Life Cycle of a living thing is defined as the series of biological changes & growth through which that living thing undergo throughout its lifespan. Gorilla like all other living things have a certain life cycle from birth to death. Here we have explained the Gorilla Life Cycle from Birth to Death by identifying all the stages of the life cycle along with their brief description, diagram and images. Do not forget to like and share it with others so that other people can also benefit from this information.
Gorilla Life Cycle
- Life cycle of an organism means the birth, growth and reproduction of an organism.
- The life of a gorilla is consist of the following stages which completes on life cycle.
- Gestation period
- Infant period
- Young adulthood
- Mature adulthood
- Gestation period is the time period which an organism spends in the fetus or fat of a mother.
- The average gestation period of a gorilla is 8.5 months which is 2 weeks less than the human gestation period.
- Unlike human it is difficult to determine whether a gorilla is pregnant or not because their stomach size is very large. However the pregnant gorilla has swollen knuckles( joints of fingers) which is a sign of pregnancy.
- There is no specific season for the birth of a gorilla. A gorilla can give birth to a baby after gestation period at any season of the year. Usually they give birth to babies at night time.
- The mortality rate of young for new born baby is 40% which means that an adult female has only one surviving offspring after 6 or 8 years.
- Due to low mortality rate a female gorilla will have 2 to 6 babies through out its life time.
- The infant period of a gorilla starts just after the gestation period is over and a baby is given birth.
- The infant period lasts for two to three years.
- The young babies are unable to walk till the age of 3 to 4 months . During this age they are carried by their mothers in arms. In case if their mother has died then the silverback gorilla does this duty.
- At the age of 3 months they learn to sit up right.
- After 4 months the young gorillas learn to cling to their mothers back. They travel on their mothers back till the age of 3 to 4 years.
- During infant period the young gorillas may be killed by the silverback gorilla. This happens when the female gorilla leaves its group and join another group or when a new male takes over.
- Infants are almost in constant care for 6 months by their mothers and are nursed for 3 to 4 years.
- juvenile age starts from 3 or 4 years and lasts to 6 or 8 years.
- In this period the gorillas are independent but not fully matured.
- Male and female gorillas look almost the same in this age. It is difficult to differentiate in them during this age.
- At this age both the genders have black thick hairs on their back.
- During this age, male and female grow at the same rate. In the age of 6 they are about 1.2 or 4 meter tall.
- The average weight at this age is about 68 kg.
Young Adulthood Period
- Young adulthood is the age when a gorilla becomes adult.
- Female gorillas reach this age earlier than the male gorillas.
- Female gorillas adult at the age of 8 to 10 years . While the male gorillas adult at the age of 12 to 15 years.
- At this age the female gorilla stops growing taller. However they continue to gain weight until they reach to 250 to 300 pounds.
- During this age the males still retain the black hairs on their backs and are called as blackbacks.
- Mature adulthood is the last stage of the gorilla life cycle.
- When a male gorilla matures, a patch of silver or grayish colored hairs develops on its back which make the distinct from the female gorilla.
- Male gorillas at this time period are called as Silver back gorillas.
- At this age the male gorilla stops gaining weight and height, It has a typical weight of 450 to 500 pounds. The average height of a male gorilla at this age is 1.5 to 1.8 meter.
- However, at this age the female gorillas can get weight due to pregnancy.
Lifespan Of A Gorilla
- The total life span of a gorilla ranges from 30 to 50 years.
- In captivity, they live longer than the in the wild.
- In wild the normal life span of a gorilla ranges from 35 to 40 years.
- In a zoo the life span may extend to 50 years.
- Until today the oldest ever known gorilla was ‘Colo’ at the ‘Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’ who lived for 60 years. She died on January 17 , 2017.