Gorilla vs Chimpanzee: Difference and Comparison

It is said that human beings evolved from apes, who are a part of the monkey family. The family of animals who love to swing from one branch to another is composed of two other species called Gorilla and Chimpanzee.

Their lookalike features make them globally identical to people, but from a scientific point of view, they are different in various ways, starting from their food, habitat, and survival measures. They are found in most tropical habitats, with denser forests covered with leaves.

Key Takeaways

  1. Gorillas are the largest living primates, while chimpanzees are smaller and more agile.
  2. Gorillas are primarily herbivores with a diet of leaves, stems, and fruit, while chimpanzees are omnivorous, consuming both plants and animals.
  3. Chimpanzees have a more complex social structure and exhibit a wider range of behaviors than gorillas, who live in smaller, family-oriented groups.

Gorilla vs Chimpanzee

The difference between Gorilla and chimpanzees is that gorillas have small ears that are placed on the back of their heads, whereas chimpanzees are known to have comparatively bigger ears on their back. Moreover, their differences in their size also is a valid distinguishing point between the wildlife animals. Gorillas are twice the size of a chimpanzee, and they are both primitives with larger brains inside.

Gorilla vs Chimpanzee

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Gorillas are the largest extant apes in the family line and are known for their huge body structure. Gorillas are known to have high detained sagittal crests along with a mandible that is known to have a maxilla that goes beyond.

Gorillas are mostly docile in most parts and can be known as a down to earth animals, and they spend most of their time on the ground compared to chimpanzees.

Chimpanzees are smaller in size compared to Gorillas, and they have reduced sagittal crests and less mandible beyond their maxilla. However, they are known to have bigger brains in their defence which makes them more intelligent than gorillas.

The chimpanzee has a pink-colored face making them easy to distinguish between gorillas and chimpanzees. They are also known to stay more on the trees than on the grounds—comparison Table Between Gorilla and Chimpanzee.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGorillaChimpanzee
Definition Gorilla is an ape known to belong to the tribe of Gorillini and genus called Gorilla.  The chimpanzee is an ape known to belong to the tribe of Hominini and genus Pan. 
Body Size Gorillas are large—almost twice the size of a chimpanzee. Chimpanzee is smaller in size in comparison to gorillas. 
Face ColourGorillas have a black-colored face. Chimpanzees have pink-colored faces. 
Intelligence Gorillas have large brains but are less intelligent than chimpanzees. Chimpanzees have larger brains and are more intelligent than gorillas. 
Lifespan Gorillas tend to live longer than chimpanzees. Chimpanzee has lesser lifespan than gorillas. 

What is Gorilla? 

Gorillas are in the family of primates, which are mammals, and as primates, it is one of the largest apes compared to many other similar mammals. There are more than 300 species of primates, out of which gorillas are further distinguished into two western and eastern gorillas.

They are found in central and western Africa, divided into their species that, include Uganda and Nigeria. Male gorillas are termed silverbacks and can go up to 1.8 m tall, weighing about 200 kilograms.

Feminine gorillas are half the size of male gorillas or silverbacks. Gorilla belongs to the Gorillini tribe with the gorilla genus and is born with prominent arms, a chest with thigh muscles, with a black face.

Their head, forehead, and hump are huge, which concerns the social structure as a less complex one. Gorillas’ ears are small in size, inclined to the back of their head where the structure of their skull, especially the female ones, demonstrates the features of mandibular prognathism.

Gorillas depend on their herbivorous diet that consists mainly of fruits and certain leaves of plants. However, their main source of food and nutrition depends largely on wild fruits available deep in the forests.

Moreover, the color of their skin coat is dark, which is also found in blackish-brown in most gorillas. Gorillas tend to live in groups or troops, and they make their nests on trees for their habitat.


What is Chimpanzee?

Chimpanzees are regarded as one of the most intelligent in the animal kingdom, including the line of apes, but after humans, as they have the second-largest brain compared to the body size and structure.

Chimpanzees are also primates as mammals with two species between them, i.e., Pan troglodytes or Common Chimpanzee and PAN.paniscus or Pygmy Chimpanzee.

Moreover, chimpanzees are more intelligent compared to gorillas making them more canning and tricky as an animal than gorillas as a comparison.

When it comes to chimpanzees, female chimpanzees are smaller than males. Chimpanzees have longer forelimbs along with their skin coat which also is dark or black in color.

However, chimpanzees are apes who do not have hair on their face, fingers, palm, and hands. Those hairless areas of the body of a chimpanzee are mostly pink, so chimpanzees have pink faces.

A chimpanzee’s ears are large and stick out from their head, unlike gorillas making it easy to distinguish in the primate’s category.

Chimpanzees are categorized as the violent and troublesome species of their family line and gang up for fights that go on until death. However, despite their arrogant nature, chimpanzees are more social compared to gorillas with pink faces.


Main Differences Between Gorilla and Chimpanzee

  1. Gorillas tend to have dark or black faces, which makes them distinguished from chimpanzees, who have pink faces with a reddish touch.
  2. Gorillas have small ears that are directed towards the back of the head, whereas chimpanzees have larger ears, and they stick out of their head.
  3. Gorillas are considered herbivorous animals in their family line, whereas chimpanzees are considered omnivorous due to their habitat.
  4. Gorillas live longer lives due to their long lifespan, which is lesser in terms of chimpanzees.
  5. Gorillas are larger and are referred to as twice the size of a chimpanzee, which makes the chimpanzee smaller in comparison.
Difference Between Gorilla and Chimpanzee
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.0141-6707.2000.00280.x
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0022283684902560

Last Updated : 10 August, 2023

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