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Scientific classification
Kingdom Information
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Information
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Class Information
Class Mammalia
Order Information
Order Primates
Sub-order Hominoidea
Family Information
Family Hominidae
Sub-family Homininae
Tribe Information
Tribe Gorillini
Genus Information
Genus Gorilla
Species Information
Species gorilla
Subspecies See article for full list of subspecies
Population statistics

The gorilla, the largest of the living primates, is a ground-dwelling omnivore that inhabits the forests of Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and either four or five subspecies.[1] Comparison of DNA sequences of humans and gorillas show them to be 99% identical.

Attempts have been made to teach a gorilla named Koko a form of sign language, although this is highly questionable.[2] Some scientists believe that Koko's ability to communicate through ASL is equivalent to a parrot's ability to communicate through speech. Some scientists believe that Koko is only trained to make hand gestures but does not actually understand what she is doing. Young earth creationists believe that gorillas were created about 4000 years ago. According to evolutionary thought, humans shared a common ancestor with gorillas as recently as four to seven million years ago.[3]


  • Genus Gorilla
    • G. gorilla (Western gorilla)
      • G. g. gorilla (Western Lowland gorilla)
      • G. g. diehli (Cross River gorilla)
    • G. beringei (Eastern gorilla)
      • G. b. beringei (Mountain gorilla)
      • G. b. graueri (Eastern Lowland gorilla)


  1. A proposed third subspecies of Gorilla beringei (which has not yet received a Latin designation) is the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest population of the Mountain Gorilla, called the Bwindi Gorilla International Fund for Animal Welfare
  2. As part of her research into animal communication in 1972, a young graduate student in developmental psychology volunteered to teach sign language to a 1-year-old female Gorilla named Koko. [1]
  3. Hobolth A, Christensen OF, Mailund T, Schierup MH (2007) Genomic Relationships and Speciation Times of Human, Chimpanzee, and Gorilla Inferred from a Coalescent Hidden Markov Model PLoS Genet 3(2)