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Hamadryas baboons sleep on cliffs throughout their range, and this can be attributed to the safety cliffs provide against predators in the absence of tall trees. In this paper, we report the first documented occurrence of hamadryas baboons sleeping in doum palm trees rather than on cliffs. Data derive from a study of hamadryas baboons at the Filoha site in lowland Ethiopia. During all-day follows, data were collected on travel patterns, band activity, and location. Variation in the baboons’ home range was characterized using vegetation transects. We discovered that one band in this population, Band 3, occasionally slept in doum palm trees (Hyphaene thebaica). The palm tree sleeping site differed from other palm fragments in the baboons’ home range in that it contained a higher density of palm trees. Possible factors influencing this unique use of palm trees as a sleeping site include access to palm fruit, avoiding contact with Afar nomads, avoiding sharing sleeping cliffs with other bands, protection from predators, and the lack of cliffs in a section of the baboons’ home range. Evidence from this study suggests that the palm tree sleeping site is used because it affords better protection from predators than other palm fragments in an area of the band’s home range that does not contain cliffs.



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