ECOLOGY



The gorilla is a folivorous species, but will also eat fruit, seeds, flowers, roots, herbs, insects, and clay. The clay is eaten for the minerals that the gorilla cannot obtain from its regular food sources (Estes, 1991). The parts of the plants mostly eaten are the leaves, stems, and pith. The favorite plants of the mountain gorilla are the leaves of the hagenia and hypericum trees and wild celery. Western lowland gorillas in Gabon will eat insects, the most favorite being the weaver ant. Some populations consume such a large amount of succulent herbs that they do not need to drink much water (Estes, 1991). The lowland gorillas tend to consume more fruit than the mountain subspecies (Fleagle, 1988). This is a diurnal and a semi-terrestrial species, although the mountain gorilla is much less arboreal mainly the young play in trees. Each night the gorilla will construct a nest of leaves on the ground which is generally a crude platform with a circular rim (Estes, 1991). Western Lowland Gorilla


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