These Baboons Do a Creepy “Lip Flip” to Intimidate Others

Africa has a reputation for containing many dangerous animals. In fact, we ranked sub-Saharan Africa as #1 in The 5 Most Dangerous Places on Earth to See Wild Animals. From lions to black mambas to crocodiles, Africa has a disproportionate share of deadly wildlife. Yet, while lions, leopards, crocodiles, and other big predators get all the attention, non-predatory animals are often overlooked. Take a look at this gelada baboon:

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Native to the Ethiopian highlands, gelada baboons have HUGE canine teeth, which they can use to deal some serious damage. When threatened, gelada baboons flip back their upper lips and gums and display their frighteningly large teeth.

Gelada Baboon Teeth - Photo by BluesyPete
Gelada baboon teeth. Photo by BluesyPete.

However, despite resembling carnivorous demons, gelada baboons are the only primates that are primarily grazers. 90% of their diet consists of grass, and they eat both blades and seeds. They also eat flowers, rhizomes and roots as well as herbs, small plants, fruits, creepers, bushes, and thistles. They occasionally eat insects as well but very rarely.

So, overall, gelada baboons are basically scary-looking vegans with a taste for greens, rather than a taste for flesh. In the video below, Steve Backshall, who is the host of BBC’s program Deadly 60, views these impressive monkeys in their natural habitat.

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