Safari! Animal #10 - "What are you staring at?:" the baboon.

Nyani in Swahili means baboon. Quite simply put, papio hamadryus anubi are predominantly diurnal, terrestrial and frugivorous primates with ischial callosities. Say what?! Well, that is to say, olive baboons are members of the monkey family who are mainly active in the day, spend most of their time on the ground, love to eat fruit and have a bright red patch of skin on their rumps.

Baboons, of course, have to climb trees to get to the fruit they love, but they don't stay up there nearly as much as other monkeys. And while they like fruit best, they're not exclusively frugivorous; they supplement their diet with a wide range of other plant products, including tubers, bulbs, rhizomes, flowers, leaves, seeds and tree gum. Nor are they strictly herbivorous; they also eat insects (often plucked from the fur of a friend), eggs, hares, vervet monkeys and infant gazelles. If push comes to shove, though, they can survive on grass, subterranean rhizomes and bulbs alone - which may be why the grasslands are their main hang out.

© 2007 OneWorld Classrooms