Literature, Words, Good food & Wine and other delicious conundrums

The Chacma Baboon – Papio ursinus

The Chacma or Cape Baboon is an omnivorous primate,

feeding on wild fruits, seeds, insects and scorpions

and sometimes small mammals and birds.

The mature male can weigh up to 33 kgs and measure 1.5m

from head to tail whereas the female is smaller,

weighing up to 15kg and measuring 1.1m.

Baboons breed throughout the year and have

gestation period of 140 days.

Baboons are African and Arabian Old World monkeys belonging

to the genus Papio, part of the subfamily Cercopithecinae.

There are five species, the Guinea baboon is 50 cm and weighs only 14kg

whilst the Chacma is the largest.

All baboons have long dog-like muzzles, heavy, powerful jaws with sharp

canine teeth, close-set yes, thick fur, a short

tail and rough spots on their buttocks which protrude called

ischial callosities.  These are nerveless and provide a

comfortable seat for the baboon.

Baboons are extremely social and make ‘adoring’ parents.

Troops can be 50 to 100 strong.

Although preyed upon by leopards and cheetahs, Chacma baboons

have been known to defend themselves aggressively with their

large canines.

Baboons love to sun themselves and when socializing are fun

to watch as they often display ‘human-like’ behaviour.

The Chacma baboon is widely distributed throughout

Southern Africa and in countries beyond.

(I took these pictures in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.)

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