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Mandrill vs. Baboon: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 23, 2024
Mandrills are colorful primates with distinctive facial and rump markings; baboons are less colorful, larger, and known for their dog-like faces and strong jaws.

Key Differences

Mandrills are renowned for their striking coloration, particularly the vibrant blue and red on their faces and the red and purple hues on their rumps. Baboons, in contrast, have a more subdued appearance, with dog-like faces and lack the vibrant facial coloring of mandrills.
Mandrills are one of the largest monkey species but are generally smaller and more slender than baboons. Baboons are larger, with a more robust and muscular build, adapted for a terrestrial lifestyle.
Mandrills are primarily found in the rainforests of West Central Africa. Baboons are more widespread across various parts of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, inhabiting diverse environments from savannas to hills.
Mandrills live in large groups with complex social structures and display shy and reclusive behavior. Baboons are known for their more aggressive nature and form large troops that are often seen in open areas.
Both mandrills and baboons are omnivorous, but mandrills have a diet that leans more towards fruits and seeds, while baboons have a more varied diet including a significant amount of meat.

Comparison Chart


Vibrant facial and rump colors
Dog-like face, less colorful


Large, but smaller than baboons
Larger and more robust


Rainforests of West Central Africa
Diverse, from savannas to hills in Africa and Arabian Peninsula

Social Behavior

Shy, reclusive, complex social groups
Aggressive, visible in open areas, large troops


Fruits, seeds, occasionally insects
Varied, including fruits, seeds, and meat

Mandrill and Baboon Definitions


A large, colorful primate native to African rainforests.
The mandrill's vibrant face makes it one of the most colorful mammals.


A large primate with a dog-like face, native to Africa and Arabia.
Baboons are easily recognized by their long, dog-like snouts.


Primarily a frugivorous species.
Mandrills spend much of their time foraging for fruits in the forest.


Forms large, aggressive troops.
A troop of baboons can often be seen foraging together in open areas.


Has a complex social structure.
Male mandrills lead large groups with intricate social hierarchies.


Has a diverse omnivorous diet.
Baboons eat a variety of foods, including fruits, insects, and small animals.


Exhibits shy and reclusive behavior.
Despite their size, mandrills are often elusive and hard to spot in the wild.


Known for their strong build and large size.
Baboons can be intimidating due to their muscular build.


Known for its distinctive blue and red facial markings.
A mandrill's face becomes more colorful with age and social status.


Inhabits various environments, from savannas to hills.
Baboons are adaptable, thriving in different African landscapes.


A large terrestrial monkey (Mandrillus sphinx) of dense forests of west-central Africa, having an olive-brown body with a brightly colored rump and face that are especially pronounced in the male.


Any of several large terrestrial African and Arabian monkeys of the genus Papio, having an elongated doglike muzzle and bare calluses on the buttocks.


A primate, Mandrillus sphinx, with colorful face and rump.


(Slang) A brutish person; a boor.


A large West African baboon (Papio sphinx syn. Mandrillus sphinx, formerly Cynocephalus mormon syn. Papio mormon). The adult male has, on the sides of the nose, large, naked, grooved swellings, conspicuously striped with blue and red. It is an endangered species.


An Old World monkey of the genus Papio, having dog-like muzzles and large canine teeth, cheek pouches, a short tail, and naked callosities on the buttocks. 13


Baboon of west Africa with red and blue muzzle and hindquarters


A foolish or boorish person.


One of the Old World Quadrumana, of the genera Cynocephalus and Papio; the dog-faced ape. Baboons have dog-like muzzles and large canine teeth, cheek pouches, a short tail, and naked callosities on the buttocks. They are mostly African. See Mandrill, and Chacma, and Drill an ape.


Large terrestrial monkeys having doglike muzzles


What distinguishes a baboon's appearance?

Baboons have a more robust build and a dog-like face.

How large can a mandrill grow?

Mandrills are one of the largest monkey species but smaller than baboons.

What is a mandrill?

A colorful primate native to African rainforests.

What colors are found on a mandrill's face?

Vibrant blue and red markings.

What is a baboon?

A large primate with a dog-like face, found in Africa and Arabia.

How social are mandrills?

They live in large groups with complex social structures.

Where do mandrills live?

In the rainforests of West Central Africa.

What is unique about a mandrill's rump?

It has distinctive red and purple hues.

Are mandrills territorial?

They have home ranges but are not highly territorial.

What is the natural habitat of baboons?

They live in diverse environments, from African savannas to hills.

How do mandrills care for their young?

Mothers are primarily responsible for nurturing the young.

Are baboons aggressive?

Yes, they are known for their aggressive nature.

What do mandrills eat?

Mainly fruits and seeds, with occasional insects.

Are mandrills endangered?

They are considered vulnerable due to habitat loss and hunting.

How do baboons communicate?

Through various vocalizations, facial expressions, and body postures.

What is the lifespan of a baboon?

Baboons can live up to 30 years in the wild.

What predators threaten baboons?

Leopards, lions, and hyenas are among their natural predators.

Can baboons be found outside Africa?

Yes, they also inhabit the Arabian Peninsula.

What is the diet of a baboon?

Baboons have a varied diet, including fruits, seeds, and meat.

Do baboons live in groups?

Yes, they form large and often aggressive troops.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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