Silverback Gorilla (Head of the gorilla group)

It is named silverback for the silver-colored saddles across his back. It is a mature, experienced and strong male leader of the gorillas family in the wild and it is responsible for the safety of the entire group. Each gorilla family (troop) contain from 5 to 30 members. The silverback decides where the troop travels, where it forages for food, where it will rest and where it will sleep at night. It is noted that gorilla troops shift on daily basis and spend their nights in different places.

Silverbacks are very huge with 5.5 to 6 feet tall and weigh as much as 350 pounds but female gorillas are shorter and weigh as much as 200 pounds. The silverback’s ears look small for its head. Males have a large bony crest on the tops of their skulls and back, which helps support their jaw muscles and teeth. The bony crest gives their heads a conical shape. Females have the same crest as well, but it is not as pronounced as it is in males.

Silverbacks also are very hairy; they are the hairiest of all gorilla species. Their hair is long and thick, and helps to insulate them at high elevations. Their arms are shorter than the arms of lowland gorillas, and their legs are short in comparison to their arms. Silverbacks get their silver saddle at around 12 years old. Younger males who don’t yet have the silver saddle are called “blackbacks.”

Though strong and huge, mountain Gorillas remain gentle, social and even shy. They show each other affection, often hugging and playing with each other, much like humans do. Like human beings, gorillas also laugh and even capable of using sticks, stones and so on during their routen work. Silverbacks from different groups can launch a dominance battle or a fight and the winner over throw headship of the weak one hence dominating its group.

The head of the group (Silverback) only mate all the female gorillas in its group. The females choose him for his size and strength. Males tend to leave the troop when they reach sexual maturity, and travel alone for some time until they eventually form their own troops to head. Like wise gorillas share common characters with human being as they too get angry, fight, laugh, slap among others.

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