Baboon Facts

Baboons are a species of old-world monkeys native to Africa and Arabia. Typically, baboons live in large multi-male, multi-female troops that forage together during the day. Baboons primarily feed on plant matter like roots, grasses, seeds, and fruits but will also scavenge for insects or food scraps from human settlements.

Baboons can climb trees and make use of cliffs for protection from predators. They have long canine teeth, which are used in displays of aggression. Male baboons tend to be much larger than females, with males weighing between 35-75 lbs while females average 22-33 lbs in weight.

Baboon Facts for Kids

  • Baboons are primates and belong to the Old World monkey family.
  • They live in large groups called troops and are found in Africa.
  • Baboons have long, dog-like snouts and sharp teeth.
  • They are omnivores and eat both plants and animals.
  • Baboons use their hands and feet to climb trees and rocks.
  • The male baboons have a colorful, swollen rear end used for attracting mates.

Baboon Appearance

Baboons are large primates. Five species of baboon exist Amadryas, Guinea, Olive, Yellow, and Chacma. Males outweigh females, with the Chacma species reaching up to 100 pounds.

Their faces resemble canines due to long snouts and strong jaws with sharp teeth. Baboons share 91% DNA with humans, hinting at our common ancestry.

They’re notorious for being wild and rowdy. But their intelligence also sets them apart – they stick together in troops and cooperate in activities like grooming and playing.


Baboons are highly adaptable creatures, capable of surviving in any environment so long as there’s water and food. They range a vast expanse, from the grasslands of Africa to the woodlands of Arabia and beyond.

But life is full of hazards for baboons; they must spend their days wary of predators – from humans to leopards and lions – all desperate for a tasty snack. That’s why baboons will climb trees both to sleep and keep watch for danger below.


Baboons are highly adaptable omnivores. Able to eat both meat and plants, similar to most humans. Depending on the habitat, their diet can vary greatly. Fruits, seeds, grasses, tree bark and roots, insect prey, birds, and rodents make up a baboon’s daily fare.

Farmers consider baboons pests due to crop theft and destruction. Baboons search for food opportunities requiring extra vigilance from farmers in order to protect their crops.

Family Life

Baboons thrive in the community. They form large troops of 15 to 300 and small harems, often acting as one big family. Hunting, eating, traveling, grooming – they do it all together. Female baboons also lend a hand in caring for the young. Remarkably, olive baboons have even been seen swimming in harmony.

A unified baboon group is stronger against predators than baboons alone. While an injured or weak single baboon can easily fall prey to a leopard, together stand strong – able to fend off danger and protect each other’s safety.


Is a baboon an ape or a monkey?

A baboon is an ape, not a monkey. It belongs to the Old World monkeys of the family Cercopithecidae, which also includes macaques, vervets, and guenons. Baboons differ from other monkeys in that they have significantly larger canine teeth and cheek pouches used for storing food.

Why are baboon buttocks red?

Baboon buttocks turn red when the monkey displays territorial or aggressive behavior toward other members of the troop. The color arises from increased blood flow to the area caused by adrenaline, resulting in capillaries becoming more visible beneath the skin.

Are baboons aggressive?

Baboons can behave aggressively if they are threatened or feel their territory is being invaded. They also use aggression to establish dominance within their troop and will sometimes attack humans that venture too close.

Important Facts and Overview

Baboons are a type of monkey found in the African and Arabian regions. There are five species of baboon: chacma, yellow, hamadryas, Guinea baboon, and olive baboon.

Chacma baboons inhabit much of southern Africa, including South Africa. They have an olive-gray to brown fur color with lighter tan sides and a white to cream-colored abdomen.

Yellow baboons are found in the lowland forests and woodlands of East Africa from Ethiopia to South Africa. Adult males can grow up to 4 feet tall and weigh 55 lbs or more with long, beautiful golden fur.

Hamadryas baboons live in the Horn of Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula, preferring dry mountainous areas with shrubs and trees as their habitat. They’re unique among other baboons because they form two separate gender hierarchies – female troops roam while male troops remain stationary, guarding the females’ home range boundaries

Infant baboon males travel within their own all-male group, accessible only by juveniles that become adults when they reach 2 years old. Baboon males will compete for power through physical combat when necessary but typically groom each other instead as a display of communal friendship

Overall, there is much variation among different species of baboons living in diverse habitats throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman.