06 January 2011

Bachelor group area

Maybe I was fondly remembering my own bachelor days (although there wasn’t that much to remember fondly from those days, but that’s another story), but during a recent trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I spent quite a bit of time on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail just watching the bachelor group area of the Western Lowland Gorilla compound.

The Western Lowland Gorilla males are known as silverbacks are amongst the strongest, but least aggressive of all known primates. The males can weigh up to six hundred pounds and stand up to six feet tall, while their reach can be up to eight feet from fingertip to fingertip. That impressive wingspan comes in handy for their chest beating displays, which are for show and not demonstrations of aggression.

In a troop group, the Western Lowland Gorillas can be seen nesting, cooperatively grooming, playful wrestling and harmoniously coexisting. Yet, for the bachelors, it is a lot of sleeping, eating (bamboo, fruit and other plants), roaming aimlessly, and chest thumping exhibitions. And yet, the do it all with so much more majesty than anyone did in my bachelor years.

1 comment:

M.Sedlar said...

When you say "primates," you're including monkeys as well as lesser and greater apes, so to say the Western Lowland Gorilla is the least aggressive of all known primates sounds wrong. Amongst the great apes, perhaps. The only competition there are orangutans, chimps, bonobos and humans. Even then, gorillas practice infanticide and bachelors will attempt to overthrow a silverback to take his harem, so you could still argue whether gorillas are less aggressive than humans.