In today’s episode, we learn all about gorillas! We share 97% of our DNA with these incredible great apes.
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From king kong and tarzan to the planet of the apes large gorilla-like primates have captured the imagination for hundreds of years these fictional characters are often scary dangerous beasts but what is a real-life gorilla like and how fearsome are they in the flesh make no mistake the male silverback.
Gorilla is huge they are the biggest primate on earth and they weigh over 200 kilograms that's the same as a fully grown tiger they are immensely strong too and unlike us their arms are thicker longer and more muscular than their legs in fact they are six times stronger than humans.
But how dangerous are they and do they really eat bananas in this episode we're gonna find out all about this absolutely amazing animal sorry wild bites gorillas like monkeys grillers belong to a category of animals called primates.
But grillers aren't monkeys they're apes which is a family that includes chimpanzees orangutans gibbons and humans want to know a quick way to spot the difference most monkeys have tails but like us gorillas don't they're also bigger and much more.
Intelligent than monkeys but we'll come back to that later gorillas are only found in africa where there are mountain gorillas which have darker thicker fur and lowland grillers which are slimmer and more grayish in color both species mainly live in dense.
Forests but they actually spend the vast majority of their lives on the ground despite being excellent climbers well most of the time the silverback so called because of his silver grey back hair is the male leader of the gang or troop.
Which is made up of a tight-knit family group there is usually only one silverback along with several females and youngsters the females tend to only have one baby at a time and young grillers are highly dependent.
On their mothers for the first six years of their lives while they learn the ways of the jungle males become mature at about eight years old but they won't grow the greyish hairs on their back quite yet so they're called black backs at around 13 they become full blown.
Silverbacks ready to defend their troop from intruders so how dangerous are they well in spite of their brute strength and long canine teeth with grillers it's more often about intimidation than physical fighting.
They like to show off just how strong they are beating their chests to assert their authority occasionally though they do come to blows and they can do some serious damage to each other sometimes they even fight to the death.
Yet very few humans have ever been attacked so the reality is that they are much more gentle than they look but maybe don't rub them up the wrong way when it comes to gorilla dining don't let the cartoons fool you wild grillers don't eat bananas which aren't even native to africa.
and although some grillers do eat fruit they mostly eat vegetation like leaves shoots and pith which is the stuff at the center of the plant stems that massive dome on their heads is full of muscle for grinding up all that chewy vegetation with their teeth so it's not all brain up there.
But they're certainly highly intelligent animals scientists have identified around 25 guerilla vocalizations which they use to have a bit of a chat and some captive grillers have even been taught a form of sign language this all goes to show that they aren't so different to us after all.
And the similarities don't end there they have 32 teeth in their jaws which is the same as humans and they even have unique fingerprints too in fact they share 97 of their dna with us which makes them one of our closest animal relatives but unlike us.
There are less than 900 mountain gorillas left in the entire world that's roughly the total number of passengers on two long-haul flights because of their forest home being cut down and also because people sometimes kill them for their meat.
they are dangerously close to extinction to make matters worse being so closely related to us means that they are great risk of catching human diseases let's do what we can to make sure these gentle giants have a safer future.
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