Baboon vs Gelada – Who would win a fight between these two awesome monkeys?
Baboons and geladas are some of the most fascinating monkeys on our planet. Both live in sub-Saharan Africa.
In order to have a fair fight, we will consider today one of the smallest species of baboon, Hamadryas.
Once revered by Ancient Egyptians as representatives of the Egyptian god of learning, hamadryas baboons are also referred to as Sacred Baboons.
These hardy Old World monkeys display complex social behaviors and can live in troops of several hundred individuals.
The gelada is also known as the bleeding-heart baboon and it’s not a true baboon.
These brown and grey primates are old-world monkeys that do bear some similarities to baboons.
This handsome, long-haired, medium-bodied primate is the only grass-grazing monkey in the world.
Size and Description
The hamadryas baboon is sexually dimorphic, this means that males and females are different in size and appearance.
Male hamadryas baboons can weigh from 44 – 66 lbs (20 – 30 kg), while females weigh considerably less, typically from 22 – 33 lbs (10 – 15 kg).
When sitting, a male hamadryas baboon is anywhere from 1.6 – 2.1 feet (49 – 64 cm) tall; a female ranges from 1.6 – 1.8 feet (49 – 54 cm) tall.
There is a notable difference in coloration between male and female hamadryas baboons, making them sexually dichromatic.
Females have brown fur and hairless faces, as well as brown hindquarters.
Males have more colorful fur than females, with a large mane around their heads and shoulders that highlights their pink features.
They have thick brows that cover their deep, expressive eyes, as well as long, narrow snouts with short hairs around their mouths which are home to large teeth.
Their bottoms are hairless and pink, like their faces. Male geladas are far bigger than their female counterparts.
Males can weigh up to 44 lbs (20 kg) and stand 29 in (74 cm) tall, while the females weigh around 30.8 lbs (14 kg) and stand 24 in (60 cm) tall.
Geladas are well known for a red, hourglass-shaped patch of skin on their chest, that has given them the nickname “bleeding-heart monkey.”
Geladas have a naked, brown face with pink brows that they show when they are threatened. They have a snout that is noticeably shorter than that of a baboon.
The snout of the northern gelada is slightly longer than that of the southern gelada.
Long brown and golden hair on the heads, shoulders, and backs of males, in particular, makes them appear larger.
Geladas are adapted to a life of grazing.
Although they have the same menacing canines as their baboon cousins, the rest of their teeth are designed for grinding up plants.
Range and Habitat
The hamadryas baboon is an Old World monkey that can be found in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and parts of Sudan and Somalia.
It can be found in Eritrea’s Harar Wildlife Sanctuary and Ethiopia’s Yangudi Rassa National Park.
Populations can also be found in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, where they are thought to have been introduced by humans during the era of ancient Egypt.
The hamadryas baboon was once considered a “sacred baboon” in ancient Egypt, but it is now regionally extinct in the country.
The hamadryas baboon has a wide range of habitats, including the Ethiopian mountains, hillsides, and sub-desert and arid environments.
Unlike many other primates, hamadryas baboons prefer to live on cliffs rather than in trees.
Finding a habitat with easy access to water is the biggest priority for this species.
Geladas are found in the Ethiopian Highlands in open, high plateaus along the gorges and escarpments that transect them, from about 5,000 feet (1500 m) in elevation up to over 14,700 feet (4500 m).
The monkeys stick close to cliffs to use them as sleeping sites and climb up to the plateaus for their daily grazing and social activities.
For warmth and safety, the monkeys form large bands at night, sleeping close together on rocky cliffs and ledges.
The hamadryas baboons eat both vegetation and animals since they are omnivorous.
They graze mostly on grasses, tubers, and other plant components like fruits and flowers.
They eat insects, scorpions, and smaller lizards and mammals as meat sources.
They have adapted their food to the presence of humans in their habitat in recent years. They frequently eat from grain fields and look for food in landfills.
The prickly pear, which was introduced by humans, is a favorite diet of baboons.
The cactus is accessible all year and provide a crucial source of drink for the baboons due to its high water content.
Geladas are true grazers, eating grass blades for about 90% of their diet.
When grasses become scarce, they can easily switch to flowers, digging out rhizomes and roots, and foraging for herbs.
They, like many other primates, spend their days feeding and socializing.
Grooming, playing, and exercising their peculiar bipedal “shuffle gait” as they eat is paramount to gelada life.
Fruits and invertebrates are eaten opportunistically, and cereal crops may be taken where agriculture encroaches onto the geladas’ habitat.
Hamadryas baboons live in basic social units, which are structured like harems, with one male and up to five females and offspring.
Two to three social units will unite to form groups called clans; clans will unite to form bands, and several bands will unite to form a troop.
A troop will sleep and travel together in search of food. Baboons breed all year but breeding peaks in May through June.
Males stay with the natal unit/clan while the females will migrate to another clan or sometimes to another band.
Since they are a mono male – poly female society, the harem master is the only breeding male.
Adult males will emit a warning call that sounds like “wahoo” if predators are in the area.
This call is also used to signal aggression. Sometimes when a baboon yawns it is considered a threat.
Geladas, with the exception of humans, is the world’s most terrestrial primates, spending practically all of their time on the ground.
A harem is a gelada family unit made up of one male, three to six related females, and their offspring.
Females rule society, and if it suits them, they may choose to replace their male leader with a younger opponent.
Gelada females have one child each year and reproduce every two years. The new baby’s sole caretaker is the female.
Males reach sexual maturity between the ages of five and seven, whereas females reach sexual maturity between the ages of four and five.
The patch of skin on a gelada’s chest is indicative of the individual’s hormone levels.
Now in a battle between a hamadryas baboon and a gelada, who would win?
First of all, as I said at the beginning, I chose the baboon species hamadryas, because it is the smallest and closest to the size and weight of the gelada.
In terms of size, even so, the male baboon has a small advantage over the male gelada.
Compared to the gelada, the baboon is more ape-like in structure, with a muscular and compact build, shorter, thicker limbs that are longer in the front, and almost no tail.
I can’t find too much info on the gelada’s fighting prowess. I know they’re awesome monkeys, and we can probably all see that the size of their canines is quite large.
But Baboons are one of the most aggressive primates out there, it is known that males will often attack females in their harem for having considered the attention of interloping solitary males.
Even, though Hamadryas baboons are distinct from other baboons in their social behavior, and males show levels of aggression and tolerance lower than the other baboon species, they still remain baboons.
Also, the primary diet of the geladas is made up of grass, while baboons also eat small mammals.
So, due to its size, aggressiveness, and the fact that it doesn’t eat just grass, in my opinion, the baboon would win this fight.
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