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Title: Cassell's Natural History, Vol. 1 (of 6)
Author: Murie, James, Dallas, W. S. (William Sweetland), Duncan, P. Martin (Peter Martin)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cassell's Natural History, Vol. 1 (of 6)" ***

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                          Transcriber’s Notes

This e-text is based on ‘Cassell’s Natural History, Vol. I,’ from 1896.
Inconsistent and uncommon spelling and hyphenation have been retained;
punctuation and typographical errors have been corrected.

In the original book, Chapter XI of the order ‘Quadrumana’ (page 185)
had been erroneously named ‘Chapter IX.’ The correct sequence of
chapter numbers has been restored.

In the List of Illustrations, some image titles do not match the
illustrations presented in the text. The following titles have been

    ‘The Green and RedMonkeys’ --> ‘The Gorilla’ (facing page 111)
    ‘The Sacred Baboon’ --> ‘The Chimpanzee’ (facing page 137)
    ‘A Group of Lemuroids’ --> ‘Anubis Baboon’ (facing page 211)

The list item ‘Hand of the Spider Monkey’ has been added by the

The printed book shows some references to numbered ‘Plates’ (full-page
images). This numbering scheme seems to originate from an earlier
edition. Even though the present edition shows no image numbers, all
original references have been retained.

Special characters have been used to highlight the following font

    italic:       _underscores_
    larger font:  +plus signs+

Small capitals have been converted to UPPERCASE LETTERS.



(_From an Original Drawing._)]




    1. Gould’s Humming Bird (_Ornismya gouldii_).
    2. Kingfisher. (_Alcedo ispida_).
    3. Arctic Tern (_Sterna hirundo_).
    4. White-bellied Swift (_Cypselus melba_).
    5. Smew (_Mercus albellus_).
    6. Penguin (_Pygoscelis tæniata_).
    7. The Amazon Parrot (_Chrysotis_).
    8. Heron (_Ardea cinerea_).
    9. Eared Owl (_Asio otus_).
    10. White-tailed Eagle (_Haliaëtus albicilla_).
    11. Black-headed Gros-beak (_Coccothraustes erythromelas_).
    12. Impeyan Pheasant (_Lophophorus sclateri_).
    13. Common Rhea (_Rhea americana_).
    14. Crown Pigeon (_Goura scheepmakeri_).


                            NATURAL HISTORY

                               EDITED BY

            P. MARTIN DUNCAN, M.B. (LOND.), F.R.S., F.G.S.


                                VOL. I.


                     CASSELL AND COMPANY, LIMITED

                      _LONDON, PARIS & MELBOURNE_


                          ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


                           APES AND MONKEYS.



              J. MURIE, M.D., LL.D., F.L.S., F.G.S., &c.,


                      PROFESSOR P. MARTIN DUNCAN.


                         W. S. DALLAS, F.L.S.


                         W. S. DALLAS, F.L.S.



    INTRODUCTION                                                    xiii





    The World of Monkeys, and its Division into great
    Groups--Distinction between the Old World and New World
    Monkeys--Classification of Monkeys--THE GORILLA, Ancient
    and Modern Stories about it--Investigations of Savage
    and Du Chaillu--General Description--The Head, Brain,
    Teeth, Taste, Smell, and Voice--The Air Sacs, and Ear--The
    Limbs and Muscles--Method of Climbing--Diet--Hunting the
    Gorilla--Attempts to Capture Alive--A Tame Gorilla                 1



    THE NSCHIEGO MBOUVÉ--Its Nests and Habits--A Specimen
    Shot--Differences between it and the Gorilla--Structural
    Peculiarities--THE KOOLO-KAMBA--Meaning of the
    Name--Discovered by Du Chaillu--Its Outward Appearance
    and Anatomy--THE SOKO--Discovered by Livingstone--Hunting
    the Soko--THE CHIMPANZEE--In Captivity--On board Ship--A
    Young Chimpanzee--The Brain and Nerves--Anatomical
    Peculiarities--General Remarks upon the Group                     39


    THE MAN-SHAPED APES (_continued_)--GENUS _Simia_--THE

    Origin of the Name--Description of the Orang--Rajah
    Brooke’s First Specimen--Mr. Wallace’s Experiences in
    Mias Hunting--The Home of the Mias--A Mias at Bay--Their
    Nests, Habits, Food, and Localities--Different kinds of
    Orangs--Structural Points--The Intelligence and Habits of the
    Young--The Brain and its Case--Resemblances and Differences
    of Old and Young                                                  59



    General Characteristics of the Species--THE SIAMANG--Its
    Habits and Anatomy--Distinctness from the Orangs and
    Gibbons--Special Peculiarities--THE WHITE-HANDED
    GIBBON--Where Found--Its Cry--Its Habits--Special Anatomical
    Features--THE HOOLOOK--Where Found--A Young One in
    Captivity--Shape of the Skull--THE WOOYEN APE--Its Appearance
    and Habits--THE WOW-WOW--Very little known about it--THE
    AGILE GIBBON--Reason of the Name--Peculiarities of the
    Anatomy--General Comparison of the Different Varieties of the
    Great Apes                                                        73



    General Characteristics of the Monkeys of the Old
    World--Distinguished from the Apes by Length of the Hinder
    Limbs and presence of Tails--Divided into those with and
    those without Cheek-pouches--Use of the Cheek-pouches--The
    two Genera of Pouchless Monkeys--THE SACRED MONKEYS, or
    Semnopitheci--Derivation of the Name--First Discovery--Ape
    Worship in India--General Description--Limited to Asia--THE
    SIMPAI--Its Locality and Appearance--THE BUDENG--Hunted
    for their Fur--Its Colour and Appearance--THE LONG-NOSED
    MONKEY--Reason of the Name--Quaint Appearance of the
    Young--Anatomical Peculiarities--Their First Appearance in
    Europe--Description of the Nose--Peculiar Formation of the
    Stomach--Bezoars--THE HOONUMAN MONKEY--The Sacred Monkey
    of the Hindoos--Legends about it--THE DOUC MONKEY--Its
    Appearance and Habitat--THE BLACK-LEGGED DOUC--Anatomical
    Ceylon--Its Intelligence--THE GREAT WANDEROO--Other
    Ceylonese Monkeys--THE GENUS COLOBUS, or Thumbless
    Monkeys--Description of the Hand and Wrist--Different
    Varieties--COLOBUS VERUS--COLOBUS GUEREZA--Their Habitat and
    Peculiarities--Fossil Semnopitheci                                84



    THE GUENONS--Where they are Found--Early Notices of
    them--Resemblance to the Colobi and Macaques--Distinctive
    Peculiarity of the Group--Often seen in Menageries--Their
    Terror of Snakes--Peculiar Expression of the Face--Beauty
    of their Skins--Minor Divisions of the Guenons--THE
    DIANA MONKEY--Origin of the Name--Anecdotes of their
    Mischief--THE MONA MONKEY--Description of one at
    Paris--THE WHITE-NOSED MONKEY--Origin of the Name--THE
    TALAPOIN--Anatomical Peculiarities--THE GREEN MONKEY--Found
    in Senegal in abundance--THE RED-BELLIED MONKEY--THE RED
    MONKEY--Observed by Bruce--THE MANGABEY--Singularity of its
    Appearance--Special Structural Peculiarities                     103



    Their Description and Anatomy, and its reference to that
    of the Semnopitheci and Guenons--THE COMMON MACAQUE--Its
    Character--Appropriateness of the Name--Occasionally an
    Albino--THE ROUND-FACED MACAQUE--Found in China--Ideas
    of the Chinese about them--THE TOQUE, OR BONNET
    MONKEY--THE BHUNDER--Described by Cuvier--Their Thieving
    Propensities--Hindoo Tales of their Sagacity--THE MOOR
    MAGOT--One of the Commonest Monkeys--Described by
    Galen--Early Notices of--Predatory Habits--Abundant at
    Gibraltar--Probably come over from Africa--Similarity to
    the Baboons--THE WANDEROO--Account of one in the Zoological
    Society’s Collection--Geographical Range of the Macaques         114



    Early Accounts of the Baboon--Origin of the
    Name--Held as Sacred by the Egyptians--Used as the
    Emblem of Thoth--Brought into Europe in the Middle
    Ages--Their Literature--General Description of the
    Family--Structural Peculiarities--Brain--Skull--Geographical
    Distribution--THE SACRED BABOON--Found in Great numbers
    in Abyssinia--Formidable Antagonists--Size and Colour of
    the Male and Female--Anecdotes--Propensity for Spirituous
    Liquors and Thieving--THE GELADA BABOON--THE PIG-TAILED
    BABOON--Usually called Chacma--Description of it--Its
    Ferocity in Captivity--Le Vaillant’s Monkey--THE SPHINX
    BABOON--Its Dexterity of Aim--THE ANUBIS BABOON--Its Locality
    and Food--Method of Running--THE COMMON BABOON--Often found
    in Captivity--Anecdotes--Anatomical Peculiarities                129



