Western lowland gorilla silverback

Western lowland gorilla

real troopers!


giant panda



Map highlighting Central Africa

Central Africa

Endangered Status



5 to 6 feet
An average refrigerator is 5.8 feet tall.
Gorilla compared to a refrigerator
plant eater

Gorillas eat leaves, fruit, and seeds. They sometimes also eat insects.

rain forest
Rainforest habitat leaves


Silverback gorilla

The big "guys"

Gorillas are the largest primates in the world. Adult males can weigh 500 pounds. These big guys are also known as silverbacks because of the color of the fur on their backs. Female gorillas are smaller than males.

Gorilla troop members including a mother and baby eating kale

Terrific troops

Although they are sometimes shown in movies as being mean or scary, gorillas are very gentle animals. They live in groups called troops that contain a silverback, many females, and offspring. The troop travels around the forest together looking for food during the day. At night, each gorilla makes a nest to sleep in on the ground or up in a tree. A baby gorilla sleeps in its mother's nest until it is 4 to 6 years old.

Gorilla mom and baby

Vanishing spaces

Gorillas are endangered for a number of reasons. The forests they live in are being cut down by humans, leaving the gorillas less space to find food and shelter. The loss of forests also makes it easier for hunters to find the gorillas.


At night, a gorilla sleeps in a


unique features

Mother gorilla with young baby on her back
Close-up of a gorilla's nose

On the nose

No two gorilla noses are alike. Scientists use photographs of gorilla faces to tell who is who.

Gorilla baby with rump patch

A bright patch

Gorilla babies are born with a white rump patch. It fades away when they are around 3 to 4 years old.

Baby gorilla holding leaves with her foot


The big toe of a gorilla’s foot is opposable, like our thumb, to help it grab food or climb trees.