Word of the Week(120) : CHACMA (probability 22096), by David Sutton

The CHACMA is a large species of baboon found in southern Africa, also known as the URSINE baboon.

Baboons belong to the division of primates known as SIMIANS or ANTHROPOIDS, as opposed to the more primitive PROSIMIANS which include lemurs and tarsiers. Another species of baboon is the HAMADRYAS, found in the Horn of Africa and southwestern Arabia.

Previously baboons included the MANDRILL and the GELADA, but these have now been separated out into their own genus, though they are still popularly referred to as baboons.

A popular South African name for a baboon is BOBBEJAAN, though this can also refer to a large black spider, which must result in a worrying ambiguity when husbands are called to remove unwanted visitors from baths.

Incidentally, that rough bare spot on a baboon's backside is known as an ISCHIAL CALLOSITY, and is a nerveless pad of skin that enables the baboon to sit more comfortably.

More primates next week.


© WESPA | Committees | Join WESPA | Contact Us | Credits