Hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) photographed at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores
Hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) photographed at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores
Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark

Baboons

Common Name:
Baboons
Scientific Name:
Papio
Type:
Mammals
Diet:
Omnivore
Group Name:
Troop
Average Life Span In The Wild:
30 years
Size:
Head and body: 20 to 34 inches; tail: 16 to 23 inches
Weight:
33 to 82 pounds

There are five different species of baboons. All of them live in Africa or Arabia. Baboons are some of the world's largest monkeys, and males of different species average from 33 to 82 pounds. Baboon bodies are 20 to 40 inches long, not including substantial tails of varying lengths.

Baboons generally prefer savanna and other semi-arid habitats, though a few live in tropical forests.

Like other Old World monkeys, baboons do not have prehensile (gripping) tails. But they can and do climb trees to sleep, eat, or look out for trouble. They spend much of their time on the ground.

Diet

Baboons are opportunistic eaters and, fond of crops, become destructive pests to many African farmers. They eat fruits, grasses, seeds, bark, and roots, but also have a taste for meat. They eat birds, rodents, and even the young of larger mammals, such as antelopes and sheep.

Population

Four baboon species (i.e., chacma, olive, yellow, and Guinea) are known as the savanna baboons. These animals form large troops, composed of dozens or even hundreds of baboons, governed by a complex hierarchy that fascinates scientists. Males use shows of physical power to dominate rivals, and troop members spend endless hours carefully grooming one another to remove insects and dead skin.

A fifth species, the hamadryas baboon, lives in the hills along the Red Sea coasts of Africa and Arabia. These cliff-dwelling baboons disperse to forage during the day and reconvene in much smaller groups at night.

This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our photo community on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram at @natgeoyourshot or visit us at natgeo.com/yourshot for the latest submissions and news about the community.
This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our photo community on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram at @natgeoyourshot or visit us at natgeo.com/yourshot for the latest submissions and news about the community.
Photograph by Levana Sietses, National Geographic Your Shot

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