The eastern lowland gorilla is the largest species of gorilla. This gorilla can stand over six and a half feet and will max out at a weight of 550 pounds if living in the wild.
How strong are gorillas?
As their height and weight would imply, gorillas are powerful. The average-sized gorilla will have nearly nine times the strength of an average human.
There have been cases of zoo gorillas breaking or bending the bars of their enclosures. That effort, as one can imagine, requires outrageous strength and determination, of which the gorilla has plenty.
The silverback gorilla, which is perhaps the species of gorilla that we are most familiar with, can lift nearly 1,800 pounds in dead weight. In comparison, Iranian-born Olympic power-lifter Behdad Salimi world record snatch was 478 pounds.
What do gorillas eat?
Gorillas are primarily vegetarians. Their typical meal will include bamboo shoots, stems, and fruits. Some gorillas, such as the aforementioned western lowland gorilla, will also snack on ants and termites, and are known to bust into termite nests to delight on the larvae within. In some cases, gorillas will consume aquatic plants as well.
Overall, about 67% of the gorilla’s diet will consist of fruits, 17% leaves, and the remaining 16% in seeds, stems, ants, caterpillars, and termites.
How much do gorillas eat?
To support their massive size and weight, a gorilla will typically consume 40 to 45 pounds of food per day. Once a gorilla locates a suitable food source, they will select the parts of the plant that they want to consume. Gorillas have no issues with plants that are growing in hard soil, as their significant strength will allow them to pull the plant right out of the ground.
Do gorillas eat meat?
Though many humans deny this to be the case, gorillas do not actually eat meat. Though they absolutely will attack another animal or a human if they feel threatened, they will make their kill and throw the carcass to the wayside. They do not eat the flesh or meat of other animals.
What protein do gorillas eat?
The leaves that gorillas mostly subsist upon are rich in protein, which allows the gorilla to maintain their muscular mass. Roughly 16% of a gorilla’s energy comes from protein-rich nutrition, and in the winter, the gorilla will increase their protein intake to approximately 30% of their daily diet.
When you consider that a gorilla will consume 40 to 45 pounds of food per day, and 16% to 30% is protein, it is evident that a gorilla easily consumes ten times or more protein each day than the average human.
If you have ever met with a nutritionist or personal trainer, you know that protein is critical to building muscle. Thus, it is no wonder that gorillas are so big and strong, as they grow and maintain their muscles through the high percentage of protein-rich foods that they consume each and every day.
How do herbivores get so big?
Herbivores, gorillas, in particular, grow to such a large size because they eat an exceptionally balanced diet that is designed to maximize their growth and strength. However, it is important to understand the most plants are high in cellulose, which is difficult for the body to break down. Therefore, if a gorilla is enjoying nearly 45 pounds of food per day, it is not surprising that they are also consuming a significant amount of cellulose. This cellulose builds up and turns into the bulk that we see in gorillas and other large herbivorous animals.
Are the strongest animals’ herbivores?
Many of the strongest animals in the world are, indeed, herbivores. These strong herbivorous animals include gorillas, as well as elephants, cattle, and humans. However, it is not necessarily true that herbivores will always be stronger than carnivores. The grizzly bear, anaconda, musk ox, tiger, and eagle are also at the top of the list for strong animals, but we all know that these animals are meat-eater too.
Why donʼt carnivores get as big as herbivores?
It would seem that the capacity for the strength within an animal species is primarily associated with where that animal fits within the food chain. The higher up the food chain, the more likely it is that energy is lost due to activities such as respiration and metabolism itself.
Plants are the primary producers of energy. So, animals that are consuming plants are naturally converting those plants into energy. Thus, carnivores need to consume nearly ten times as much food to get the same amount of energy as an herbivore. For this very reason, carnivores will rarely get to the same size as an herbivore.
Can I get as big and strong as a gorilla by copying what a gorilla eats?
In theory, if you were to look for the most muscular and robust human in the world, and mirror their diet and daily activity exactly, it is probable that you could get as strong and muscular as they are. That said, it is highly unlikely that a human could get to the same bulk and overall size as a gorilla. Quite simply, it is not probable that a human could survive or maintain the same diet as a gorilla, as gorillas mainly eat fruits, leaves, seeds, stems, ants, caterpillars, and termites.
The human body, additionally, is not designed to consume nearly 45 pounds of food per day. And though this is a significant amount of food, it is actually far less in terms of calories each day. Therefore, it is assumed that even if a human could tolerate the bugs that a gorilla consumes, the overall caloric intake would not be sufficient or considered healthy for the human body.