Thu, May 14, 2020

5TF: Your Questions Answered

Question 1: Do gorillas get bored?

While humans tend to assign human emotions to non-human animals, it is actually very difficult to understand what an animal is thinking at any given moment. Behaviors like aggression are more easily interpretable than boredom. As scientists, it is very important that we don’t place our human emotions on animals, and to not anthropomorphize.

That being said, it is possible that gorillas and other animals get bored just like we do! In these circumstances you may see an increase in play by juveniles and adults to pass the time. 

Question 2: Do gorillas eat invertebrates?

While gorillas are herbivores, meaning they eat plant-based items, they have been observed eating invertebrates. This isn’t very common for mountain gorillas. Eating invertebrates is more common in western lowland gorillas, who occasionally eat termites and ants.

Question 3: What is a good temperature range for gorillas?

The temperature range for a gorilla depends on its species! For instance, mountain gorillas live at higher altitudes than other gorilla’s subspecies and have longer hair to help keep warm. This adaptation allows them to withstand colder environments than other types of gorillas. Mountain gorillas experience daytime temperatures between 50- and 73-degrees Fahrenheit, with colder nights. Other gorilla subspecies reside in warmer temperatures. 

Question 4: What are gorillas’ interactions with other wildlife like, if any?

Gorillas may be the largest primate on the planet, but they are very shy and display neophobia, or the fear of anything new! Because of this, they are generally timid even when curious. Despite their neophobia, they may still interact with other wildlife given the chance. Fossey Fund observers have even seen a group of gorillas nervously investigate a baby antelope that they came across!

Question 5: What are gorilla personalities like?

Just like humans, every gorilla has a different personality!  Generally, young gorillas are energetic and playful, but as they mature, they usually calm down and spend less time playing. However, you may still see adults engaging in play! Overall, gorillas are actually quite shy and are considered neophobic. This is one reason researchers must habituate gorillas, or get them used to the presence of humans, before we can collect any data. 

If you want to see what gorilla your personality is most like, go here!

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