Western lowland gorilla
|Western lowland gorilla|
|Male western lowland gorilla|
|Female and juvenile|
|Subspecies:||G. g. gorilla|
|Gorilla gorilla gorilla
The western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is a subspecies of the western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) that lives in montane, primary, and secondary forests and lowland swamps in central Africa in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. It is the gorilla usually found in zoos. Adult male Gorillas are prone to cardiomyopathy, a degenerative heart disease.
Physical description 
The western lowland gorilla is the smallest subspecies of gorilla. A male standing erect can be 5–6 feet (1.5–1.8 m) tall and weigh 300–600 pounds (140–270 kg). According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the average male is 168 kg (370 lb) and stands upright at 163 cm (64 in). Females stand 5 feet (1.5 m) tall and weigh half as much as males. According to the late John Aspinall, a silverback gorilla in his prime has the physical strength of 7–8 Olympic weight lifters but this claim is unverified.
Western lowland gorilla groups travel within a home range averaging 3–18 sq mi (7.8–47 km2). Gorillas do not display territorial behavior, and neighboring groups often overlap ranges. The group usually favours a certain area within the home range but seems to follow a seasonal pattern depending upon the availability of ripening fruits and, at some sites, localised large open clearings (swamps and "bais"). Gorillas normally travel 0.3–1.8 mi (0.48–2.9 km) per day. Populations feeding on high-energy foods that vary spatially and seasonally tend to have greater day ranges than those feeding on lower-quality but more consistently available foods. Larger groups travel greater distances in order to obtain sufficient food. Human hunters and leopards can also influence the movement patterns.
Gorillas live in family groupings of one dominant male, five to seven adult females, children and adolescents, and possibly a few non-dominant males. Gorillas reproduce slowly because females do not begin reproducing until the age of nine or ten and usually only produce one baby approximately every five years.
The main diet of the western lowland gorilla is vegetation, including roots and shoots. It will also eat fruit and tree bark. It may also eat insects from time to time. The adult will eat around 18 kg (40 lb) of food per day.
In the 1980s, a census of the gorilla populations in equatorial Africa was thought to be 100,000. Researchers later adjusted the figure to less than half because of poaching and diseases. Surveys conducted by the Wildlife Conservation Society in 2006 and 2007 found about 125,000 previously unreported gorillas have been living in the swamp forests of Lake Télé Community Reserve and in neighboring Marantaceae (dryland) forests in the Republic of the Congo. However, gorillas remain vulnerable to Ebola, deforestation, and poaching.
The genome of a western lowland gorilla was sequenced in 2012.
Western lowland gorillas are believed to be one of the zoonotic origins of HIV/AIDS. The SIV or Simian immunodeficiency virus that infects them is similar to a certain strain of HIV-1.
See also 
- Walsh, P. D., Tutin, C. E. G., Baillie, J. E. M., Maisels, F., Stokes, E. J. & Gatti, S. (2008). Gorilla gorilla ssp. gorilla. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
- Prince-Hughes, Dawn (1987). Songs of the Gorilla Nation. Harmony. p. 66. ISBN 1-4000-5058-8.
- Schulman, F. Yvonne; Andrew Farb, Renu Virmani, Richard J. Montali (1 March 1995). "Fibrosing Cardiomyopathy in Captive Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in the United States: A Retrospective Study". Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 26 (1): 43–51. ISSN 1042-7260. JSTOR 20095434.
- "Western lowland gorilla". Philadelphia Zoo. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- Wood, Gerald (1983). The Guinness Book of Animal Facts and Feats. ISBN 978-0-85112-235-9.
- Bermejo, M. (2004). "Home-range use and intergroup encounters in western gorillas (Gorilla g. gorilla) at Lossi forest, North Congo" (PDF). American Journal of Primatology 64 (2): 223–232. doi:10.1002/ajp.20073. ISSN 0275-2565.
- Doran-Sheehy, Diane M.; Greer, David; Mongo, Patrice; Schwindt, Dylan (2004). "Impact of ecological and social factors on ranging in western gorillas" (PDF). American Journal of Primatology 64 (2): 207–222. doi:10.1002/ajp.20075. ISSN 0275-2565.
- Remis, Melissa J. (1997). "Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) as seasonal frugivores: Use of variable resources". American Journal of Primatology 43 (2): 87–109. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2345(1997)43:2<87::AID-AJP1>3.0.CO;2-T. ISSN 02752565.
- "Planet Of No Apes? Experts Warn It's Close", CBS News, 12 September 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2008.
- Lukas, K. E. (1999). "A review of nutritional and motivational factors contributing to the performance of regurgitation and reingestion in captive lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)". Applied Animal Behaviour Science 63 (3): 237–235. doi:10.1016/S0168-1591(98)00239-1.
- "Motherlode of Gorillas Discovered in Central Africa". Wildlife Conservation Society. 5 August 2008. Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
- "More than 100,000 rare gorillas found in Congo". CNN. 5 August 2008. Archived from the original on 26 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
- Scally, Aylwyn (8 March 2012). "Insights into hominid evolution from the gorilla genome sequence". Nature 483 (7388): 169–175. doi:10.1038/nature10842. PMC 3303130. PMID 22398555.
- Van Heuverswyn, Fran; Li, Yingying; Neel, Cecile; Bailes, Elizabeth; Keele, Brandon F.; Liu, Weimin; Loul, Severin; Butel, Christelle et al. (2006). "Human immunodeficiency viruses: SIV infection in wild gorillas". Nature 444 (7116): 164. Bibcode:2006Natur.444..164V. doi:10.1038/444164a. PMID 17093443.
- Plantier, Jean-Christophe; Leoz, Marie; Dickerson, Jonathan E; De Oliveira, Fabienne; Cordonnier, François; Lemée, VéRonique; Damond, Florence; Robertson, David L et al. (2009). "A new human immunodeficiency virus derived from gorillas". Nature Medicine 15 (8): 871–72. doi:10.1038/nm.2016. PMID 19648927.
- Sharp, P. M.; Bailes, E.; Chaudhuri, R. R.; Rodenburg, C. M.; Santiago, M. O.; Hahn, B. H. (2001). "The origins of acquired immune deficiency syndrome viruses: where and when?". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 356: 867–76. doi:10.1098/rstb.2001.0863. PMC 1088480. PMID 11405934.
- Takebe, Y; Uenishi, R; Li, X (2008). Global Molecular Epidemiology of HIV: Understanding the Genesis of AIDS Pandemic 56. pp. 1–25. doi:10.1016/S1054-3589(07)56001-1.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Western lowland gorilla|
- Western Lowland Gorilla Conservation in Gabon: Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Project
- ARKive – images and movies of the Western Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla)
- The Gorilla Foundation
- The Big Zoo: Western Lowland Gorilla
- Zoo.org: Western Lowland Gorilla
- Oklahoma City Zoo: Western Lowland Gorilla
- Astonishing’ gorilla discovery in Republic of Congo
- Interactive stud book of gorillas in captivity, ordered by name of zoo or name of individual.
- View the gorilla genome on Ensembl