When we’re introduced to another person, it only takes a brief glance to make a first impression. In about two seconds, their body language, mannerisms and appearance are evaluated and an impression is quickly formed.
Let’s turn up our imaginations for just a moment and picture meeting someone with a long skull and an angry-looking, hairy, bright-red-and-blue face. Then immediately, upon eye contact, he suddenly opens his jaw as wide as the size of his head and aggressively displays two gnarly pairs of long, sharp yellow fangs – almost the same color as his creepy, deep-set eyes. Talk about a scary first impression!!!
Most likely, you’ve never met anyone that matches this description. . . unless of course, you’ve ever come face-to-face with a mandrill baboon.
Baboons may look more like apes, but they’re actually the world’s largest monkeys. And the mandrill is the largest type of baboon, weighing up to 100 pounds. The mandrill is smaller than a full grown man, but pound for pound, he’s four-to-six times stronger than a professional football player!
Fortunately, we don’t run into these bold, vicious creatures when we’re out on the hiking trails of North America. Except for zoo and wild animal exhibits, baboons are only found running wild in Africa.
When you hear about someone “flipping out”, you immediately think of a person that has lost control of himself. But when baboons flip out, it’s a slightly different story – particularly among predators. Let’s take a closer look at this unusual behavior by stepping into a typical day in the life of a baboon.
First of all, it’s hard to imagine that any animal would dare come close to this intimidating creature after taking one look at its terrifying face, particularly the mandrill. But you might be surprised to learn that the mandrill and other baboons do have a few predators, the most common of which are leopards.
However, it’s not always easy for these big cats as they often encounter a daunting scene during their hunt for baboon meat. Our magnificent Creator gave these primates a very unique protective instinct that is so bizarre that even their most determined hunters frequently turn and run the other way.
Imagine a large troop of 25 to 75 baboons that have just discovered they’re about to become lunch for a leap of leopards. Suddenly, the baboons line up in side-by-side formation, start showing off their huge canines, and begin performing a series of back flips! This baffling behavior is so intimidating to these feline predators that they’ll often have second thoughts about having primate as their choice of fast-food that day.
God also created a very convenient pouch in the cheeks of the baboon. Functioning much like a lunch box, when the baboon senses danger while eating food, he can quickly cram a bunch of grub in this large pouch and save it for later when the scenery is more serene.
With an extraordinary and unexplainable defense system that defies evolution, the baboon is yet another one of God’s amazing creatures with special features that showcase His awesome power and creativity.
But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know That the hand of the Lord has done this; In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind? (Job 12:7-10)
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