Are Gorillas Omnivores or Herbivores?

Manuel J. Prieto/CC-BY 2.0

Most gorillas are herbivores that live on a vegetarian diet of fruits, bamboo shoots and stems. Some gorillas, including the Western lowland gorilla, exhibit omnivorous traits by eating ants and termites, and they will even break open nests of termites to feast on the larvae within.

The diet of the gorilla is dependent upon the environment in which it lives as well as the season. For example, lowland gorillas consume an abundance of fruit, while gorillas living in the mountains may eat more green plants, including shoots, stems and leaves. The gorilla’s strong teeth and massive chewing muscles allow for more effective chewing.