Gorillas, known as the largest primates on Earth, share numerous similarities with humans, including their nurturing behavior towards their young ones. Just like human babies, baby gorillas, also called infants, possess an incredible ability to hum and sing, capturing our hearts with their adorable appearance and fascinating characteristics.

As we delve further into the world of these captivating creatures, we will explore nine amazing facts about baby gorillas, while also admiring their charming juvenile photos. In this journey, we’ll learn more about the western lowland gorillas, their conservation status, varied habitats, and the dedicated efforts made to preserve this critically endangered species.

9: Baby Gorillas Display Joyful Communication

It’s no surprise that food can bring happiness, and this is true for baby gorillas too! When they are enjoying a delicious meal, these adorable creatures express their delight by humming and singing. This fascinating form of communication isn’t just limited to the young ones, as adult gorillas also use these vocalizations to convey to their offspring that it’s mealtime.

  • Baby gorillas = excitement through humming and singing during meals
  • Adult gorillas = utilize these sounds as feeding cues

This endearing behavior is yet another example of the complex and heartwarming interactions between baby gorillas and their family members.

8: A Baby Gorilla Learns Fast!

  • Play: Unlike newborn human babies, baby gorillas engage in play much sooner in their development. It’s their way of learning essential skills.
  • Newborn activities: Baby gorillas cling to their mother’s chest or back during the first six months, ensuring their protection.
  • Behaviors: They learn primarily by mimicking adult gorillas, picking up crucial techniques for survival.
  • Development: By six months, baby gorillas can walk independently, and at 18 months, they can follow their mothers at a small distance.
  • Playing: Groups of baby gorillas often wrestle and practice fighting to familiarize themselves with defending techniques.

Baby gorillas showcase their unique personalities while engaging in these playful activities, steadily progressing in their development as they grow older.

7: Mother Gorillas Receive Support in Childcare

Gorilla babies are cared for not only by their mothers but also by other members of their family group. Siblings and juveniles often assist the mother by holding or playing with the little ones, contributing to their safety and wellbeing.

In addition, adult female gorillas also play a role in the babies’ upbringing. Blackback gorilla fathers are known to specifically care for their biological offspring, while mountain gorilla fathers, despite not knowing their exact biological children, still provide protection and attention to older babies.

This collective approach to childcare strengthens the bonds between gorilla family members and ensures the best possible environment for the baby’s growth and development.

6: Baby Gorillas are Called Infants

Just like human babies, baby gorillas are referred to as infants. They share similar traits with human infants, including a gestation period of around eight to nine months. However, there are differences too.

  • At birth, infant gorillas are smaller than human infants, weighing only three to four pounds.
  • Mother gorillas give birth approximately once every three to four years.
  • Infant gorillas breastfeed for up to three to four years before transitioning to the herbivorous diet they maintain as adults.

These fascinating similarities and differences between baby gorillas and human infants further emphasize our connection with these incredible creatures.

5: Young Gorillas Make Their Nests in Trees

In contrast to adult gorillas, who build their nests on the ground, baby gorillas choose to construct their nests in trees. These circular nests are made from branches, leaves, and foliage. The mother and infant gorillas share these nests while breastfeeding. Gorillas create new nests every night, as they seldom sleep in the same spot for consecutive nights.

Constructing nests in trees provides an added layer of protection to young gorillas and their families from potential threats. Mother and baby gorillas are light enough to comfortably rest in trees; thus, father gorillas are rarely found in tree nests with their families.

A Closer Look at Young Gorillas’ Predators

Baby gorillas, despite their limited size and protective capabilities, have relatively few natural predators. Mainly, they face threats from two sources:

  1. Leopards: Known as the primary predator of baby gorillas, leopards can leverage their agile nature to prey upon young gorillas, who are unable to fend off an attack.
  2. Humans: Surprisingly, humans pose a substantial threat to baby gorillas. While these gentle giants are not commonly hunted for meat, they can fall victim to traps set for other animals, resulting in severe injury or death. Additionally, the illegal activities of poachers, who target gorillas for various body parts, such as heads, hands, or feet, can bring devastating harm to these vulnerable creatures.

Thankfully, the strong bond and protective nature shared between adult gorillas and their babies help mitigate these threats, ensuring the continued survival of this amazing species.

3: Gorillas and Their Babies Live in Families

Gorilla families, often referred to as bands or troops, are made up of around thirty members. These families function similarly to small villages or extended human families. Baby gorillas can decide to remain with their birth family as they grow older, while others may venture out to join new troops upon reaching adulthood. Within these families, adult males are categorized as silverbacks, whereas younger males are known as blackbacks. The close-knit relationships in gorilla families are a fascinating aspect of their society.

Gorilla Twins: A Fascinating Rarity

Occasionally, female gorillas give birth to twins, making them an intriguing aspect of gorilla families. In fact, twin gorillas occur at a similar rate to human twins, emerging in approximately one out of every ninety pregnancies. These adorable siblings can either be of the same or opposite sexes.

The Remarkable First Captive-Born Gorilla: Colo

On December 22, 1956, a historic event took place at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio: the birth of the first-ever gorilla in captivity. The adorable baby gorilla was named Colo by the dedicated zookeepers. Since his parents lacked the necessary parenting skills acquired in the wild, Colo was lovingly cared for in a special nursery by the zookeepers themselves.

Colo’s legacy didn’t end there; she became a great-grandmother to the first gorilla born through successful artificial insemination. The captivating image featured at the top of this article is © Jurgens Potgieter/Shutterstock.com.

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