Gorilla Social Behavior

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November 17, 2010 4th Degree Level of Social Behavior What animal is the largest primate in the world? You guessed it. The tropical forest dwelling, chest pounding, opposable thumbed and toed gorilla. Gorillas have many defining physical characteristics, starting with their stomachs. Their stomach size is larger than their chest due to the enlarged intestines, which digest the bulky fibrous vegetation they consume. They also have larger muscles in their arms than legs. This is primarily due to the fact that they use their increased arm strength to bend and gather food and for defense. They are capable of walking upright on two feet, but most often walk on four limbs. Its head is massive with a bulging forehead and prominent sagittal crest on top. Like humans, their mouth is fit with 32 teeth. However, they are much larger and stronger than humans, fit to grind the coarse vegetation they eat. They do experience a similar “two-set” system, losing the first set of baby teeth to be replaced by a permanent set as an adult. But where do all of these attributes come into play? Gorillas primarily inhabit in a tropical forest environment. Locations range from the tropical forests of Cameroon, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic to Gabon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eastern Zaire, Rwanda, and Uganda. These tropical forests typically have little variance in temperature, around 73.4°F, the length of daylight lasts about 12 hours, and precipitation is usually distributed evenly throughout the year. Convenient enough, these forests are also abundant in their main food source. Gorillas spend most of their days eating. Specifically, about 14 hours are spent feeding and foraging and about 10 hours are spent resting each day. Being herbivores, they eat a variety of fruits, leaves, and shoots. Their large sagittal crest and long canines allow them to crush hard

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