10 Fun Baboon Facts
Not many people can rattle off a list of baboon facts. Everyone knows that baboons are cute, and they are fun to watch at the zoo. Beyond that, many people don’t have a lot of knowledge about these interesting creatures. Here are ten fun baboon facts to whet your appetite to learn more about this animal.
They Live in Family Units (and the females are in charge)
A day in the life of a baboon is, in some ways, similar to the lives of many humans. They wake up around 7:30 a.m. and spend a few minutes as a group, watching the young baboons play. Then they begin their day. They look for food, spend time eating, resting and grooming before heading back to their sleeping places at nightfall. A group of baboons, called a troop, can number around 50 individuals. Sometimes a single troop can have as many as 250 baboons. A female member of the troop is elevated to a leadership position. While the females tend to stay with the same troops, males often wander in and out of various troops.
They Are Careful Eaters Baboons do not eat just anything. In fact, they are quite picky about what to include in their diets. Grass is the biggest part of their diets, but baboons eat other foods as well. Some of these include berries, bark, sap, insects and, on rare occasions, a little meat.
Baboons Have Quite a Vocabulary
The vocabulary of a baboon includes more than 30 sounds. They also communicate through a variety of non-verbal gestures, such as shrugging.
Among the interesting baboon facts is the way that the mother cares for her young. The newborn is held by the mother until he or she is old enough to ride on her back. Baby baboons are in constant contact with their mothers for a few months. Then, when he or she is about four months old, the baboon can begin playing and interacting with the other young baboons in the troop.
They Cannot Hang By Their Tails
Unlike monkeys, baboons cannot hang from their tails. They can, however, climb quite efficiently and do so when looking for food, sleeping or just trying to get a good look around. Baboons spend a lot of their time on the ground as they find the underbrush to be an effective method of escaping possible predators.
They Can Fight
A surprising entry on the list of baboon facts is that they are quite effective fighters. They will not typically back down from a challenge, even when the animal is much larger. In fact, they have even been known to stand their ground when feeling threatened by humans. Their main predator is the leopard, and it often happens that a leopard is killed in a fight with one or more baboons. Baboon’s canine teeth are longer than those of a lion, and they will use them if they need to. Before resorting to fighting, however, baboons will try to scare of predators with loud vocalizations and by striking their most intimidating poses.
This is just a few of the many interesting baboon facts. Learn all you can about these wonderful animals, including what you can do to protect them and their habitats.