The Gorilla Life Cycle (All Stages Of Growth)
A gorilla life cycle begins with a gestation period that takes about eight and a half weeks; a gorilla gestation period can be identified from swollen knuckles. Female mountain gorillas usually produce in the night hours and can produce any time of the year.
Gorillas have a very low birth rate; they produce after every 4-6 and only have 1-2 fertile days in a month. Once they conceive and give birth they will not mate again until the baby gorilla is 4-6 years, a female gorilla can produce only 2-6 off springs in a lifetime.
When a baby gorilla is born, it’s called an infant and breastfeeds on the mothers’ milk until 3-4 years of age just like human babies. Then born weighing about 1.8kg and vulnerable, they begin to sit upright and walk at 3-4 months from the time of birth the mother carries the baby until about 6 months where they can cling to their mother’s back up to 4-6 years.
Infant male mountain gorillas can sometimes be killed when the leadership of the group changes or when the mother leaves for another group, this is done by a silverback with fear of the infant males growing and taking over the dominance. When an infant gorilla reaches 4-8 years, they are known as juvenile gorillas, at this stage they can do most of the activities independently but this doesn’t mean they are mature. They can weigh 60-70 kgs during this age period.
Following the gorilla life Cycle, at the age of 10-15 years, a gorilla will be considered as an adult and males become black backs, females reach sexually active by this age before males. The male gorillas will continue to grow while the female gorillas might stop getting tall and only gain weight.
When black backs begin growing a grey patch of grayish hair on their backs, they will now become silverbacks and this is the last stage of a gorilla cycle. At this age, black backs stop growing and gain weight. An average lifespan of a gorilla is 35-40 years in the wild and 50 years in captivity.