The relationship life of gorillas
Gorillas and humans do share about 98 percent of their DNA in common and this explains why almost everything these gentle giants do has got some resemblance of their human counterparts behavior. Of all primates, gorillas are the ones with more closely related behavior to humans. Some of the common practices between gorillas and humans include living in social groups, having family heads who are strong males, leadership hierarchy in their families, constructing shelter, mourning their dead, and many more.
With such evidence, it is not a surprise to find out that gorillas do practice affection to each other like humans do in several ways. Here are five amazing ways how relationships are practiced by gorillas;
1 Gorillas use grooming to create bonds
Grooming among gorillas is used for several purposes one of which is to clean themselves. However, it is also a strong tools used in primate societies to form and strengthen strong bonds between individuals. For purposes of bond creation, grooming can be equated to holding hands among humans. Most of the grooming among gorillas take place between mothers and infants and male females.
2 Gorillas do not score high on the social interaction scale
Unlike other primates like chimps who love to embrace, hold hands and even kiss, gorillas are much more socially reserved when it comes to such interactions. This has been evidenced by the proximity patterns that have been witnessed among gorillas whereby its situations that determine who sits near who. You can observe a unique network of social relationships by looking at how gorillas distribute themselves, especially during resting periods. Sometimes gorillas use proximity patterns for reconciliation between individuals, usually after a fight, gorillas are more likely to sit near their former opponent to reestablish their relationship.
3 Opposite sex relationships are the pillar of gorilla society
Unlike in other primate species where where very strong bonds can be observed between individuals of the same sex, especially in females, among gorillas it is the opposite. Male-female relationships are stronger than same sex relationships among gorillas. The main reason for this may be that female gorillas tend to get attracted to males because they deem them to be good defenders who can protect them and their infants. Female gorillas also generally don’t meet until later when they are old or when they decide to transfer groups which weakens their relationships. Amazingly, female gorillas will leave a group whose leading male has died and join other groups hence separating in the process.
4 To gorillas, it’s family first
study has found out that females belonging to a particular group will decide to spend more time together when given the opportunity to live in a big social group that has got other unrelated females. Whether its an average gorilla group of about 10 individuals or in larger groups of over 60 members, this behavior remains the same which shows that gorillas attach much more importance and affection to their relatives compared to other primates.
5 Female gorillas can switch partners
There is nothing like permanent marriage among gorillas! Females gorillas always transfer groups on several occasions throughout their lives which makes them have offspring with several males. Adult males and females may spend long periods of life together but they don’t mate forever. There is a big variation in this behavior of gorillas as some individuals have been observed staying together for a bigger part of their productive theirs. Female Tuck and male Titus are the perfect example of this having stayed together for 21 years.