Link: Skeletons of the mountain gorillas

The NYCEP blog has a great post by Natalie O’Shea, who has been helping prepare the skeletal remains of gorillas who died natural deaths within the Rwanda Volcanoes National Park: “Gorillas in the mud”.

Previously, gorilla remains were buried throughout the park. These days, however, all remains are taken to a centralized location on the outskirts of the park boundaries. When a gorilla dies in Volcanoes National Park, a team of veterinarians from the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project perform a post-mortem exam, taking fluid and tissue samples for further analysis, before burying the remains in the “gorilla graveyard”. Once the remains have completely decomposed, excavations can begin.

This is a uniquely important source of information about wild gorilla biology and it is fascinating to read about the process by which the research project allows these remains to be studied.