Extinction Of Gorillas

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Extinction of Gorillas

Extinction of Gorillas

Extinction of Gorillas

The Gorillas are the world's most endangered ape and considered as the gentle giants of our world. Gorillas are charismatic and fascinating animals, able of demonstrating human-like emotions and behaviors such as happiness and sorrow. They are also fierce and strong as they lift objects that man would find impossible. Nevertheless, their force and intelligence presents minimal defense against man's havoc of destroying and encroaching their natural habitat.

It was during the end of 1980's when the decreasing population of mountain gorillas alarmed African Wildlife Foundation and International Environmental Agencies. It was revealed that they were on the verge of extinction. In spite all conservation efforts done by worldwide organizations, the Gentle Giants still faces threats to their existence and the main reason is habitat loss.

Nonhuman primates offer tremendous value for many different reasons. Being humankind's closest living relatives, they can teach us a great deal about ourselves in terms of understanding our own cognitive abilities including behavior, health, language and development, and, importantly, evolution. They also play a significant role in habitat biodiversity, which is of tremendous importance to overall health of the world's fragile ecosystem. In terms of biological diversity, primates are both seed dispersers and seed predators, occupying specific niches throughout tropical rain forests. Some of the world's richest and most diverse ecosystems also have the largest and most diverse primate populations.

The Issue

Many primates live in tropical, developing countries and compete with humans for valuable resources, such as food and habitat. In various parts of the world, they are exploited for consumption either directly as food or indirectly for medicinal value and also commercial trade. Primates that raid crops, like other animals around the world, are sometimes shot as pests or poisoned. Their forest habitat is being logged and cleared at an alarming rate by commercial loggers and subsistence farmers for land use, such as plantations for cash crops and even firewood. Finally, since endangered primates live in primary rain forests, which often have the most valuable wood, their conservation is directly tied to the protection of their habitats.


Nearly each species found within this distinct order possesses physical qualities that separate them from other mammals and other animals. Primates, including humans, share a variety of characteristics not necessarily unique in and of themselves. However, it is the combination of these traits that make them unique. Some of the specific traits that certain primates have include a complex stomach (sometimes sacculated in colobines species), flexible shoulder girdle (to allow for the greatest range in motion between arms and shoulders), toilet claw (used for extraction of food), dental comb (to scrape bark and gum off trees), prehensile tail with a skinlike undersurface (often used as another limb as well as for balance), postorbital bar (how the eyes are situated in the skull), ischial callosities (sitting pads found on monkeys but greatly reduced in gibbons and siamangs), and cheek pads (food storage) (Stanford, 2001, 48-59).

General traits include lengthy gestation, grasping hands and feet with an ...
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