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Gelada Baboon

Gelada Baboon
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-03
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/8, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Haraprasan's Favs [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-09-15 1:37
Viewed: 16881
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
You canít been in the Semien Mountains in Ethiopia without seeing the Gelada Baboons. After an hour of walking and searching we found them. Only a few. We settled down on the ground and in a couple of minutes we were surrounded by dozens of them. They come up along a very steep wall to the plateau where we were sitting, to eat the grass.
But it was very foggy. Most of the time we didnít see very much, but sometimes the clouds disappear and we could enjoy them and they could enjoy us. It was exciting the see the behavior of all these monkeys. Specially the young ones, playing around us. The males are very impressive with their mane.
This photo is taken in a thick mist. With the help of photoshop I could make an acceptable presentation, but there was a lot of work to do.
I hope you like it.

The Gelada (Theropithecus gelada), sometimes called the Gelada Baboon, is a species of Old World monkey found only in the Ethiopian Highlands, with large populations in the Semien Mountains. Theropithecus is derived from the Greek root words for "beast-ape." Like its close relatives the baboons (genus Papio), it is largely terrestrial, spending much of its time foraging in grasslands. Since 1979 it has been customary to place the Gelada in its own particular genus (Theropithecus), though some genetic research suggests that this monkey should, in fact, be grouped with its papionine kin; other researchers have classified this species even farther distant from Papio. While Theropithecus gelada is the only living species of its genus, at least two separate larger species are known from the fossil record: T. brumpti and T. oswaldi, formerly classified under the generic name of Simopithecus. Theropithecus, while restricted at present to Ethiopia, is also known from fossil specimens found in Africa and the Mediterranean into Asia, including South Africa, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Algeria, Morocco, Spain, and India.
Theropithecus gelada can be physically distinguished from baboons by the bright patch of skin on its chest. This patch is hourglass-shaped, and on males, bright red and surrounded by white hair. On females the patch is far less pronounced. However, when in oestrus, the female's patch will brighten, and a "necklace" of fluid-filled blisters forms on the patch. This is thought to be analogous to the swollen buttocks common to most baboons experiencing oestrus. This modification likely came about due to the Gelada's unique mode of feeding - it spends most of its waking hours grazing from an upright sitting position, rump hidden beneath and so unavailable for display. The male Gelada's tail is about as long as the body and densely tufted at the tip; it also has a long and flowing mantle and mane.
The Gelada lives in small harems consisting of one male, several females, and their offspring. These smaller bands often join together to feed, forming groups of upwards of 350 individual monkeys. At especially good feeding spots, groups in excess of 670 individuals have been observed.

The Gelada is exclusively herbivorous but is specialised as a grass-eater, consuming every part of the plant (but favouring one part over the others depending upon season), from green blades (in the wet season) to seeds to rhizomes (in the dry season) to stalks, flowers, and fruits. It has the most opposable thumb of any of the catarrhine primates (not including humans), allowing it to pick apart grasses with great dexterity to select the most nourishing meal. It is one of the only true grazing monkeys.

Although not listed as endangered, only 50,000-60,000 Geladas are known to exist. Hunting and habitat destruction have forced the Gelada into areas formerly inhabited only by the Olive Baboon, and hybridisation between the two species has been observed.
There are two subspecies of Gelada:
Theropithecus gelada gelada
Eastern Gelada, Theropithecus gelada obscurus

(Source: Wikipedia)

haraprasan, robindb, zulfu, rousettus, jaycee, red45, Silvio2006, nglen, uleko, cicindela, boreocypriensis, lousat, xTauruSx, ramthakur, siggi, anel, jrobertop has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Peter,
What a strange looking monkey you present here today. Just fantastic. Going to be my favs. Nice details and very well composed. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Peter,

Good detail in the fur especially considering the light conditions at the time. Definitely not seen down south so thank you for posting.


quel magnifique singe au coeur rouge qui rappelle bien les hauts plateaux ethiopiens...superbe

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-09-15 4:55]

Hello Peter, great shot of this elder Baboon! TFS.

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  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-09-15 7:10]

Quite a character isn't it? :-) Well done, you've captured it in all his splendor! Good job,thanks!


