The New Student's Reference Work/Baboon
Baboon (băb-oon′), a family of monkeys, native to Africa and found also in parts of Asia. They have dog-shaped heads, long muzzles, large cheek-pouches in which a great quantity of food can be temporarily stowed away, frequently large and brightly-colored calloused cushions on their hips. In the adult males the canine teeth are developed into formidable tusks. They are quadrupeds, running swiftly on all-fours, climbing with great vigor, fond of sitting on their haunch pads and especially at home in mountainous districts. They often live in herds, and, led by patriarchs and guarded by sentinels, fight other herds or defend themselves against other wild beasts. Often when fighting they will stand erect. They are playful and amiable when young. It is said the ancient Egyptians trained them to pick fruit. When older, especially when kept confined, they are very savage. Their food is largely made up of fruits, roots, seeds, insects, worms, etc. Their raids on plantations are much dreaded. About a dozen different kinds are known. The largest and fiercest is called the mandril or ribbed-nose baboon, and is a native of the Guinea coast. This form has a rudimentary tail, while the common baboon has a well developed tail, twenty inches long in the adult. The baboon is thought to have been an object of worship in Egypt, inspiring reverence because of his wise-looking face.