Gorilla’s eat a diet of mostly fruit and veg, so they probably wouldn’t say no to eating mango! However, it’s not a common food for them.
Gorilla’s are a species of primate native to equatorial (along the equator) Africa. They are large in stature and have a reputation as strong and intimidating. In this blog i want to give a general run down of gorillas, then focus in on specifically on what gorillas eat.
Monkey business (gorilla corporation?)
Gorillas carry a reputation of being incredibly tough and foreboding, but they are actually social animals. They move around in family groups that can range anywhere from a couple members to around 40 gorillas! This group has a hierarchical structure, with a dominant male in charge. This dominant male will typically remain as leader of the family for several years.
Humans share around 98% of our DNA with gorillas, which is an extremely high amount. Despite this, we are actually more closely related to chimpanzees and bonobos!
Gorillas stand at an average height of around 1.6 meters. For reference, that’s about the same height as the average human. When you factor in the thickness and musculature of gorillas, you realize how formidably large they really are. Female gorillas weigh in at around 70 kilograms, but male gorillas easily dwarf them with an average weight (in captivity) of 160 kilos. That’s around the weight of a piano, and not a little piano oh no. I’m talking about a GRAND piano. It’s unbelievable how heavy they are!
What do gorillas eat?
Now that we’ve covered some basic (but hopefully interesting and entertaining) gorilla facts, lets get into the heart of this article; what do gorillas eat?
As i mentioned before, gorillas eat a diet of mostly fruit and vegetables as well as other plant matter like shoots and leaves. In captivity, they of course have many more options and almost certainly would chow down on some mangoes. I mean, who wouldn’t? They are the best fruit after all.
Western lowland gorillas do break away from this pattern though, and will break open insect nests to have a tasty meal of termites or ants. No judgement here, we all have weird cravings sometimes!
Gorillas will also occasionally eat larvae and even snails. All they need now is a croissant and some frog legs and they have got a full French banquet!
You may be wondering how on earth gorillas get so large and bulky without consuming protein. The answer is actually really cool! Gorillas have a micro biome of bacteria living inside them. This bacteria produces the protein necessary for a gorilla to become so large. Gorillas eat all the lovely fruit, veg and plant matter in order to feed the internal bacteria colonies. The colonies of bacteria in turn are able to use this vegetation to produce protein! So next time you’re considering bulking or going to the gym to get shredded, don’t eat lots of steak. Instead, develop of micro colony of bacteria that can turn vegetables into muscle mass! (please do not do this, gorillas are specially adapted and we are sadly not!)
Animal-Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshops. You will be able to see, learn and interact with many wonderful animals with the help of our presenters. Our mobile zoo has many friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more, perfect for an animal party. We can also , come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about looking after animals and animal behaviour, and have fun too.