Behaviour

GORILLA SOUNDS

Gorillas live in the dense rain forest, where group members often can't see each other, that's why sounds play such an important role in communication. Silverback males are uttering most of the sounds, most well known is the chest drumming, which can be heard over a long distance. Most sound expressions are rather low in volume: a grunt, that can be very versatile and probably has many differnt meanings.


Silverback Ziz feeding on bamboo
He pulls bamboo shoots from the ground, peels them and chews them.


Humming and singing
With such sounds, Gorillas show comfort and pleasure, for example when they find especially favoured food.


Belching
This soft grunt is the most usual vocalisation. By belching, the gorillas keep contact to each other and communicate different


Crying
A gorilla baby cries because it wants to drink milk.


Alarm
When a silverback male is alarmed, he emits a characteristic sound.


Play with chuckling
Young gorillas are wrestling.

 


Playing males
Even adult males sometimes engage in playful wrestling, in this case it is Ziz and Pablo.


Chestbeating with hooting
Display of a silverback male.


Coughing
This aggressive vocalisation is emitted to warn conspecifics or to rebuke them.


A conflict in the group
Two females have a dispute, other group members also take part in the conflict and the leading male tries to resolve it.


All sound recordings were taken from the CD Berggorilla-Laute (© Jörg Hess).

 

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Colo

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July 2013

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A hole for the dynamite is prepared. (© Luisa Rabanal)

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Mowane riding on Malui’s back (© Kate Bracewell)

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