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The baboon

26 September 2013


Scientific Name : Papio hamadryas

Weight (Male) : +/- 44kg

Weight (Female) : +/- 21kg

Troop size : Up to 130 individuals

Range sizes : As large as 34 km2

The baboon Papio hamadryas was first described as Simia hamadryas by Linnaeus in 1758 based on a specimen from Egypt. For many years the chacma baboon of South Africa was considered to be a separate species until genetic evidence showed that it was similar to the Hamadryas baboon. The generic name Papio was created in 1777 by Erxleben because the genus Simia was also used to describe unrelated primates. The name chacma baboon is of French origin. This former subspecies Papio hamadryas ursinus was first described from the Cape of Good Hope by Kerr in 1792.

Baboons occur widely in South Africa and are only locally absent in parts of the Nama-Karoo and Succulent Karoo biomes. Outside South Africa they occur up to northern Africa, being absent from the extreme western and eastern-coastal areas of Africa.

They are gregarious and form troops of up to 130 individuals which include several large males and have range sizes that increase with troop size and can be as large as 34 km2... (Become a subscriber for more)



Groves, P C 2005. Order Primates. In D E Wilson and D M Reeder (Eds), Mammal species of the world, third edition. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp 166 - 167.

Skinner, J D and C T Chimimba (Eds) 2005. The mammals of the southern African subregion, third edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 218 - 224.

article by: Prof J du P Bothma

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