Uganda Travel Blog

How do gorillas adapt to the environment

Gorilla adaptations are a bit different. How does a gorilla adapt to its environment? Mountain Gorillas are herbivores and survive mainly by eating plants and fruits.

Mountain Gorillas share over 98% of human DNA. They can be found in Uganda, Rwanda or Congo in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park respectively.

So how do gorillas adapt to the environment? I explain all the facts you need to know in this article.

The herbivorous nature of mountain gorillas has made it easy for them to adapt to the rain forest.

Plants contact cellulose, a component that is not digestible by many animals that are not herbivorous. Herbivorous animals do not chew cud but depend on colon bacteria to breakdown the consumed cellulose and turn it into carbohydrates through a process called fermentation.

How have gorillas adapted to the Rain Forest

A rain forest has so many vegetation covers which has made it easy for mountain gorillas to feed. Gorillas have a tendency of moving from one place to another in forests as they search for fresh vegetation.

The availability of dense vegetation has crossed out the need to move long distances to search for food. They usually move for short distances within their respective territories especially when certain parts run out of vegetation.

The massive fur on the skin of gorillas protects them from insect biting and keep them warm always even during rain. The temperature at mountainous areas is usually very cold but they manage to keep warm because of their hair.

The Virunga Massif’s temperature is excessively cold at night. Most of the times it drops below freezing but still mountain gorillas manage to survive in it comfortably.

During rainy seasons, mountain gorillas do not move far away from where they sleep. They stay close and remain put for a couple of hours to keep themselves warm.

When you go on Uganda gorilla trekking or Rwanda gorilla trekking, you will see so much about these primates.

More about Gorilla Adaptations. How do Gorillas Survive in the Rain Forest?

Mountain Gorillas have adopted so may traits that have helped it survive in Africa’s rain forests. Its long arms and short legs has given it a natural quadrupedal position which eases the stress on its joints and bones because of their huge mass.

They “knuckle walk” often on their hands knuckles and palms of the feet. They can only walk in a bipedal position for a limited time.

The big size has also  kept them away from predators. A gorilla is very strong and aggressive with excessively think bones. Its very hard for another animal to prey on them.

The size also makes it easy for them to climb mountainous areas as they look for plants and fruits to feed on.

Mountain gorillas use their fingers to pick fruits and their big bodies for protecting their food. They do not chase and kill prey.

Communication

Gorillas communicate in numerous ways. They communicate through gestures, body language and vocalization depending on the situation they are in.

They use expressions on faces to show their emotions. Looking them straight into the eye calls for a challenge and bowing down below them shows respect.

Protecting themselves

Mountain gorillas are very secretive in nature. They often use their sense of smell and sense of hearing to detect any danger or threat then secretively run into hiding.

They few aggressive ones will come out and confront the source of danger.

This is mostly common among Silverbacks. They do not want to lose the leadership position in their respective groups and have to fight hard to protect their rights and pride.

Gorillas are very big and strong. So many animals fear them.

The peaceful ones climb mountains to stay safe from danger. They do not like getting involves in dangerous fights and just in case they face a challenge, they usually bow and let go.

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