Mountain gorillas have about 98% DNA similar to that of human beings making them close relatives besides bonobos and chimpanzees. Mountain gorillas can also express their feelings, wants, needs and emotions. They can communicate verbally and none verbally.
Though mountain gorillas can speak, they can express their emotions very distinctively through vocalizations like hoots, chuckles, grants, hoots, laughing, sticking their tongues out, cries and purrs. They express their emotions as annoyance, bluster, laughter, joy, anger, fear, run sideways, jump up and down, impatience and pleasure.
There are sixteen types of vocalizations known of mountain gorillas and some of this can be grouped to give twelve basic categories, gorillas often mix sounds and actions which makes it easy to know what they mean. An example of vocalizations can be seen when silverbacks are angry they will make very loud hoots, beating their chests, throwing vegetation and mountain gorillas do this to send a warning to their opponents and if the opponent doesn’t back up it will lead to a serious battle.
The baby mountain gorillas also have communications which they use for communicating to each other, their mother always understands what the off springs mean and attend to them. They infant gorillas communicate by whining and sharp noises.
Gorillas also use their vocalizations for offering support and displace, communication to find food, mating, grooming, developing social relationships within the troops and expressing social distress. Mothers also take responsibility in teaching their children communication.
There are also various occasions where mountain gorillas have been taught by humans to communicate by sign language an example was Koko that researchers taught to communicate using sign language.
The baby mountain gorillas learn to recognize their mother’s voices at a very young age, they often alert themselves in very low voices that humans can hardly hear in case of danger. Mountain gorillas also have a strong sense of smell that can alert them of any predators in the area.