Hamydryas Baboon Essay

2356 words - 9 pages

The Hamadryas baboon or Papio hamadryas is a member of the New World monkeys. The New World monkeys are arboreal and most live in extremely dense forests, where it is sometimes difficult to see the animals or to follow them for long. The distribution of the species within this grouping is from Southern Mexico into South America. The New World monkeys evolved independently from a New World promisian, and the similarities with the Old World monkeys are due to parallel evolution according to Phyllis Dolhinow (1972, p.7). However, the Hamadryas baboon lives in exceedingly arid country where there is a sparse food supply and few sleeping trees. Principally, they are inhabitants of wooded savannahs, grasslands, acacia scrubs and semi-desert, as long as there is access to water.They inhabit much of Africa, south of the Sahara, and extend into southwest Arabia as stated by Phyllis Dolhinow (1972, p.47). The Hamadryas baboon is a large dog-like terrestrial animal that exhibits sexual dimorphism in their size. The males are usually up to two times the weight of the females. The males have a massively built skull that shows a large saggital crest. The eyes are placed in sockets in the skull in a forward facing manner, and they are binocular in their vision as said by Preston-Mafham (1992, p.24). The forward facing manner of the placement of the eyes in the baboon is at the expense of a reduced size of their muzzle, and is made up for by the elongation of the snout. But, the reduction of the muzzle has resulted in a reduction of their sense of smell which was read according to Napier (1985, p.67). The body structure of the baboon allows for them to hang from trees. They have retained the collar bone or clavicle, and have separated radius and ulna in the front limbs.They also have separate tibias and tibula in the hind limbs, although the tarsiers and the latter bones are fused. These adaptations allow for pronation and supination says Preston-Mafham (1992, p.32). The dentition of the Hamadryas baboon consists of incisors, canines (that appear on the onset of maturation) premolars, and molars in each side of the upper and lower jaws. The canine teeth of the baboon extends above the tops of the other teeth in both jaws. The baboon also has elongated molars that occupy the extra space that has been created by the extension of the length of their jaws, due to general adaptations for their diet according to Phyllis Dolhinow (1972, p.48). Baboons have a very diverse diet. Their lack of highly specialized anatomical adaptations, combined with their keen vision and their ability to climb, dig, pull, pluck, gnaw, and to move great distances, often far from trees, enable them to exploit a wide variety of foods, and thus to survive in a great diversity of habitats. Hamadryas have been known to eat a great deal of plants. Grass seeds are eaten when available. Their favorite type of grass seeds are the...

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