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Silverback Gorillas show Human-like expressions and behaviors - Largest living Primate

Kevin Hunter

SUBSCRIBE HERE!! FACT: Gorillas in the wild live 35 Years. Rescued Gorillas in captivity live 50 Years. Gorillas, monkeys, and apes often show their intelligence, learning sign language, laughing, acting like smart humans. Of course, they are animals.
This video was produced while visiting the Woodland Park Zoo recently in Seattle WA. We stopped by to see the Gorilla exhibit. I was fascinated by how human like these animals are, and how patiently and curiously they observed the children and adults alike. The group of five gorillas were like five pals hanging out at the park with nearby observers. While some of them were preoccupied with their own interests, a couple of them clearly engaged with us, and it was very interesting to see.

The genetic material of apes is identical to that of humans to a very large degree. Differences are especially small in the nuclear DNA. Certain genes that were analyzed differ by only 1.2% between humans and chimpanzees, by 1.6% between humans and gorillas and by 1.8% between gorillas and chimpanzees. In contrast, analyzed parts of the genetic material of African apes and humans differ from the respective genetic material of the orang-utan by about 3.1%. In mitochondrial DNA, which changes considerably faster, geneticists found a difference in 8.8% between humans and chimpanzees, 10.3% between humans and gorillas, 10.6% between chimpanzees and gorillas and 16-17% difference between the other species and the orang-utan.

Although chimpanzees and bonobos are the closest relatives of humans, gorillas resemble us more in some respects. For instance, the gorillas' hands and feet resemble the human ones more than those of other apes. Gorillas spend more time on the ground than other apes, therefore their feet are more suited to walking.

At an age of 35 or more, gorillas show distinct signs of age. Old mountain gorillas often suffer from arthritis, which mainly damages the bones in their hands and feet. They also suffer from the loss of teeth as a consequence of periodontitis, so that they have a problem with feeding. It takes them longer to feed and to travel than the other group members. Gorilla groups adjust their activities accordingly and look after the aged members, in a similar way as they treat sick individuals. Only when death is imminent, the old animals are sometimes abandoned or they retreat on their own accord.

To date, no exact data on the maximum age of free-ranging gorillas are available, as animals in the wild have only been observed since 1967. On average they probably reach 40-45 years. The oldest gorilla to have lived in a zoo died at 55 years.

Visit the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle to see these gorillas for yourself.

posted by mmmlortab00

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