Baboons are African and Arabian old world Monkeys belonging to the genus part of the subfamily cercopithecinae.The five species are one of the largest non-hominoid members of the primate order, although the drill and mandrill are larger. Sometime back the gelada, including drill and mandrill of mandrillus were grouped in the same genus, the old world monkeys are still referred to as baboons in every word. Baboons range in size and weigh depending on species.

The Guinea baboon is 50cm and weighs only 14kgs,while the largest chacma baboon can be 120cm and weighs about 40kgs.There other five species of papio that are commonly recognized, although there some disagreement concerned about them  whether they are all species or subspecies. In the South Africa there the chacma baboon, in the western the red or Guinea baboon, these are found in the far western Africa.

The hamadryas baboons are found in the Horn of Africa and in the southwestern Arabia, the olive baboons are found in the north-central African savanna, the yellow baboons are found in the south-central and eastern Africa. Many authors distinguish hamadryas as full species, and also refer to them as savanna baboons.

 This may not be helpful. The oldest baboon fossil is recorded dating 2million years ago. The traditional five-form classification that is probably under-representation .some commentors argue that at least two more forms should be recognized, including the tiny kinda baboon from Zambia, Angola.

In 2015 researchers found the oldest baboon fossil dating 2 million years ago. The traditional five-forms classification  probably under-represents  the variation within  .some commentators argue that at least two more forms should recognized ,including the tiny kind of baboon from Zambia, Angola, Dr Congo and gray tiny kinda baboon from Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and northern south Africa. However, current knowledge of the genetic, Morphological and behavioral diversity within the papio is too poor to make any final comprehensive judgment on this matter.

All baboons have long, dog-like muzzles, powerful jaws, heavy with sharp canine teeth, close-set eyes, short tails, think fur except on their muzzles and rough spots on their protruding buttocks called Ischia callosities.

 These calluses are nerveless, hairless pads of skin that provide for the sitting comfort of the baboon. All baboon species exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism, that are usually in size, but also sometimes in color or canine development. Males of the hamadryas baboon species have large white manes.

Baboons are ground dwelling animals found in open savannah, in hills across Africa, open woodland. Their diets are omnivorous, but mostly herbivorous yet they eat insects and prey on fish such as salmon and trout, shellfish, birds, hares, velvet monkeys and antelopes. They are foragers and very active at irregular times throughout night and day.


Baboons have predators such as lions, stripped and spotted hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, Nile crocodile’s. They are considered a difficult prey for the leopard, which is mostly a threat to young baboons. Large males will confront the predators by flashing their eyelids, showing their teeth by yawning, making gestures, screeching and chasing after predators. Although baboons are not prey species, they are considered to be killed by black mamba.

A group of baboons is called a Troop; this group varies from 50-250 members, depending on specific circumstances, especially the time of the year. The structure of troops varies between hamadryas baboons and different species.

The hamadryad’s baboons often appear in a large group composed of many smaller harems, to which females in the troops are recruited while they are still young to breed. A group of baboons includes off springs, females and males unless the older male is removed.

Baboons can determine from vocal exchange that dominances relations between individuals.

In case of confrontation, between different families or where a lower-ranking baboon takes offensive, they will show more interest in exchange than those of the same families when a higher-ranking baboon takes offense.

In harems the males jealously guard their females, to the point of biting and grabbing them incase their wander away. Despite, their jealousy actions males raid their harems for females.

These cause aggressive fights by the males. The threats are accompanied by aggressive fights. They include a quick flashing of the eyelids accompanied by yawning to show off the teeth. Some males are seen succeeding and taking female from another harem called takeover. Infant baboons are taken as hostages during a fight.

Baboons mate in various behavior depending on social structure of the troop. In the mixed groups of savanna baboons, this is seen as males are seen mating with females. The mating order among the males depends on their social ranks, fights between males.

Males sometimes try to win the friendship of females. To garner this friendship, males at times are seen grooming their females, help care for her young one and supply her with food.

The probability is high that the off springs, clearly prefer such friendly males as mates. However, males will take infants for protection during a fight. Mating takes place by presenting her swollen rump to the face of the male. Females give birth after six-months of gestation, usually to single infants. The baboons weigh approximately 400g; the infant is born with a black epidermis. The females of baboons tend to be caretakers of the young ones, although several females share duties for their offspring’s.

Their later on weaned at one year of age. They reach sexual maturity at the age of five to eight years. Baboon males leave their birth group, usually before they reach sexual maturity, while females stay together for the rest of their lives.

Note: in Uganda we have the olive baboons also called the Anubis baboon. The species is most wide-ranging of all baboons, being found in 25 countries throughout Africa, extending from Mali eastward to Ethiopia and Tanzania. The olive baboon inhabits the savannah, forests and steppes. The common name is derived from its coat color, which is shade and seen as green-grey at a distance. Baboons have Variety of communication, on-vocal and vocal, facilities a complex of social structure.

Its name comes from the god Anubis and Egyptian which often looks like a dog head that resembles a dog-like muzzle of the baboon. Its coat is multicolored, due to rings of yellow-brown and black hairs.

The hair of the baboon’s face is coarser and ranges from dark grey to black; this color is shared by both sexes, although males have longer hair that tapers down to ordinary length along the back. Is puffy and it helps them in coldness, and to avoid the piercing branches of patches of trees in the forest as they move in the forest.

The male olive baboon deffereciate from the female in terms of size and weight, and canine tooth size, males are 70 cm tall while standing and females measure 60cm in height.

The olive Baboon is the largest species of monkey with the head and body length that ranges from 50 to 4cm, with a species average of around 85cm.

The bare patch of a baboon’s rump, famously seen in cartoons and movies, this is a good deal in olive baboons. The olive baboon has a cheek pouch to store food.

The baboons also inhabit the rainforests of deserts, in Democratic Republican of the Congo, for instance both support olive baboons population in dense tropical forest.


Olive baboons communicate with various vocalizations and facial expressions, baboons of all ages emit the basic grunts.

Adult baboons give a range of calls, the ‘roargrunt’ is made by adult males .they ‘cough-bark’ and ‘cough geck’are made when humans or low-flying birds.

A ‘WA-HOO’is a response to predators or neighboring groups in a stressful situation or night.

The most common expression of the olive baboon is lipsmacking; this is associated with a number of behaviors. Eyes narrowed, jaw-clapping, head shaking the baboons greet each other and sometimes made with a rear present. Yawning, staring and molar grinding is always used to threaten other baboons.


Olive baboons are omnivorous this has led to their widespread. This has enabled them to find nutrition in any environment that adapts with different foraging tactics.

Olive baboons in grassland find food differently from one forest area, above and beneath the ground in canopy of forests, which is different   from other animals.

The diet includes a large variety of plants and invertebrates and small mammals, as birds. Olive baboons eat grass, barks, flowers, leaves, tubers, roots, seeds, corms. They are important in times of drought because of grass loses a great deal  of its nutritional value .in dry arid regions such as northeastern deserts such as  small invertebrates like spiders, insects.

Olive baboons hunt preys, hares, rodents and other primates.

It eats small antelopes, goats, chickens, sheep which contribute 33% of its food from hunting. Hunting is participated in by both females and males.

The behaviors were observed as starting with the males of one troop and spreading through all ages and sexes.

Olive baboons are formed in a relationship with the countries endangered elephant population. The baboons use water holes dug by elephants.

There different national parks in Uganda with olive baboons these include Bwindi National park, Queen Elizabeth national park,  Kibale National park, Semuliki National park, Murchison falls National park.

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