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Home » Information » What is Special About a Mountain Gorilla’s Nose? Do gorillas have unique nose prints?

What is Special About a Mountain Gorilla’s Nose? Do gorillas have unique nose prints?

Mountain gorillas, just like humans have features that make them different from one another including;-

  • Body size
  • Facial structures, and unique patterns of wrinkles on their nose
  • But, identifying mountain gorillas can sometimes be tricky since some of them look alike from a distance.

During the scientific study of mountain gorillas which an American primatologist Dian Fossey began in the 1960s, there was a need for a method that could ease positive identification of mountain gorillas. The method would be of great benefit in record keeping and prospective researchers might review details on the same individuals.

Fossey found out What is special about a mountain gorilla’s nose, mountain gorillas have unique patterns of wrinkles on their nose which differentiate them from each other and decided to use them in their study and research about these primates. These wrinkles are known as “nose prints”.

Fossey is said to have made some drawings of the nose prints. Since then, several researchers have also used this method. Even now, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund staff store special photographs of the nose prints of gorillas which have been monitored. They are kept in their long-term scientific database.

Of all the four subspecies of gorillas, mountain gorillas have the clearest nose prints.  Memorizing gorillas’ nose prints take months after seeing them frequently, and creating many drawings of each gorilla. It is crucial as researchers will need to track and interpret gorilla behaviour while in groups and as individuals.

if you are to trek gorillas in Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park or the Democratic Republic of Congo in Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park.

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