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My little brother

My little brother
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
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-12-13 4:29
Viewed: 5266
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is photo number ten of my stay between the Gelada Baboons in 2008. High up in the mountains. We were surrounded by a hundred Baboons. They formed a circle around us. We were also sitting on the grass. I could photograph as much as I want, but it was very foggy, as you can see in the background. For this photo I had to use photoshop for a reasonable view.

Nice to see the expression on the faces.

The Gelada Baboon (Theropithecus galada) is not in fact peculiar to the Semyen as is the exclusive Walia Ibex, but they are more numerous here than in their other habitats. Some live at Debre Sina not far from Addis Ababa and others at Debre Libanos on the way to the Blue Nile; there are also small populations in the Mulu and Bole Valley gorges. But in the Semyen there may be as many as 20,000, and troops of 400 together may be seen. They do not molest humans and, more surprisingly, the local people do not molest them.
Thus they are very tame and will allow humans to approach quite close to the troop before moving nearer to the cliff edge.

The Gelada was discovered in 1835 by the explorer Ruppell, who named it by the local name used by the inhabitants of Gonder region where he first observed it. They are not difficult to study as they are very tame, however, little interest was shown in them until recently, when Patsy and Robin Dunbar made an exhaustive study of their social behaviour. The social behaviour of the apes and monkeys is evidence of a very high degree of intelligence and studies of their rudimentary social structures are proving of considerable value in analysing the origins of human social behaviour.

Geladas live along the edges and steep slopes of precipices. They never move far from the rim and thus their distribution is linear along the escarpment. At night they climb down the steep cliff faces to caves where they roost on ledges, often huddled close together for warmth as Semyen nights are frosty and bitterly cold. Babies cling tight to their mothers even in sleep. In the morning in the warm sun they climb up again to the top of the cliff and spread out to feed. Geladas are mainly vegetarian, living on herbs, grasses and roots, but they also eat insects and locusts. They never eat meat, or hunt or kill even small birds or mammals. As a result of this restricted diet they are obliged to spend a very high percentage of their lives foraging and browsing in order to obtain sufficient nutrients to survive. This may explain why they are so extremely peaceable by nature, with very little squabbling even amongst themselves. They have no natural enemies (except of course, Man, who takes a fair toll with his rifle. The great mane of the adult male is used for traditional headdresses by highland warriors).

Apart from feeding, "grooming" is their other main pastime. This entails simply picking through each other's fur. This is not only a friendly and peaceful occupation, but it serves also to establish bonds between various members of a 'harem' and to cement the accepted relationships in the hierachy, between male and female, older and younger members.

The long narrow plateaus of the Semyen slope up- wards from the south until they end in the dizzying precipices of the northern escarpment. This is the haunt of the Walia, and the Gelada do not frequent these vertical cliffs, but the rims of the stupendous gorges and ravines which bisect the plateau. The troops tend to graze the higher moorlands, amongst everlastings, giant lobelias and alchemilla-tussock grass. Never far from the rim, which is their refuge when danger threatens, they disappear over the edge on to the grassy slopes and ledges of the gorge sides. Their grazing ranks are so arranged that the males are always farthest from the edge and thus it is "women and children first" when they have occasion to flee to safety.

Source: Selamta.net

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To John_F_Kennedy: ThanksPeterZ 1 12-14 07:26
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter,
Wonderful composition with superb details and excellent colours.
Lovely image. Light, sharpness and contrast are great.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-12-13 4:45]

Hello Peter,
Yes, you are right, the expression on the faces of the little Baboons make the picture. And they are so interesting. The younger baboon just focussed on the bigger one and the later looking at the photographer. Vey well seen and vivid scene. The light conditions didn't seem to have been the best, but here the content is more important. Good framing chosen by you too.
Thanks and kind regards
Have a nice Sunday

Peter, this is an amazingly natural shot of these two young Baboons with almost human expressions on their faces.
Despite fog, you have captured a very clear and sharp image of this lovable creatures.
Well done and TFS.

Dear Peter,
Your study is very interesting, and I add your photo to my Theme Animal Behaviour

In some literature they call it "Social Climbing" i.e. in order to gain any social status, Baboons have to devote time to grooming...
Your excellent focus and and control of depth of field offer many details - and I am surprised at the bad front teeth of the "Groomer".

