Baboons in GURPS
Papio sp., Theropithecus gelada, Mandrillus sp.
Baboons are large monkeys with long, dog-like muzzles that mount large and sharp canine teeth. They have close-set eyes, short tails, calloused buttocks for sitting, and thick hair on the body and limbs. Males are typically larger than females and have longer fangs.
Baboons are adaptable ground dwelling animals found in grasslands, savannas, woodland, and hills. They are omnivorous, with the bulk fo their diet coming from plants but regularly supplemented by insects, shellfish, or small animals.
- The olive baboon Papio anubis lives in a swath across central Africa from the Atlantic to the Indian oceans. The males have a mane or ruff of longer hair around their neck.
Olive baboons live in groups of between 15 and 150, made up of a few males, many females, and their young. Baboon society is matrilineal and matrilocal. The females form close knit social bonds, typically within their matriline. Olive baboons communicate with a variety of grunts and facial expressions. Screams and barks indicate fear or alarm, respectively. When foraging, several group members will keep lookout from trees.
- Hamadryas baboons Papio hamadryas are found in the Horn of Africa and the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula. males are silver colored with a cape of fur around their neck, females are golden colored. They live in semi-deserts, savannas, and rocky terrain where there are cliffs for sleeping. In the dry season they eat mostly leaves.
Hamadryas society is strictly patriarchal. Males rule over their harems with an iron fist. Several harems will travel and sleep together as extended bands.
- Guinea baboons Papio papio are found in the extreme west of Africa. They forage by day and sleep in trees at night. These baboons live in woodland savannas. In the dry season they congregate around water sources.
Guinea baboons live in small harems, with several harems joining to travel together when foraging.
- Yellow baboons Papio cynocephalus live in central-south Africa from Angola in the west to Tanzania and Mozambique in the east. They live in complex, mixed gender social groups with complicated hierarchies and social rules.
- The Chacma baboon Papio ursinus is from southern Africa, where it lives in a variety of habitats from desert to alpine. The social system is somewhat like that of the olive baboon, except that the strongest relationships seem to be between individuals of opposite sex. They sleep in cliffs or trees to avoid predators.
- The Gelada Theropithecus gelada is found in the Ethiopian highlands. It is terrestrial and forages in grasslands. Geladas have a red patch of skin on their chests, which is bright red in males and faded color in females (exceptwhen the female is in estrus). They eat almost exclusively grass. They sleep on cliffs at night to avoid predators.
The basis of gelada society are small groups of several females and their offspring and a few males. The females remain in the family groups while the males leave to join other groups when they reach sexual maturity. Unmated males stay in all-male groups. Several of these families will gather into bands that sleep and travel together, and bands often group into herds for a short while.
- Mandrills Mandrillus sphinx live in jungles, forests, and mixed forest-savanna areas in Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea, and Congo. The males are exceptionally gaudilly colored, with bright blue and red muzzles and rumps. These baboons live in hoards of several hundred individuals. Mandrills spend more time in the trees than other baboons.
Back to Cerceopithicids