Mountain gorillas that live in oversized groups may have to limit the number of strong social relationships they form, new research suggests.
Scientists from the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund (Fossey Fund) and University of Exeter identified up to seven categories of relationship between gorillas – ranging from close mother-offspring ties to “weak” associations.
Mountain gorillas usually live in groups of 12 to 20, and the study found the richest range of relationships in groups of this size.
When groups were smaller or larger – sometimes up to 65 gorillas – the scientists found less diversity of social relationships. MORE