The foggy background is actually a plus emphasising the Baboons activity.
Thanks for sharing your trip,
Best wishes

Ciao Peter. Great dynamic impressive capture in very good focus and sharp. Beautiful colours.


hello Peter

what a lovely shot of these Gelada Baboons brothers
« prise sur le vif » as we say in French, being surrounded
by a hundred Baboons that they formed a circle around you,
WOW ! what a superb feelings in emotions you had,
i love the « monkey style » pose of these 2 ones, TFS


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-12-13 6:26]

Hello Peter,
A superb capture of two juvenile gelada baboons behaving like children!
The POV is great to show the expresion of the one facing the camera with fine sharpness and lighting. Even the deciduous teeth can be seen (before I became teacher I was a dentist for 20 years) with fine clarity.
Thanks and have a good week,

Hello Peter,

An excellent capture with beautiful colors, details & title. Great POV, pose & setting. Very well done & presented.
TFS & regards.


hello Peter
a very good close up scene that gives the playful expression of small Baboon, fine colors and details in this nice photo treatment!
keep photographing! TFS

hallo Peter
super plaatje van een leuk stel
goed van details en mooie kleuren
super plaatje
groetjes lou

Hi Peter:) what a lovely moment you captured here:)
Faces are adorable:) Superb shot in all around MF!
TFS and have a nice new week!


  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-12-13 8:03]

Hello Peter
Nice capture and scene. Well done

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-12-13 9:07]

Hello Peter,
Wonderful shot of this young Baboons and a great documentary image. Awesome details on their fur and fabulous expressions from both. Excellent DOF, POV and composition. Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-12-13 9:43]

Hello Peter, very lovely shot of these cute monkeys while playing game with nice details and composition.
TFS and G's,

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-12-13 9:57]

Hi Peter. They look like to naughty boys. I love the look on the bigger ones face.with the little one looking on. Taken with good detail and natural colours. Well taken in the poor lighting. TFS.

Hallo Peter,

wat een pract van een foto en met een mooi moment.
Goed van detaill en prachtige kleuren.
Wat anders dan dierentuinfoto's.
Goed oogcontact.


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-12-13 12:59]

Hi Peter,

Wonderful shot of the two Gelada Baboons. That face is priceless - the eyes and teeth are amazing. It's so nice to see animals relating to one another. You must have had quite an experience with 100 Geladas.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-12-13 14:51]

Hola Peter,
simpática y expresiva imagen.
buen pov y detalles,
saludos Peter.

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2009-12-13 15:36]

Slav Peter,
This is an excellent compositon with great details and nice colors.Very lovely photo.TFS.

Hello Peter,lovely shot of these cute monkeys in a fine composition.
TFS and regards,

Hello Peter.
Lovely shot of these cute Gelada Baboons. The composition, POV, details and faces are wonderful.
TFS and kind regards,

Hallo Peter
One word to describe this and that is WONDERFUL. The expression captured on the little one's face is incredible and speaks a thousand words. It reminds me of the joy and innocent and playful interaction between children not having any cares in the world. The enjoyment captured on the face of the baboon facing you directly is contagious and really a stress reliever to look at. It just seems so happy and naive. I can only but imagine what satisfaction you experienced to see a sight like this in person, as it is a more than a feast to me, sitting 1000’s of kilometres away. Like always it was a pleasure stopping by your gallery. Thanks for sharing. Your valuable input to everybody on the site is always appreciated.

Hello Peter,
what a fantastic picture, superb sharpness and marvellous colours, you captured a great moment, a very nice composition with an incredible communicative look.
Best regards

hi peter!
A great situation you captured here!
very nice to see!

A lovely capture of this beautiful brown monkeys. Nice details and composition.
Best wishes,

Ciao Peter, lovely double portrait with cute creatures in nice action, fine details and splendid sharpness, nice composition, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2009-12-14 10:10]

Hi Peter
That is a great image ,I loved there facial expression.You got good detail with a sharp image and all of that in there natural habitat.
TFS Michel

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-12-14 11:20]

Hello Peter,
A brilliant action capture of these young Gelada Baboons showing lovely expressions on their faces. I love their brown coats and the fine details. It seems like this species enjoy performing!! Great note too!
Many thanks and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-12-14 13:02]

Hi Peter,
Magnificent capture.I liked details,pose of monkies,expression on face and composition a lot.Have a nice week!
Thanks for posting..

Hello Peter, a fine capture of these cute geladas.
Excellent details and beautiful colours.
TFS and kind regards,

  • Mello Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 140 W: 34 N: 480] (2419)
  • [2009-12-14 14:28]

Yes, I agree with you when you say: Nice to see the expression on the faces.
You got a very nice expression at the right time MF, and as you told us, you used PS, but very well used.
TFS and see you on TN. Thanks for your identification and nice words on my post too.
Best wishes,

PS: Today I started write critiques/comments since the last time I was here on TN and my Green faces suddenly finished. Anyway I`d like to say that I realy liked your post. Have a nice week dear friend.

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-12-14 14:53]

Merhaba Peter, çok canlı ve sempatik bir fotoğraf.
Tebrik ederim.

Hello Peter,
Very good capture of this agressive face expression,no way you can try to touch the little brother !

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2009-12-18 14:38]

Hello Peter,
Great action shot :o) Love the expression you captured a lot
Have a nice weekend,

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