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Gorilla vs. African Elephant: Who Would Win in a Battle?

silverback gorilla

Who’s King Of The Jungle? | Gorilla vs. African Elephant.

Gear up for a battle between nature’s top mammals: the mighty gorilla and the majestic African elephant. Both species have an iconic presence, plus fascinating behaviors and abilities that often leave us in awe. 

Let’s explore these animals’ distinct characteristics and compare them side-by-side to determine which is truly the king of the jungle! From their size and strength to their special diets and habitat preferences, get ready to dive into gorillas versus African elephants.

silverback gorilla

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Comparison Table 

GorillaAfrican Elephant
Scientific nameGorillaLoxodonta africana
HabitatDense forests of AfricaSavannas and forests of Africa
SizeHeight: 4-5.5 ft (1.2-1.7 m) Weight: 300-485 lbs (136-220 kg)Height: Up to 13 ft (4 m) Weight: Up to 14,000 lbs (6,350 kg)
DietHerbivorous, mostly fruit and leavesHerbivorous, mainly grasses, leaves, and bark
Social structureLives in groups called troops, led by a dominant male silverbackLives in herds led by a matriarchal female
CommunicationVocalizations and body language, including chest beating and vocalized barksVocalizations including trumpeting, rumbling, and growling
Endangered StatusEndangered, with a decreasing population due to habitat loss and huntingVulnerable, with a decreasing population due to habitat loss and poaching for ivory
LifespanUp to 35-50 years in the wildUp to 60-70 years in the wild

Introducing Africa’s Biggest Beasts – Gorillas And African Elephants 

Elephant
  • Size & Strength:
  • The great apes known as gorillas are the largest primates on the planet, with the ability to reach heights of up to 6 feet and weigh between 300 to 400 pounds.
  • African elephants are the world’s largest land animals, growing up to 13 feet tall and weighing up to 7 tons.
  • Though gorillas may not be as large as elephants, they have enormous strength, with an estimated 2,000 pounds of ground-level pulling power.
  • An elephant’s trunk alone can lift a whopping 550 pounds!
  • Diet:
  • The primary dietary preference of gorillas is herbivory, where they consume an assortment of plant-based foods such as fruits, leaves, stems, roots, and bark.
  • African elephants are herbivores that mainly eat grasses, leaves, fruits, twigs, and bark. They often supplement their diets with soil for minerals or tree bark for salt.
  • Habitat:
  • Gorillas live in tropical or subtropical forests of central Africa and inhabit areas between 400-3200m above sea level.
  • African elephants roam savannas, woodlands, and forests of sub-Saharan Africa at elevations between 1-2 miles high.
  • Behavior & Abilities:
  • Gorillas often live in family groups led by a dominant silverback male responsible for protecting the group from predators. They communicate through specific vocalizations, such as grunts and barks, as well as facial expressions and body language.
  • African elephants have complex social structures within herds led by matriarchal females who form strong family bonds with their young ones. They also use sound to communicate–their low-frequency calls can travel long distances! Plus, they have incredible memories that help them remember important things like food sources or migration routes for years after experiencing them just once.

Size Matters – Which Is Larger, The Gorilla Or The African Elephant

silverback gorilla
  • The African elephant is much bigger than the gorilla. An adult male African elephant can reach heights of up to 13 feet (4 meters) and weigh up to 7 tons (6,300 kilograms). On the other hand, an adult male gorilla stands at around 5.5 feet (1.7 meters) tall and can weigh up to 400 pounds (182 kilograms).
  • African elephants are also longer than gorillas, with their trunk typically measuring between 6–9 feet (1.8–2.7 meters). However, when stretched out, the gorilla’s arms and legs may be longer than an African elephant’s.
  • Regarding bulk and muscle mass, gorillas have the edge over elephants. Although they appear more slender than powerful-looking elephants, gorillas are powerful and agile due to their muscular frames and long appendages.

Strength In Numbers – How Big Is Gorilla And Elephant Herds

Elephant Vs. German Shepherd
  • Gorillas live in social groups of two to 30 individuals, known as troops or bands. These troops typically consist of a single dominant silverback male surrounded by multiple females and offspring who remain together for life.
  • African elephants form even larger herds—usually averaging 10–15 members but occasionally totaling 400 individuals! Like gorilla troops, these herds are led by dominant females known as matriarchs who help guide group decisions while protecting younger members of the pack.
  • Both species rely on close bonds among family members for survival—from sharing food resources to protecting from predators like leopards and lions that prey on vulnerable younglings.

Dominating The Landscape – What Kind Of Territory Do They Defend

silverback gorilla
  • Gorillas: 

Africa’s expansive tropical and subtropical forests serve as the natural habitat for the magnificent gorillas, among the largest of primates. They are typically found at elevations between 8,500 to 13,500 feet. Their expansive territory ranges from dense rainforest regions to alpine bamboo thickets.

Check out 10 Incredible Gorilla Facts.

  • African Elephants: 

The colossal African elephants are recognized as the largest terrestrial creatures on Earth, and they are capable of occupying a variety of habitats such as savannahs, deserts, marshes, and forests.

These majestic creatures can be found in 37 countries across Africa, and their territories usually span for miles.

Eating Habits

Gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park
© Nicholas Philipson | Woza Rafiki
Elephant
  • Gorillas: 

Gorillas primarily eat vegetation such as leaves, shoots, stems, flowers, roots, and bark from over 100 plant species. They also consume fruits like figs and nuts and insects like termites and ants.

  • African Elephants: 

African elephants are herbivores that feed on various plants, including grasses, herbs, leaves, twigs, bark, and fruit. They will also consume soil that contains valuable minerals not found in their diet or supplement their diet with water-soaked clay when food is scarce.

Territorial Disputes

silverback gorilla
  • Gorillas: 

Because gorillas live in social groups known as troops, hierarchy amongst the group is important for their survival. To protect their home turf from rival armies or predators, gorillas display aggressive behaviors such as chest beating and roaring to threaten intruders. Furthermore, they sometimes use sticks or rocks to defend themselves against adversaries if needed.

  • African Elephants: 

African elephants exhibit several behaviors to protect their territory from rivals or potential predators, such as lions or hyenas, including trumpeting loudly and raising dust clouds with their trunks or feet. Additionally, they may charge intruders with tusks bared or circle them to ward off any potential threats.

Check out African elephant species now Endangered and Critically Endangered – IUCN Red List.

Wrapping Up with Gorilla vs. African Elephant

YouTube video

With the help of this article, we have explored numerous distinctions between two of nature’s most revered mammals: the African elephant and the Western lowland gorilla. From their size and strength to their varied diets and habitat preferences, these animals have captivated us with their characteristics – and together, they make up a mighty powerful duo in the wild. 

We hope our overview of gorillas versus African elephants has helped you fully appreciate both species and recognize why they are such powerful contenders in the animal kingdom. 

Thanks for following along with me! I hope you enjoyed reading about the pros and cons of these two jungle kings. Next up is Gorilla vs. Cobra, Gorilla Vs. Pitbull and Gorilla vs. Jaguar.

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