Maple Heights, United States

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10×14 watercolor enhanced colored pencil on “satin” Arches watercolor paper. Original unavailable.

As of 02-28-18, 2886 views and 20 favorited.

CHALLENGES: LET ANIMALS STAY FREE – Gorillas in the Jungle – Top 10; African Beauty – Apes – Top 10; LOVE THESE CREATURES – Primates Only – Top 10; African Art & Photography – May 2013 Avatar – Top 10;
FEATURES: African Art & Photography; African Beauty; Indigenous to East & Southern Africa; Welcome to the Jungle; The Virtual Museum; Art Universe; Retired & Happy; Realist Traditional Art;

NOTE: Included in the Afrikaans Saturday Chat 29, 04-13-13 – Primate Lovers.

Gorillas, the largest of the living primates, are ground-dwelling omnivores that inhabit the forests of Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and (still under debate as of 2007) either four or five subspecies. Its DNA is 97%–98% identical to that of a human, and are the next closest living relatives to humans after the two chimpanzee species.
Name The American physician and missionary Thomas Staughton Savage first described the Western Gorilla (he called it Troglodytes gorilla) in 1847 from specimens obtained in Liberia. The name was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a “tribe of hairy women”) described by Hanno the Navigator, a Carthaginian navigator and possible visitor (circa 480 BC) to the area that later became Sierra Leone. Adult males range in height from 165-175 cm (5 ft 5 in – 5 ft 9 in), and in weight from 140–200 kg (310–440 lb). Adult females are often half the size of a silverback, averaging about 140 cm (4 ft 7 in) tall and 100 kg (220 lb). Occasionally, a silverback of over 183 cm (6 ft) and 225 kg (500 lb) has been recorded in the wild. However, obese gorillas in captivity have reached a weight of 270 kg (600 lb). Gorillas have a facial structure which is described as mandibular prognathism, that is, their mandible protrudes farther out than the maxilla.

There are typically 3 to 4 years between births. Infants stay with their mothers for 3–4 years. Females mature at 10–12 years (earlier in captivity); males at 11–13 years. Lifespan is between 30–50 years. The Philadelphia Zoo’s Massa set the longevity record of 54 years at the time of his death.

Gorillas are omnivores, eating fruits, leaves, shoots, and sometimes insects which make up only 1–2% of their diet.

Almost all gorillas share the same blood type (B) and, like humans, have individual finger prints.
Classification Western Lowland Gorilla
Until recently there were considered to be three gorilla species: the Western Lowland Gorilla, the Eastern Lowland Gorilla and the Mountain Gorilla. There is now agreement that are two species with two subspecies each. More recently it has been claimed that a third subspecies exists in one of the species.

Primatologists continue to explore the relationships between various gorilla populations. The species and subspecies listed here are the ones most scientists agree upon.

Genus Gorilla
Western Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla)
Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)
Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli)
Eastern Gorilla (Gorilla beringei)
Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei)
Eastern Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri)

The proposed third subspecies of Gorilla beringei, which has not yet received a full Latin designation, is the Bwindi population of the Mountain Gorilla, sometimes called the Bwindi Gorilla.

Endangerment Both species of gorilla are endangered, and have been subject to intense poaching for a long time. Threats to gorilla survival include habitat destruction and the bushmeat trade. In 2004 a population of several hundred gorillas in the Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo was essentially wiped out by the Ebola virus. A 2006 study published in Science concluded that more than 5,000 gorillas may have died in recent outbreaks of the Ebola virus in central Africa. The researchers indicated that in conjunction with commercial hunting of these apes creates “a recipe for rapid ecological extinction”.

  • Complete 01-24-2008 in 16.03 hours spread over 9 days

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  • Keeli
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