Gorillas Social Hierarchy

Just like humans and some of the other species on planet earth, even Gorillas follow a hierarchical system among themselves, especially in the case of large groups.  The social structure of these animals is pretty interesting and by observing them in their natural environment, one can sense the hierarchy quite easily.  There is one male dominant in each group and can easily be called as the ‘leader’.

There is a lot of affection and interaction among a group of gorillas and the young ones learn after seeing the older ones.  To researchers, gorillas actually seem comical but ofcourse, when they are angry, they can be a scary sight to watch.  Let’s know more about the social hierarchy structure of the Gorillas:

gorillas social hierarchyDominant Male

In every big group of Gorillas, there is one dominant male. Gorillas usually move either in pairs or in groups of upto 20 members. The adult gorillas are known as Silverbacks.  As the gorillas grow from babies to adults, one of the group members tends to be the strongest, most confident and most powerful. He is thus crowned as the leader of the group and is the one who takes most decisions such as where to move, how to hunt and other similar matters. Usually, the dominant male gets the most to eat and eats first. The rest of the gorillas just rely on him.

The Dominant Female

The next in line comes the dominant female who is usually the partner of the dominant male. The dominant female also has a lot of power in the group and is the strong counterpart of the dominant silverback. When one of the partners dies, there is a lot of mourning for several days and the rest of the gorillas stay by the body for many days.  If the male dies, the female may find a partner and the same is true if the female dies.

Other Members

Besides the dominant male and dominant female, there are the other group members who rely on the leaders. They simply follow the dominant male and the female and are the last ones to eat the food. They protect and defend the dominant male and the dominant female and are responsible for grooming the baby gorillas.  All the gorillas are well bonded with one another and have an emotional attachment with each other.  There are some gorillas who might break away from the group and move to other groups.