What Gorillas eat?
Gorilla feeds are influenced by the habitat and time of the year. Mountain gorillas dominantly feed on parts of green plants whereas the low land gorillas enjoy taking plenty of fruit. However, it should be noted that in the dry seasons the juicy fruits are very limited which forces lowland gorillas to take plenty of tree seeds and tree bark. Since the fruits grow on trees, gorillas of all ages are climb trees to harvest the fruits and what should be noted is that even though the lowland gorillas prefer fruits to leaves, pith, stems and shoots, they do not take as much fruit as chimpanzees and orangutans. The western lowland gorillas have a wide range of food sources stretching to over 200 plant species especially of arrowroot and ginger families.
In contrast the worlds critically endangered mountain gorillas that thrive in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Virunga Volcanoes well known for their gorilla tracking safaris forage on about 38 various species of plants especially of thistles, gallium, nettles and celery.
The food range of the western gorillas is very broad: they eat about 200 plant species. They particularly like plants belonging to the ginger and arrowroot families. In contrast, the mountain gorillas in the Virunga Volcanoes eat only 38 different plant species, mainly Galium, thistles, celery and nettles.
A mature Grauer’s gorilla male takes about 30kg of plants daily while a mature female takes 18kg. To crush these food materials, gorillas use their strong chewing muscles. Their teeth which looks like human teeth except the mature gorilla long pointed canines which are not used for feeding but to fight other rival males.
Besides plants, gorillas also take in soil though on rare instances. Soil contain some minerals that miss in their in their dietary plants or the soil minerals may be neutralizing the poisonous substances existing in their food. Gorillas also take in small insets constituting about 0.1% of their dietary content unlike their counterparts Chimpanzees that take about 6% of animal matter. Gorillas desist from killing big games.