, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 13-24

First online:

Social organization of gelada baboons: Social units and definitions

  • M. KawaiAffiliated withPrimate Research Institute, Kyoto University
  • , H. OhsawaAffiliated withPrimate Research Institute, Kyoto University
  • , U. MoriAffiliated withPrimate Research Institute, Kyoto University
  • , R. DunbarAffiliated withDepartment of Zoology, Sub-department of Animal Behaviour, University of Cambridge

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This paper aims to clarify terminological differences that have arisen between two different field studies of gelada baboons (Theropithecus gelada). First, a comparison of age classifications is made to show the physical correspondences between the two sets of classes. Second, the social system of the gelada baboon is outlined and the terms used to refer to the components of this system are defined and clarified. Attention is drawn to the complex structure of gelada society and to the relationship between the superficially similar social systems of the gelada and the hamadryas baboon.