Gorillas are apes and, since apes are man's closest relatives, they hold a very special fascination for us as humans. Animals have existed on earth for around 600 million years followed by mammals some 200 million years ago, and finally the first primates about 70 million years ago. When it comes to Homo sapiens, or modern day humans we are just a blink of an eye in evolutionary time, since we have remained unchanged for about 50,000 years. The great apes such as the Mountain Gorilla are the only animals on earth that resembles modern day humans, with a genetic difference of only 1.8 percent in the DNA sequence.
The mountain gorillas of the Virunga Volcanoes in Rwanda Africa are remarkable animals. The Mountain Gorilla is a massive animal, with a short thick trunk and broad chest and shoulders. Its large head and hairless, shiny black muzzle dwarf the eyes and ears. As they age they will develop a crown of muscle and hair that makes the head look even longer.
The mountain gorilla dwells deep in the rain forests of central Africa. This animal, which at one point in time dominated the African wilderness, has become the most endangered species in all of Africa. Mountain gorillas typically live in a habitat anywhere from three to 12 square kilometers of lush African rainforest.
Mountain Gorillas spend the majority of their day eating and are primarily vegetarians, eating many types of plants including roots and stems of plants such as wild celery, thistles, and the tender shoots of bamboo. Bamboo shoots are available only a few months of the year, usually, between August and December and will only visit the forests when fresh shoots are available. The growth of Bamboo is highly variable from year to year; depending on the climate the bamboo forest may be a secondary habitat for them. Mountain gorillas also eat the tender and soft centers of the giant Senecio trees, which cause them to migrate up
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