The key difference between gorilla and chimpanzee is that the gorilla belongs to the tribe Gorillini and genus Gorilla while the chimpanzee belongs to the tribe Hominini and genus Pan.
Primates are mammals. The order Primates consists of approximately 300 species or more including apes, monkeys, lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, and humans. These mammals differ from other groups of mammals by having a large brain compared with body weight. Furthermore, they have strong arms, long and grasping fingers and toes. It is always interesting to look at these primates because of their fascinating behaviours triggered by intelligence. Apes are tailless primates. Among all the members of the apes, chimpanzees and gorillas are great apes and come next to humans in the brain sizes compared to the body. The main difference between gorilla and chimpanzee is that the tribe and the genus they belong to.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is a Gorilla
3. What is a Chimpanzee
4. Similarities Between Gorilla and Chimpanzee
5. Side by Side Comparison – Gorilla vs Chimpanzee in Tabular Form
What is a Gorilla?
Among all the primates, the gorilla is the largest. They range in Central and Western Africa, and there are only two species of gorilla, named Western (Gorilla gorilla) and Eastern (Gorilla beringei). Eastern gorilla ranges in some Central African countries viz. Uganda and Rwanda, while Western gorillas range in Cameroon, Nigeria, Angola, etc. their habitat includes tropical to subtropical forests. Adult males are called silver backs, and they are 1.5 – 1.8 meters tall, weigh between 140 and 200 kilograms.
Usually, an adult female is about half of the size of a silverback. The structure of the skull demonstrates the characteristic mandibular prognathism, which is the protrusion of the mandible farther out than the maxilla. They depend on a herbivorous diet that consists mainly of fruits. The coat colour is dark, which is mostly blackish brown.
Gorillas live in groups called troops, and they make their nests on trees. Usually, they have a large brain that weighs about 400 grams, and they live a long life, which spans up to about 55 years.
What is a Chimpanzee?
Chimpanzees are the most intelligent in the animal kingdom other than humans as they have the second largest brain compared to the body size. There are two species, Pan troglodytes (Common Chimpanzee) and P. paniscus (Pygmy Chimpanzee). Common Chimpanzee ranges in a relatively larger area in Central and Western Africa than a pygmy chimpanzee. Male is about 70 kilograms of weight and about 1.7 meters tall.
Usually, females are smaller than males. Chimps have longer forelimbs compared to hind limbs. Their coat is dark, mostly black in colour. Face, fingers, palm and hands have no hair. However, those hairless areas of the body are mostly pink in colour. A Chimpanzee’s ears are large and stick out from the head, which is a distinctive character from other larger primates.
Chimpanzees have large male groups and large female groups called communities. All the chimpanzees are omnivorous in food habits. In the wild, a chimp could live up to 40 years.
What are the Similarities Between Gorilla and Chimpanzee?
- Gorilla and chimpanzee are primates.
- Also, they both are part of the family Hominidae.
- In addition, they both are endangered animals too.
- Furthermore, they are great apes.
- Gorillas and chimpanzees are mammals and they have comparatively larger grains compared with the body weight.
- Also, both have strong arms, long, grasping fingers and toes.
- Besides, they are intelligent animals.
- Both have humanlike features.
- They have broad chests.
- Moreover, the lifespan of both animals is comparatively long to many other animals.
- Both gorillas and chimpanzees naturally range exclusively in Africa.
What is the Difference Between Gorilla and Chimpanzee?
Primates are mammals, and gorilla and chimpanzee are two apes belong to order primates. They are endangered mammals very close to humans. The main difference between gorilla and chimpanzee is the tribe and the genus they belong. Though both have larger brains, a chimpanzee has a larger brain compared to its body size than a gorilla. Hence, the chimpanzee is more intelligent than a gorilla.
The below infographic presents a more detailed description on the difference between gorilla and chimpanzee.
Summary – Gorilla vs Chimpanzee
Gorilla and chimpanzee are two great apes that are endangered. Gorilla is less intelligent than chimpanzee. Further, they differ from the tribe and the genus they belong. Chimpanzee is closer to human than the gorilla does. Because they have larger brains than gorillas. And they share 98% DNA similarity with humans. Gorilla is a herbivorous ape while chimpanzee is an omnivorous ape. This is the difference between gorilla and chimpanzee.
1.Groves, Colin Peter. “Ape.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 29 Nov. 2017. Available here