Baboon Facts for Kids

A Picture of a Baboon
  • Name: Baboon, Baboons
  • Genus: Papio
  • Type Species: Simia hamadryas
  • Total Species: 5
  • Lifespan: 20 to 30 years (wild)
  • Diet: Omnivorous (plants and animal matter)
  • Range: Africa, Arabian Peninsula

16 Baboon Facts for Kids

  1. Baboon is a common name for five different species and six subspecies in the genus Papio.
  2. Baboons are classified as an Old World monkey.
  3. Baboons are ground dwelling monkeys (terrestrial).
  4. Baboons are native to Africa and a small part of the Arabian Peninsula.
  5. The smallest baboon species is the Kinda baboon and weighs only 31 pounds.
  6. The largest baboon species is the chacma baboon and weighs up to 88 pounds.
  7. Baboons are omnivores and their diet consist of leaves, fruit, seeds, roots, insects, fish, shellfish, small rodents, birds, other small monkeys and even small antelopes.
  8. The five recognized baboon species are chacma baboon (P. ursinus), Guinea baboon (P. papio), hamadryas baboon (P. hamadryas), olive baboon (P. Anubis) and yellow baboon (P. cynocephalus).
  9. The three subspecies of the yellow baboon are the central yellow baboon (P. c. cynocephalus), ibean baboon (P. c. ibeanus) and the Kinda baboon (P. c. kindae).
  10. The three subspecies of the chacma baboon are the cape chacma (P. u. ursinus), gray-footed chacma (P. u. griseipes) and the ruacana chacma (P. u. raucana).
  11. Female chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) will form non-mating relationships with males when they have offspring. It’s believed this is relationship is used to protect their offspring from alpha males if the offspring isn’t from that alpha male.
  12. The Guinea baboon (Papio papio) is known for its extensive communications and vocalizations.
  13. The hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas) played a role in ancient Egyptian religion and was a sacred animal to them.
  14. The olive baboon (Papio Anubis) has the widest native range of all baboon species in the genus Papio.
  15. The tail of a yellow baboon (Papio cynocephalus) is about the length of its entire body.
  16. Based on fossils discovered in 2015, it’s estimated the oldest baboon goes back about 2 million years.

Additional Resources on Baboons

  • Baboons – Nat Geo – Find more awesome baboon facts and information on the National Geographic website.
  • Baboon – AWF – Discover some of the challenges baboons face on the African Wildlife Foundation website.
  • Baboon – Wikipedia – Learn more about baboons on the Wikipedia website.