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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What Do Gorillas Eat?

Lots of Salad!

Gorillas eat plants, mainly leaves. "There is a virtual absence of foods of animal origin."


  1. Forget about gorillas, you should talk about our closer relatives the chimpanzees, who are omnivores. They will hunt, kill and eat the meat of other animals including their brains, while consuming large animals isn't common they eat plenty of insect meat which is nutritionally important to them.

  2. I chose gorillas because gorilla imagery is commonly used as a metaphor for strength. I wanted to help people grasp the idea that they can meet their protein needs by eating plants. If a gorilla can, they can. In other words, I'm using a rhetorical technique called an a fortiori argument.

    I chose not to use chimpanzees because many people are now aware that chimpanzees sometimes hunt and eat their kill. However, it would be ridiculous to refer to chimpanzees as omnivores. Rather, they are herbivores, primarily frugivores, that are also opportunistic feeders. Similarly, dogs are not true omnivores. They are carnivores that are also opportunistic feeders. Nor would you refer to a whitetail deer as an omnivore simply because they occasionally eat fledgling birds or dead fish. True omnivores, such as a grizzly bear, have structural adaptations for a mixed diet.

    One study found that only 1.7% of chimpanzee fecal specimens showed evidence of a meal that included meat: Tutin C.E.G., Fernandez M. (1993) Composition of the diet of chimpanzees and comparisons with that of sympatric lowland gorillas in the Lopé Reserve, Gabon. Am. J. Primatol. 30:195–211. Other studies have shown that the amount of meat consumed by chimpanzees varies seasonally, which is what you'd expect for an opportunistic feeder.

  3. Amazing information. i agree with you laurie.Even though i dont know you; I very much appreciate you for sharing this. keep it up. wish you the best.
    P.S. I am eating my leaves right now :))))