    The Second Division of the Baboons--THE MANDRILL--Easily
    distinguished from the rest--Peculiar Appearance and
    Colour of the Face--The Cheek-ridges--Noticed by the
    Ancients--Brutality of its Disposition--“Jerry” at the Surrey
    Gardens--Their Wild State--Anatomical Peculiarities--The
    Back-bone and Liver--THE DRILL--Distinguished from the
    Mandrill--Probable Antiquity of these Baboons--Theories of
    their Relationship to other Animals--THE BLACK BABOON--Its
    Locality and Description--Probably a Forest Ape--General
    Summary of the Dog-shaped Quadrumana and Classification of
    the Group                                                        154




    The Monkeys of the New World--How Distinguished from those of
    the Old--Their Division into Families--The First Family, THE
    CEBIDÆ, with Prehensile Tails--THE HOWLERS--Appropriateness
    of their Name--Where Found--General Description--THE
    YELLOW-TAILED HOWLER--Anatomical Peculiarities and Appearance
    of the Face--Other Members of the Family--THE BLACK
    BARRIGUDO--First noticed by Humboldt--Peculiarities of
    the Skeleton--THE SPIDER MONKEYS--Seen by Humboldt in the
    Brazilian Forests--Remarkable Power of the Tail--Flexibility
    of the Limbs--Conformation of the Brain--Other Species--THE
    COAITA--Curious Stories of them in Captivity--THE
    CHAMECK--THE BLACK SPIDER MONKEY--Its Geographical Range--Its
    SAJOUS--THE CAIARÁRA--Observed by Bates on the Amazon--Other
    Varieties--THE BROWN SAJOU--THE CAPUCHIN SAJOU--Described by
    Brehm--Their Remarkable Dexterity and Cleverness--Diseases of
    Monkeys                                                          164


    THE CEBIDÆ (_concluded_)--THE SQUIRREL

    General Description of the Second Division of Cebidæ--Without
    Prehensile Tails--THE SQUIRREL MONKEYS--Described by Buffon
    and Humboldt--Peculiarities of the Species--Anecdotes by
    Le Vaillant--A Tragic End--THE WIDOW MONKEY--Origin of the
    Name--THE ONAPPO--Its Nocturnal Habits and Peculiar Cry--THE
    DOUROUCOULIS, OR OWL MONKEYS--General Description of the
    Family--Peculiar Formation of the Arm-bone--THE THREE-STRIPED
    OWL MONKEY--Described by Humboldt and Bates--THE RED-FOOTED
    DOUROUCOULI--THE SAKIS--Remarkable Resemblance in the Face to
    Man--Structural Peculiarities--THE COUXIO--THE PARAUACÚ--THE
    MONK--Description of the Brain--Other Varieties of the
    Sakis--Anecdotes of them--THE BLACK-HEADED SAKIS--General
    Description                                                      185



    The Dentition of the Genus Hapale, or the Marmosets, or
    Ouistitis--The Face--The Paw-like Hands and Feet--Their
    Claws--The Skull and Brain, and the Nature of the Diet--THE
    TAMARIN--Notes on the Arctopithecini in General                  197



    The Classification of the Monkeys of the New World--The
    Geographical Distribution of the Genera--The Fossil Monkeys
    of the New and Old World and their Alliances--The Former Old
    Fauna of Europe, Asia, and Africa--The Resemblance of Monkeys
    to other Animals and Man                                         203




     The Name of the Genus Lemur popularly given to the
    Group--Lemuroida the Correct Name--Their Distinctive
    Characters--Their Hands and Feet--Ankle-bones--Tail--_Rete
    Mirabile_--Nostrils--Colour of the
    Eye--Ears--Teeth--Brain--Resemblance to Monkeys--Their
    Locality--Lemur at Liberty--Its Playfulness--Division of
    the Lemurs--Beauties of Madagascar--GENUS INDRIS--Described
    by Grandidier--Their Locality--Colour--Fingers--Teeth--THE
    DIADEM INDRIS--Specimens at the British Museum--Little known
    about it--THE WOOLLY LEMUR--Described by Sonnerat--THE
    SHORT-TAILED INDRIS--Distinguished by its Tail--Its
    Skull--GENUS LEPILEMUR--Their Teeth--Tail--THE WEASEL
    LEMUR--THE GREY LEMUR--Specimens obtained by Pollen--Their
    Cry                                                              210


    THE LEMUROIDA (_continued_).


    Called by the French _Makis_--Restricted to Madagascar--Their
    Activity--Different Species--How to Distinguish them--THE
    RING-TAILED LEMUR--Reason for the Name--Tail--Colour of
    Body--Eye--Hand and Foot--Geographical Range--Anatomical
    Peculiarities--Playfulness in Captivity--THE WHITE-FRONTED
    LEMUR--Specimen in the Zoological Gardens--THE LEMUR OF
    MAYOTTE--Where Found--Colour--Manner of Life--THE MONGOOSE
    LEMUR--Description of one sent to Buffon--THE RUFFED
    LEMUR--Described by Ellis--Domesticated Specimens--THE
    BLACK LEMUR--Geographical Range--Hand--Foot--GENUS
    CHEIROGALE--Bushy Tails--Resemblance to the
    Hapalemur--Nocturnal Habits--Difficult to Distinguish--THE
    FORKED-CROWNED CHEIROGALE--Wonderful Powers of
    Leaping--Cry--Reason for the Name--A Nest-making
    Variety--Specimens in the Jardin des Plantes--Resemblance to
    the Galagos                                                      225


    THE LEMUROIDA (_concluded_)--THE GALAGOS.

    Naturalists--Opinions regarding it--Specimen Examined
    by Owen--Feeding--Teeth--Hands--Classification of the
    Lemuroida--Geographical Distribution                             236





    One of Æsop’s Fables--Opinions of the Ancients regarding
    Bats--Scaliger’s Statement of the Puzzle--Opinions of the
    Middle Ages--The True Position of the Bats--The Wing of the
    Bat--General Structure: The Breast-bone, Arms, Fingers,
    “Wing-membrane,” Wings, Skull, Ribs, Pelvis, Legs--In
    Repose--Walking--The Teats--Organs of the Senses--“Blind
    as a Bat”--The Eyes--Spallanzani’s Experiments--The Bat’s
    Power of Directing its Flight in the Darkest Places--Their
    Food--In Winter-Quarters--A Battue of Bats--FRUGIVOROUS AND
    INSECTIVOROUS BATS                                               259




    Characteristics of Fruit-eating
    Bats--Distribution--Diet--Flying Fox of Ceylon: its
    Habits, as described by Sir E. Tennent--The Flight of the
    _Pteropidæ_--Known to the Ancients--The Fruit Bats in the
    Zoological Gardens--INDIAN FLYING FOX--Diet--Dissipated
    Habits--GREAT KALONG--Linnæus’s Description--In their
    BAT--FIJIAN LONG-TONGUED FRUIT BAT                               266




    INSECTIVOROUS BATS--Mr. Dobson’s Objection to
    the Name--Characteristics--Nasal Appendages--THE
    in the two Alliances--THE HORSESHOE BATS--General
    Propensities--GREATER HORSESHOE BAT--General
    Appearance--“Nose Leaves”--Habitat--THE LESSER HORSESHOE
    BAT--Character of their “Nose Leaves”--Captain Hutton’s
    Account of their Habits--THE PERSIAN TRIDENT BAT--THE
    MEGADERMS--THE LYRE BAT--Characteristics--Called Vampire
    by Europeans in India--Mr. Blyth’s Account of a Megaderm’s
    Blood-thirstiness--THE CORDATE LEAF BAT--THE AFRICAN
    MEGADERM--THE DESERT BAT                                         279



    The Genus _Vespertilio_ and the Family Vespertilionidæ--
    Characteristics: Nostrils--Tail--Ears--Dentition--Diet--Distribution
    --LONG-EARED BAT--Ears--Distribution--Asleep--In Captivity--
    BARBASTELLE--Characteristics--Distribution--Habits-- Flight--In
    Captivity--BIG-EARED BAT--TOWNSEND’S BAT--The Genus _Nyctophilus_--
    Its True Place--Characteristics--GEOFFROY’S NYCTOPHILE--PIPISTRELLE
    --Distribution--Diet--NOCTULE--Natural Food--Mr. Daniell’s
    PIG BAT-- STRAW-COLOURED BAT                                     292



