The mountain gorilla is part of the eastern gorilla species, which is also split into two groups: eastern lowland gorillas and mountain gorillas.Its scientific name is Gorilla beringei beringei.
A primate and a great ape, the mountain gorilla is now only found in three African countries: DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. The mountain gorilla is critically endangered: somewhere from 900 to 1000 remain (last updated Nov, 2018). Mountain gorillas are very social creatures and they live in groups with one to two alpha males. Adult males are called silverback gorillas. The name comes from the silvery color that develops on their back as they mature and get older. The largest of all primates, mountan gorillas are larger than lowland gorillas and have longer hair and shorter arms. They are found at higher altitudes in the rocky slopes of dormant volcanoes. Mountain gorillas are diurnal and are most active during daylight hours. They are herbivores that feed on leaves, roots, tree bark and pulp. They have also been reported to eat small insects. The gestation period for females is nine months and they normally give birth to one young.
The lowland gorilla is part of the western gorilla species and its scientific name is Gorilla gorilla. Smaller than the mountain gorilla, the lowland gorilla makes its home in dense rainforests in Western Africa. Countries in which the lowland gorilla can be found include Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Like the mountain gorilla, the lowland gorilla lives in groups called troops, with a dominant male (silverback) presiding over them. Unlike the mountain gorilla, the lowland gorilla is more likely to be found in trees, but is also found in dense ground foliage. The gestation period for females is 8.5 to 9 months, with females reaching sexual maturity at 10 years of age. Gorillas are omnivores with a lifespan of around 35 years. Although number vary from resource to resource, it is estimated that roughly 50,000-130,000 lowland gorillas (eastern and western) are left and this animal is on the endangered list.