The primate order encompasses 11 families, including lemurs, monkeys, apes, marmosets,
the great apes, and humans, among others.
The great ape family includes the gorilla, chimpanzee, bonobo, and orangutan.
This genus includes three subspecies of gorilla, which are distinguished by their
physical differences and their distribution in Africa. The western lowland gorilla is Gorilla
gorilla gorilla, the eastern lowland gorilla is G. g. graueri, and the very
rare mountain gorilla is G. g. beringei&127;.
1. The earliest recognized primates first appear in the fossil record about 70 million years ago (Macdonald, 1985).
2. The fossil record suggests that relatives of the lesser and greater apes diverged by 20 million years ago (Macdonald, 1985).
3. Both the fossil record and biochemical research indicate that the chimpanzee is the gorilla's closest relative (Dixson, 1981).
Scientific Classification|Habitat and Distribution|Physical Characteristics and Special Adaptations|Senses|Behavior|Diet and Eating Habits|Reproduction|Birth and Care of Young|Communication|Longevity|Conservation Issues|Bibliography|Specific Index
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