Not all gorillas become silverbacks only male gorillas become silverbacks as they mature the female gorillas young males don’t develop silver hair on their backs hence they can’t be called silverbacks.
The male gorillas that are mature and yet to develop silver hair are called black backs until they develop that patch of hair that is when the can be called silverbacks.
You will see them when on gorilla trekking Uganda safaris or in Rwanda or DR Congo.
Silverback back gorillas are called so because they develop a saddle shaped area of silver hair on their backs when they reach sexual maturity at about the age of 12 years old, they grey hair is for display and communication to other gorillas that they are mature males.
Silverbacks are also known to be the hairiest of all other gorillas, they are also very large forming 5.5 to 6 feet tall when they stand up right, a mature silverback can weigh up to 350 pounds, a large bony crest on the tops of their skulls and backs giving their heads a conical shape.
Silverbacks are always responsible for taking care of the group including protection from predators; the silverback makes decisions on where to forage for food, where to sleep and also where the family travels every day.
The dominating male in the family is the only one that can mate with all the group females and the females choose him for his size and strength. The upcoming males normally live the group and become lone males for some time until they form their own family or others fight the dominating silverback in order to take over the group.
When a silverback gorilla dies abruptly, then the next mature male will take over the group leadership and if there is no other silverback in the group then it will be dispersed unless another lone silverback comes to take over the leadership. The new silverback sometimes kills all the other male infants of the former silverback to avoid being threatened when they grow up.
A silverback back from within the group can arise and fight the dominating silverback which is usually a brutal fight leading to the old silverback to live the group and be abandoned or the rising silverback to live the group.
In conclusion, not all gorillas become silver backs but only males become at around the age of 12 years old.
Gorilla FAQs & Information
- Why Can’t You Look or Make Eye Contact with a Gorilla?
- Why Silverback Gorillas Fight
- Importance of Mountain Gorillas
- What to do when a gorilla charges on you
- What is The Largest Species of Gorillas?
- What is a Group of Gorillas Called?
- What is the Mountain Gorillas Role in The Ecosystem?
- The Mountain Gorilla Defense Mechanism
- How to Provoke/Annoy a Gorilla
- How Gorillas Greet Each Other
- Do Gorillas like Humans
- Do gorillas Eat of Kill Their Babies?
- Do Gorillas Eat Humans?
- Can you Tame a Gorilla
- Can you Own a Gorilla?
- Do Mountain Gorillas live in Families & Groups?
- How to Protect & Save Mountain Gorillas
- Why Gorillas Are So Strong
- How Many Humans Does it Take to Beat a Gorilla?
- How do you call a Baby Gorilla?
- How Do Gorillas Sleep?
- How Mountain Gorillas Communicate
- The Gorilla Life Cycle
- Do Gorillas drink water?
- Are Gorillas friendly & gentle to humans?
- Why do Apes, Gorillas beat their chest & sound hollow?
- Gorilla Threats: Why Mountain Gorillas were endangered?
- Why were Mountain Gorillas going extinct?
- What is a Silverback Gorilla?
- Gorilla Species: Different Kinds/Types of Gorilla & Breeds
- Mountain Gorilla Diet
- Mountain Gorilla Size, Average Height & Weight Measurements
- Natural Mountain Gorilla Predators
- Mountain Gorilla Population
- Lifespan of Mountain Gorillas
- Mountain Gorilla Natural Habitat
- Mountain Gorilla Conservation Efforts
- Mountain Gorilla Behavior
- How to Survive a Gorilla Attack on Humans
- Are Gorillas Dangerous to the People
- Why are Gorillas Poached in Africa
- How Gorillas Adapt to Rain-forest Environment
- Interesting Facts about Mountain Gorillas in Africa
- Traits, Qualities & Characteristics of Mountain Gorillas
- How Strong is a Silverback Gorilla?
- Best Place to See Mountain Gorillas in Africa
- Uganda Gorilla Families
- Rwanda Gorilla Families
- Congo Gorilla Families
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