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Mountain Gorilla’s Diet
The diet of mountain gorillas largely consists of foliage. Over 142 different plants, whose leaves, shoots and stems are eaten, constitute gorilla food. For the shoots, the gorillas enjoy mainly the rainy season mountain bamboos when still green and tender. Because the bamboo shoots are 84% water the supplement of trocatea, young bamboo leaves, tsile’s leaves, stems, flowers and roots, celery’s stem without the tree bark, urela cameronesis leaves and stem bark and dry season black berries grown on high attitude provides a nutritious delicacy for mountain gorillas.
The eating of mountain gorillas depends on the prevailing situation in a particular group. Normally gorillas have a three intervals of rest between each feeding, which amounts to 40% of an area that has plenty of food, they will feed and then rest for longer periods compared to times and movement into a sector of limited food availability. They also become dormant if it’s raining heavily. The mountain gorillas spend a lot of their time traveling and foraging in search of food, because plants and trees change with the seasons. Full-grown mountain gorillas can eat up to 60 pounds of vegetation a day.
Mountain gorillas have a slow rate of reproduction. This slow reproduction rate makes this species even more threatened. Females reach sexual maturity at age 7 or 8, but don’t begin to breed immediately until they are 10 years or older. Generally, due to competition between males for access to females, few wild males breed before they reach 15 years old. Eight and a half months or nine months after mating a female produces a single young and in rare cases twins. Young are usually weaned by three years old, and females can give birth every four years.
Mothers share a very close bond and relationship with their infants for about 4 years, after which another sibling may be born. A mother gorilla will breast feed her baby for three and a half years and will have a maximum of six babies with spacing of four years. Upon reaching sexual maturity, between ages seven and ten, young gorillas strike out on their own, seeking new groups or mates. Zoo gorillas may reach sexual maturity before seven years old, and may have young every two to three years.
Mountain gorillas normally live in groups of one or two adult males (ages 12 years or older, called silverbacks), several younger males (called blackbacks), adult females, juveniles and infants. The dominant silverback is the center of attention during rest sessions and mediates conflicts within the group. The silverback forms special bonds with the adult females in the group and fathers most of the offspring.
Mountain gorilla females can begin motherhood around age 10. Mother gorillas initially hold newborns close to their chest, but the infant soon learns how to hold on for itself. It later learns how to ride on the mother’s back until it is old enough to travel on its own. Young gorillas are adventurous and climb a lot. A young gorilla remains with its mother until 5 years of age. Newborn gorillas are weak and tiny, weighing about 4 pounds. Their movements are as awkward like those of human infants.
Read more facts about gorillas:
Existance and History of the Gorillas
Mountain Gorilla Location & Habitat
Mountain Gorilla Conservation
How you are contributing to the conservation of the gorilla
Goals of the conservation
Mountain Gorilla Behaviors
Mountain Gorilla Diet
Breeding of the Gorillas