    Characteristics of the _Emballonuridæ_, or THICK-LEGGED
    BATS--CUVIER’S FURY--The Genus _Saccopteryx_--STRIPED
    SACK-WINGED BAT--The Pouch or Sac in the
    Wing-membrane--Dentition--MOUNTAIN BAT--TOMB BAT--Origin
    of its Name--Dentition--The Peculiar Sac or Pouch under
    the Chin--Other Species of the Genus (note)--EGYPTIAN
    RHINOPOME--Difficulty of Assigning its True Place in the
    System--Characteristics--GREAT HARE-LIPPED BAT--Seba’s
    Description--Linnæus’s Mistake--Dentition--Distribution--The
    Genus _Nyctinomus_--CESTONI’S BAT--PALE CHESTNUT
    MASTIFF BAT--Distribution--Habits--SMOKY
    MASTIFF BAT--Habits--COLLARED BAT--Hideous
    Ugliness--Characteristics--NEW ZEALAND SHORT-TAILED
    BAT--Characteristics--Mr. Dobson on the Wing-membrane, Thumb,
    and Foot                                                         312



    Distinguishing Marks of the
    Propensities--Exaggerations of the Older Writers--Testimony
    of Azara--Darwin’s Evidence--Bat-bites--The Witness of
    Bates, Wallace, Fraser, Prince Maximilian--Conclusion of
    the Whole Matter--The Desmodonts and Javelin Bat--The
    Tongue in the Genus _Phyllostoma_--BLAINVILLE’S
    BAT--Extraordinary Development of Face and Head--OWL-FACED
    BAT--JAVELIN BAT--Allied Species--VAMPIRE BAT--Mr.
    Bates’ Testimony to its Inoffensiveness, and
    Description of its Habits--NEUWIED’S LARGE-LEAFED
    Propensities--The Bites--Stomachs of Desmodus, Frugivorous
    and Insectivorous Bats--Concluding Remarks                       324




    Functions of the Insect-eaters in the Order of Nature--Their
    Leading Peculiarities--Classification--COLUGOS--Various
    Opinions regarding their Place--COLUGO, OR
    FLYING LEMUR--The _Patagium_--Parachute-like
    Distribution--Diet--Attacks Snakes and Vipers--Taste
    for Eggs and Game--Its “Spiny Skin”--“Rolled
    up”--Enemies--Female and Young--LONG-EARED HEDGEHOG--COLLARED
    SHREW                                                            342



    General Description of the Golden Mole Family--Their
    Points of Difference from the True Mole--THE CAPE GOLDEN
    MOLE--Its Varieties--The Family of True Moles--THE COMMON
    a Miserable Creature--Extreme Voracity--Diet--His
    Blindness a Popular Error--A Thirsty Soul--His
    Fortress--The Roads leading to it--Speed of a Frightened
    Mole--“Mole-hills”--A-wooing--His Strong Family
    Affections--His Persecution a Doubtful Benefit--THE
    BLIND MOLE--Several Allied Species--THE STAR-NOSED
    MOLE--Its Snout--THE COMMON SHREW MOLE--Other Species
    in the United States--The Family of Desmans--THE
    DESMAN--Its Otter-like Habits--Its Trunk--THE PYRENEAN
    Shrews--THE COMMON SHREW--Or Shrew-Mouse--Superstitions
    SHREW--Essentially Aquatic--Its Prey--Allied Species--THE
    Remarks--Classification--Distribution--Affinities                365



    Orang-utan and Chimpanzees in the Berlin Aquarium

    Group of Apes and Monkeys, and a Lemur                             1

    American Monkey, with Prehensile Tail                              2

    One of the Anthropomorpha--The Chimpanzee                          3

    One of the Cynomorpha--The Baboon                                  4

    Group of Lemurs                                                    5

    Foot and Hand of a Monkey--A Catarhine Monkey--A Platyrhine
    Monkey--Monkey with Cheek Pouches                                  6

    The Male Gorilla                                                   8

    Female Gorilla and Young                                           9

    Front View of the Skull of the Gorilla                            10

    A Family of Gorillas                                              13

    Face of the Gorilla                                               15

    Palm of the Foot of Young Gorilla--Back of the Hand of Young
    Gorilla                                                           16

    Side View of the Skull of Gorilla                                 17

    The Teeth of the Gorilla                                          20

    Skeleton of the Gorilla                                           21

    Throat of Gorilla                                                 22

    Forest in the Gaboon Country--The Land of the Gorilla             24

    Bones of the Fore-arm and Arm of the Gorilla--Side View.
    Shoulder or Blade-bone                                            25

    Hand-bones of the Gorilla                                         28

    Hunting the Gorilla                                               32

    Bones of the Ankle and Foot of Man--Bones of the Ankle and
    Foot of Gorilla                                                   33

    Young Gorilla and Dog                                             38

    The Nschiego Mbouvé                                               40

    Skeleton of Nschiego                                              41

    Skull of Nschiego                                                 42

    The Koolo-Kamba                                                   44

    Portrait of a Young Soko                                          47

    A Soko Hunt                                                       48

    The Chimpanzee                                                    49

    A Village in the Gaboon Country                                   52

    Sick Orang-utan                                                   53

    Brain of Chimpanzee                                               57

    Orang-utans _To face page_                                        61

    Front and Side Face of the Orang                                  61

    The Orang at Bay                                                  64

    A Family of Orang-utans                                           65

    The Orang and its Nest                                            68

    A Young Orang                                                     69

    The Air Pouches of Orang--The Brain of Orang                      71

    Wrist-bones of Orang                                              72

    The Siamang                                                       73

    Skeleton of the Siamang                                           76

    Group of Siamangs and Gibbons _To face page_                      77

    The White-handed Gibbon                                           77

    Skull of Hoolook                                                  79

    The Hoolook                                                       80

    The Wooyen Ape                                                    81

    The Agile Gibbon                                                  82

    Jaw of the Gibbon--Back of Jaw of the Agile Gibbon                83

    Face of the Black-crested Monkey                                  85

    The Negro Monkey                                                  88

    The Long-nosed Monkey                                             89

    Young Long-nosed Monkey                                           90

    Stomach of the Long-nosed Monkey                                  91

    The Sumatra Monkey                                                92

    The Douc                                                          93

    The Crowned Monkey                                                93

    The Priamus Monkey                                                97

    Colobus Verus                                                    100

    The Guereza                                                      101

    The Diana Monkey                                                 104

    Face of the Diana Monkey                                         105

    The White-nosed Monkey                                           109

    The Head and Shoulders of the Talapoin                           110

    The Gorilla                                       _To face page_ 111

    The Red-bellied Monkey                                           112

    The Mangabey--The Foot and Hand of the Mangabey                  113

    The Common Macaque                                               116

    The Toque                                                        117

    The Bhunder, and a Bonnet Monkey                                 120

    The Moor Macaque                                                 121

    The Pig-tailed Macaque                                           124

    The Magot                                                        125

    Wrist-bones of the Magot                                         126

    Face of the Wanderoo                                             127

    The Wanderoo                                                     128

    Cynocephalus                                                     131

    Judgment Scene from an Egyptian Monument                         132

    Baboons upon an Ant-hill                                         133

    Brain of the Baboon                                              136

    The Chimpanzee                                    _To face page_ 137

    View in Abyssinia                                                137

    The Sacred Baboon                                                140

    Young Hamadryas                                                  141

    A Village in Nubia                                               142

    The Pig-tailed Baboon                                            145

    Skull of the Chacma                                              147

    Skull of the Anubis Baboon                                       149

    The Anubis Baboon                                                152

    The Common Baboon                                                153

    The Mandrill                                                     156

    Young Mandrill                                                   157

    Skull of the Mandrill                                            158

    The Drill                                                        160

    The Black Baboon                                                 161

    The Skeleton of the Mandrill                                     162

    A Group of Howlers                                               165

    Bones of the Tail of the Howler                                  167

    Section of Head and of Air Sac of the Howler--Upper Part of
    Breast-bone and Collar-bones of the Howler--Brain of the
    Howler                                                           168

    Yellow-tailed Howler and Young                                   169

    The Caparro                                                      170

    Group of Spider Monkeys                           _To face page_ 173

    Brain of the Spider Monkey                                       173

    Jaw of the Spider Monkey--Hand of the Spider Monkey              174

    The Coaita                                                       176

    The Chameck                                                      177

    The Black and Variegated Spider Monkeys                          179

    The Hooded Spider Monkey                                         180

    The Brown Capuchin                                               181

    The Cai                                                          184

    The Callithrix Amictus                                           188

    Arm-bone of Owl Monkey                                           189

    The Red-footed Douroucouli                                       190

    Brain of Monk                                                    192

    The Monk                                                         193

    The Couxio                                                       194

    The White-headed Saki                                            196

    The Common Marmosets                                             197

    Hand-bones of Marmoset--Foot-bones of Marmoset                   198

    Deville’s Midas                                                  201

    Skull of Marmoset                                                202

    Head of the Black Howler                                         205

    Young Orangs                                                     209

    Anubis Baboon                                     _To face page_ 211

    Lemuroids at Home in Madagascar                                  212

    Head of Indris (Propithecus) Verrauxii, to show Lemuroid
    Nostrils                                                         213

