Baboons

Baboon Papio ursinius

There are Four sub-species of baboons that occur in Africa.

Characteristics

Distribution
There are four subspecies of baboon. they occurr south of the Sahara from west Africa across to the Horn of Africa and down through east and southern Africa.

The four subspecies are:

P.c. anubis – Olive baboon from west and east Africa
P.c. cynocephalus – Yellow baboon of east Africa and theHorn
P.c. ursinus – Chacma baboon of southern Africa
P.c. papio – Guinea baboon of west Africa

Social structure
A strong social structure within groups ranging in size from less that ten too more than one hundred. Groups lead by a dominant male who controls all aspects of the troop even meeting out punishment in the form of pinching or hair pulling.

Range differentiation
The body colouring of the subspecies shows a range of shades from the grey-brown of the chacma baboon through to the yellow of the yellow baboon, and olive-green of the olive baboon.

Habitat
A wide range of habitats but more common in the savanna regions of the continent.

Feeding

Omnivorous:

Baboons eat a wide range of foods from fruit and seeds to meat. They will kill birds and the young of antelope such as impala. Baboons have been observed eating their own young in times of drought. There is a debate as to whether this is to ensure more food for the others or because they see the young as food.

Breeding
Baboons breed year round with seasonal peaks in some areas. Females swell around the backside when they are in estrous. While they are swelling, females may be mounted by many males. Howeverm, when females are in full estrus only the dominant male will mate with them, thus ensuring the strongest genes. A single young is born after a six month gestation period.

Baboon’s acting very much like humans. They show very human-like behaviour.

Other baboons in the troop spend a great deal of time playing with the babies whilst watched over by the mother.