There are five different species of baboons. All of them live in Africa or Arabia. Baboons are some of the world’s largest monkeys, and males of different species average from 33 to 82 pounds. The baboons we encountered in Kenya and Tanzania were Olive Baboons. Baboons live together in social groups called “troops”.
The olive baboon lives in groups of 15 to 150, made up of a few males, many females, and their young. Each baboon has a social ranking somewhere in the group, depending on its dominance. Female dominance is hereditary, with daughters having nearly the same rank as their mothers, and adult females forming the core of the social system. Female relatives form their own subgroups in the troop. Related females are largely friendly to each other. They tend to stay close together and groom one another, and team up in aggressive encounters within the troop. Female kin form these strong bonds because they do not emigrate from their natal groups.