    Eye of Lemuroid, showing Contraction and Dilatation of
    Pupil--Upper Surface Brain of Lemur Catta                        214

    Side View and Under Surface of the Tongue of a Lemuroid          215

    Garnett’s Galago                                                 216

    Skull of Black Indris, showing Adult Dentition--Milk
    Dentition of Indris                                              219

    The Diadem Indris and the Woolly Indris                          220

    The Black or Short-tailed Indris                                 221

    The Weasel Lemur                                                 224

    The Grey or Broad-nosed Lemur                                    225

    Ring-tailed Lemurs                                _To face page_ 227

    The Mongoose Lemur, or Woolly Macaco                             229

    The Ruffed Lemur                                                 230

    Skeleton of the Ruffed Lemur                                     231

    Head of the Black Lemur                                          232

    The Forked-crowned Cheirogale                                    234

    The Maholi Galago and the Senegal Galago                         236

    Ears of Maholi Galago, contracted and open                       237

    The Muscles and Tendons of the Tail of Grand
    Galago--Foot-bones of Grand, or Thick-tailed Galago              238

    Monteiro’s Galago                                                239

    Palm of Hand of Garnett’s Galago--Sole of Foot, with long
    heel, of Garnett’s Galago                                        240

    The Potto in its Sleeping and Waking Attitudes                   241

    The Angwántibo                                                   242

    Hand and Foot of Arctocebus                                      243

    The Slow Loris                                                   244

    Rete Mirabile--Slow Loris                                        245

    The Slender Loris, showing its Attitudes and Habits              247

    The Tarsius                                                      249

    The Aye-Aye                                                      251

    Forest Scene in Madagascar                                       253

    Bones of the Hand and Foot of Aye-Aye                            256

    Skull of the Aye-Aye (side and front view)                       257

    Marsh Bat                                                        258

    Skeleton of the Mouse-coloured Bat                               260

    The Sternum of Flying Fox                                        261

    Barbastelle Walking--Head of Long-eared Bat                      263

    Head of the Spectacled Vampire                                   264

    Head of the Kalong                                               266

    Fruit Bats of Ceylon at Home                      _To face page_ 267

    Dentition of the Egyptian Fruit Bat                              267

    Representation of a Fruit Bat on an Egyptian Monument            269

    Collared Fruit Bat with Young                                    270

    Kalong                                                           272

    Head of the Maned Fruit Bat--Head of the Grey
    Fruit Bat                                                        273

    The Roussette                                                    275

    Head of the Margined Fruit Bat                                   276

    The Hammer-headed Bat                                            277

    Teeth of the Dwarf Long-tongued Fruit Bat                        278

    The Black-cheeked Fruit Bat                                      279

    Hairs of Bats, Magnified                                         280

    Head of the Greater Horseshoe Bat                                281

    The Greater Horseshoe Bat                                        282

    Head of Lesser Horseshoe Bat                                     283

    Head of the Mourning Horseshoe Bat                               284

    The Orange Bat                                                   285

    Head of the Male and Female Diadem Bat                           286

    Head of the Persian Trident Bat                                  287

    Head of the Lyre Bat--Teeth of the Lyre Bat                      288

    Head of the Cordate Leaf Bat--Head of the African Megaderm       289

    The African Megaderm--Head of the Desert Bat                     290

    The Desert Bat                                                   291

    Dentition of the Thick-legged Bat                                292

    British Bats at Home      _To face page_ 293

    Long-eared Bats in Flight                                        293

    Long-eared Bat Sleeping                                          294

    Head of Barbastelle                                              295

    Ear and Head of Townsend’s Bat                                   296

    Geoffroy’s Nyctophile                                            297

    Pipistrelle in Flight                                            298

    Head of Noctule                                                  299

    Head of Parti-coloured Bat                                       301

    Head of Temminck’s Bat--Welwitsch’s Bat                          303

    New Zealand Bat                                                  304

    Head of Mouse-coloured Bat                                       305

    Black and Orange Bat                                             307

    Skull of Harpy Bat--Skull of Red Bat                             309

    Foot and Thumb of the Brown Pig Bat                              311

    Head of Straw-coloured Bat                                       312

    Dentition of Striped Sack-winged Bat--Wing of Striped
    Sack-winged Bat, from below--Arm of Striped Sack-winged Bat,
    from above                                                       313

    The Mountain Bat                                                 314

    Skull of Tomb Bat--Dentition of Tomb Bat                         315

    Head of Male and Female Long-armed Bat--Head of Male and
    Female Black-bearded Bat--Skull of Rhinopome                     316

    Egyptian Rhinopome--Head of Great Hare-lipped Bat                317

    Skull and Front Teeth of Cestoni’s Bat                           318

    Head of Cestoni’s Bat                                            319

    Head of Collared Bat                                             321

    The Collared Bat                                                 322

    Head of New Zealand Short-tailed Bat--Teeth of New Zealand
    Short-tailed Bat--Thumb and Foot of New Zealand Short-tailed
    Bat                                                              323

    The New Zealand Short-tailed Bat                                 324

    Skull of Javelin Bat                                             325

    Mouth of Spectacled Stenoderm--Head of Blainville’s Bat          328

    Skull and Dentition of Blainville’s Bat--Blainville’s Bat        329

    Head of Owl-faced Bat                                            330

    Head of Javelin Bat--Head of Vampire Bat                         331

    Head of Soricine Bat                                             333

    Redman’s Bat                                                     334

    Skull of Desmodus                                                338

    Desmodus                                                         339

    Stomach of Desmodus--Stomach of Long-eared Bat--Stomach of
    Pteropus                                                         340

    Low’s Ptilocerque                                                342

    Skeleton of Shrew--Dentition of Hedgehog                         343

    Hind Foot of Colugo--Bones of Hind Foot of Colugo                345

    Lower Incisors of Colugo--Colugo                                 346

    Skull of Colugo                                                  347

    Dentition of Ferruginous Bangsring--Tana, Golden-tailed
    Variety                                                          348

    Sole of Right Hind Foot of Elephant Shrew--Elephant Shrew        351

    Sole of Right Hind Foot of Petrodrome--The Rhynchocyon           352

    The Hedgehog                                                     354

    The Bulau                                                        358

    1. Tendrac; 2. Telfair’s Tendrac; 3. Tanrec       _To face page_ 359

    Dentition of Tanrec                                              359

    The Agouta                                                       362

    Upper Jaw of West African River Shrew                            363

    Lower Jaw of West African River Shrew--The West African River
    Shrew                                                            364

    Skull of Golden Mole--Dentition of Golden Mole                   365

    Sternum of Golden Mole--Fore Foot of Golden Mole                 366

    The Common Mole                                                  367

    Dentition of Common Mole--Fore Limbs of Common Mole--Sternum
    of Common Mole                                                   368

    Mole’s Fortress                                                  370

    Side View of Snout of Star-nosed Mole--Front View of Snout of
    Star-nosed Mole                                                  372

    Dentition of Desman 375

    1. Pigmy Shrew; 2. Common Shrew; 3 and 4. Water Shrew
                                                      _To face page_ 377

    Dentition of Common Shrew                                        377

    Rat-tailed Shrew                                                 379



The Natural History of Animals has always been a most interesting and
instructive subject, and its popularity increases year after year. It
is a branch of knowledge which is entertaining at every age, and it
is a favourite study with men of every race and country, and of every
intellectual capacity. All children delight in having their little
tasks associated with pictures of animals, and the alphabet is learned
all the more readily by its being illustrated with spirited drawings
of household pets and the terrible creatures of the woods. The marvels
of the intelligence of the dog and horse are inexhaustible sources of
delight to young readers; and there are few greater pleasures than
those which are felt when living animals, whose descriptions and
habits have been the subject of instruction and amusement, are seen
in some large menagerie or zoological gardens. On the whole, it is
probable that few books are so interesting to young men and women as
those which relate to animals, and it is their study which, in the
majority of instances, leads to the desire for further knowledge of
Natural History. The young student soon begins to yearn for information
regarding the manner in which different creatures live; how some
breathe air, how others live in water; how it is that some fly and
others crawl; and he desires to connect the peculiar construction
of animals with their method of life. Or he may be content with
endeavouring to understand the names of animals, and the reasons why
they are arranged or classified in a particular manner by scientific

As years roll on, if the interest in Natural History has not
diminished, the man, with increasing intelligence and scope of reading,
masters the knowledge desired in his youth, and has the opportunity,
should he care to grasp it, of the highest intellectual enjoyment.
He can enter into the consideration and discussion of the mysterious
problems of life: of its origin; of the reasons why animals differ;
why they are distributed here and there, or limited in their position
in the world; what connection there may be between those of the past
and of the present, and of the relation between the creation and the

Besides this, even should he not aim so high, the man who has had a
slight training in Natural History often employs his knowledge for the
benefit of art and commerce. How beautiful are the representations of
animals on some old coins, how grotesque are those on others! Yet the
most correct, and, therefore, the most beautiful, were the result of
the careful study of Nature. What benefits to men have resulted from
the production of certain breeds of horses, sheep, and oxen! But it has
been the study of Nature, and of the laws of the powers of inheritance,
which led to most of these results: and thus the practical man is
dependent upon the student for his success.

