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Savanna Baboons

Savanna Baboon

Savanna Baboons

(Papiocynocephalus anubis)

Swahili: Nyani

Savanna Baboons are sociable and live in a highly organised, complex, hierarchical group of between 30-80 individuals, called a troop. These troops can be as large as 200 in number. The troop is made up of adult females and their offspring and adult males.

The dominant male (alpha male) uses his physical prowess to protect, defend, dominate and maintain order within the troop, ultimately deciding on the movement of the troop, what they will eat and where they will sleep.

Savanna Baboons are promiscuous, breeding throughout the year with a multitude of partners. The female comes into heat once a month during which time the rump changes color from grey to a bright pink. There is a lot f competition and aggression between the males to gain attention and access to the female at this time. The female initiates the mating process by presenting her pink swollen rump to the males. She gives birth to a single infant once a year, after a gestation period of 180 days. The infant is born with pink skin, which darkens with age and is covered in black fur.

Being extremely noisy they use up to 30 vocalisations to communicate with each other, such as clicking, barking, grunting, roaring, screeching and screaming. Facial expressions or visual displays are used to communicate their mood and intention, these may be staring, smiling. Bodily postures and tactile/sociable greetings (grooming, embracing each other, nose to nose greetings) are also used as a form of communication.

Savanna Baboons are natural prey for African wild dogs, cheetahs, chimpanzees, crocodiles, hyenas, lions and leopards. They are hunted by humans if they are considered to be a pest by raiding crops and being present in large numbers. Loss of habitat is a threat to their survival.