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What is an Olive baboon? Candid Animal Cam heads to Africa

  • Every Tuesday, Mongabay brings you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, our show featuring animals caught on camera traps around the world and hosted by Romi Castagnino, our writer and conservation scientist.

Camera traps bring you closer to the secretive natural world and are an important conservation tool to study wildlife. This week we’re meeting a primate with whom we share 94 % of our DNA: the olive baboon.

Olive baboons (Papio anubis) are also known as Anubis baboons as they have a dog-like muzzle, which resembles the Egyptian God named Anubis. They are the most extensively distributed of all baboons, living in a variety of habitats throughout Africa. As an omnivorous opportunist and a highly adaptable primate, it changes its diet depending on the region, season, food supply and even the time of day. Differences in social organization and behavior also depend on its varied feeding strategies. These amazing creatures are very strong and have sharp canine teeth that can be larger than those of lions! Watch the video to learn more about this baboon!

Special thanks to Dr. Meredith Palmer and Akiba/Jacinta of FreakLabs for sharing their camera trap footage with us. Dr. Palmer is a researcher at Princeton University and uses camera traps to study how prey animals (like wildebeest, zebra, and impala) respond to complex carnivore guilds and the reintroduction of locally-extinct predators (like lions, cheetah, hyena, leopards, and African wild dogs). The camera traps are triggered to play predator sounds when triggered, and then video record animal responses. They were deployed in the Serengeti ecosystem in 2019.

Banner image: Dr. Meredith S. Palmer/Snapshot Serengeti


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Romi Castagnino is Mongabay’s bilingual writer. Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @romi_castagnino

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