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Chacma Baboon vs Hyena Differences and Comparison

Chacma Baboon vs Hyena Differences and Comparison

Overview: Chacma Baboon vs Hyena

Chacma baboon and Hyena both are native to Africa. Chacma baboons are the largest member of the Cercopithecidae family whereas hyenas are the biggest species of the Hyaneidae family. Baboons are known for their aggression and long-sharp canines while hyenas are the apex predators having bite force even more than lion’s or tiger’s bite. What would happen if these dangerous animals encounter each other in the wild; who would win if an animal duel happens between them? To determine the winner we need to look into their different traits; let’s know about them.

Physical Traits:

How do you know if its a baboon, monkey or ape?

Chacma baboons are ferocious of all baboon species; their body length ranges between 50 – 115 cm having a bent tail of about 45-71 cm. Sexual dimorphism is present in baboons; the males are larger and heavier than their female counterparts. The weight of male chacma baboon is around 26-31 kg whereas females weigh about 15 kg. Also, males have long-sharp canine teeth while females have small teeth. Baboons have a large downward flexed head; their skin color has dark, purple-black plumage.

How do Hyenas look like?

Spotted Hyenas have a sandy-yellowish, grey coat with black or brown colored spots. They have body lengths ranging between 95-150 cm, a shoulder height of about 75-85 cm. Sexual dimorphism is present in hyenas; female hyenas weigh more than their male counterparts. An adult female can weigh approximately 55-70 kg while males are 45-60 kg. Hyenas have strong jaws, a massive neck, longer front legs, non-retractable claws, and slightly sloped back.

Behavioral Traits:

Baboons are social; they live in troops comprising of 20-80 animals. Each troop has its territory which ranges between 900 to 3500 ha. Male Chacma baboons leave their natal troops when they became adult. Territorial and dominance fights are quite common in baboon troops; to overtake the alpha male of troop they need to conquer it. Hyenas also live in groups/community called a clan which is composed of 3-80 members.

Once male attains the sexual maturity they leave the clan and go in search of another one whereas females live in their natal clan for the whole life. Female hyenas are more dominant than male hyenas; although they hunt together females have more right to the fresh kill. Hyenas also follow a strict hierarchical order. 


What do Chacma baboons eat?

Chacma baboons eat fruits, leaves, figs, roots, seeds, bulbs etc. It might be astonishing to know that chacma baboons are opportunistic omnivores; they also feed on meat and rarely hunts young gazelles, impala and other monkeys.

What do Hyenas eat?

Hyenas too are carnivores; they are scavengers as well as skilled excellent hunters. They can kill large animals like Cape buffalo, wildebeest, antelope, zebra, etc. 

Habitat and Geographical Distribution:

Where do we find baboons?

Chacma baboons are mainly found in southern Africa and prefer to live in region having sufficient water availability. They are native to Angola, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana.Both Chacma Baboons and Hyenas are native to the African continent.

Chacma baboons live in steppe grasslands, savannah and highlands.

Where do we find Hyenas?

Hyenas are also natives of sub-Saharan Africa; their density widely varies across Africa. They are found in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Congo, Nigeria, Namibia, Senegal, Cameroon, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Mali, Botswana, and Sierra Leone.

Hyenas have a high population density in Serengeti and Ngoro Ngoro crater, Tanzania.

Hyenas live in varied habitats which include semi-desert, acacia bush, savannah, and mountainous forests. However, they don’t prefer to live in dense forests and coastal forests; they can be seen mostly in savannahs grasslands.

Amazing Fun Facts for kids:

  • The bite force of an adult hyena is 1100 pounds per inch which are way more than the bite force of a lion (650 psi) and tiger (1,050 psi).
  • Chacma baboons communicate with their distinctive grunts and barks.

Baboon Species

There are 5 species of baboon found in the world; these are discussed below.

Guinea Baboon

  • Scientific Name: Papio Papio
  • Geographical Distribution: Guinea Baboons are found in the western part of equatorial Africa.
  • Habitat: They inhabit regions having grasslands, deciduous woodlands, rocky and steppe habitats.
  • Physical Traits: Guinea baboons are the smallest of all baboon species. An adult guinea baboon has an average body length between 50-114 cm (20-45 inches) and a tail length of about 45-70 cm (17-27 inches); weighing around 13-26 kg. They have reddish-brown fur with purple-black skin; males have mane but unlike other baboon species, guinea baboons don’t have a prominent mane.

Chacma Baboon

  • Scientific Name: Papio Ursinus
  • Geographical Distribution: Chacma Baboons are native to African Continent. They are mostly found in the regions having significant availability of water.
  • Habitat: They are found in grasslands, steppe, savannah, and highlands,
  • Physical Traits: Chacma Baboons are the most aggressive baboons. Sexual dimorphism is prominently present in this species, males are heavier and larger than females. Male Chacma Baboons have long sharp canines whereas females have small canines. The weight of an adult chacma baboon ranges between 26-31 kg. They have a large skull with a face elongated towards the downward side; the skin colour of the face is dark or purple-black. Their pelage colour varies from dark to brown to dorsal black.

Anubis Baboon

  • Scientific Name: Papio Anubis
  • Geographical Distribution: Anubis Baboons are the most widely distributed baboon species in Africa. They are found in 26 African countries.
  • Habitat: They live in grasslands, savannahs, rainforests and steppe habitats.
  • Physical Traits: Anubis baboons are also known as Olive baboons due to their dark olive-grey fur; face skin colour varies from black to dark-grey. An adult male baboon weighs around 25 kg with an average body length of 76 cm and a tail length of about 56 cm. Like other baboon species, male baboons also have a mane. Anubis baboons have distinctive placement of nostrils which is pointed forward on the face.

