Chacma Baboon

Size: 50 - 115 cm (19.75 - 45.25 in); 15 - 31 kg (33 - 68.25 lb).

Chacma baboons are the largest and heaviest of the five true baboon species. They live in southern Africa, specializing in dry woodland and savannah habitats. As with all baboons, they are highly social and live in troops of 20 - 80 individuals. Living in dry habitats, the troop must move long distances in search of food, which it does in a defensive formation with dominant males surrounding the females and young. If a threat appears, the males dash forward to attack, while the other troop members flee in the opposite direction.

Anubis Baboon

The olive baboon is large and heavily built. It has a doglike muzzle and powerful teeth. Males have a mane around neck and shoulders. The tail has a tuft at its end, and the buttock area is naked, with broad callosities.

Anubis baboons are the most widespread of all baboon species. A few small populations live along the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, but most live farther south in Central and West Africa’s tropical forests and grasslands. While most monkeys are arboreal, baboons spend most of their time on the ground. They walk on all fours.

Anubis baboons are highly social monkeys, living in well-ordered troops of about 40 animals. Each troop is run by a loose alliance of dominant males. All adult males have a rank. Individual’s ranks are frequently challenged and altered by the males of a troop as dominant males age and new males arrive from outside.

As with all species of baboon, male anubis baboons are considerably larger than the females. The males also have large canine teeth, which they often display to rivals with a threatening yawn.

The higher-ranking males have access to most of the females. Females also have a hierarchy, which dictates which ones mate with the highest-ranking males. Young male baboons are chased from the troop as they mature. Females stay in the same troop for their whole lives, alongside their sisters and aunts.

They are mainly ground-living, but sleep at night in trees or rocks and travel to feeding grounds in the morning. Older juveniles lead, followed by females and young juveniles; then older males, mothers and infants. Young males bring up the rear. Baboons eat grass, seeds, roots, leaves, fruit, bark, insects, invertebrates, eggs, lizards and young mammals.

The female gives birth to 1 young, rarely 2, after a gestation of about 187 days. The baby clings to its mother’s belly, but at 4 or 5 weeks rides on her back. It takes its first solid food at 5 or 6 months and is weaned and independent at 8 months. It is guarded by the mother until it is about 2 years old.

Distribution: Africa south of the Sahara Desert.

Habitat: Grasslands and rainforests.

Food: Fruits, leaves, roots, insects, eggs and small vertebrates.

Size: 48 - 76 cm (19 - 30 in); 14 - 25 kg (30.75 - 55 lb).

Maturity: 8 - 10 years.

Breeding: Single young born at all times of year.

Life span: 30 years.

Status: Lower risk.

Hamadryas Baboon

These adaptable primates live in a harsh area of the world, favouring rocky areas where they can climb. They will not stray far from water.

There are 5 variety of baboon living in Africa, although some are known to be able to interbreed, leading some scientists to suggest that they are just different varieties or subspecies. If suitable resting sites are rare, hamadryas baboons can be found congregating in large groups, called troops, consisting of 100 or more individuals.

When baboons start looking for food in the morning, they split up into bands, each consisting of several groups of four or five females and young, led by a dominant male. When a female is ready to mate, the dominant male prevents other males from approaching, striking out when an intruder gets close. Sometimes young male baboons form temporary partnerships to defeat dominant males and get access to females. One of the pair distracts a dominant male by starting a fight with him, while the other mates. At a later time, the individuals in the partnership swap roles, and the one who had to fight last time will have the opportunity to mate.

Male hamadryas baboons have bright red faces and wild silvery hair. Females are smaller, sometimes only half the size of males, and have paler faces with brown hair.

When a female is ready to mate, the skin beneath her tail becomes engorged with an increased blood flow. Young baboons are totally dependent on their mothers at first, and are carried around by them. Males develop slowly, but are usually able to mate before they have acquired full adult colouration. These primates can converse in a variety of ways, by vocalizations and also by body language. Yawning, which exposes the canine teeth, is a threat gesture.

Distribution: Occurs in parts of Africa adjacent to the southern Red Sea, in parts of Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea, extending to the Middle East, in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Habitat: Open woodland, savannah and rocky hill country.

Weight: 9 - 21.5 kg (20 - 47 lb); males are about twice as heavy as females.

Length: 99 - 137 cm (39 - 54 in) overall; tail can be as long as the body.

Maturity: Females 4.3 years; males 4.8 - 7 years.

Gestation Period: 172 days.

Breeding: 1; weaning occurs at 6 - 15 months.

Diet: Omnivorous,  eating  vegetable  matter, fruit  and small  vertebrates  and  invertebrates.

Lifespan: Up to 38 years.

Status: Threatened.


This is long and curved, and its length varies between individuals.


Males are large, with a silvery mane on the head.


Females are olive-brown and lack any mane, although the area beneath the tail is pink, as with males.


These baboons have black fur at birth, which becomes olive-brown from six months onwards.


The dominant male will chase, attack and bite a female in the group who is seen showing interest in young males.