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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 21:20 EDT

Eastern Lowland Gorilla

The eastern lowland gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) is a subspecies of Eastern Gorilla. It is now only found in the forests of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This subspecies is sturdier in appearance than the western lowland gorilla. It has longer teeth, a stronger jaw and a broader torso. They have black coats, which in males turns silver at the back as the animal matures.

Habitat and diet

Eastern lowland gorilla is predominantly herbivorous, eating mostly leaves. They are known to eat only a few leaves from a single plant, allowing the plant to grow. They will also eat fruit, seeds, bamboo shoots and insects.

Behavior

Eastern lowland gorilla tends to be sociable and peaceful. It lives in groups of 5 to 30. A group usually consists of one silverback and few subdominant males. Silverbacks are the strong, dominant troop leaders. They are in charge of leading the group to food and protecting the group from danger. Males will slowly begin to leave their original group when they reach maturity. They usually travel with a group of other males for a few years before being able to attract females to form a new group.

Reproduction

A female will give birth to twins or a single infant after a pregnancy period of about 8 ½ months. They breast feed for about 12 months. The baby can crawl at around 9 weeks old and can walk at about 35 weeks old. Infant gorillas normally stay with their mother for 3 to 4 years and mature at around 11 to 12 years old.

Eastern Lowland Gorilla