Monday, April 3, 2017

Animal Facts: The Olive Baboon

Physical Characteristics

The olive baboon is 20 to 34 inches long with a 16 to 23 inch long tail. It weighs 49 to 82 pounds. It is one of the largest baboons in the world. The male can be twice as heavy as the female. The olive baboon has a thick gray ruff around its cheeks. It gets its name from its speckled olive green fur. It’s rump and face are black.

Behavioral Characteristics

The olive baboon lives in groups. Troops are usually 20 to 50 individuals however, rarely they may be over 100. Troops forage, travel and sleep together. It sleeps in trees or on rocks or cliffs. Troops have strict hierarchy that is determined among the males through fights. Males with higher hierarchy are more likely to get to mate with the females. Females are the only ones that always stay in the same group from birth to death and so make up the stable social portion of a troop.

Life Cycle

The mating of the olive baboon occurs throughout the year. If conditions are good and food is in ample supply then females may bear young every 12 months. Because conditions can vary the interval between births vary from 12 to 34 months. Gestation or pregnancy lasts 180 days. The olive baboon gives birth to only a single young. The young are considered to still be babies as long as they have their dark baby fur. When it molts to reveal the adult coloration then the females take their place at the bottom of the troop hierarchy and the males are driven out of the troop. The males must then fight their way into another troop. Young are weaned and become independent, losing their baby fur, at about the same time which is around 420 days (1 year, 2 months) old. The olive baboon becomes sexually mature at 7 to 8 years old for the female and 7 to 10 years for the male. The average lifespan in captivity is about 25 years.


The olive baboon eats mostly fruit, leaves, insects and lizards. Occasionally they will eat larger prey such as baby gazelle.


The olive baboon is found in Africa. They live in savannah, grassland steppe and rainforest habitats.

Conservation Status

The olive baboon is classified as least concern on the IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) red list of threatened species. This classification is the lowest and means the species has a large widespread, population and no current threats that would likely decrease its population in the foreseeable future.


Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World’s Wildlife by, David Burnie and Don E. Wilson

Labels: Animal Facts: The Olive Baboon

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