Gorilla, the largest ape

Gorilla, largest of the anthropoid apes
   The gorilla is the largest of the four living types of anthropoid apes. This massive, powerful animal may measure as much as six feet in height and weigh 600 pounds, although females are generally smaller than males. The coat is coarse and black, becoming lighter with age so that an old gorilla may be decidedly grizzled. The face of the gorilla has a particularly formidable appearance with its large mouth, flaring nostrils, and dark, deep-set eyes beneath beetling brows. The long arms enable the animal to walk about on all fours with the fingers doubled in and the toes either flat on the ground or bent inward. Contrary to general belief, the gorilla does not habitually walk upright, an almost impossible feat considering its enormous weight and comparatively weak legs.
   Several species of gorilla are known. one found in West Africa from the Cameroons south to the mouth of the Congo and another frequenting the mountains north of Lake Tanganyika. They live in small groups and feed on various kinds of wild fruits. Males apparently sleep on the ground while females and young males build nests among the branches of trees.
   The gorilla is a quiet, self-centered animal, antagonistic to man only when wounded or provoked. Many fanciful tales regarding its ferocity have been perpetuated, most of them untrue. Of the many specimens brought to Europe or America, only few have survived in captivity. However, if the animals are very young when captured, they appear to adapt themselves fairly well. Several gorillas have lived in captivity for fifteen years or longer.