Hamadryas Baboon

  • Scientific Name: Papio Hamadryas
  • Geographical Distribution: Hamadryas baboons are found in Northeastern Africa.
  • Habitat: They live in alpine grass meadows, steppe, plains, sub-desert, savannah and sub-desert habitat.
  • Physical Traits: Hamadryas baboons are also known as Arabian baboons or Sacred baboons. They are large powerful monkeys; an adult male has a body length ranging between 60-76 cm and a tail length of around 38-60 cm. An adult male hamadryas baboon weighs around 21 kg whereas females are about 10 kg. Male and female hamadryas baboon have different pelage, males have greyish-brown fur with silvery mane whereas females do not have a mane and are olive-brown.  

Hyena Species

There are 5 species of hyena; they are discussed below.

Striped Hyena

  • Scientific Name: Hyaena Hyaena
  • Geographical Distribution: Striped Hyenas are found in different parts of the world viz. Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and Indian Subcontinent.
  • Habitat: They prefer to live in the scrub woodland, mountainous and arid region. They take shelter in crevices, hills, ravines and burrows.
  • Physical Traits: Striped Hyenas are small hyenas having average height ranging between 65-80 cm and weigh around 22-55 kg. They have a long-haired pelage which is golden yellow to brown with large stripes on the whole body. When striped hyenas are threatened they erect the long mane hair and appears 40% bigger. They are light to dark brown with a black muzzle and dark stripes all over their body.

Spotted Hyena

  • Scientific Name: Crocuta Crocuta
  • Geographical Distribution: Spotted Hyenas are widely distributed on African Continent.
  • Habitat: They live in the Sub-Saharan region, acacia bush, open grasslands, and savannahs.
  • Physical Traits: Spotted Hyenas are enormously strong animals; they have large head, neck, long forelimbs and muscular body. Spotted hyenas have an extremely powerful bite force of about 1100 psi as they have strong jaw muscles. An adult Spotted Hyena have a body length of about 95-150 cm, the height of about 75-85. Sexual dimorphism is present but unlike other species where males outweigh the females, female spotted hyenas weigh more than males. An adult female can weigh about 55-70 kg whereas the weight of male ranges from 45-60 kg. Spotted Hyenas have yellowish-grey to black pelage with dark brown spots all over the body.

Brown Hyena

  • Scientific Name: Hyaena Brunnea
  • Geographical Distribution: Brown hyenas are exclusively found in Southernmost Africa which includes the Afrotropical region, Kalahari and Namib deserts.                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  • Habitat: They live in semi-arid, arid and desert regions.
  • Physical Traits: Brown Hyenas are medium-sized and rank second in the Hyaenidae family. They have an average length of 130-160 cm with an average weight ranges of 30-70 kg. No sexual dimorphism is present in brown hyenas; male and female both have an average height of about 75 cm. Brown hyenas have distinctive long pelage; they have shaggy, long hair which is black to dark brown with a slight tan on the neck and shoulder.


  • Scientific Name: Proteles Cristata
  • Geographical Distribution: Aardwolves are found in arid plains of Eastern and Southern Africa.
  • Habitat: They live in dry regions, grasslands and savannahs; however, they avoid forests and desert areas.
  • Physical Traits: Aardwolves are the smallest member of the Hyaneidae family; they have a total length ranging between 85-110 cm and weigh between 8-14 kg. Male and female are similar in size and weight; and also appears alike. Aardwolves have a slim skull, large pointed ears and small molar as they mostly feed on insects and termites. They have buff-yellow pelage with dark stripes on it and have mane which runs on their back from head till tail.

Baboon and hyena Fight: Who would win?

Both baboons and Hyenas are ferocious animals. Baboons have large-sharp canines; just a bite of a baboon can inflict major damage to any animal. Chacma baboons have a fearsome defense; they can attack any intruder or predator in a group. Males baboons are very aggressive and strong than females whereas hyenas are absolute carnivores, they hunt big animals like cape buffalo, wildebeest etc.

When a duel happens between baboon and hyena; we predict hyena would win. Baboon might be dangerous having sharp canines but in one on one fight it doesn’t stand any chance against the hyena. A bite of hyena can easily break the baboon’s bone in a second; also hyena is way bigger than baboon. A group of baboons might make a hyena afraid but they cannot kill it. Hence, the hyena is the winner of the duel baboon vs hyena.

Comparison Chart: Hyena vs Baboon

Comparison Heads Baboon Hyena
Kingdom Animalia Animalia
Phylum Chordata Chordata
Class Mammalia Mammalia
Order Primates Carnivora
Family Cercopithecidae Hyaneidae
Genus Papio Corcutta
Species P.ursinus C. Corcutta
Found in Africa Sub-Saharan Africa
Weight 26-31 88-190 lbs
Body Length 95-150 cm 4.7-5.9 feet
Lifespan 30-40 years 10-12 years
Diet Omnivorous Carnivorous

Comparison Video: Baboon vs Hyena

FAQ’S: Frequently Asked Questions

Do hyenas eat baboons?

Like wolves and dogs hyenas hunt in packs and tthus make them dangerous predators of baboons.

Can baboon kill big cats?

Adult baboons are known to kill cubs of leopard and lion but its impossible to for them to fight big cats.

Which animal can kill a baboon?

Their apex predators like Nile crocodiles, lions, leopards, and cheetahs, hyenas can hunt them down.

Do baboons eat animals?

Baboons are opportunistic eaters They eat grasses, seeds, bark,fruits, roots, but also have a taste for meat.

How long can a baboon and hyena live?

Guinea baboon: 35 – 45 years and Hyenas usually live around 10 to 21 years.