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Baboon

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Baboon
Baboon1.jpg
Scientific Classification
Species

Baboons are African and Asian Old World monkeys belonging to the genus Papio. Baboons are well known for battling each other for either territory or a female. Baboons live in a variety of habitats from hills, woodlands and the large savannas. They travel around these habitats in large troops (groups) searching for food.The two most common baboons occur in East Africa, the olive baboon and the yellow baboon. The larger and darker olive baboon is found in Uganda, west and central Northern Tanzania and Kenya. Slender, more Smaller and lighter in color, the yellow baboon inhabits Southern and coastal Kenya and Tanzania. Both types are dog faced but the yellow baboon's nose turns up more than the olive baboon's. [1] Baboons main predator's are hunters,leopards and cheetahs. Baboons are omnivores and usually are known to eat berries, seeds,pods, blossoms, leaves, roots, bark and sap from a variety of plant's. Baboons usually are found in large groups a typical group would be about 50 individual Baboons. Baboons travel in units with the dominant male in front the dominant female behind him and the rest of the males and females in a circle with the offspring in the center. [2] Baboons are hunted mainly as pests animals since they destroy the crops of local farmers. Though many are hunted for their meat. [3]

Anatomy

Guinea Baboon
(Papio Papio)

Mostly all baboons have long almost dog like muzzles, heavy powerful jaws,close-set eyes thick fur except on their muzzle rough spots on their rear ends and a short tail, the rough spots on the rear ends of the baboon are called ischial callosities. These calluses are hairless nerveless pads of skin which provide for the sitting comfort of the baboon. There is a considerable variation in size and weight. The Chacma baboon can be 120 cm and weigh 40 kg while the biggest Guinea baboon is 50 cm and weighs only 14 kg. [4] Baboons are also known to have a large, muscular body with gray to brown fur. The males buttocks and face are usually brightly colored. Most females have less and duller colors than the male. Males are known to be larger and much bigger than the female and have large canine teeth. Baboons are also known to have pouches on there cheeks. [5] Baboons walk with a waddling gait and walk more slowly than humans. At a two legged sprint the Baboon is very fast with powerful legs making up for their awkward gait. When a baboon drops to all fours to run, he can cover the ground at an alarming speed, easily outstripping the best human athletes.[6] Baboon fur is very thick and affords them protection against the elements. The Baboons fur keeps them insulating from the cold and keeps there skin dry in all but the most torrential downpour. It also provides protection against the day to day results of leaping from tree to tree. The baboons' upper body strength and sharp claws are ideally suited to climbing and swinging. An adult baboon can comfortably cover a distance of 3m with a single swing and 9m with a leap. [7]

Reproduction

Depending on the social structure Baboon mating behavior varies greatly. In mixed groups of Savannah Baboons a male Baboon can mate with any female. The mating order among most of the males depends on the order or rank of the male. Fights between males for a female are not unusual. It is not that uncommon for some of the males to try to win the friendship of females. To earn this friendship they help groom and clean the female,supply her with food, and help take care of the females young. Most of the Females prefer these males to aggressive Males. A female presents her swollen rump to the male to initialize mating. Presenting the Baboons swollen rump can can also be used as a submissive gesture and can be done by males as well. Male Hamadryas baboons are known to be jealous and guard there females, they grab and bite the females if they wander off too far away. Some males will raid harems for females, This leads to aggressive fights between the males. In some cases the male succeeds in taking the female from the harem. Females give birth every other year typically often to a single infant, after a six-month gestation. Young Baboons are known to weigh one kilogram and is black in color. Female Baboons tend to be the caretakers of the small infant,several females are known to share the duties for all of their offspring. In mixed groups such as the Savanna Baboons males will help in caring for the young of the females they are friendly with, The Males play with them and gather food for the young. There is a high possibility that those young are their offspring. After one year The young baboons are weaned. They reach maturity in about five to eight years depending on the baboon. Males tend to leave their birth group usually before they reach maturity, Females tend to stay in the same group their whole life and are considered "philopatric" [8]

Ecology

baboons in kruger national park

Baboons are known to be ground dwelling or Terrestrial and are found in the open woodland, the savanna and the hills across Africa. Baboons are known to be foragers and are active at irregular times throughout the day and night. In South Africa Baboons have been seen preying on sheep and goats. Baboons are also well known for raiding human dwellings. There predators are mainly Leopards and humans. Large baboons are known to confront leopards, They are hard prey for the Leopard. Baboons in the wild have a life expectancy of about 30 years. Baboons that are in captivity are known to live up to 45 years. [9] Baboons eat both plants and meat and are known to be omnivores. The Baboon eats insects,roots,grasses and many other small animals including small mammals,snakes,and lizards. [10] Baboons survive on what they can gather in there natural enviroments fruit, leaves, nuts, and grubs are what they gather. Baboons eat there hunted food raw in other words Baboons eat there food as is.[11] Baboons move through dense jungle by brachiationin other words moving from branch to branch of the jungle Trees. Though not as fast as movemement over open ground,this method of travel is considered quicker than forcing a trail through the jungle undergrowth. [12]

Predators and Threats

Human hunters are the Baboons main predator. Humans can easily kill or injure them while they are in the trees. Baboons tend to escape through the undergrowth. Males form a line to confront other predators like leopards or cheetahs and strutting in a threatening manner while baring their large canines and screaming. A demonstration like this will put the predator running,Baboons are fierce fighters. The Baboon is very crafty and intelligent. It is often treated as a vermin because it can become an agricultural pest. [13] They are hunted mainly as pest animals since they destroy the crops of local farmers. Though many are hunted for their meat. [14]

Grooming

Baboon Grooming serves as a practical way of keeping fur clear of fleas and dirt. To Baboons this is considered a significant social function in Primate culture. This also reinforces the status in the Primate culture. The dominant baboon of the tribe is groomed first and then returns the favor. This can be an effective measure of Toadying. Grooming is also known as a means of seeking forgiveness for some slight or indiscretion. If and so the Dominant Baboon allows him or herself to be groomed by the supplicant Then the Baboon will be forgiven for his past slight. [15]

Baboon Behavior

After coming down from the cliffs or trees the Baboon leaves there sleeping places at about 7 or 8a.m. While the juveniles play the adults sit grooming each other. They form a a unit of two or three walking until they begin to feed. As they move along they feed The baboon unit often travels five to six miles a day. They rest during the heat of the day and forage for about three hours in the morning,they forage again in the evening before returning to there sleeping places. By about 6 p.m. the Baboons retire and spend more time grooming,this is a key way to form bonds among individuals as well as keeping the baboons clean and free of external parasites. Baboons travel,sleep and feed in groups of about 50 or more individuals consisting of seven to eight males and approximately twice as many females and there young. [16] Baboons are grouped together and form troops. Each troop consists of one dominant male and one dominant female,offspring and other adults males and females. When Baboons travel they have there own specific formation. The dominant male is always in front of the troop and behind him is the dominant female of the group. The other males and females form a circle with the infants/offspring in the center of the circle. Baboons have a complex social system that is based on becoming and staying dominant. [17]

Video of Baboon Harems

Video of Baboon Battle

Gallery

References