Eastern Gorilla
Male Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei)
Range volcanic slopes of Rwanda, Uganda and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Primates
Family Hominidae
Genus Gorilla
Species Gorilla beringei
Conservation Status
Critically Endangered
The Eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei), is a species of great ape and the largest living primate. At present, the species is subdivided into two subspecies. Eastern lowland gorilla (G. b. graueri) is more populous, at about 3,800 individuals. The mountain gorilla (G. b. beringei) has only about 880 individuals. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature mentioned illegal hunting in its assessment of threats to the species.


The eastern gorilla is a large hominid with a large head, broad chest, and long arms. It has a flat nose with large nostrils. The face, hands, feet and breast are bald. The fur is mainly black, but adult males have a silvery "saddle" on their back. When the gorilla gets older, the entire fur becomes grayish, much like the gray hair of elderly people.


Eastern gorillas live in stable, cohesive family groups, led by a dominant silverback male. Eastern gorillas tend to have larger group sizes than their western relatives, numbering up to 35 individuals.


Eastern gorillas are herbivorous, with a heavily foliage based diet . They have smaller home ranges than western gorillas as foliage is more abundant than fruit. They are diurnal but the majority of foraging occurs in the morning and late afternoon. At night they build nests by folding over vegetation, usually on the ground.


There is no distinct breeding season and females give birth only once every 3-4 years due to the long period of parental care and a gestation period of 8.5 months. Newborn gorillas have greyish-pink skin and can crawl after 9 weeks; they are not fully weaned until 3.5 years.


  • A Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei).


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