Notwithstanding the interesting nature of the study of the Natural
History of Animals, there is certainly more interest taken in it
during early life than later on. As a rule, men have no time for it, or
they find that, after gaining a certain amount of knowledge, they must
study hard if further progress is to be made. Moreover, the vast amount
of useless things which had to be learned at school and college have no
relation to Natural History, except, perhaps, to convey erroneous ideas
and to teach fables, so that this important science has generally to be
begun in earnest after the usual education has been completed. When the
determination has been made to learn the Natural History of Animals,
the student will have to study two separate, yet inter-dependent,
branches of knowledge, namely, Zoology and Comparative Anatomy: for
the one considers the external shape, habits, distribution, and
classification of animals, and the other refers to their internal
construction, anatomy, and physiology, and the relation which the
internal parts bear to the external in the scheme of classification.
These studies are evidently inseparable.

Now, it is the fact that, owing to the importance of Comparative
Anatomy to those who study the Anatomy of Man, it is much more
frequently learned than simple Zoology. Comparative Anatomy is useful
to the medical man, but Zoology is not, and therefore the majority of
students whose previous education has led them up to Natural History
care but little for the classificatory part. It is equally true that
the names and the apparently complicated methods of expression used by
zoologists deter most people from the study. If this is a correct view
of the relation of the Natural History of Animals to our education,
and to the advance of our intellectual culture, it is evident that
there is a weak point in the method of the instruction of this charming
science during that age when young people begin to inquire for more
solid information. The story-book has been read, and the heavy work on
Zoology and Comparative Anatomy is as yet sealed, and hence books are
required in advance of the one which will lead up to the other; books
which--whilst they entertain--instruct and convey, in simple language,
the results of the best and latest scientific inquiries. This kind of
literature should, moreover, be sufficiently meritorious to attract the
general reader who may desire information in any particular portion of
the Natural History of Animals.

The book of which this is the Preface has been written in order to
obviate the difficulties which have been alluded to, and to form a
useful and entertaining Natural History of Animals. It is the result of
the work of several English naturalists--of men who have felt the want
of such a book in their own studies, and who have had to encounter the
difficulties which it is trusted that it will remove. Every endeavour
has been made to explain the most interesting facts simply and
correctly, and to unite the studies of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy.
The anecdotes of the instinct and habits, and of the methods of the
capture of animals, have been given so as to illustrate particular
gifts and the actions of important organs and structures.

The plan of this Work is not to open with a classification of animals,
the majority of whose names and shapes are entirely unknown to the
reader, but to describe the shape, nature, and habits of groups of
creatures, and then, when they have become familiar, to arrange and
classify them. In a popular work it seems more desirable to proceed
upon a plan of this kind, than to lead off with an introduction dealing
with the nature and importance of Natural History studies, with the
abstract ideas of classification, and with the explanation of the
necessity of dividing the Animal kingdom according to the principles
of Comparative Anatomy. For, obviously, such an introduction would to
a large extent defeat the very objects with which this Work has been

It is necessary, however, to make a few observations on what is
termed classification and its nature. Animals are classified by their
resemblances and differences. Those creatures which resemble each
other more than others are grouped together, and are separated from
dissimilar groups. The first act in classification is to distinguish
one animal from others by differences in the shape and internal
construction, and the second is to group together the beings whose
differences are small. A kind or species is a letter of the Zoological
Alphabet, and it is usually said to refer to beings which produce
others like unto themselves. A genus is a group of species closely
resembling each other; a word in zoological language made up of few or
many letters of the alphabet. There may be few or many species in a
genus, and whilst some of them very closely resemble each other, others
are not quite so much alike; and these link on one genus to another.
The notion of a genus is to include a number of kinds in a group which
has a character given to it: that is to say, certain peculiarities
of shape and of anatomy. It will be obvious that the genus is an
artificial affair, and is necessary for the purpose of making science

In order to explain this, look at a domestic cat, a lion, a tiger,
a leopard, and a cheetah, and it will be observed that there are
differences between them in shape and colour which cause them to
be separated into distinct SPECIES. They all have some points of
construction in common; and, therefore, they are classified together as
five species of a GENUS--the genus _Felis_.

Then consider the figure and colour of a hyæna, and of a civet, and
study their internal anatomy, and it will be found that although there
are differences between them which are sufficient to necessitate
the placing of the hyænas in one genus (_Hyæna_), and the civets
(_Viverra_) in another; yet the genera are closely united or allied, in
consequence of their possessing many similarities.

On comparing the genus _Felis_ with the genera _Hyæna_ and _Viverra_,
it will be noticed that the last two resemble each other more than they
do the first, and thus two FAMILIES are formed--one the _Felina_, to
comprehend the genus _Felis_; and another the _Viverrina_, to include
the genera of hyænas and the civets. But the slight resemblance between
these families is sufficient to cause them to be grouped in an ORDER
which is called Carnivora, or that of carnivorous beasts.

Again, the Monkeys and Sloths do not resemble each other in shape and
internal construction sufficiently to be placed in the same order
even, but they and the Carnivora, and many other animals, suckle their
young. They may, therefore, be separated, in a classification, from
other animals which fly and lay eggs, and do not suckle: as the birds.
The Birds form one CLASS, and the Mammalia, or animals that suckle
their young, form another. Other Classes are formed by the Reptiles,
Amphibia, Fishes, etc.

All the animals of these numerous Classes have a back-bone; but if
we examine a nautilus, a snail, a beetle, a worm, a coral, or an
animalcule, nothing like an internal skeleton made up of bones, some
of which are placed inside the back, can be discovered. Hence all the
animals can be arranged into two SUB-KINGDOMS, those with and those
without back-bones, or the Vertebrata and the Invertebrata. (The name
_vertebrata_ is taken from the Latin word _vertebra_, which means a
turning-joint in the body, or a back-bone.) Those are the sub-kingdoms
of the animal KINGDOM, which is so called in contradistinction to the
_kingdom_ of plants.

It must be remembered, however, that the best classification is but an
attempt of a finite understanding to arrange the infinitely variable
things of Nature. It is but an artificial and arbitrary arrangement
which is necessary for study: for were the whole truth before us, there
would be no classification which would depend on marked differences
in shape and internal construction. Were the figures and anatomy of
every animal that has lived, and of every creature which is now living
on the globe, placed before us, the gaps which enable one genus to
be separated from another would be filled up, and even species would
cease to be distinguished. But, in spite of the artificial nature of
the classifications, there is this to be said of them: that they give
some faint indications of the philosophy of creation. The differences
and resemblances of animals relate to structures of the body which
have been inherited from creatures that lived in the remote past; and
we glean this when it is known that the young unborn of one genus
resembles the old and fully-formed creatures of kinds belonging to
other classes which preceded it in the history of the globe, and when
it is shown by the microscope that some of the parts of the bodies of
the most insignificant animals of the invertebrate sub-kingdom resemble
those of the most gifted of animals.

A classification thus opens out a little of the scheme of Nature, and
it proves that the resemblances and differences of animals are not
matters of chance, but that there is a law which has produced them.
Such a law, yet perhaps not fully comprehended, is Man’s idea of the
action of the will of the Divine Creator.








    The World of Monkeys, and its Division into great
    Groups--Distinction between the Old World and New World
    Monkeys--Classification of Monkeys--The GORILLA, Ancient and
    Modern Stories about it--Investigations of Savage and Du
    Chaillu--General Description--The Head, Brain, Teeth, Taste, Smell,
    and Voice--The Air Sacs, and Ear--The Limbs and Muscles--Method of
    Climbing--Diet--Hunting the Gorilla--Attempts to Capture Alive--A
    Tame Gorilla.

If one of each kind of the Apes and Monkeys which are now living on
the globe could be collected and placed in a large zoological garden,
and if those which lived in former ages, and whose skeletons have
been discovered by geologists, could be brought to life, and added to
the whole, they would certainly form a very amusing and remarkable
assemblage. What endless fun there would be, what scamperings,
skirmishes, and quarrels would take place; how they would grin,
chatter, and pull tails all the live-long day; and as evening began,
how some, which had been quiet spectators before, would commence
howling, and how others would rush about amongst their tired and sleepy
companions, with noiseless bounds until the return of daylight!

