Kruger National Park

Baboons

There are five different species of Baboons, the most common in Southern Africa being the Chacma Baboon or Cape Baboon. It is one of the largest of all monkeys. They have a large range of social behaviours, including a dominance hierarchy, collective foraging, adoption of young by females, and friendship pairings.

Baboons do not have prehensile (gripping) tails; a common trait in Old World Monkeys. Even so, they do use trees as a lookout point but prefer to stay on the ground.

Baboons are opportunistic eaters and have become pests on farms. They are omnivorous and mostly eat plants but now and then they will make a meal out of an animal, like young antelopes. To communicate with members their troop, Baboons use at least 10 different vocalizations.

Experiments have been done to prove the reason behind a Baboon’s red backside. The female’s butts were redder and more swollen (artificially) than normal to see if this contributed to the appeal of male Baboons. The experiments proved that the redder the backside, the more popular a female Baboon is when being chosen for reproduction.

Written by Tersha van Staden