Gorillas: From King Kong To G-Unit

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From King Kong to G-Unit, Gorillas have always had a nefarious image in society. Their stature alone strikes fear to most humans and is a key reason why Gorillas play a villainous role in films and movies. A book should not be judged by its cover and neither should the world’s largest apes. In order to gain a further understanding of Gorillas and their locomotive forces, a brief look into their evolutionary and phylogenetic history is necessary. The order primate is divided into two distinct subcategories consisting of prosimians and anthropoids. Prosimians share unique physical characteristics that separate them from other primates, but are displayed within other mammals. Therefore those distinctive traits are commonly referred to as primitive…show more content…
Cross River gorillas are highly endangered and located in the area between Nigeria and Cameroon. Western lowland gorillas are distributed among the tropical rainforests of West Africa. Eastern lowland gorillas are dispersed throughout the tropical forests of Zaire and mountain gorillas inhabit the higher latitude areas of Zaire and Uganda (Estes, 1991). Tropical rainforests are the ideal ecosystem for gorillas as rainfall is abundant producing leaves, fruits, and other succulent flora. There is an elongated dry season in the lowland areas, which dictates the types of vegetation grown. Ultimately fruits are the primary dietary choice for these large primates except for the mountain gorilla. High latitudes results in little production of fruits therefore folivory becomes the primary method for collection of…show more content…
Gorillas use a specialize form of terrestrial quadrupedalism called knuckle-walkling, where the finger joints of their hands are used to support a lot of their body weight. Limitations in the movement of the joints in the wrist are observed as extension backward of the wrist is impossible. This allows for the structural support of the weight of gorillas and other apes without easily breaking the wrists. Their hands consists of sturdy tendons for curling their long fingers. Along with the usage of finger joints, apes have long arms that are adaptive for knuckle-walking. The ulna has a horseshoe shaped bend towards the proximal end that function as a support beam for the humerus. Since Gorillas do not walk in an erect manner, evolutionary accommodations have been made in favor for these massive apes. Length and width of certain vertebraes in the spinal cord have been fashion to suit gorilla’s primary source of locomotion. The ischium is shorter than that of a human, while the sacrum and ilia are broader. The hind limbs are dramatically shorter than the forelimbs resulting in the ape’s high Intermembral

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