Is is true that gorillas help fight climate change?
Gorillas are the largest primates, with a huge appetite for leaves, shoots, stems, roots and fruit. An adult consumes 18–20kg of food daily, mainly foliage, and will swallow many large seeds intact. As gorilla families move through the forest to forage, they defecate, thereby depositing seeds far away from the parent trees. Crucially, gorillas like to build sleeping nests in areas with an open canopy, and next morning tend to poop in the vicinity before heading off. This means that the dumped seeds are left sitting in piles of manure, under an uninterrupted sky – ideal conditions for germination. So gorillas not only disperse trees but also encourage them to grow, thereby playing a key role in maintaining West and Central Africa’s tropical forests. In turn, this contributes to global carbon and water regulation, and helps to regulate our climate.
Fruit-chomping gorillas are planting trees with their poop.