The Cross River Gorillas of Cameroon and Nigeria

The Cross River Gorillas of Cameroon and Nigeria

September 26, 2019
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The Cross River gorilla is a subspecies of the western gorilla, one of the two gorilla species in the world. The other species is the eastern gorilla. The cross river gorilla together with the western lowland gorilla are the two subspecies that make up the western gorilla species.

The eastern gorilla species is also made up by two sub species including the eastern lowland gorillas and the mountain gorillas.

Where are the cross river gorillas found?

Cross river gorillas are exclusively found in the mountains and forest hills of the region around the Cameroon-Nigeria border at the headwaters of Nigeria’s Cross River, from which they derive their name.

How many cross river gorillas are there?

By 2014, there were about 250 mature cross river gorillas that were remaining and this number makes them the fewest among all the gorilla species and other apes.

Where is their habitat?

Groups of cross river gorillas rotate within the range of about 12,000 square kilometers as their habitat though some gorillas were recently found outside this range indicating that their distribution may be wider.

What is the difference between a cross river gorilla and a western lowland gorilla?

Though both the cross river gorilla and the western lowland gorilla are western gorilla species, they key distinguishing features between themselves. Cross river gorillas have shorter skulls while their palates and cranial vaults are smaller than those of western lowland gorillas. The two subspecies are not so much different in terms of body size though male cross river gorillas have shorter hands and feet with a large opposability index compared to their counterparts.

Physical description

The average height for mature cross river gorillas is 170 cm while that of females is 14o cm. In terms of weight, males weigh between 300 and 450 pounds while females weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. Their life expectancy is up to 45 years while they attain sexual maturity at about 8 years with the gestation period of 8.5 months. Female cross river gorillas usually give birth to one baby with very rare cases of twins.

Habitat description