Gorillas are mainly herbivorous in nature and prefer eating fruits and leaves. They are also called folivores. Apart from shoots and plants, they also consume small insects. They usually spend most part of the day, eating. They have got long canines and large sagittal crest which allows them to chew and crush bamboo plants. Lowland gorillas usually feed on fruits where as the Mountain gorillas mostly prefer stems roots and herbs.
Western lowland gorilla consumes at least 97 species of plant. Almost 67% fruit, 17% seeds, stems and leaves and 3% of caterpillars and termites. Eastern lowland gorillas consume at least 104 species of plants. These gorillas mostly live on plants. The Mountain gorilla consumes more than 142 species of plants and usually no fruits, as no fruit are available on high altitudes. Their diet usually consists of 86% of shoots, stems and leaves, 3% flowers, 2% fruits, 7% roots and 2% of ants, grubs and snails. The diet of the Cross River gorilla is not yet exactly discovered though it is assumed they live on leaves, fruits, piths, stems and even small invertebrates.
An adult male gorilla can eat over 18 kg of vegetation a day, whereas the females consume much less than that. Gorillas do not drink, because they eat succulent vegetation, which is usually comprised of half amount of water and morning dew. Gorillas have incredible strength, which they use to break apart hard vegetation. An adult gorilla can break a big banana tree and eat out the tender pith inside.
Gorillas are selective foragers. They usually eat parts of different vegetation. They may eat up the whole plant or only the leaves or pith, roots or stalk of a plant. Gorillas never overexploit the area where food is found. Rather they usually crop the vegetation for quick refill. It has been found that the gorillas use the hair on the back of their hand to absorb water and later suck it.
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