Western Lowland Gorilla Morphology

Gorillas, split into western and eastern species, are the largest extant primate and one of our closest living relatives. Western gorillas are physically distinguishable from those in the east by their shorter hair and typically reddish-brown crest. Individuals can vary from brown to blackish in colour, with young individuals exhibiting a white tuft. Adult males (up to 200 kilos), are twice the size of females and exhibit the characteristic ‘silver back’ on maturity and a pronounced head resulting from a bony structure known as the sagittal crest. Individual gorillas can be distinguished through their nose-prints: the shape and size of their nostrils, alongside associated lines and markings.

The silverback Makumba, showing the typical western gorilla reddish-brown crest (Copyright by Michelle Klailova)