If each of these representative Monkeys could give an account of
itself, whence it had come, how it lived in its native forests and
woods, and what it did with itself all day, a most interesting and
novel Natural History book could be compiled, for only the histories
of a few have been written, and they are by no means always veracious.
They would have come from Asia and many of its islands, from Africa,
from South America, and the Isthmus to the north, and Europe would have
sent one from the rocks of Gibraltar; and yet, unless those of the
same country had been properly introduced, either by Dame Nature or
by the chapter of accidents incident to such a very unlikely meeting
as we are imagining, they would not know many of their fellows. They
are exclusive in their habits, and their particular parks and forests
are limited in extent, and sometimes very much so. Of course, there
are some exceptions, and many kinds which roam over large countries,
and are even found in different islands, have gained the superior
intelligence and the ready affability and easiness of intercourse
characteristic of the cosmopolitan and traveller. Every kind of temper
and capacity would be shown; the Gorillas would probably be shy and
cross, the Chimpanzees lively and kind, the Baboons grumpy, the Spider
Monkeys restless, and most of the Macaques impudent and cunning--the
result of a knowledge of Apes and of many Monkeys. There would be every
shade of colour, and of shape and size; there would be many without
tails, some with stumps, and others with long tails of no great use
except to afford temptation to the mischievous; and not a few with fine
large ones useful in the extreme, by acting as a fifth limb. Many would
have very human faces and sharp eyes, others would look more like dogs,
and fierce enough, and there would be every variety of posture. Some
would sit very well, others would go on all-fours, and there would be
others swinging with their long and strong arms, and making tremendous
jumps and bounds assisted in some by the prehensile tail. Some would
want one kind of fruit, and others different kinds of vegetables,
but only two or three tiny little ones would care much about grubs
and eggs. All would have the very best possible limbs for climbing,
grasping, picking, and stealing, and all would have good hands, that is
to say, fingers and thumbs and wrists, in front, and foot-hands, that
is to say, feet with a great thumb-like toe behind. In a general sense
they would all be four-handed or Quadrumanous, and this peculiarity
would distinguish them from any interlopers who might have got into the
assemblage unasked.


It may be doubted whether the most scientific of the scientific could
do much in the way of science at first with such varied and amusing
creatures before him; but the mind will attempt to compare and notice
differences under all sorts of circumstances, and therefore some
general truths would possibly be got at amidst all the noisy debates,
divisions, and cheers and counter-cheers of this Apes’ Parliament.
There would be clearly two sides to this house of representatives, the
Americans and the Old World-ites, and the most uncritical observer
would separate them. It never entered into the mind of a Monkey of the
Old World to have a tail which would be as useful as another leg and
hand, and as manageable as if it had an eye at its tip--that is an
invention of Dame Nature in the American tropics, and is an evident
improvement. Now this tail is visible enough, and so is another
American peculiarity. The Monkeys there have a broad end to the nose,
and the openings of the nostrils look outwards, being separated by a
thick gristle; but those of the Old World have a thin gristle in the
same place, and the nostrils are not wide apart but open in front, more
or less like those of men and dogs. Here are, then, two “parties,”
those with nostrils wide apart with a wide and thick gristle--“broad
noses,” called in scientific language “Platyrhines”[1]; and those with
the nostrils “looking downward,” or “Catarhines.”[2]


The great American section, or that of the broad-noses, is split up to
a certain extent, for all have not long prehensile tails, those of some
being short; and others have them feeble in strength and almost brushy
with fur. Here are, then, the means of readily knowing one set from
another, so far as these far travelled Monkeys are concerned.

The Old World section, with its close and downward-looking nostrils, at
first sight appears very united, but after a little noticing there seem
to be many different groups in it. Firstly, the commonest kinds make
up for the absence of a clinging tail, such as their American cousins
have, by having something which the Transatlantics would be glad of,
namely, cheek pouches--comfortable receptacles for nuts and such
delicacies within the mouth, where food can be kept as in a cupboard,
until it is required, or can be enjoyed in safety. These are the
valuable properties of many of the smaller African tribes. Then they
also have, in the absence of soft clothes and comfortable chairs to sit
upon, fur or hair and a natural hardness or “callosity,” or seat, which
does not wear out, and which is often strangely coloured. Another group
has no cheek pouches, but it possesses the callosities, and these less
favoured creatures come mainly from Asia and the great islands, and
only a few from Africa.

Finally, the most important group of the section consists of the
large Apes, with neither tails, callosities, nor cheek pouches, but
having very man-like features; for instance, the great Troglodytes,
Chimpanzees, and Orangs, the first two from Africa, and the last from
the great Asiatic islands and the mainland.


These tribes could be, with more study (especially if the merry company
were broken up by the anatomist taking them one by one and dissecting
them), divided over and over again, and separated into kinds or
species, which would not, however, always tally with the corresponding
arrangement of the naturalist, who would go by the skin and the outside
of the animals.

One thing would be quite clear to every one, and that is that some of
the creatures greatly resemble man at first sight, and that although
this likeness diminishes with study, still there is a group, which
deserves the title of the “man-shaped.” Others form a group which go
usually on all fours, looking like dogs, more or less, and they are
the “dog-shaped,” but they of course retain the more or less man-like
peculiarities which characterise the whole of the Monkeys.

Hence, after all these divisions and differences and resemblances have
been mastered, it would be found that the noisy assemblage could be
arranged as follows:--

1.--CATARHINES.--Old World Monkeys, man-shaped and dog-shaped.

2.--PLATYRHINES.--New World Monkeys.

The first section, the _Catarhines_, may be divided into the
man-shaped, or in the Greek the _Anthropomorpha_, and the dog-shaped,
or the _Cynomorpha_.

Or they may be arranged as those, with: 1, cheek pouches and
callosities, for instance, the Baboons; 2, those with callosities only,
the Monkeys; and 3, those without either, and without a tail, the Apes.

The second section, or the _Platyrhines_, may be divided into those: 1,
with prehensile tails; and 2, those with the tails not prehensile; and
3, those whose tail is furry.

This great array of manikins (whence they get their name of Monkey--the
word _homunculus_, “a sorry little fellow,” having possibly something
to do with it) is formed by creatures next to man, the highest in
the scale of animals. They could be very readily distinguished from
all others, were it not for the existence of a group of beings which
resemble them in some particulars. These are the next lowest in the
scale, and they have thumbs on the hands and thumb-toes on the feet,
but their fur is woolly, and they are cat-like in shape. They are
called the Lemurs, or by some zoologists “Half Apes.” These Lemurs
only resemble in a slight degree some of the Monkeys of the New World,
but they are more like them than any other animals, and therefore are
classified with them.

[Illustration: GROUP OF LEMURS. (From the _Transactions of the
Zoological Society_.)]

The order of beings to which these various creatures belong is known by
the name of “Primates,” which implies the rank they hold in the scale
of creation. Man stands first, very distinct in his intellectual powers
and spiritual gifts from the most intelligent of the Quadrumana and
as much superior to them in his construction. Then comes the world of
Monkeys, the “man-shaped” at the head, and the little marmosets, with
furry tails, at the bottom of the array, and linked on to these are the
Half Apes or Lemurs. They all form a great order of the animal kingdom
which stands first and at the head of all other orders of the animal

But what would the old Monkeys whose bones have been dug out of strata
which are older than the Himalayan mountains and the Alps say could
they visit such a collection as that suggested? They would recognise
their fellow-monkeys, but would look upon them as pigmies in size.
They would be few in number, for though Monkeys go the way of all
flesh very rapidly, skeletons of them are very rarely found, so rarely
indeed that many Indians believe that the other Monkeys bury them. The
fact is, that there are plenty of Jackals, to say nothing of birds
of prey, ready to snap up a dead, dying, or invalid Ape, and to turn
its protoplasm into their own. Some few tumble into holes, and may be
preserved there, and probably that was how the old bones were hidden
up. The old kinds resembled the new more or less, but for the most
part those which have been carefully examined were larger than the
corresponding modern species. They were as great Apes in their nature
as are the present, and had this advantage, that their roaming ground
was wider, for they lived in Europe as well as in the countries where
their modern representatives are found. Nevertheless, even in those old
days the Catarhines were kept to the Old World, and the Platyrhines
enlivened the American forests alone.

In the great order of the Primates, after man, stand the man-shaped or
anthropomorphous[3] Apes, the Great Tail-less. They are inhabitants of
equatorial Africa, and of the large Asiatic islands and the adjacent
mainland, and first and foremost amongst them is


Africa, to the south of the Great Desert, has always been a country of
wonders, and highly attractive to imaginative and restless men; and its
dark population, so ignorant and superstitious, has, from its love of
the marvellous, shadowed the truth with much mystery. Hence, travellers
in those tropical regions, which are so fatal to Europeans, have from
the earliest times told of the man-like creatures they had heard of and
sometimes seen; and they have associated them in the equatorial part of
the continent with human dwarfs, pigmies, and monsters. For centuries
these degraded human races have been sought after, and now whilst it
is admitted that dwarfed men exist, it has come to light that most of
the stories which led to the belief in their hideous associates were
derived from the existence of large man-like Apes--creatures of dread
to the natives--whose traditions are full of credulous anecdotes about
them. Hidden in the recesses of vast forests, where the silence of
nature is intense, and moving with great activity, where men can hardly
follow, these animals acquired most doubtful reputations, and their
ugly personal appearance, so suggestive of violence, was magnified in
every way in the eyes of the timid natives.


