Olive baboons with baby in a thorn tree


Baboons are large, old world monkeys containing five species native to Africa and south-west Arabia. Physically similar with long faces and dog-like muzzles, all baboons are intelligent, curious, adaptable and quite crafty. Rarely will baboons stray far from watering holes or willingly sleep on the ground. There is nothing simple about baboon society where the social behaviour is both varied and complex. A group of baboons is called a troop within which there is a striking size difference between the sexes, with males often twice the as large as females.

Scientific name: Papio

Rank: Genus


Map showing the distribution of the Baboons taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

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BBC News about Baboons