Savanna Baboon (Papio cynocephalus)


Family: Cercopithecidae

Status: Near threatened (CITES), rare (IUCN)

Size: Height 18 to 36 inches ( to  cm); weight 31 to 97 lbs (14 to 44 kg)

Diet: Omnivore

Characteristics: Social, active by day

Area: Africa

Offspring: One every 1.5 to 2 years

Predators: Eagles, jackals, lions, spotted hyenas, leopards



       The scientific name means baboon with a dog (cyno) head (cephalus).

       When two baboons meet each other they touch noses as a gesture of friendship.

       Savanna baboons are the most widespread primate in Africa.

       Baboons have no fur on their bottoms.



            Baboon troops may range from 8 to 200 animals, but usually are made up of 30 to 40 individuals. 

            Within a savanna baboon troop, females outnumber the males by three to one. 

            The diet of a savanna baboon is made up of wide variety of food, including plants, grass, bulbs, roots, flowers, fruit, seeds, twigs, and bark, as well as insects, lizards, turtles, frogs, bird and crocodile eggs, and shellfish. Adult males may even kill prey such as small rodents, hares, and baby antelopes, sheep and goats.

            Savanna baboons can live up to 40 years. 

            Troops go to sleep before dark, and get up after daybreak.  


Geographic area

                       Savanna baboons can be found throughout savanna wherever there is sufficient water sources and trees or cliffs for sleeping areas. 

            They're undergone an increase in range due to diminishing numbers amongst their predators. 



           Births usually occur at night, therefore, they're rarely witnessed. 

           Gestation lasts five to six months and babies are approximately 3 lbs at birth. 

          Infants are carried by their mother until they reach the age of 6 to 12 weeks, at that time they begin to ride on their mother's back. 

           By the time they reach one year of age, the juveniles can forage for themselves, but rely on their mother for protection and guidance for another six months.

           Males undergo a growth spurt at age four, when they develop their fangs. 

            At that time, the young male usually leave his mother's troop to join a bachelor troop.