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Baboon Facts and Information
The Baboon is very closely related to humans, with approximately 91% of the DNA being the same. This is why early researchers thought that they were Apes. However, we now know that they belong to the category of Old World Monkeys. There are five species that have been identified.
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Another way you can tell if you are looking at male or female Baboons has to do with their noses. All of these species of Monkeys have a nose that sticks out from their face. That gets recognized as Monkeys are well known for having a flat nose. With this species the males could have a nose that is seven times larger than that of the female. Yet it seems those with the larger noses are more attractive to the females!
The design of the dental layout for the Baboon is different too. It gives them an appearance of being very mean primate. This is why there are so many stories going around that include them doing harm to people and domestic animals. They aren’t extremely aggressive or evil as those stories depict them to be.
Baboons can be a variety of colors. It will depend on their species and where they live. They may be black, brown, or gray. The shade of coloring can range from very light to very dark. They all have a white mane that covers their head. That is a trademark physical characteristic you will find with all species of the Baboon.
The buttocks of the Baboon are seat on for long hours daily. To help compensate for this they have no hair there and a very thick type of padding. This allows them to be able to sit comfortably and not irritate that part of the body.
What occurred over time that resulted in the Baboon developing such an unusual nose? How is it that they are so closely related to us? Finding those answers hasn’t been easy but there is still hope that we will one day find out more. There are many theories about how this Monkey came to be.
Many people are uneasy about them being so closely related to us. They don’t like the look or the aggressive behaviors of the Baboon. They see them as primates that are more primitive than most. Yet that isn’t really the case when you look beyond the surface.
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If you want to observe the behavior of a Baboon you need to be ready for anything. They don’t have a particular schedule when they will be doing anything. They can change it up from one day to the next. Sometimes they are active all day and sleep at night. Other days they sleep in the day and go looking for goats or sheep at night. They can be out for part of each with naps.
The Baboon relies heavily upon the social elements of the group. These groups may have from 50 to 250 members. In order to remain orderly there is a complex level of hierarchy that takes place. There are also many sub groups that can be defined within that larger spectrum.
The culture of these groups involves males that care for several females and offspring. They have their own area where they will feed and nest. It is common for the males to fight over location, food, and females. There are also fights between females and males, or females and females. When they become too intense some members may be asked to permanently leave the group.
When you hear a large group of Baboons it may sound very loud and unorganized. Yet all that chatter allows them to feel safe, to bond with each other, to discuss food, to find shelter, and to avoid common predators. Their vocalizations are a huge part of why these primates have been able to survive.
Habitat and Distribution
Both Asia and Africa are home to the Baboon. They will survive just about anywhere but they do enjoy the tropical regions the most. The problem is that less then 25 years ago they had 40% of the forest to spread out in. Today they have less than 3% of that they can still live in.
You will find Baboons living in the dry locations too. They seem to do well anywhere as long as they have food, shelter, and other Baboons around for socialization. They are highly intelligent and extremely adaptable. Those benefits have definitely been a big part of them surviving for millions of years.
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Diet and Feeding Habits
During grooming the Baboon is likely to eat a large number of insects. They have been known to consume small animals when the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes those are ranch animals which created friction between then and humans. There are plenty of types of leaves and plants that these Monkeys consume most of them time. They eat slowly and can spend hours a day taking part in doing so.
Mating can take place at any time of the year for the Baboon. The males have dominance and that is what creates their harems. They will only usually mate with the females in it. When they do try to mate with other females it can result in aggression and fighting among the males.
The males work hard to make sure the females will want to mate. They groom them, touch them, vocalize with them, and even bring them food at times. Such efforts show a gentle side to these primates that usually isn’t part of how they are portrayed in society.
The Baboon have many predators to consider. When they are on the ground they have concerns with the Hyena and the Lion. They also have Leopards and Cheetahs that can reach them on land or in the trees. The wild cats are a force to be reckoned with and the Baboon is a great meal for them. This is why you will find larger groups of them in the savannah. They are in open territory there and the bigger numbers helps them to be able to avoid predation.
Birds such as the Eagle find the smaller Baboon species to be a good meal. They will also take the opportunity to feed on the young of all the species. The larger this particular Monkey becomes though they less likely it is going to be that they will become a meal for one of the birds.
Problems with humans have continued to increase over time. With so many cultures wanting to destroy them due to their appearance these Monkeys don’t have a chance in many areas. They have gotten into heated concerns with ranchers too once Baboons start to take their animals.
The destruction of habitat continues too. Areas are cleared away so that farming or ranching can take place. In spite of all of that though these Monkeys seem to be able to continue doing well as long as they can find food.