Baboons are very intelligent and crafty ground dwelling primates belonging to the family Cercopithecidae and the genus Papio. They mostly reside in parts of Africa like Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania and also in the south-western zones of Arabia. There are presently five species of this primate residing in the world varying slightly in their general features and habitat. However, all of them are similar in their appearance in that they have heavy powerful jaws with close-set eyes,a short tail and rough spots on their protruding buttocks called ischial callosities. Baboons are considered as one of the most successful African primates which are not exposed to any forms of threat or danger. This is mainly because of their opportunistic lifestyle which leads them to areas that are even taken over by human settlement. To get a better idea about this unique and interesting animal, read on the pointers given below.
Species: 5 species
Size: 50 cm to 120 cm (20 inch to 47 inch)
Weight: 14 kg to 40 kg
Life Span: 20 to 30 years (Yellow baboons)
35 to 45 years (Guinea baboons)
Diet: Grass, greens, seeds, fruits, tubers, roots, leaves, nuts, cereals, invertebrates, young birds and small mammals.
Range: Africa and South-western Arabia
Habitat: Dry forests, gallery forests, and adjoining bush savannas or steppes and arid zones.
Age of Maturity: Female - 4 to 5 years, Male - 4 to 10 years
Gestation Period: Approximately 6 months
Number of Offspring: One
Interesting & Amazing Information On Baboons
- Baboons are unique and complex social creatures, comprising of 8 to 200 members per troop.
- They make use of ten different forms of vocalizations to communicate with one another. These mainly include grunts, barks and screams. The non-vocal forms include lip smacking, shoulder shrugging and so on.
- Studies have indicated that a male baboon’s receptiveness toward females depends on the size of their swollen, colored genitalia during estrous.
- Baboons do not have any type of prehensile or gripping tails and spend much of their time on the ground. Nevertheless, they can climb trees to sleep, eat or look out for trouble.
- While changing locations or travelling as a group, the dominant male members of a baboon family lead the troop, followed by the females and the young ones. They are, in turn, followed by the less dominant males who bring up the rear.
- Baboons are highly opportunistic in their nature and will eat almost anything that they come across. This includes small mammals, hares, ground nesting birds, roots, tubers and even marine animals that come near the shore.
- The female baboons are almost one-half the size of the adult males and lack the long hairs (ruff) around the neck that the males possess.
- Ancient Egyptians considered the hamadryas baboons to be sacred and related them with Thoth, the god of letters.
- A lone baboon male can chase away almost any animal and harass any intruders until they retreat. The only predatorial threat faced by these animals, other than humans, comprises of large cats like leopards.
- There are a total of five species of baboons, namely Papio hamadryas, Papio papio, Papio Anubis, Papio cynocephalus, and Papio ursinus.