What is a Silverback Gorilla? Weight, Strength, and Size

What is a Silverback Gorilla? A silverback gorilla is an adult male identifiable by the swathe of silver hair on its back. This page explains the facts about Silverback Gorilla; Weight, Strength, and Size.

Adult male mountain gorillas with a span of silver hair on their backs are known as silverback gorillas. Along with this striking sign of adulthood, they are renowned for aggressive and dominance-related behaviors like whooping, charging, chest-beating, tree-slapping, and, less frequently, physical duels.

Silverback Gorilla Facts: Weight, Strength, and Size

A typical silverback weighs 430 pounds (195 kg) and stands 5 feet (1.5m) tall. Silverbacks are incredibly strong and can lift over 1763 pounds (800kg) of dead weight. That’s rough twice as much as a well-trained weightlifter. In the wild, a silverback uses its immense strength to fall trees in order to reach its fruits. This makes mountain gorillas a keystone species in Virunga since they significantly affect the ecology of their environment.

What is a Silverback Gorilla?

The Dominant Silverback

A male gorilla reaches sexual maturity and becomes a silverback at about age twelve. Even though a troop may contain several silverbacks, one male is always in charge of the group as a whole (except in rare instances of matriarch-led troops). As part of a conservation strategy, habituated gorilla families in Virunga National Park are typically given the name of the silverback heading the troop at the start of the process. Habituation is the process by which gorilla families get used to being in close proximity to humans.

The Silverback – Female Relationship

Adult females frequently move between families to increase their chances of having offspring and prevent inbreeding. No matter whose family a female comes from, she will make an effort to get close to and form a solid relationship with the dominant silverback. This lessens the threat of antagonism from unrelated females met during migration and helps prevent harassment from other males.

Blackbacks and Subordinate Silverbacks

All silverbacks want to increase their chances of having offspring by gaining dominance. A blackback is sexually mature but not physically capable of competing for supremacy. When a male matures into a silverback, he might then challenge the dominant silverback for leadership of the group or make an alliance with him.

CONTACT US
× Talk to An Expert