1. Female gorillas reach sexual maturity at about eight years and generally conceive
for the first time at 10 to 11 years.
2. Males mature at about 12 years but seldom breed successfully before 15 years.
1. The gorilla menstrual cycle is about 30 to 32 days long. Ovulation occurs mid-cycle
during a 2 to 3 day period.
2. Labial swelling during estrus is minimal, especially in comparison with a
1. Gorillas breed throughout the year.
2. Immature males check a female for olfactory cues to estrus. A receptive female
solicits the dominant silverback by special glances and touches.
3. Only the dominant silverback breeds with adult females in estrus. He allows
subordinate males to court immature or pregnant females.
1. As recently as 20 years ago, gorillas did not reproduce well within zoological parks. Now that zoos understand more about gorilla behavior and can provide facilities that meet their social requirements, western lowland gorillas in zoological parks are successfully breeding.
Birth and Care of Young
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