(Gorilla gorilla) Our closest relatives in the animal kingdom are the great apes: the gorillas, the chimpanzees, and the orangutans. Of all of them, gorillas seem most human. (We aren't actually descended from gorillas, but we share a common ancestor from millions of years ago.) A male gorilla can be as tall as a man, although the gorilla is much, much heavier. The gorilla's face, hands, and feet are bare of fur and look much like ours, although the gorilla's thumb is longer than its fingers. Gorillas are gentle, loving parents who tend their children with as much care as any human. We sense the world the same way as gorillas do, with sight and hearing. Unlike many animals, neither humans nor gorillas have very good sense of smell. And unlike all the other monkeys, humans and the great apes have lost the long, useful tail.
©National Wildlife Federation®
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