Monday, May 27, 2013

How Gorillas Keep Warm

Bomassa knows how to keep warm on cool days. 

But on this particular day, it was very pleasant out.  If it were actually a cold day,  Bomassa would have been tightly wrapped in the warmth of his mother's arms, soaking up her body heat.  In very cold weather, the gorillas don't come outside at all. It would be especially dangerous for the little ones, because at just nine months old, they are still quite small and don't have a lot of body mass or fat to keep their body heat locked in.
But even the winter weather in North Carolina is generally close enough to balmy that the boys and their family can safely be out and about, roaming the Forest Glade.  A heater installed under one of the shelters is switched on if the temperature is iffy.  Most likely, all the gorillas will be found right there underneath, huddled in their beds of straw. The moms will hold those babies close and they won't let go. But the babies are not that interesting in venturing away anyway. Everyone stays pretty sleepy on a cold and clammy day.