How Strong are Gorillas?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: June 17, 2018
How Strong are Gorillas?

Gorillas are the largest primates in existence and have very similar DNA to that of human beings. It is understandable, then, that they capture our imagination like they do - they really are fascinating animals. Much like humans, gorillas have two pairs of arms and legs, five fingers and toes and a face which bears a strong resemblance to ours.

These animals are very intelligent and really strong. As proof of this, a gorilla is able to tear down banana trees so that it can subsequently get to the fruit.

As you can see, the gorilla is a very strong animal. It is easily among the 10 strongest animals in the world, relative to its size and weight. If you want to know more about just how strong gorillas are, stay with us at AnimalWised.

You may also be interested in: Types of Gorillas

How strong is an adult gorilla?

When compared to humans, gorillas are four to nine times stronger than the average man. According to the Guiness Book of Records, a silverback gorilla can lift up to 815 kilograms (1800 pounds) of deadweight. Meanwhile, a well trained human could lift a maximum of 410 kilograms (900 pounds) - half as much that the gorilla can manage. This is, of course, a rough calculation.

An experiment conducted in 1924 showed that an adult gorilla can throw with almost 450 kilograms (990 pounds) of force, whilst an average human can only manage a maximum of 100 kilograms (220 pounds) - almost five times less than a gorilla.

Gorillas are capable of exhibiting amazing strength, especially if specific actions are taken into account. Gorillas can break bamboo canes, for example, which can be read as exhibiting a strength 20 times greater than that of an average human. However, this figure should factor in the fact that they first bite into the bamboo, weakening it, and only measures the specific force used in breaking it.

While comparing gorillas to human beings can be useful as a point of reference, we must always take into account that their body shape, balance, mobility and abilities are different. Therefore, gorillas are better formed to perform certain movements with more strength than humans, but considering their strength in human terms doesn't make much sense. For instance, even if their arms have the ability to lift enormous weights, they don't have the balance to do so.

How Strong are Gorillas? - How strong is an adult gorilla?

Are gorillas aggressive?

Despite being very strong animals, gorillas don't use their strength to attack other animals or human beings just because. Gorillas will only use their strength in self-defense or when they feel threatened, much like other animals. You must remember that these are vegetarian animals, so they don't use their strength to hunt.

Gorillas live in groups, usually with one male (a silverback, older than 12), multiple females, and their children. However, there are gorilla troops with more than one male. There can be conflicts within the troop, and there might be aggression between males, between females, and occasionally between the sexes. This kind of in-group aggression, though, never brings out a gorilla's full force.

How Strong are Gorillas? - Are gorillas aggressive?

Fun facts about the strength of gorillas

  • Even though male gorillas that weigh about 250 kilograms (550 pounds) are considered obese they're still capable of climbing trees and swinging from branch to branch, showcasing the incredible strength in their arms.
  • The grip strength of a gorilla is so powerful that it could easily crush a crocodile.
  • Gorillas don't only use their legs to get around. They also rely on the strength in their arms to walk.

Want to know more about gorillas? Check out our article dedicated to the dietary habits of the gorilla.

How Strong are Gorillas? - Fun facts about the strength of gorillas

If you want to read similar articles to How Strong are Gorillas?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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