Why Do Gorillas Beat Their Chests?

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The chest beating of gorillas is an instinctive behavior that has been observed in many different species. It is not yet known why the chest beating occurs, but it may be a way for gorillas to communicate with each other or to scare off predators.

Gorillas are known to beat their chests while they are feeling aggressive and/or scared. They do this by slapping their chests with their hands or by using their long arms to hit themselves on the chest.

A gorilla’s chest beating is also used as a signal of dominance or submission. This signal can be seen during mating season when one male tries to show dominance over another male, which is usually done through fighting for access to females during mating season.

Gorilla vs Apes?


The debate over who is superior, the ape or the gorilla, is raging on. Gorillas are larger than apes, yet they share many traits with both. The difference in their size makes them appealing to scientists. Gorillas are gentle primates. Their innate sense of humor and willingness to share information have led to studies of gorilla behavior and habits. Find out more about these majestic creatures.

First, let’s discuss their size and habitat. Gorillas are the largest ape on earth. The males are taller than the females, with arms that span 2.3 to 2.6 meters. Female gorillas are smaller, weighing only about 150 to 200 pounds. Gorilla coloration varies depending on subspecies. The Eastern Mountain gorilla has black skin, while the Western Lowland gorilla is reddish brown.

Male gorillas grow their canines during puberty. Their molars are larger and more developed than those of their female counterparts. Male gorillas, referred to as silverbacks, live in family groups with at least six to 30 members. The silverback is the dominant male and leads the troop. Younger males are called blackbacks and follow the silverback until they leave the group. However, once the silverback dies, the group leadership changes.

How Gorillas Beat Their Chest to Communicate

The frequency, duration, and size of gorilla chest beats do not seem to relate to each other. Instead, the bigger the gorilla, the lower the frequency. The amount and rate of beats differed between males, and it is possible that different gorillas had different levels of competitive ability. However, the reason for chest beating seems to be complex. It is likely that gorillas use this form of communication to communicate about their sexuality and the status of the group in which they live.

To further understand how gorillas use chest-beating to communicate, researchers took audio recordings of six male gorillas. This revealed a correlation between chest-beating frequency and the size of the gorilla, with bigger males producing deeper sounds. The researchers believe chest-beating is a powerful form of communication because it can be heard over large distances. Moreover, this method can be used to communicate different types of information, such as size, fighting ability, and mating status.

According to a recent study published in the journal Biological Conservation, gorillas thump their chests as a means of communication. Interestingly, they do this not only to communicate with other gorillas, but also to advertise their size. The behavior may also be used as a method of swaying rivals and establishing dominance. The researchers speculated that gorillas used chest thumping to advertise their size and strength to their partners.

The Evolution of Gorilla Beating

Gorillas are known for their distinctive chest beat, which is believed to be a form of communication. This behaviour is typically a male’s way of showing strength and is associated with social status and threatening behaviours. According to Edward Wright, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, gorillas learn this skill at an early age. The resulting sound is similar to a drum, and it can be heard up to one kilometer away.

The volume of the sound produced by a gorilla’s chest beat varies from male to female. In addition to size, the frequency of the sound produced by the chest beats varies according to the gender. Among male gorillas, larger individuals emit lower-frequency chest beats, indicating they are more dominant. The corresponding frequencies may be attributed to the size of the gorilla’s larynx.

Size is an important factor in social dominance and reproductive success in gorillas. Moreover, the size of a chest-beating gorilla may be a way for rival males to judge its competitive ability. Although physical confrontations between male gorillas are rare, researchers believe that chest-beating may be one of the means that the dominant males use to keep their rivals in line. Larger males beat their chests more often and for longer, so they can intimidate rivals.

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