Baboon

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Papio hamadryas
Papio papio
Papio anubis
Papio cynocephalus
Papio ursinus

  • Chaeropitheus Gervais, 1839
  • Comopithecus J. A. Allen, 1925
  • Cynocephalus G. Cuvier and É. Geoffroy, 1795
  • Hamadryas Lesson, 1840 (non Hübner, 1804: preoccupied)

Baboons are African and Asian Old World monkeys belonging to the genus Papio, part of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. There are five species, which are some of the largest non-hominid members of the primate order; only the Mandrill and the Drill are larger. Previously, the closely related Gelada (genus Theropithecus) and two species of Mandrill and Drill (genus Mandrillus) were grouped in the same genus, and these Old World monkeys are still often referred to as baboons in everyday speech. They range in size and weight depending on species. The Guinea Baboon is 50 cm (20 inches) and weighs only 14 kg (30 lb) while the largest Chacma Baboon can be 120 cm (47 inches) and weigh 40 kg (90 lb). A group of baboons is collectively called a troop or congress.[citation needed]

Contents

Classification and taxonomy

Five species of papio are commonly recognized, although there is some disagreement about whether they are really full species or subspecies. They are P. ursinus (Chacma Baboon, found in southern Africa), P. papio (Western, Red, or Guinea Baboon, found in the far western Africa), P. hamadryas (Hamadryas Baboon, found in the Horn of Africa and south-western Arabia), P. anubis (Olive Baboon, found in the north-central African savanna) and P. cynocephalus (Yellow Baboon, found in south-central and eastern Africa). Many authors distinguish P. hamadryas as a full species, but regard all the others as subspecies of P. cynocephalus and refer to them collectively as "savanna baboons". This may not be helpful: it is based on the argument that the Hamadryas Baboon is behaviorally and physically distinct from other baboon species, and that this reflects a separate evolutionary history. However, recent morphological and genetic studies of papio show the Hamadryas Baboon to be more closely related to the northern baboon species (the Guinea and Olive Baboons) than to the southern species (the Yellow and Chacma Baboons).[2][3][4]

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