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Social behaviour

Social behaviour
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, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Animals' Behavior, part one [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-09-11 6:08
Viewed: 7998
Points: 74
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello dear TN Friends,

From my visit to the Gelada Baboons in Ethiopia in 2008 I‘ve placed several photos. But I got a few nice-ones in my archive. When you are there, you see the strict rank order in a family. Like here by fleaing each other.

During my visit in the high mountains it was very foggy. That’s the only correction in this photo, removed the fog and a bit locally sharpening.

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)

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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-09-11 6:12]

Hello Peter
A beautiful scene capture with excellent details and natural colors.
Well done

great you show us again the gelads, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-09-11 6:50]

Hello Peter, excellent shot of a gelada family with fine composition, nice poses and details.
TFS and G's,

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-09-11 7:03]

What a capture...I look at this capture like in a mirror!!!!

Hi Peter, nice capture showing the social beahaviours between Gelada family individuals.
TFS and have a nice WE!


Wonderful capture, great colored details, lovely colors.

Ciao Peter, interesting capture of lovely couple in nice action, wonderful details and splendid sharpness, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-09-11 8:49]

Hi Peter. A very picture of the relaxed Gelada Baboons . Taken with fine detail in the soft looking fur . With such natural looking colours. All with interesting notes . well done TFS.

Have a nice weekend.

hallo Peter
leuk om dit zo te zien ,super scherp en goed van licht
mooie kleuren en goede dtails van de kop
groetjes lou

Hallo Peter,

wat heeft het mannetje een mooi gezichtsuitdrukking.
Een goede compositie en met veel detailering.
Prachtige kleuren.


hello Peter

an excellent photo of scene of the life of Gelada Baboons,
fine POV, fine focus excellent sharpness and details,
and beautiful smooth colour tones, TFS


  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2009-09-11 15:03]

Slav Peter,
A very nice composition with excellent sharpness and colors.TFS.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-09-11 15:20]

Hi Peter,i can't believe that a wonderful pic like that sleep so long in yur hard disk.It's fantastic,whit perfect sharpness and colors and a very nice situation too.My best compliments,have a nice weekend,Luciano.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-09-11 17:11]

Hi Peter,

If these were people instead of baboons we would say what a magnificent candid shot. This is fantastic. I love the expression on the face of the one being de-ticked or de-fleaed. We can see how hard at work the other one is. Wonderful colors and details. The features of the one lying down is marvelous. An amazing natural action shot.


Hi Peter, lovely capture with splendid details and excellent composition.
thanks for sharing,

Hello Peter,
Wonderful capture of this interesting Baboons. The colours are superb and very naturals. Sharpness and composition also very good.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-09-12 1:27]

Hello Peter,
Happy to see another picture of the Gelada Baboons you had presented to us after your trip to Ethiopia. You made us discover a very touching and interesting monkey-species.
This picture looks so natural, just a daily and peaceful occupation.
Thanks also for the note
Have a nice weekend
Kind regards

Hi Peter.
Nice catch and perfect picture...
Details and sharpness very good...
I liked their poses in rest...Composition very good...
Kind regards

Hello Peter
very lovely and beautiful shot of these happy Geladas.
Nice composition.
TFS and regards,

Hello Peter,
Lovely and perceft shot with wonderful composition.
TFS and regards,

Ciao Peter. Excellente sharp and light's managemento on stunning details. Ubteresting great work in PP too.


Hello Peter
Thanks for sharing your archives with us,this a very good photo of gelada baboons, a great note too,well done
Best regards

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-09-12 6:15]

Merhaba Peter,
davranış özelliklerini gösteren çok güzel bir fotoğraf olmuş.
Tebrik ederim.

Hello Peter,
Wauuuuuuuuu!!!! A excellent shot and document!
Congratulations. Ferran

Hello Peter,
A lovely picture. It looks like the male is having a great time. Wonderful to witness this behavior. TFS this wonderful image.

Hello Peter,
another fantastic picture of the Gelada Baboons from your archives, superb sharpness and splendid colours, very lovely scene in a very pleasing composition.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-09-12 12:59]

Hello Peter,
This is a great capture showing the social grooming behaviour of Gelada baboons. The imperial expression on the male's face is great! The technical quality is superb and the composition an POV excellent.
Thanks and all the best,

Hello Peter
great scene of this two Gelada Baboons, both are taken sharply, i like especially the details on he face from he one laying in the grass
lighting, coloration and environment are superb
Have a good BG

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-09-13 2:39]

Hello Peter,
I remember your earlier pictures of these fabulous Baboons. They certainly look very cosy here together! Great timing, fine details and well composed. You obviously have wonderful memories from this trip!
Many thanks and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2009-09-13 7:55]

Hi Peter

A great shot here - besides being technically excellent it shows the social behaviour of these animals very well.


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-09-13 9:42]

Hello Peter,
perfect shot for just loving animal. Superb eye catch and lovely clarity shot.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • mishe Gold Star Critiquer [C: 110 W: 0 N: 3] (1076)
  • [2009-09-13 10:12]

Zdravo Peter!
Compo,colours, sharpness and light are excellent.
Congrats and thanks.
With best wishes,

Hello Peter,
congratulations on your 350th post. I wish you many hundreds here.
this is great capture for social behaviour of famous Gelade Baboons. great action shot with great focus and POV. exposure, coloration and composition also very nice. She gave a great pose in relax after second clearing her hairs.
thanks for sharing it with good informative notes.
have a nice week friend

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2009-09-15 9:11]

Hello Peter,
Very nice timing, I like the expressions you captured a lot :o)
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-09-17 13:53]

Hola Peter.
High quality photo in all aspects. Excellent photo my friend. Congratulations!!!

Dear Peter,

This is a wonderful study of Animal behavior. Thanks so much.you appear to travel the way we used to, with the exception that your filing system is better than mine... I used the numbers of the slides. I must have been gaga the day I decided that.

Never mind that...:-)

Unfortunately we never got to Ethiopia. Well there are only so many places one can visit, and we mainly concentrated on art and history...

But I have been able to watch the Gelada Baboons for hours in the Pretoria zoo, when I appeared to be the only visitor...

Thanks again for contributing your work ( the notes alone are a wonderful stand alone.

Warm greetings from a winterly South Africa

Hello Mr.Peter,
Excellent behaviour.Well captured in wilderness.I like this type of photograph.
Thanks for sharing,
Regards and have a nice time,

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