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Keywords:

  • Papio anubis;
  • Baboons;
  • Social organization;
  • Hominid evolution

Abstract

In early accounts, baboons are described as invariably assuming a particular troop formation when moving across open country. This movement pattern is an integral part of a model of social organization in which behavior is a response to predator pressure. The model, in turn, has been applied to describe populations of early hominids moving onto the savannah from the forest. The special formation was not observed during a year's study of free-ranging baboons in Kenya, nor has it been reported by other field workers since its original description. Thus at least one aspect of an early model of baboon social organization lacks empirical support and this model should not be used uncritically in reconstructing the behavior of early human groups.