So dreaded were the Apes, and so environed were they with a
superstitious mystery, that Europeans had travelled and traded close
to their haunts for centuries before one of them was seen by any other
eyes than those of the timid negroes. Many stories about them had long
been told, and indeed some of them are as old as the days of the
Carthaginians. For instance, Hanno, a Carthaginian, was ordered to sail
on a voyage of discovery round Africa some centuries before Christ,
the exact date not being fixed; and he sailed and rowed in his galleys
out of the present Strait of Gibraltar, and coasted southwards until
he came to the great bay, probably somewhere about the Gaboon River,
near the equator, in Western Africa. It is stated in the history of his

“On the third day, having sailed from thence, passing the streams of
fire, we came to a bay called the Horn of the South. In the recess
there was an island like the first, having a lake, and in this there
was another island full of wild men. But much the greater part of them
were women with hairy bodies, whom the interpreters called Gorillas.
But, pursuing them, we were not able to take the men; they all escaped,
being able to climb the precipices, and defended themselves with pieces
of rock. But these women (female Gorillas), who bit and scratched those
who led them, were not willing to follow. However, having killed them,
we flayed them, and conveyed the skins to Carthage, for we did not sail
any further, as provisions began to fail.”

Probably the streams of fire were a part of a volcanic eruption.
Written in the _Periplus_ or voyage of Hanno this story is thoroughly
African, and might have been the model upon which hundreds of later
ones have been formed, for it is a combination of the novel in nature,
and of what is true and false. It is curious that a commander of so
civilised an expedition, and a man whose eyes had been accustomed
to the grace of Grecian statuary and to the beauty of his own
countrywomen, should have mistaken a Gorilla for one of the fair sex;
and, moreover, it is possible that from the mounting of the rocks,
and the flinging of stones by the males, the whole were Baboons.
Nevertheless this is the oldest record of the name which is associated
with the most interesting of modern discoveries, and it accounts for
many stories which were kept floating in the thoughts of successive
generations of travellers.

Gradually the truth came forth, but not until many Europeans had
wandered in Gorilla Land. One Andrew Bartlett was an English sailor,
who got caught by the Portuguese for some reason or other, and was kept
a prisoner in Angola, which is situated nearly ten degrees south of the
line, and near the great virgin forests, which are the haunts of the
Gorilla and Chimpanzee, and his “strange adventures” were published in
1625, by Purchas, in “His Pilgrimages.”

Battel speaks of two monsters which excited the fears of the natives.
“The greatest is called _Pongo_, in their language, and the lesser is
called _Engeco_. This Pongo is in all proportion like a man, but that
he is more like a giant in stature than a man: for he is very tall and
hath a man’s face, hollow eyed, with long haire upon his brows. His
bodie is full of haire, but not very thick, and it is of a brownish
colour. He differeth not from man but in his legs, for they have no
calfe. He goeth always upon his legs, and carrieth his hands clasped on
the nape of his necke, when he goeth upon the ground. They sleepe in
the trees, and build shelter for the raine. They feed upon the fruit
that they find in the woods, and upon nuts, for they eat no kind of
flesh. They cannot speak, and have no understanding more than a beast.
The people of the countrie, when they travaile in the woods, make fires
when they sleepe in the night: and in the morning when they are gone,
Pongo will come and sit about the fire till it goeth out, for they
have no understanding to lay the wood together. They goe many together
and kill many negroes that travaile in the woods. Many times they
fall upon elephants which come to feed where they may be, and so beat
them with their clubbed fists and pieces of wood that they will runne
roaring away from them. These Pongos are never taken alive, because
they are so strong ten men cannot hold one of them; but they take many
of their young ones with poisoned arrows. The young Pongo hangeth on
its mother’s belly with its hands clasped about her, so that when any
of the country people kill the females, they take the young which hangs
fast upon his mother. When they die amongst themselves, they cover the
dead with great heaps of boughs and wood, which are commonly found in
the forests.”

The Pongo appears to be the Gorilla, and Battel tells much truth about
it, mixed up with absurd fiction, whilst the Engeco, or as it is called
by the natives of the Gaboon, the _enche-eko_, is the Chimpanzee.

Early in this century, in 1819, Bowdich says, in a description of a
mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee, “that the favourite and
most extraordinary subject of conversation when in the Gaboon River
was the _Ingena_. This is an animal like the Orang-Utan, but much
exceeding it in size, being five feet high and four feet across the
shoulders. Its paw was said to be even more disproportioned in its
breadth, and one blow of it is said to be fatal. It is commonly seen by
the natives when they travel to Kaybe, lurking in the bush to destroy
passengers, not to eat them, for it feeds principally on wild honey
which abounds.”

[Illustration: MALE GORILLA.]

Sometimes, the natives assert, when a company of villagers are moving
rapidly through the shades of the forest, they become aware of the
presence of the formidable Ape by the sudden disappearance of one of
their companions, who is hoisted up into a tree, uttering, perhaps,
only a short choking sob. In a few minutes he falls to the ground a
strangled corpse, for the animal, watching his opportunity, has let
down his huge hind-hand and seized the passing negro by the neck with
a vice-like grip, and has drawn him up into the branches, dropping him
when life and struggling have ceased.

[Illustration: FEMALE GORILLA AND YOUNG. (From the _Transactions of the
Zoological Society of London_.)]

The missionaries, when they were established in the Gaboon region,
found that all along the coast the Gorillas were believed by the
natives to be human beings, members of their own race degenerated. Some
natives who had been a little civilised, and who thought a little more
than the rest, did not acknowledge this relationship, but considered
them as embodied spirits, the belief in the transmigration of souls
being prevalent. They said that the _enche-eko_, or Chimpanzee, has the
spirit of a _coastman_, being less fierce and more intelligent than the
_enge-ena_, or Gorilla, which has that of a _bushman_. The majority,
however, fully believed them to be men, and seemed to be unaffected by
the arguments offered to disprove this fancy; and this was especially
true of the tribes in the immediate vicinity of the locality. They
believed them to be literally wild men of the woods. Nevertheless, they
were eaten when they could be got, and their flesh, with that of the
Chimpanzee and other Monkeys, formed and still forms a prominent place
in the bill of fare.

Impressed thus with a belief in their kinship and of their ferocity, it
was not surprising that live Gorillas could not be obtained by European
travellers. Even a bold and skilful hunter of the elephant, when
pressed to bring in one, declared he would not do it for a mountain of

In 1847 the first sight of a part of a Gorilla was obtained by an
American missionary; it was a skull, and its shape struck him as
being so extraordinary that he believed the natives were correct in
attributing it to the much-talked-of Ape of whose ferocity and strength
he had heard so much. Collecting others, he at last handed them
over to a fellow labourer, Dr. Savage, who possessed much anatomical
knowledge. Every attempt was made to obtain even a dead Gorilla,
but without satisfactory results. Savage lived for years in the
neighbourhood of the Gaboon river, and not only gradually accumulated
a fine collection of the bones of the great Ape, which he at first
thought was the Orang-Utan, and which he subsequently described as
the Gorilla, but also put together a history of its habits and aspect
as gleaned from the natives. He was in the heart of Gorilla Land,
which may be said to extend from ten to fifteen degrees of latitude
on each side of the equator. It is bounded by the sea on the west,
and extends to an unknown distance to the east, being watered by the
Gaboon, Danger, and Fernandez Vas rivers. Mountainous far from the
coast, and very undulating everywhere, it consists of dense forest,
wild jungle, and open places. Traversed as this country is by navigable
rivers which are visited by traders, it struck this observer that it
was indeed remarkable that the Gorilla should have been so unknown to
civilised men; but he was soon impressed with the dread the natives had
of it, and also with the fact that it sought the remoter parts of the
neighbouring woods. From the descriptions of the natives, who never
attempted to interfere with the Gorilla except in self-defence, its
height is above five feet, and it is disproportionately broad across
the shoulders. It is covered with coarse black hair, which greatly
resembles that of the Chimpanzee; with age it becomes grey, and this
fact has given rise to the report that there are more kinds than one.
Resembling a huge Ape in shape, with a great body, comparatively short
legs with large hind-thumbs, its bulk is considerable, and its arms,
reaching further down than in man, enable it to grasp and climb well.
It does not possess a tail, and the head has a wide and long black
face, a very deep cheek, great brows over the deeply-seated hazel eyes,
a flat nose, and a wide mouth with very strong teeth. The top of the
head has a crest of longish hair, and elsewhere it is exceedingly thick
and short. The belly is very large. From inquiry he ascertained that
when walking, their gait is shuffling, and the body, which is never
upright like that of man, moves from side to side in going along.
Usually it walks by resting the hands on the ground and then bringing
the legs between them, and swinging the body forward. They live in
bands, and the females generally exceed the males in number. They are
exceedingly ferocious, never running away from man, and the few that
have been captured were killed by elephant hunters and native traders
as they came suddenly upon them whilst passing through the woods.


