Monday, December 3, 2012

Gorilla Size and Stature

Nkosi sits to the right of Olympia as she nurses Apollo
Gorillas amble around mainly on all fours, but they can stand upright to walk short distances. When Nkosi, head honcho at the Forest Glade exhibit at the North Carolina Zoo stands, he's only just a little taller than the average human male. We think of gorillas as being large, not because of height, but because of the breadth of their chests, the heft of their limbs and the volume of their heads. Of course the male gorilla has a particularly massive head, topped off by the famous sagittal crest, that bony line extending from the brow backward. But all adult gorillas have arms and legs much more substantial than the average human counterparts. Even the fingers of the females are huge. It is hard to know how those moms can so tenderly pick up the delicate arms and legs of their babies, having only their jumbo fingers to work with. But they do. Gorillas, regardless of their colossal body parts, are big sweeties.