One fact about baboons is that they are one of the largest species of monkeys. Males can weigh as much as 82 pounds, and females are about half the size of males. Unlike other monkeys, baboons do not have tails that grip and spend much of their time on the ground.
Baboons have the ability to climb trees and use them to sleep, eat and stand guard for predators. Baboons are omnivores and opportunistic hunters. They eat crops, pests, roots, barks and seeds. Their diet also consists of meat, such as rodents, birds and the young of larger mammals.
Baboons live on savannahs and in semi-arid areas as well as forests. They require access to water, but if it is scarce, they lick the overnight condensation that accumulates on their fur. Baboons form complex groups called troops that typically consist of eight to 200 individuals.
They are vocal, using a wide range of at least 10 sounds and calls to communicate with other members. Sounds include grunts, screams and barks. They also use body language such as lip smacking and shoulder shrugging to communicate. When traveling in groups, the dominant male leads, followed by the females and their young. The less dominant males guard the troop at the rear.
Animals such as lions, leopards and cheetahs prey on baboons, but humans are their main predator. When launching a defense, male baboons display their large teeth and make screaming sounds or strut in a threatening manner to intimidate predators.