Five baboon species are found in Africa and the Middle East.
Baboons are the biggest of the Old World monkeys. They have adapted to life in different habitats and are found in mountain, tropical forest, savannah and semi-arid regions. Baboons live close to a good water source and retreat to the safety of tall trees or rocky outcrops at night.
Yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus)
are found in central and East Africa. Named for its yellowish-brown fur, this baboon has a slender build with a dog-like head, long, black muzzle and prominent nostrils. Like other baboon species, yellow baboons are omnivores.
Guinea baboons (Papio papio)
are the smallest of the baboon species. They live in West Africa and feed on trees roots, insects and eggs. The average troop size is about 40 individuals. Males have a mantle of fur around their heads. Guinea baboons are listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Olive baboons (Papio anubis)
live in West and northeast Africa across a range of different habitats. The male olive baboon is almost twice the size of the female. He has a distinctive dog-like face and grey ruff around his neck and cheek area. Troop sizes vary from 20 to 50 individuals, but may reach over 100 strong in some areas. Olive baboons eat fruit, plants, insects, lizards and occasionally small mammals.
Hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas)
are found in Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia. The males are easy to recognise with their silver-grey fur and long, thick shoulder cape. Females are olive brown in colour. Hamadryas baboons feed on roots, fruits, nuts, grasses, insects and small birds and small mammals. The ancient Egyptians believed these baboons were sacred.
Chacma baboons (Papio ursinus)
live in Southern Africa and are the largest of the baboon species. The males are bigger than the females, with a dog-like face and large canine teeth. The chacma baboon has short, course fur. Coat colours vary from grey/brown to black. Chacma baboons are omnivores and eat a variety of plants and small vertebrates and invertebrates.