Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Papio Erxleben, 1777

Cercopithecine genus to which the baboons belong; taxonomy in dispute; there is a great deal of hybridization on the boundaries of the species. Most authorities recognize five allopatric species; however, some workers include the two Mandrillus species as a subgenus within Papio; another view treats all five species as subspecies of P. hamadryas, which is regarded as a superspecies. Found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa in open areas and in southwestern Arabia. Terrestrial; diurnal; quadrupedal. Sexually dimorphic in body size and dental proportions. Largest of the cercopithecines, with body mass 10-50 kg, with females about half the male body mass. Dental formula: with large canines and lower sectorial premolars that hone the upper canines; omnivorous; possess cheek pouches. Elongated muzzle. Social organization varies. Baboons, occupying environments similar to that of early hominids, have been used as ecological models for human evolution.

See Mandrillus.

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