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Western lowland gorilla

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Western lowland gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo, 2011

The western gorilla (scientific name : Gorilla gorilla) and the eastern gorilla (scientific name : Gorilla beringei) are the only two species of gorilla. There are two subspecies of the western gorilla: the western lowland gorilla (scientific name : Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and the Cross River gorilla (scientific name : Gorilla gorilla diehli). There are differences in the skull and tooth dimensions of the two subspecies.

In 2014, the western lowland gorilla numbered perhaps 125,000 while the Cross River gorilla numbered perhaps 250. The two subspecies are endangered.

Western lowland gorillas are the most numerous of the four subspecies of gorilla. Western lowland gorillas dwell in the rainforests of equatorial Africa. Western lowland gorillas remain critically endangered. Their numbers continue to decline because of poaching, habitat destruction, and disease.

Gorillas typically live in family groups, consisting of several adult females and their offspring. The groups are led and protected by a dominant male known as a "silverback."


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