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Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas) Fact Sheet, 2014   Tags: animals, fact sheets, mammals, primates, san diego zoo, sdzg, wildlife  

Last Updated: Sep 9, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas) Fact Sheet, 2014

Image credit: San Diego Zoo. All rights reserved.

TaxonomyPhysical Characteristics

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Primates

Family: Cercopithecidae (Old World monkeys: baboons, macaques, and vervet monkeys)

Subfamily: Cercopithecinae

Genus: Papio

Species: Papio hamadryas * (Linnaeus, 1758) - Hamadryas baboon

* General consensus is held among experts on baboon forms, but with broad disagreement over division of species within the genus.

Body Weight:
Male: 16-20 kg (40-45 lbs)
Female: 8-14 kg (20-25 lbs)

Sitting Height:
Male: 500-650 mm (1.6-2.1 ft)
Female: 500-550 mm (1.6-1.8 ft)

Pelage:Adult male: mantle of hair reaching to the hips; bright pink or reddish face with whitish cheek tufts; large, bright red hind-end surrounded by white tufts of hair. Adult female: no mantle; short, brown hair; bright red hind-end; vaginal swelling coinciding with onset of estrous. Infant: hair black to 6 months of age, then brown

Distribution & StatusBehavior & Ecology

Range: Horn of Africa and southwestern Arabia; principally in Ethiopia; regionally extinct, non-native Egyptian population

Habitat: Subdesert, arid brushland, steppe, plain, savannah; Associated with areas having vertical cliff faces (on which they sleep)

IUCN Status: Least Concern; widespread and abundant; no major range-wide threats

CITES Appendix: Appendix II

Locomotion: Walks with four limbs. Gait swaggering. Runs as if galloping.

Activity Cycle: Sleep on rock faces at night; congregate near cliffs around sunrise before undertaking daily foraging marches, returning to
cliffs before sunse.

Social Groups: Highly organized social units; 3 primary levels: troops  (c.100) containing several bands (30-90 individuals) comprised of many one-male units (OMU's). Most interactions are between the male leader of an OMU, females within the "harem" and their offspring.

Diet: Primarily vegetarian; consume seeds, roots, berries, leaves, and flowers. Raid agricultural lands. Opportunistically take insects and occasionally prey on hare or dik-dik antelope.

Predators: Humans and domestic dogs; potentially lion, leopards, hyenas, jackals, and cheetah.

Reproduction & DevelopmentSpecies Highlights

Sexual Maturity:
Males: 4.8-6.8 years
Females: 4-5 years

Reproduction: Single offspring (c. 600-900 g)

Gestation: c. 6 months

Birth Interval: 18-36 months

Age at Weaning: c. 1 year

Longevity: c. 20 years in wild; c. 30 years in zoos

Feature Facts: Deified by ancient Egyptians; native to the Horn of Africa and southwestern Arabia. The only baboon in which males maintain a harem (one-male-unit, OMU); males mate solely with females in their OMU. Males weigh 40-45 lb, females 20-24 lb; striking appearance of male (a mantle of hair reaching to the waist) used as a means for distinguishing it from other baboon species within its range. Complex social hierarchy within troops. Foraging as a group during the day; primarily vegetarian. Sleep on vertical rock cliffs at night.


About This Fact Sheet

© 2014 San Diego Zoo Global. Updated October 2014.

How to cite: Hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas) Fact Sheet, 2014. c2014. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd].
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2014 Sep 15)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to

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