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The mandrill baboon (Papio sphinx) is a powerful Old World monkey weighing no more than 60 lbs, the females weighing about half as much. Their head and body length is that of about 30 inches, their tails only about 2 to 3 inches in length. Mandrills have apparent sexual dimorphism, the males being much larger and more colorful than the females. On males, the center and ends of their noses are scarlet, and they have prominent ridges on each side of the nasal bones. The skin is purple in the grooves and blue in the small ridges. Females and young males have less pronounced ridges and are much less colorful. On males, the buttock pads, as well as the skin around them, have a lilac tinge that becomes reddish purple at the edges. The red color of the skin is the result of a distribution and richess of the blood vessels. The brightly colored skin of the mandrill becomes more pronounced when they become excited. When a mandrill baboon opens its mouth wide, similar to a yawn, exposing their large canine teeth, it is a sign of tension within the troop.

The mandrill's diet consists primarily of fruit and seeds, although they also eat insects, such as ants, termites, and dung beetles, spiders, fish, crabs, tortoises, mice, frogs, birds, bird eggs and nestling. They live in a troop varying in size from 2 to 250 animals. Living in very dense forests, very few groups of baboons have been studied. They have shown to be primarily terrestrial, although females and juveniles often climb into trees to feed and sleep.

Males reach sexual maturity at around 5 years of age, while females reach sexual maturity as early as 3 years of age. Females are pregnant with their young from 220 to 270 days, giving birth to one infant at a time. Mandrill baboons generally live more than 40 years in captivity. They live in a variety of habitats, from south Africa to south Asia, including northern Japan and Tibet.

Man"drill (?), n. [Cf. F. mandrille, Sp. mandril, It. mandrillo; prob. the native name in Africa. Cf. Drill an ape.] Zool.

a large West African baboon (Cynocephalus, or Papio, mormon). The adult male has, on the sides of the nose, large, naked, grooved swellings, conspicuously striped with blue and red.


© Webster 1913.

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