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Robert Longley

A Group of Baboons Is Not a 'Congress'

By January 9, 2014

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I'll bet you've seen or been emailed the picture of several baboons playing in the snow captioned, "Did you know that a large group of baboons is called a Congress? That explains a lot now, doesn't it?" Well, it does explain one thing. It explains that the person who posted or sent it does not know what a large group of baboons is called.

According to Animal Planet, "Baboons live in groups, called troops, of 30 to 100 individuals..."

National Geographic says, baboons "form large troops, composed of dozens or even hundreds of baboons, governed by a complex hierarchy that fascinates scientists."

Also See: The Truth About That Congressional Reform Act Email

Of course, the U.S. Congress has recently evolved into a complex, bipartisan hierarchy that largely disappoints the American people.

And sure, I get the point that the U.S. Congress has pretty much degenerated into a largely ineffectual collection of lifetime politicians, now trusted by only 10% of the American people, that spends more time arguing, running for reelection and on vacation than it does tending to the legislative process.

But come on, a "troop" of baboons is better than that.

In fact, in an email to PolitiFact, Shirley Strum, director of the University of California's Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project in Nairobi,Kenya, who agrees that a group of baboons is a "troop," said, "I would prefer to be governed by baboons than the current Congress! They are more socially committed, abide by the golden rule and are generally nicer people."

Congress Back in Session: Ready, Set, Set, Set...

The troop we call the 113th U.S. Congress just reconvened after the traditional long winter's nap for its 2nd session.

With immediate issues like extending unemployment benefits and quelling another debt limit crisis, plus long left-over chores like a new Farm Bill, immigration reform, and saving the Postal Service, our lawmakers should be a virtual blur of legislative progress.

However, in November, the 2014 mid-term election will force all 435 Representatives and 33 Senators to face re-election, thus keeping all that other "stuff" on their back-most burners.

Still, a "congress" is not technically a group of baboons. The more you know.

Also See: Congress Took it Really Slow in 2011


April 11, 2014 at 11:48 am
(1) Elisabeth says:

Sorry, you are incorrect about a baboon congress. It isn’t often used, but the term is correct: http://dictionary.reference.com/writing/styleguide/animal.html

April 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm
(2) usgovinfo says:
April 11, 2014 at 9:26 pm
(3) Edwin says:

So what is your response to the above link stating “baboons” as “Congress”?

April 12, 2014 at 4:27 am
(4) usgovinfo says:

Edwin: Dueling links is futile. If I ever speak before a group of baboon experts, I’m pretty sure I will not be laughed off the stage if I call a group of baboons a “troop.”


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