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How Smart Are Gorillas

March 26, 2012 by staff 

How Smart Are Gorillas, Gorillas fit into the category of primates, and they are the largest of all of primates found in the world. There are only two species of them left in the world – the Eastern gorilla and the Western gorilla. Each one has a couple of subspecies as well that helps to further break them down into smaller groups.

Many people are fascinated with gorillas due to the fact that they have so many characteristics of humans. However, that is one of the reasons why so many are upset over these animals being in captivity. They feel like they see human eyes reflecting back from the gorillas in those cages. This can be extremely unsettling and an image that is hard to let go of.

In captivity, many gorillas will do things that they see humans doing. It can be gross too such as picking their nose or throwing up. Some of them have been taught to flip the bird too which isn’t very appropriate behavior. All of this though in a zoo setting really makes you wonder who is watching how through the glass.

Gorillas are extremely large animals and they can be aggressive when they feel that they or their families are in danger. The males are much larger than the females. Yet it is amazing to see these large animals be so kind and gentle towards the females and often their own offspring. They communicate with a variety of both verbal and non verbal methods.

They live in small groups that are called troops. There is an adult male who is in charge of what goes on within that troop. The leader takes on the responsibility of fighting to protect the troop, and they will do so with their life if they have to. The other males in the troop will also fight along side the dominant male to protect their families.

The fact that the gorilla is so smart is one reason why researchers enjoy them so much. Most of us remember the gorilla named Koko in the early 1980′s who was taught sign language. The use of these animals for research is still taking place in many areas but the degree of such research has been significantly limited from what it was a couple of decades ago.

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