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Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas) Fact Sheet: Summary

Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas) Fact Sheet

Hamadryas baboon family

Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas)

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.


Taxonomy Physical 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 & Status Behavior & 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 (2016 assessment)
Widespread and abundant. No major range-wide threats.

CITES Appendix: Appendix II

Populations in the Wild: stable or increasing

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 & Development Species 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

Typical Life Expectancy:
Managed care: about 26 years

Featured Facts

  • Native to the Horn of Africa and southwestern Arabia
  • Deified by ancient Egyptians
  • Males have a striking mantle of hair reaching to the waist; distinguishes this species from other baboons in its range
  • Complex social hierarchy within troops
  • Forage as a group during the day; primarily vegetarian
  • The only baboon species in which males maintain a harem; males mate solely with females in their harem
  • Sleep on vertical rock cliffs at night

About This Fact Sheet

© 2014-2020 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. IUCN Status updated Oct 2020.

How to cite: Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas) Fact Sheet. c2014-2020. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. factsheets/hamadryasbaboon.
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2014 Sep 15)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance 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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