As of 2014, the number of gorillas left in the world is around 100,000, and their population is steadily decreasing. There are two species of gorillas, and both are endangered. Only 600 mountain gorillas are left in the wild.
The genus Gorilla is divided into two species: eastern gorillas and western gorillas. The scientific name of eastern gorillas is Gorilla beringei, and the scientific name of western gorillas is Gorilla gorilla.
The different types of apes are gibbons, gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos, explains HowStuffWorks. In addition, due to recent discoveries in genetics, humans are usually listed in the classification of hominidae, or great apes.
Gorillas protect themselves by living in groups that are protected by a large, dominant male and by being secretive. Additionally, gorillas are skilled climbers that can flee to the trees if pursued by a predator. The size of gorillas is enough to thwart most predators, and the primary species that threatens them is humans. Additionally, gorillas live in rain forest habitats that have few large predators.
Gorillas have both physical adaptations, such as their teeth and fur, and behavioral adaptations. On cold days, gorillas stay near their sleeping areas and huddle with each other for warmth.
Gorillas live in African tropical rain forests. Specifically, they live in Central African Republic, Cameroon, Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Nigeria. They are terrestrial creatures, living in the forest edges and clearings, abandoned fields, swamps and wet lowland forests.
Gorillas do not eat meat, and their diet consists mostly of fruits and plants. They also consume insects, such as caterpillars and termites. Fully-grown male gorillas can eat more than 40 pounds of food per day.
Most gorillas are herbivores that live on a vegetarian diet of fruits, bamboo shoots and stems. Some gorillas, including the Western lowland gorilla, exhibit omnivorous traits by eating ants and termites, and they will even break open nests of termites to feast on the larvae within.
Gorillas attack by first putting on a display of strength that includes standing upright, roaring, beating their chests with cupped hands, baring teeth, throwing objects, such as branches, and making mock aggressive charges. Only if these threats do not deter potential enemies, such as leopards, humans and other gorillas, does a gorilla truly attack with its muscular arms and powerful jaws.
A group of gorillas is called a band or a troop. Gorillas usually travel in groups of six to 12 individuals led by the most dominant male. The group is made up of mostly females, their young and a few younger males.
The length of baboon teeth varies depending on the species and gender of the animals. Males have two upper canine teeth that are larger than the canine teeth found in female baboons.
Baboons are classified as omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. This animal eats grass and seeds as well as fish, birds and insects.
Chimpanzees are classified as "great apes," and unlike monkeys, they have tail-less bodies and long, flexible arms. These intelligent creatures share roughly 98 percent of their DNA with humans, according to Save the Chimps. Chimpanzees are natural problem solvers and create tools for finding food, cleaning and hunting. For example, they make spears to kill prey, bang rocks to open nuts and use leaf stems to collect termites.
In the wild, apes live in Africa and Indonesia. Four species of apes exist: gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and bonobos. Chimpanzees, gorillas and bonobos live in Africa, while orangutans live on islands in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Gorillas have evolved a number of adaptations that allow them to survive in the rainforests of Central Africa. Their social nature, herbivorous habits and secretive nature are among their most important adaptations, but they do have others, such as their expressive faces.
The average lifespan is 35 years for wild orangutans and around 60 years when kept in captivity. Male orangutans can weigh as much as 200 pounds, whereas females average around 90 pounds.
While orangutans have few natural predators, these arboreal apes are capable of defending themselves when needed, using their sharp teeth and exceptional strength. Living in the trees on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, they remain safe from terrestrial predators such as tigers and clouded leopards.
A gibbon is a small ape native to the forests of Southeast Asia. The tree-dwellers are among the most threatened primates on earth, with all but one gibbon species listed as endangered due to a combination of disappearing habitats and poaching.
A baby gorilla is called an infant, just like a human newborn. When gorillas are born, they weigh about 4 1/2 pounds. They develop quickly and are walking within six months.
Apes generally live for 40 to 50 years, with apes experiencing a slightly longer lifespan in captivity. The exact lifespan for an ape varies somewhat based on the species in question, of which there are a total of six.
There are an estimated 700 to 880 mountain gorillas left in the wild as of 2014. Although conservation efforts aim to help mountain gorillas, a loss of habitat, poaching and human conflict have impacted the population of mountain gorillas heavily.