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Baboon Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Bonnie Pluta

Bonnie has taught at the elementary and middle school level and has a master's degree in Child and Family Studies.

Read this lesson to learn about the baboon, a type of monkey that lives in Africa and Arabia. You will discover some interesting facts about their appearance, habitat, diet, family life, and communication.

Baboon Appearance

A baboon is a type of monkey that is known for being rowdy, fierce, socially intelligent, and maybe a little bit ugly! There are five known species of baboons, including the Amadryas, Guinea, Olive, Yellow, and Chacma Baboon. They are closely related to humans; their DNA is about 91 percent the same as ours. We may have a lot in common with baboons but we also have a lot of differences.

Baboons are among the largest monkeys in the world. They vary in size depending on their species ranging from about 30 pounds for the Guinea Baboon, up to around 100 pounds for the Chacma Baboon. Males are larger than females. Their faces look similar to a dog's due to its long, strong snout. They have strong jaws with sharp teeth.

Baboons have sharp teeth
baboon

Habitat

Baboons live in Africa and Arabia. Their habitats range from grassland to woodlands. They are adaptable, or can find a way to live, in almost any habitat as long as they can find water and food. Baboons mainly spend their time on the ground but can climb trees to sleep and watch for and escape predators. Their predators include humans, leopards, lions, and cheetahs.

Diet

Baboons are omnivores. An omnivore is an animal that eats both meat and plants, like most humans. The baboon's diet varies depending on their particular habitat and what food is available. They mainly eat fruit, seeds, grass, tree bark and roots, insects, birds, and rodents. Some farmers consider them to be nuisances because baboons steal and eat their crops.

Family Life

Baboons live together in large groups called troops or smaller groups called harems. Their groups are like a big family that can range from about 15 to 300 baboons. Baboons hunt, eat, travel, and sleep together. They also groom, or keep each other clean. Female baboons all help take care of the young. Olive baboons have even been spotted swimming together! A leopard is a threat to a single sick or weak baboon, but a group of baboons together will usually scare predators off.

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