IntroductionBaboons with their strong muscular bodies, powerful jaws, and razor sharp canine teeth have been known to chase away and even kill attacking lions. These mammals which mostly live in Africa (also Arabia) are some of the largest monkeys on earth. Below we have listed many interesting facts about this African animal including the different types of Baboons, where they live, and how closely related to humans they are. Hopefully this information will help both kids and adults better understand this fascinating mammal.
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Baboon SpeciesThere are five different species of baboons they are:
- Chacma Baboon - inhabits southern Africa
- Guinea Baboon (or Western, Red Baboon) - inhabits western Africa
- Hamadryas Baboon - habitat is the Horn of Africa and Arabia (south west)
- Olive Baboon - inhabits the savannas of North-Central Africa
- Yellow Baboon - lives in eastern and south-central Africa
Baboon General Facts
- The lifespan of these African animals is 20-30 years on average.
- These old world monkeys are omnivorous and eat a mixture of berries, grass, leaves, bark, plant sap, pods as well as various fish, birds, insects and even small antelope and gazelles.
- These mammal's predators include cheetahs, lions, leopards, hyenas, pythons and birds of prey.
- The main threat to baboons is humans. Not only are humans destroying this animal's habitat to make way for crops and settlements but they are also hunting them for their meat. They are sometimes killed simply because people perceive them as pests or consider them to be evil because of their looks.
- A baby baboon develops quickly. By 5-6 weeks old, a baby can ride on the mother's back and although mother and baby form a close bond, by 4-6 months old the two spend most of the day apart.
Baboon Anatomy and Appearance Facts
- There is a wide range in size among the various species of Baboons. At approximately 20 inches (50 centimeters) in length with a weight of about 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms) the Guinea baboon is tiny compared to its cousin the Chacma Baboon. The Chacma Baboon can reach lengths of 47 inches (120 centimeters) and weigh up to 90 pounds (40.8 kilograms).
- The most distinctive difference between other monkeys and baboons is the size and shape of the nose. Every other species of monkey has a flat nose as opposed to the baboon who has a long and large nose that takes up a good part of their face.
- These animal's canine teeth are long and can be razor sharp, especially on the males.
- Baboons have a pronounced, course and somewhat wild looking mane of fur on the sides of their faces and shoulders but a distinct lack of fur on their faces and ears.
- These monkeys color varies and can be yellow, dark olive, brown, and even silver depending on the species.
Baboon Interesting Facts
- Ninety-one percent of baboons and humans DNA is the same.
- Baboons can survive for long stretches without water if necessary by licking the night dew that accumulates on their fur.
- Humans have only begun to understand the subtle and varied gestures and vocalizations of baboons. There are 30 different known vocalizations including distinct grunts, barks and screams as well as non-vocal gestures like lip-smacking, shrugging and yawning; all with a specific meaning.