Gorilla and chimpanzees are generally considered to be the same species, which is not valid. They are two different species despite being similar in many ways. Although gorillas and chimpanzees are both Apes and have many similarities, they both behave and act differently.
Moreover, they belong to different tribes and genus. Gorillas belong to Gorillini and genus Gorilla, while on the other hand, chimpanzees belong to the Hominini tribe genus Pan.
Differences between Gorillas and Chimpanzees
Apart from the genus and tribal differences, the following are the significant difference between gorillas and chimpanzees:
Appearance: Chimpanzees have black hair covered all over their body while the palm of their hands, the sole of their feet, face, fingers, and toes are all bare and pink in color. On the other hand, the bodies of gorillas are generally dark.
Weight: The gorillas are not only more giant than chimpanzees, but they weigh much more than them.
Strength: Gorillas are far more potent than chimpanzees, but they are peaceful animals and will attack only if they feel threatened.
Socializing Traits: Both gorillas and chimpanzees are social animals; however, chimpanzees associates more than gorillas.
Intelligence: Although both gorillas and chimpanzees have bigger brains, a chimpanzee’s brain is significant in proportionate to its body than a gorilla.
Food: Gorillas are generally herbivorous, who eat leaves, nettles, roots primarily, and stems but in a smaller amount, while on the other hand, chimpanzees are frugivorous, and they also eat insects and meat.
Off Springs: Gorillas have a slightly more extended pregnancy period and give birth to more children in fewer years.
Expression of Aggression: Chimpanzees and gorillas express themselves in different ways. Gorillas express their aggression by beating their chest, while chimpanzees tend to scream and kick trees to show their aggression.
Habitat: Gorillas are mostly found on the ground, while chimpanzees tend to live more in trees.
1. Gorillas and Chimpanzees Look Different
Chimpanzees have thick black hair, and their face is pink while gorillas are darker in color and their faces are black. The arms, chest, and muscles of gorillas are more prominent as compared to that of chimpanzees. Moreover, the ears of gorillas are small and appear to be on the back of the head, whereas the ears of chimpanzees are big and appear to be popped out of their heads. Lastly, the head and forehead of gorillas are bigger, unlike chimpanzees, who have smaller heads and foreheads.
2. The Size and Weight of Gorillas and Chimpanzees
The size of gorillas usually is 2-3 times more than that of chimpanzees. The weight of male chimpanzees varies from 40kg-60kg, while the female gorillas weigh about 27-50kg. On the other hand, male gorillas weigh 136-195 while female gorillas weigh about 68-113kg.
3. Who is Stronger, a Gorilla or a Chimpanzee?
Gorillas are much more stringer as compared to chimpanzees. Gorillas are unlikely to attack a human being as they are considered to be peaceful species. However, if they feel that they are in danger, they can attack and immediately kill a human. On the other hand, chimpanzees are not as friendly as gorillas are and can attack a human. Additionally, if a chimpanzee attacks a human, they will mangle first and do not kill immediately.
4. Socializing Traits of Gorillas and Chimpanzees
Chimpanzees are much more social than gorillas and live in bigger communities, usually comprising over 100 individuals, whereas gorillas tend to live in smaller communities of not more than 40 individuals. The groups of gorillas are lead by one silverback only who is a dominant male, while communities of chimpanzees are lead by different males depending upon the need.
5. Who is Smarter, a Gorilla or Chimpanzee?
Despite being smaller in size, chimpanzees are smarter than gorillas. Chimpanzees have a bigger brain than their body size, making them more intelligent, canning, and tricky than gorillas. Chimpanzees are considered to be one of the most intelligent animals on earth. They use tools to find their food and clean themselves.
6. What Do Chimpanzees and Gorillas Eat?
Both the species are primarily vegetarian, but chimpanzees sometimes eat insects and meat, too. In contrast, on the other hand, gorillas do not eat the flesh of animals and rarely feed themselves on insects, ants, and termites. Moreover, gorillas feed themselves primarily on stems and leaves while chimpanzees are mainly fruit eater and eat fruit just to gather some extra energy.
