Baboons are very well known for their similarities with humans. Indeed, they are close evolutionary relatives, and on average, baboons and humans have a genetic similarity of 94%!
Here are 5 facts you might not know about them.
1. Baboons are BIG!
In fact, they are the world's largest monkeys by length. From head to bottom, baboons grow to 86 centimetres and their tails add an additional 41 to 58 cm to their length. They weigh 22 to 37 kilograms: about as much as a human child.
2. Baboons can “talk”
They have over 30 distinct vocalisations for communicating with each other including grunts and screams.
3. Baboons are very social
They tend to live in groups of around 50 individuals but can be up to 300!. They will be routinely seen participating in social behaviours such as grooming and food sharing and young baboons in the troop will also play together. A dominant male usually runs the troop.
4. Female baboons have an impressive oestrus display
Female baboons display large perineal sexual skin swelling, which predictably changes throughout the estrous cycle and pregnancy.
The changes in swelling size within each sexual cycle correspond to probability of ovulation.
5. Humans are Baboon’s major threat.
Baboons are often poisoned and killed because they are considered as a pest species. They are also hunted for their skins and use in laboratories and medical research.
Habitat loss due to overgrazing, agricultural expansion, irrigation projects, and overall human settlement growth is also a threat to this species.
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