Silverback Gorillas are the mature, older, male gorillas in a troop. We see Silverback Gorillas in all subspecies. While it is possible for multiple Silverbacks to exist in one troop of gorillas, a troop will always be led by one alpha Silverback, as opposed to younger black-back male counterparts.
The troop’s alpha Silverback leads the group. He decides where they will travel to find food, what they eat, and where they will make nests for the night.
A Silverback’s size varies depending on the subspecies of Gorilla that he is from.
Western Lowland Silverbacks stand around 5 feet tall, and can weigh as much as 400 pounds. They are known for wide skulls, small ears, and pronounced brow ridges distinguishing them from other gorilla subspecies
Eastern Lowland Silverbacks are from the largest subspecies of …show more content…
It is the alpha’s job to protect the group in when facing danger.
Despite his position as leader and community protector, Silverbacks, like most gorillas, are typically quite docile, and may even be described as shy.
Even when defending his troop from young male challengers, the altercation will rarely become physical. Typically, it is enough for a Silverback to beat his chest, scream, and show his bared teeth. If necessary, he will charge the intruders and even break off branches from nearby trees to shake at them, but further aggression is rarely warranted.
The Alpha Silverback is typically the only male allowed to reproduce with a troop’s females. While some exceptions to this have been documented, it is the Silverback who decides which, if any, other males are allowed to mate. When younger males reach sexual maturity, they will typically leave the troop to travel alone until they are able to form their own troops to