Are Baboons Monkeys? Yes, baboons are monkeys: in fact, they are some of the world’s largest monkeys. The baboon has five species: olive, yellow, chacma, Guinea, and holy, which are found in varied habitats throughout Africa and Arabia. The olive baboon is the most widespread member of the baboon family. Primates tours in Uganda or gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda will give you an opportunity to see baboons in their natural habitats, as well as other primate species like chimpanzees and of course…the highly sought after mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park.
The baboon, like other Old World monkeys, lacks a prehensile (gripping) tail, which means it cannot be used as a hand, although it can still climb when necessary. They all have canine noses, strong jaws, sharp canine teeth, and thick hair. Males have a longer mane that wraps over their neck and is known as a ruff.
How many types of baboons exist in the world?
Baboons are classified into six species: hamadryas baboon, Guinea baboon, olive baboon, yellow baboon, Kinda baboon, and chacma baboon. Each species is indigenous to one of six regions of Africa, with the hamadryas baboon being indigenous to a portion of the Arabian Peninsula. Baboons are the biggest non-hominid primates and have been around for at least two million years.
How big are baboons?
The size and weight of baboons varies depending on the species. The smallest is the Kinda baboon, which is 50 cm long and weighs just 14 kg, while the largest is the Chacma baboon, which may grow to be 120 cm long and weigh 40 kg.
What do baboons look like?
All baboons have long, dog-like muzzles, hefty, muscular jaws with sharp canine teeth, close-set eyes, thick fur except on their muzzles, short tails, and ischial callosities, which are nerveless, hairless pads of skin on their projecting buttocks that give sitting comfort. The male hamadryas baboon has a big white mane. Baboons display sexual dimorphism in size, color, and/or the development of canine teeth.
Baboons are diurnal and terrestrial during the day, but spend the night in trees, steep cliffs, or on rocks to avoid predators. They may be found all throughout Africa in wide savannahs and woods. They are omnivorous, eating grasses, seeds, roots, leaves, bark, different fruits, insects, fish, shellfish, rodents, birds, vervet monkeys, and tiny antelopes.
Nile crocodiles, leopards, lions, and hyenas are their main predators. The majority of baboons live in hierarchical units with harems. Baboons can deduce the dominance relationships between individuals based on vocal interactions.
In general, any male can mate with any female; the males’ mating order is determined in part by their social standing. Females normally give birth to one baby following a six-month gestation. Females are typically the primary caregivers for their kids; however numerous females may share the responsibility for all of their offspring. After around a year, the offspring are weaned.
They achieve sexual maturity between the ages of five and eight. Males often leave their natal group before reaching sexual maturity, but most females remain in the same group throughout their lives. Baboons in captivity may live for up to 45 years, whereas in the wild they survive for 20 to 30 years.
Nile crocodiles, lions, spotted and striped hyenas and leopards are the main predators. However, they are considered difficult prey for the leopard, which is mostly a threat to juvenile baboons. Large males will frequently confront them by flashing their eyelids, yawning, making motions, and racing after the intruder/predator. The black mamba snake has killed baboons despite the fact that they are not prey. This is frequently caused by a baboon accidently rousing the snake.
Where can one see baboons in their natural Habitats?
Uganda has one of the highest populations of baboons in the world. A good number of Olive baboons can be found in Budongo forest when you are going to do chimpanzee trekking and along Karuma in the northern part of Uganda as you drive to Murchison falls national park. Baboons can also be sighted in Kenya and Tanzania.
All in all; much as baboons exist in large numbers, they are losing their homes due to overgrazing, agricultural expansion, irrigation projects, encroachment into their habitats, deforestation and poaching especially in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is now up to us to conserve these species by sensitizing our communities about the importance of baboons in nature’s eco system, protect their natural habitats and protect anti-poaching campaigns.