Gorillas have a sporadic dispersion where the range of species is divided by the Congo River and its tributaries. The western gorilla lives in west central Africa and the eastern gorilla in east central Africa. These gorillas stay in various habitats and ascents. The gorilla habitats range from montane to swamps where the eastern gorillas inhabit the montane and sub-montane forests between 650 and 4000 metres above sea level including the mountain gorillas that stay in the montane forests at the higher ends of the ascent range, and the eastern lowland gorillas that stay in both the sub-montane forests at the lower ends of the ascent range and montane bamboo forests. The western gorillas live in both lowland swamp forests and montane forests.
A gorilla’s day is coordinated as it is divided between rest periods, feeding or travel. Their diets differ between and among species where the mountain gorillas mostly eat foliage like leaves, stems, pith, shoots and surprisingly, the fruits make up a small part of their diets. The mountain gorilla’s food is widely distributed hence the mountain gorillas can live in a variety of habitats due to the flexible diets.
Gorillas can be identified by different features, like nose prints that are unique to each individual, where the mountain gorillas have often thick fur, longer than that of other gorilla species hence enabling them to live in colder temperatures. The males usually way twice as much as the females with a mean weight of 195 kilograms and height of 150 centimeters compared to the females with a mean of 100 kilograms and height of 130 centimeters.
The adult males have more vivid bony crests on the top and back of their skulls, which gives their heads a more conical shape and the adult females also have these crests though less distinct . All the gorillas have dark brown eyes framed by a black ring around the iris.
The adult male are referred to as silver bucks due to a saddle of grey or silver coloured hair that develops on the back with age and is shorter than most other body part with the arm hair especially long. Like all apes, its arms are longer than its legs and it can climb fruiting trees that can accommodate its weight, and moves by knuckle walking. The mountain gorilla is regularly, most active between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm and most of the hours are spent eating, as large quantities of food that can sustain the massive wait.
Each gorilla constructs a new nest every evening from the surrounding vegetation to sleep in and its only infants that sleep in the same nest as their mothers. They leave their sleeping sites at around 6 am when the sun rises except when it is cold.
The mountain gorillas are social and live in relatively stable, cohesive groups held together by long term bonds between the adult males and females although the relationships among the females are kind of weak. The silver buck generally defends his group rather than his territory.
61% of the groups are composed of one adult male and a number of females and about 36% contain more than one adult male with the remaining gorillas marked to be either lone males or exclusively male groups.
The group sizes vary from 5 members to 30 with an average of 10. Normally, a typical group contains, 1 dominant silver buck, who is the undisputed leader of the group, another subordinate silver back , 1 or 2 black bucks that act as sentries, 3 to 4 sexual mature females who are ordinarily bonded to the dominant silver buck, and lastly from 3 to 6 juveniles and infants.
Most males leave the group when they are about 11 years old as they spend more and more time on the edge of the group until they leave. They may travel alone or with an all male group for about 2 to 5 years before the females are attracted to form a new group. The females usually leave when they are about 8 years old, and either transfer directly to an established group or begins a new group with a lone male though the females often transfer to a new group several times before they settle down with a certain silver buck male.