Gorillas: The Largest Primate Still Starts Out Small
Baby gorillas are active, fun-loving primates that use the central African forests as their playground. Baby gorillas weigh only 3-4 pounds (1.4 to 1.8 kg) at birth; half the weight of a newborn human but these little guys grow up to be largest of the primates, standing 4.6 to 5.6 feet tall (1.4 to 1.7 meters) and weighing 200 to 400 pounds (91 to 181 kilograms). Baby gorillas feed on their mother’s milk for the first 2 1/2 years of life after which they begin to eat various plants, fruits, seeds, flowers, tree bark and some insects but they rarely drink water; the water from the plants in their diet is enough to sustain them. Gorillas have hands and feet similar to humans; five fingers and five toes with opposable thumbs and big toes. They use the grasp of both their hands and feet to eat, groom, climb trees, and play with other members of their group, also called a band or troop, during the day. At night baby gorillas snuggle with their mothers in nests made of plants, grass, and tree branches. Gorillas can walk upright like humans but prefer to knuckle walk using their fists like an extra set of feet. Before it is ready to walk, a baby gorilla can cling on to its mom for a lift, leaving her hands free for knuckle walking.