family. The dominant silverback enjoys the highest rank and the adult females rule over the younger ones.
Like with other species in the animal world, gorilla males achieve the high ranking because of their size.
Male mountain gorillas can weigh up to 200 kg and can reach 1.70 meter when they are standing upright. Besides the strength they also have to prove their experience and abilities. It is their duty to protect their family from danger and intruders
It is not difficult to figure out where the name silverback comes from. Around the age of twelve years, they develop light grey hair on their back, giving them a ‘silver back