Gorillas are herbivores which mean that they only consume plant live. Many people assume that with the sharp teeth of gorillas they also consume meat but that isn’t true. They will spend many hours each day eating leaves, grass, twigs, fruits, berries, and shoots. They will also eat some types of small insects as well. The types of foods that they will mainly consume really depends in the region in which the gorillas live. A great deal of time is spent eating every single day. It isn’t uncommon for a male to eat about 40 pounds of food daily. They have very large stomachs and a very fast digestive system. They do seem to have a desire for lots of variety though. A gorilla can have plenty of one type of food in front of him, eat some of it, and then venture of to try something else.
They are one of the few animals in the world that will make tools out of items in their environment. For example they will use sticks to gauge how deep water is before they cross it in search of food. They will use rocks to break open various types of fruits so they can get inside of them for the good parts. Depending on where they live, more than 200 types of plants, flowers, nuts, and trees have been identified as being consumed by gorillas. They are careful not to deplete an area of food either. This is one of the reasons why the troop will spread out when they feed instead of all doing so in one centralized area.
Many researchers believe that gorillas can actually crave different types of foods like humans can. This is because what their bodies need are found in different types of foods. For example they need lots of fiber and that is found in the various fruits and berries they consume. They also get sugar from these foods which they need too.
They consume the stems of plants to get fiber as well. The new leaves that grow from the trees offer them a great source of protein. Many people think that they consume new leaves for the water content and that is true as well. In fact, due to the amount of moisture found in their dietary items they are very rarely seen drinking water by itself. However, they may do so at times when there isn’t adequate food. This can help to fill them up. They will use their hands as a cup to bring water to their mouths. What is very interesting is that they will never fully deplete the vegetation in an area, even if they aren’t getting enough food.
They will consume insects and even termites when their regular food sources are running low. There are plenty of rumors out there that they will consume small animals but that simply isn’t true. No one really can say why such rumors continue to circulate even with the right information out there as well. The gorillas that are kept in zoos have a diet that consists of ficus leaves, plenty of bananas, and an assortment of fruits and vegetables. It often changes depending on what is in season. Carrots seem to be one of the common afternoon snacks given to gorillas at zoos.