Baboon Social Hierarchy

Baboons are known to be among the most social animals in the world. These animals form strong social bonds and usually remain within the same groups or within their immediate family from birth till death.  Depending upon the species of baboons, their social structure and hierarchy may differ but almost all baboons live in groups and follow a certain social hierarchical structure.

The patterns of social bonding are linked closely to philopatry and dispersal which characterize each species.  To understand the social hierarchy of baboons better, you can go through the following given information.

Baboon social hierarchy

Olive, yellow and chacma baboons

Olive baboons, yellow baboons and chacma baboons are those species of baboons which live in large social groups and these groups are also known as troops. These troops can be as small as 10-15 baboons and as large as 100-200 baboons.  They contain both male and female baboons of all age groups.  In these troops, the females are philopatric which means that they remain within the troop and maintain strong social bonds with other females but on the other hand, males may not remain within the same group and may disperse often.

Hamadryas baboons

Unlike many other species of baboons, the Hamadryas baboons follow a multi-level social system that consists of 4 layers of social organization.  Within this, the smallest and most stable grouping is the one male unit which has a leader male and several females besides some others. Within this species, another grouping structure consists of the OMUs as well as the solitary or unaffiliated males and this structure is known as a clan.  This is a social and spatial association within which the males are close family members. A troop is the largest aggregation or social grouping structure within the Hamadryas baboons where there is a temporary aggregation of bands at a sleeping site which can reach up to a number of 800 baboons.

Guinea baboons

Specie of variety of baboons is the guinea baboons which too follow a multi level social system. The largest social group is an aggregation at the site of sleeping which comprises of several hundreds of baboons.  These groups are further subdivided into smaller groups which are similar to clans and one male unit of Hamadryas. There is current evidence which indicates a social organization between the various unstructured multi-male groups of most baboons as well as the more structured multi-level societies of Hamadryas.