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Baboon
Photo: Baboon, Papio hamadryas.
Baboon, Papio hamadryas
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Where are they found? Africa

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Baboons are the largest of the Old Word monkeys. There are five distinct subspecies. Each occupies a distinct portion of the total range of the species. This has led some scientists to believe that each of the five could be considered a separate species in its own right.

Some subspecies have rump patches of bright red or pink. Their faces have long, relatively hairless, dog-like muzzles. Male baboons weigh approximately 14 to 40 kg (30 to 90 lb.), depending on the subspecies. Females are about half the size of males.

Baboons live in well-organized troops, and the individual is only secure within his or her own troop. Large, dominant males rule the group and are responsible for keeping order among quarrelsome members and for protecting the group from predators. They communicate in several ways, including posture, the way they hold their tails, screeches and yelps. Baboons walk on all four limbs, with their tails held in a characteristic arch.

Their principal enemy is the leopard, but even leopards will avoid an encounter with the larger, adult male baboons, who are courageous and dangerous adversaries. Where leopards have been extirpated, humans and their dogs have replaced them as principal predators.

Baboons travel across the dry savannahs and rocky terrain of the Arabian Peninsula, Africa south of the Sahara, and in the wooded savannahs of west Africa. Baboons eat plant matter, small animals and bird eggs.


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Photo: Baboon, Papio hamadryas. Photo: Baboon, Papio hamadryas. Photo: Baboon, Papio hamadryas. Photo: Baboon, Papio hamadryas. Photo: Baboon, Papio hamadryas. Photo: Baboon, Papio hamadryas. Photo: Baboon, Papio hamadryas. Photo: Baboon, Papio hamadryas. Photo: Baboon, Papio hamadryas. Photo: Baboon, Papio hamadryas.


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