Hello Peter,
nice to see again Gelada Baboon which I have seen from documentray films in many times. This is interesting capture when it tried to tell someting:)) Focus, composition and timing great. Thanks for sharing this great work. best wishes

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  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-09-15 10:12]

Hi Peter,

An excellent shot of this one with superb details of his face, hands and fur. I love the eyes and teeth!! Wonderful colors with all the shades of brown. What a wonderful experience it must have been to watch these Baboons!


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  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-09-15 10:40]

O, wow, what a absolutelly stunning shot!!! This pose is genuine human! Face, gesture - this Baboon reminds me Jedi master from Star Wars :-) Excellent photo.

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  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-09-15 10:56]

Hello Peter,
Lovely composition and sharpness. Details on it's fur is well done. I like its pose and the look on its face.
Very very nice,
Regards Siggi

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  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-09-15 11:51]

Hi Peter. A fist class close up of the Gelada Baboon. As you say in your good notes taken in misty condistions.It looks as he is waving to you. Great detail in the fur. well done TFS this fine animal with us.

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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-09-15 12:01]

Hello Peter,
Superb capture of this impressive Baboon in an amazing fur coat!! Very interesting to see and in spite of the mist you managed to get a very fine capture! I like your POV and the timing is perfect. Well done!
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

Is it a break from bird pictures??? :> I think yes, and I think it is nice break as the object is very interesting. I like pose of the monkey and sharpness. On the other hand the sky is a little to white as for me (I suppose the sun was very strong), maybe it would be good idea to use polarizer or UV filter? :)
Anyway, interesting capture Peter!
TFS and all the best!

Wowww... what a great relative:) I love his:) facial expression but I am know that it is one of the aggressive monkeys! Superb in all around my friend! MTFS.

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  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-09-15 16:10]

Hi Peter,simply impressive!! You are showing every day a lot of unknown species,this is incredible,and the pic is always at the top quality! Thanks a lot for your work,have a nice day,Luciano

Hallo Peter,
Mooi beeld van EthiopiŽ(jawel) ook wat je tekst betreft. Hij ziet er echt 'verschrikkelijk' uit. En dat is nu net het mooie aan je foto. En die mist maakt het allemaal wat mysterieuzer...
Plezant als de elementen hun rol spelen in een foto!
Bedankt en op naar de volgende...:-)

Peter, this is outstanding work. A great shot. Thanks so much for your comment on my heron. I appreciate it. Have a great week. Bill

If you have time, check out my website:

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-09-15 21:46]

Hi Peter,
Wonderful shot of this Baboon in a fabulous pose and expression. Nice colours and details. Though the sky looks OE the image still looks great. Excellent POV and composition. Thanks for sharing this fine image.

Hello Peter, wonderful shot of this Baboon. Wonderful details and composition. TFS.
Regards, Deniz

Utterly fascinating portrait of this Baboon, Peter. You have captured the animal in an impressive pose. Despite foggy weather, you have managed a clear shot.
I am sure this image makes a great contribution to TN.
Thanks and regards.

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  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-09-16 0:51]

Hello Peter,
What a weird looking monkey, a species I didn't even know that it exists. Most interesting and vivid shot. Fortunately that this male is just herbivorous, he doesn't look too much trustable. My goodness, what a shot!
Thanks a lot for this original picture

Nice shot. It seems you could have used the highlight tool in photoshop to increase the clarity. But sharply focussed, and I liked the way its teeth are visible

Hi Peter,
MŁkemmel bir Áalışma.

Hi Peter, great capure of splendid monkey in wonderful pose, fine details and fantastic colors, excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

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  • mariki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 838 W: 60 N: 2307] (9477)
  • [2008-09-16 12:45]

Hello Peter,

Very good capture of this baboon despite the bad weather conditions. Good sharpness. Excellent detail. Nice natural colours. The mist, I guess most of the time present in these mountains, makes the picture even more realistic.

Hello Peter.
Really a great capture!
More a fantastic work... super original!
This picture is perfect for the ilustration of a book!
The note also is excellent... very elucidated.
Josť Roberto

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  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-09-17 6:32]

Hi Peter
very good image
great sharp
well done.

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-09-17 8:18]

Hello Peter,
Your photography and PP work have let to an excllent image showing a male Gelada Baboon that shows the whole baboon with fine sharpness from a great POV.
Thanks for sharing this fine image,
Regards, Ivan

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  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-09-18 13:17]

hello peter
another good capture of your handsome model with its different pose
i like composition, POV and colours

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