Skip links

Baboon Facts and Resources For Kids


Baboons are often thought of as monkeys, to those that are not acutely aware of variations of the animal kingdom. They belong to the same kingdom, phylum, class and order, according to scientific classification. Baboons are broken up into five separate species, all of which belong to the Papio genus. These species are P. hamadryas, P. papio, P. anubis, P. cynocephalus and P. ursinus. The P. ursinus baboon is the Chacma baboon, which is most commonly found in southern areas of Africa. The P. papio baboon is also called the Western, Red or Guinea baboon, and it makes its home in western African countries. The P. cynocephalus baboon, also called the yellow baboon, is native to southern, central and eastern Africa. The P. anubis baboon is also known as the Olive baboon, and lives primarily in northern-central Africa. Lastly, the P. hamadryas baboon, known simply as the Hamadryas baboon, is located on the Somali Peninsula area of Africa.

The mammals typically live in open woodlands and savannahs. They eat primarily leafy greens, but also small fish, birds, rabbits and small monkeys.

What is the scientific Classification of a Baboon?

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Primates

Family: Cercopithecidae

Genus: Papio

Species: hamadryas, papio, cynocephalus, ursinus, anubis

Quick Fun Facts about Baboons

Latin names:
Papio hamadryas, Papio papio, Papio cynocephalus, Papio ursinus, Papio anubis

Location of Baboons:
Baboons are primarily located within the boundaries of Africa and less commonly, western Asia.

Baboons breeding:
Baboons breed within the packs that they travel in. They do not mate for life, and typically the male chooses a female each year with which to mate. These females usually bear a baboon baby every two years, after a six month gestation period. Females give birth to only one baboon, and in rate instances, twin baboons, similar to humans. The baby baboons remain with their mother for the first year of their lives. Young male baboons leave the pack in search of another, while female baboons stay within the pack for the rest of their lives.

Baboons color:
Baboons typically have grey or brown fur.

Life expectancy of Baboons:
In the wild, baboons typically live around 20 to 30 years.

Predators of the Baboon:
The natural predators of baboons are cheetahs and leopards. Less natural, but most harmful to the species are humans, which harm the species by hunting them directly or driving them out of their homes. Because of their large size and ability to move quickly, the baboons do not have many predators in the wild.

What is a baby Baboon known as:
Baby baboons are not given a particular name, as is the case with many other animals. Instead, they are referred to as infant baboons.

A group of Baboons is called:
A troop. Baboons travel in troops, ranging in size from 15 animals to over 200. As time passes, baboons break away from their pack in search of another, or die off. Their numbers and dynamic are constantly changing as they roam.

What does a Baboon look like:
Baboons are fairly large mammals that walk on four-legs. They are similar in size to leopards cheetahs and lions, however their bodies are leaner than these other African mammals. Their bodies are covered in fur, except for their long brownish grey snouts, and bare buttocks, which are often swollen and pink in color.

How tall is a Baboon:
Male baboons are typically around 47” in height, while female baboons are slightly shorter, measuring 40” in height at their shoulder.

How much does a Baboon weigh:
Male baboons typically weigh around 60 pounds, while female baboons are much leaner, weighing at most around 25 pounds.

Conservation status of Baboons

All five species of baboons are on the least concern section of the conservation status list. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, which establishes the locations of species on the conservation status list, although baboons are safe within the area of least concern at present, the species’ are subject to a number of threats. These threats are not critical, but they might influence the position on the list in the future, if some threats provide too harmful for the survival of baboons. These threats include the invasiveness of humans on their natural habitats. Parasites and pathogens can also threaten the species. The animals are also hunted in certain areas for food or in order to stop the animals from stealing food (from farmers and other humans).

Where are Baboons found?

Baboons are extremely adaptable, and have had to be, as humans are increasingly encroaching on their natural habitats. The animals occupy savannahs and woodlands, primarily in Africa. To qualify as acceptable for the baboons, the area must have a source of clean water and a safe place to rest at night, out of the reach of predators.

The P. ursinus baboon is the Chacma baboon, which is most commonly found in southern areas of Africa. The P. papio baboon is also called the Western, Red or Guinea baboon, and it makes its home in western African countries. The P. cynocephalus baboon, also called the yellow baboon, is native to southern, central and eastern Africa. The P. anubis baboon is also known as the Olive baboon, and lives primarily in northern-central Africa. Lastly, the P. hamadryas baboon, known simply as the Hamadryas baboon, is located on the Somali Peninsula area of Africa.

What do Baboons Eat?

Baboons that survive in the wild eat seeds, nuts, tree pods, gum, grass, flowers, herbs, bushes, roots, and less commonly, small animals. Those that have been ousted from their homes and natural habitats by humans often retaliate (whether this is intentional or not is unknown) by eating crops of farmers that take over land for growing food. Because of this, baboons in certain areas have come to be known as pests, much in the same way that raccoons and squirrels are pests in most areas of North America.