Category Archives: Gelada

Gelada- the last descendants of an ancient family

Upon first glance, this beautiful creature would be pegged as a baboon, but even though the gelada is closely related to the Papio genus (Papio latin for baboon)in physical appearance and taxonomy , the geladas are a species that rightfully should be recognized as the sole survivors of  a genus set apart from other Baboons. There is no question of why the last living  descendants of the  Theropithecus family name is literally translated “beast -ape ” from Latin:


Beast? Indeed.

Interesting facts about the gelada:

Although males are more colorful and bigger in size – the females  dominate the gelada society.(When an aging male begins to decline, the females in his family decide when he will be replaced by a younger rival)

A distinctive physical characteristic of the gelada is a bright red triangular patch on its chest. When the gelada female is in estrous (ready to get it on ), a “necklace” of fluid filled beads appear on the patch, signaling the males that its time for a little monkey buizzness.(Females usually copulate up to 5 times a day, usually during midday)

This is important because geladas have a unique “gait” while walking- It squats bipedally and moves by sliding its feet without changing its posture, and their rump is unavailable for display, and the little bright red chest patches are the visible signal for mating.

The gelada “shuffle” is used during feeding, which the gelada does-ALOT. They are grazer and 90 %of their diet is grass blades.


They are the most sociable of African primates combining their family units of 1 male and 3-6 females to form a conglomerate of 500-600 primates!

They are the most terrestrial of non-human primates.

The gelada can be found only in Ethiopia. (About 250,000 individuals)


Male head-and-body length: 69 – 74 cm

Female head-and-body length: 50 – 65 cm

Male tail length: 46 – 50 cm

Female tail length: 30 – 41 cm

Male weight: c. 20 kg

Female weight: 12 – 16 kg

Infant geladas are ADORABLE little beasts (undisputable fact) :

Infant male gelada baboon playing with grass shoot*Practicing my mean mug *


Anna Artsibasheva