7. Mating and Children of Gorillas and Chimpanzees
Gorillas and chimpanzees mate just like humans do, and they give birth to only one child at a time. The time of pregnancy for gorillas is 8.5 months, while chimpanzees stay pregnant for 8 months only. Another major difference is that gorillas tend to have one offspring in 2 years while chimpanzees are likely to have one child in 5 years.
8. How Do Gorillas and Chimpanzees Express their Aggression?
When gorillas are angry, they produce loud noises, jump on the ground and beat their chests while chimpanzees not only kick trees but also drag tree branches over their heads and run swinging tree branches or sometimes throw them towards other animals.
9. Where Do Gorillas and Chimpanzees Live?
Although both gorillas and chimpanzees live in forests, the altitude at which they live is different. Gorillas are found at higher altitudes, while chimpanzees are found at lower altitudes. Another difference between gorillas and chimpanzees concerning their habitats is that chimpanzees usually spend most of their time in trees, unlike gorillas that tend to live on the ground.
Questions and answers
Question: Which is more dangerous, a Chimpanzee or Gorilla?
Answer: Although both chimpanzees and gorillas are wild animals and get intimidated by human presence, there is no evidence of any gorilla ever attacking a human. Therefore, it is almost unlikely that a gorilla will ever attack a human despite being stronger. However, gorillas are very protective of their infants, and they could potentially attack if they feel their baby is in danger and needs to be protected. On the other hand, chimpanzees are not predictable and can attack a human. They can bite with their canines, and the bite can be 20 times more powerful than that of a human being.
Question: Can chimpanzees and gorillas crossbreed?
Answer: No, chimpanzees and gorillas cannot crossbreed. Genetically different species can’t crossbreed, and they cannot produce fertile offspring. Moreover, the male of one species is unable to sexually identify females of other species.
Question: Can a chimpanzee successfully fight a gorilla?
Answer: No, a chimpanzee cannot successfully fight a gorilla. Chimpanzees can harm gorillas but cannot kill one. Though chimpanzees are smart enough to make and use tools to fight as opposed to gorillas and are far more aggressive than gorillas, they can’t beat a gorilla as gorillas are far bigger and stronger than chimpanzees.
Question: Are gorillas taller than chimpanzees?
Answer: Yes, gorillas are taller than chimpanzees. Gorillas are usually up to 6 feet tall, while the height of chimpanzees varies from 3-5 feet.
Answer: Chimpanzees are more closely related to humans on a genetic level. It has been found that 90% of the human genome is the same as that of chimpanzees compared to gorillas, which share less similarity with the human genome. Chimpanzees and humans have evolved from a common ancestor, but the transition of their DNA from generation to generation has led to differences in their behavior and appearance.
Question: Do gorillas live longer than chimpanzees?
Answer: No, gorillas do not live longer than chimpanzees; in fact, the opposite is true. The lifespan of gorillas is between 35 and 40 years, except zoo gorillas, which can potentially live up to 50 years. At the same time, the average life span of chimpanzees is 50 years, while captive chimpanzees can live longer, even more than 60 years.
Question: Like chimpanzees, do gorillas also spend time in trees or always live on the ground?
Answer: Chimpanzees spend much time in trees because they are not very heavy, and tree branches do not break with weight. On the other hand, gorillas do not spend much time in trees especially silverback gorilla does not usually move above ground because they are quite heavy. However, gorillas tend to play around in trees and can easily climb a tree provided the branches can support their weight.
Question: Do gorillas and chimpanzees make nests?
Answer: Yes, both gorillas and chimpanzees make a nest. The only difference is that the gorillas make their nests on the ground while, on the other hand, chimpanzees make their nests on trees.
Question: I have heard that chimpanzees can learn sign language too, is it true?
Answer: Yes, chimpanzees are the most intelligent animal ever, and they are good at learning sign language. They are considered to be very quick at learning. The first Chimpanzee who ever learned American Sign Language was a female who learned approximately 150 signs in 6 years.