Real-Life Planet of the Apes: Why Mountain Gorillas Are So Special

Mountain gorillas are some of the most interesting creatures on the planet. Extreme intelligence and brute strength help separate these large apes from other animals. Here are a few unbelievable facts about gorillas.

Gorillas Are Powerful Plant Eaters
During a face-to-face encounter with a silverback, don’t expect to win a fight. Research shows these gorillas are roughly six times stronger than the average man. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the strongest silverback has the ability to lift up to 1,800 pounds. With one mighty blow, a fully grown male gorilla can crack a glass zoo enclosure. They also have a crushing bite force, which is even more powerful than that of a lion. Sharp canine teeth enable gorillas to rip into bamboo and other tough plants.

Gorillas Are Shy Creatures
Despite a silverback’s reputation for being a muscle-bound beast, it’s actually a shy creature that prefers a life of peace. Most silverback gorillas won’t act aggressively towards humans. However, be sure to keep your distance. If a silverback feels threatened, he’ll fight to defend the troop from danger. Chest pounding is one of the first indications that he’s become annoyed with your presence.

Gorillas Are Extremely Smart
Like humans, gorillas have been found to grieve the dead. In the event a gorilla dies, other members of the society will gather to give heartfelt condolences. Koko, who was one of the most famous gorillas in history, had the ability to communicate using sign language. She was believed to have an IQ score between 75 and 95. When considering the average person has an IQ of around 100, this is especially amazing.