Introduction
Animal: Western Lowland Gorilla AlbertValentino_ZooWinner_lg.jpg


Why this animal?

Gorillas are said to be the closest animal to a human, due to how they act. Like with other gorillas, and how their bodies are built, and their intelligence is closest to ours, closer than all other animals anyway. I want to learn more about that, like learn what they do that makes them act like us, or possibly think like that. How do we know that? That's all what i want to figure out.




Producers- The bottom of the food chain, but with out them, where would everything else stand?


Primary Consumers- On the lower end of the food chain, usually smaller and less aggressive animals or bugs.
Secondary Consumers- On the higher half of the food chain. Usually bigger animals and ones that staying alive just comes easier for.
Tertiary Consumer- The absolute top of the food chain. They can't be stopped by much of anything, mostly all of the time they are carnivores, if you find one that isn't please tell me. Well besides humans. They are bigger stronger animals that aren’t easy to take down, and feed strictly on other animals.
Decomposer- Feeds on the dead animals, that’s where they get there life and energy.



What is the rainforest like? And how do animals and plants live there? Well, let’s start off with plants. Plants have learned to bunch together in an area where sunlight can reach because they are on the ground and are short. If they can’t get sunlight because of the canopy, they will die because of the unfertile soil and lack of sunlight. The canopy is made up of a bunch of leaves and branches of really tall trees that cross each others paths, and kind of intersect. They are really thick and can be up to 100 feet in the air, this cuts off the sunlight from the small plants that don’t get off the ground as much. Because of this, most of the plant life in the rainforest lives really high in the air. Now, moving on to animals. Animals in the rainforest have adapted to the rainforest in many ways. What they eat is one of them. Because there are so many animals that live there, they have found ways so that every animal can eat and live. Over time, they learned to eat some specific things, like they chose a couple of things to eat that no other animal eats so that food is plentiful for them. It is usually warm in the rainforest so animals don’t have super thick fur like the Musk Ox or the Arctic Wolf. Then the animals that eat certain plants just get eaten by other animals or killed by poachers. My animal, the Western Lowland Gorilla, gets hunted by poachers, that’s why they are endangered. Animals don’t want to attack them because they are so big, that is part of its physical side. Other animals behave in a certain way to survive, or they have a physical appearance or they are strong and have weapons they use on their body to protect themselves.


Rainforest, Cameroon Africa
Cameroon - Africa In Miniature!!!
Cameroon - Africa In Miniature!!!

this is where Cameroon is located in Africa.
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTSyiWKJAOpIXuScJdxZA0zS3suKnC9ejHMoOSv1xquU4--r5smHere you can see that most of Cameroon is rain forest.


Day 1

The gorillas came nowhere near me. I had to observe with binoculars, from quite a distance too. Whenever I would try to advance close to them, the silverback would just move his family further into his territory. It must have been afraid. They mainly ate fruit from what I saw in my 6 hours observing them. They also had a few leaves. They eat quite a bit, whenever they are hungry. They eat large amounts of food at a time to satisfy their bodies.


Day 2

The gorillas still didn’t let me near them, it was a bummer. I know it will take a while for them to get used to me, and not see me as a threat. I tried to act submissive to them, but they didn’t do anything. They just kept moving away. Today I actually got to see them eat termites. How they do it is quite interesting. They actually pick up a stick, and then slide it through the termite mound, and then pull it out and eat the termites on the end of the stick. The gorillas are very smart; I hope to make some great discoveries about them.


Day 3
I was able to get within 10 feet of them! It was a great experience. I think after 3 days, spending six hours a day watching them, they are finally starting to accept that I will not harm them in any way. They finally realize I’m just there watching them. They spend a lot of their time playing, especially the young ones. It seems that they groom each other a lot. It’s very nice of them to care for each others well being. They also like to eat the bugs they find on the other gorillas. Pretty nasty if you ask me but it’s what they do.



Day 4
Hi! I was 3 hours into my research for the day, and the silverback of the group was playing with a young one, Feste i call him, becuase he's very silly, anyway, he started to approach me, and the silverback did not do anything! Icall the silverback Boss by the way. So Boss didn't snatch up Feste like I was expecting, instead, he let him approach me. He came up to me, and grabbed my nose, like that game my grandpa used to play with me, when he pretended he had my nose and i had to chase him to get it back. Anyway, Feste kept touching me, like he was inspecting me, trying to find out what i was. Finally Boss thought he'd had enough time with me and dragged him away. It was one of the coolest moments of my life! Good night, time to hit the sack.

Day 5
Today was nothing out of the ordinary. A day like yesterday, they played, ate, and slept. More gorillas came up and touched me though which was exciting! It was amazing! But other than that, nothing else happened. They plaed with eachother. They groomed eachother. They just did what they always do. So good night. Talk to you all later.

Day 6
I can't believe it. They're all gone, all of them. I cried my eyes dry. I just can't believe, when I find these people, oh man, they don't know what's coming. They were killed by their limiting factors, hunters. I woke up suddenly to the sound of screeching gorillas and gun shots. I ran out of my tent immediately, fully aware of what was going on. I started to yell at them, but they ignored me and kept shooting. Soon, all the gorillas I had spent time researching had been shot. I loved every one of them. Now they are all dead and there is nothing I can do to bring them back. It is the worst day of my life. I will find these poachers, they are the reason my gorillas are on the endangered species list in the first place. They will pay for what they have done.



Technique

I would use the still cameras to track my animal. They get shots of where the gorilla is at what time, and what they could be doing. Like if they are caught by several cameras at different times I will get an idea of where they could be going.
I would also use GPS. This way I actually know for sure where they were at what time. This way I’m able to figure out what they eat. By going to where they stopped to eat, and see what kinds of plants or fruits they were eating. Then I can see how often they eat and drink, and at what times of the day. I can also see when they sleep, and for how long. Also, if they stay in the same spot for a while, I can assume they are eating, playing and resting, or grooming each other, that would be part of playing.


Limiting Factor- They control how many of a species there can be. So for my gorilla, it's like, the poachers are the limiting factor. There are the number of gorillas there are, and they are on the endangered species list, because of poachers.






Fellow Researcher: Dian FosseyDian studied a group of gorillas for 18 years. We watched a video in science about her when we had the blocked scheduling. She made breakthrough discoveries about gorillas. She was the one that I got like, alot of my information from. With out, i wouldn't have known how they eat termites. Or how the physically and behaviorally adapt. With out here and all the research she did. We wouldn't know near as much about gorillas. They now do labs on gorillas. They are even said to be close to a human on how they think. One of the things that was holding us back from thinking that is that they didn't have tools. until Dian came across a gorilla putting a stick into a termite mound, pull it out, and eat the termites that were on the end. Because of here we've gone into even further research and have found out even more. Her work was absolutely amazing and did a lot for us today.
external image Dian+Fossy.jpg
Dian with the group of gorillas she loved and studied.















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