It was said, at this time, by the natives, that the Gorilla makes
a sleeping-place like a hammock, by connecting the branches of a
sheltered and thickly-leaved part of a tree by means of the long,
tough, slender stems of parasitic plants, and lining it with the dried
broad fronds of fern, or with long grass. This hammock-like abode
may be seen at different heights, from ten to forty feet from the
ground, but there is never more than one such nest in a tree. They
avoid the abodes of man, but are most commonly seen in the months of
September, October, and November, after the negroes have gathered in
their outlying rice-crops, and have returned from the “bush” to their
valleys. So observed, they are described to be usually in pairs, or
if more, the addition consists of a few young ones of different ages
and apparently of one family. The Gorilla is not gregarious. The
parents may be seen sitting on a branch resting their backs against
the tree trunk munching fruit, whilst the young Gorillas are at play,
leaping and swinging from branch to branch with hoots or harsh cries of
boisterous mirth. This rural felicity, however, has its objectionable
sides, for occasionally, if not invariably, the old male, if he be
seen in quest of food, is usually armed with a short stick, which the
negroes aver to be the weapon with which he attacks his chief enemy the
elephant. Not that the elephant directly or intentionally injures the
Gorilla, but deriving its subsistence from the same source, the Ape
regards the great proboscidian as a hostile intruder. When, therefore,
he sees the elephant pulling down and wrenching off the branches of
a favourite tree, the Gorilla, stealing along the bough, strikes the
sensitive proboscis of the elephant with a violent blow of his club,
and drives off the startled giant trumpeting shrilly with pain. In
passing from one tree to another the Gorilla is said to walk semi-erect
with the aid of his club, but with a waddling and awkward gait; when
without a stick, he has been seen to walk as a man, with his hands
clasped across the back of his head, instinctively balancing its
forward position. If the Gorilla be surprised and approached, whatever
the ground may be, he betakes himself on all-fours, dropping the stick,
and makes his way very rapidly, with a kind of sidelong gallop, resting
on the front knuckles, to the nearest tree. There he meets his pursuer,
especially if his family is near and requiring his defence. No negro
willingly approaches the tree in which the male Gorilla keeps guard,
even with a gun. The experienced negro does not make the attack, but
reserves his fire in self-defence. The enmity of the Gorilla to the
whole negro race, male and female, is uniformly attested. Thus, when
young men of the Gaboon tribe make excursions into the forests in quest
of ivory, the enemy they most dread to meet is the Gorilla. If they
have come unawares too near him with his family, he does not, like the
lion, sulkily retreat, but comes rapidly to the attack, swinging down
to the lower branches, and clutching at the nearest foe. The hideous
aspect of the animal, with his green eyes flashing with rage, is
heightened by the skin over the orbits and eyebrows being drawn rapidly
backwards and forwards, with the hair erected, producing a horrible and
fiendish scowl. If fired at, and not mortally hit, the Gorilla closes
at once upon his assailant, and inflicts most dangerous if not deadly
wounds, with his sharp and powerful tusks. The commander of a Bristol
trader once saw a negro at the Gaboon frightfully mutilated from the
bite of a Gorilla, from which he had recovered. Another negro exhibited
to the same voyager a gun barrel bent and partly flattened by a wounded
Gorilla in its death struggle.

The strength of the Gorilla is such as to make him a match for a lion,
whose strength his own nearly rivals. Over the Leopard, invading the
lower branches of his dwelling-place, he will gain an easier victory;
and the huge canine teeth, with which only the male Gorilla is
furnished, doubtless have been given to him for defending his mate and

As the appearance and some of the movements of the Gorilla are very
man-like, some of the natives consider that the souls of men have
entered into their bodies, and hence many apologies are made for some
of their tricks and reported doings. Moreover, from this belief some of
their skulls are made objects of fetish worship, and are marked with
broad stripes of red paint, crossed by a white one. These were the
stories told to Savage.

On returning to America, Savage investigated the parts of the skeletons
he had obtained, and compared them with those of the Chimpanzee. Owen,
in England, having received some corresponding specimens, continued the
investigation, and all were agreed in deciding that the Gorilla was
a species in itself, differing from the Chimpanzee, but sufficiently
like it to be connected with it in a genus. The Gorilla was termed
_Troglodytes Gorilla_, and the Chimpanzee, which will be noticed in
the next chapter, kept its name of _Troglodytes niger_. The word
Troglodytes was very ill chosen, and it does not refer in any way to
the nature or habits of the animals. It was taken from τρωγλοδύται, the
name of an Ethiopian tribe who dwell in holes or caves. The native name
is Ngina.

The descriptions of the habits and anatomy of the Gorilla, fragmentary
as they were, excited great interest in the minds of many travellers,
and especially in that of Du Chaillu, who left America in 1855,
determined to explore Gorilla Land, and to obtain some of the great
Apes, dead or alive.

He first met with the Gorilla amongst some beautiful scenery, near
the Sierra del Crystal, at the head waters of the Ntambounay, a
stream which runs into the Muni or Danger River. Close to some rapids
down which the torrent was rushing with great velocity amongst huge
boulders, and sending its spray up to the tops of the highest trees
of the banks, was a deserted village, and amongst its ruins were some
broken-down sugar-canes. Here and there the canes had been taken down,
and torn up by the roots, and they were lying about in fragments,
which had evidently been chewed. He writes:--“I knew that there were
fresh tracks of the Gorilla, and joy filled my heart; they (the native
hunters) now looked at each other in silence, and muttered, _Nguyla_,
which is as much as to say in Nepongwe, _Ngina_, or as we say, Gorilla.
We followed these traces, and presently came to the footprints of the
so-long desired animal. It was the first time I had ever seen these
footprints, and my sensations were indescribable. Here was I now, it
seemed, on the point of meeting face to face that monster of whose
ferocity, strength, and cunning, the natives had told me so much; an
animal scarce known to the civilised world, and which no white man
before had hunted. My heart beat till I feared its loud pulsations
would alarm the Gorilla, and my feelings were excited to a painful
degree. By the tracks it was easy to know that there must have been
several Gorillas in company. We prepared at once to follow them. The
women were terrified, poor things, and we left them a good escort of
two or three men to take care of them, and reassure them. Then the
rest of us looked once more carefully at our guns, for the Gorilla
gives you no time to re-load, and woe to him whom he attacks. We were
armed to the teeth. My men were remarkably silent, as if they were
going on an expedition of more than usual risk; for the male Gorilla
is literally king of the African forest. He and the crested lion of
Mount Atlas are the two fiercest and strongest beasts of the continent.
The lion of South Africa cannot compare with either for strength or
courage. I knew that we were about to pit ourselves against an animal
which even the leopard of these mountains fears, and which perhaps
has driven the lion out of his territory; for the king of beasts so
numerous elsewhere in Africa is never met in the land of the Gorilla.
We descended a hill, crossed a stream on a fallen log, and presently
approached some huge boulders of granite. Alongside of one lay an
immense dead tree, and about this we saw many evidences of the very
recent presence of the Gorillas. Our approach was very cautious: we
were divided into parties. We were to surround the granite block,
behind which the animals were supposed to be hiding, and suddenly I
was startled by a strange discordant, half-human, devilish cry, and
beheld four young Gorillas running toward the deep forests. We fired,
but hit nothing. Then we rushed on in pursuit, but they knew the woods
better than we. Once I caught a glimpse of one of the animals again,
but an intervening tree spoiled my mark, and I did not fire, but ran
till we were exhausted, but in vain, and the alert beasts made their
escape.” As the hunters sat round their fire in the evening, before
going to sleep, the adventure of the day was talked over, and of
course some very tough yarns and stories were told about the Gorillas,
most of which ought to have put this traveller on his guard, and
impressed him that the greater part of the ferocity and the lion-like
courage of the new animal were derived from the imaginations of a very
superstitious and not over-courageous race of men. They were great
believers in witchcraft, and they believed that many men whose names
they mentioned, and who are dead, had their spirits now dwelling in
Gorillas. However, Du Chaillu, a few days afterwards, started on a
hunt which had a more satisfactory termination than the last. He and
the rest got on the track of an old male, and suddenly as they were
creeping along in silence, which made a heavy breath seem loud and
distinct, the woods were at once filled with the tremendous barking
roar of the Gorilla. Then the underbush swayed rapidly just a-head,
and presently before them stood an immense male. He had gone through
the jungle on all-fours, but when he saw the party he raised himself
and looked them boldly in the face. “It stood about a dozen yards from
us, and was a sight I think I never shall forget. Nearly six feet high
(he proved four inches shorter), with immense body, huge chest, and
great muscular arms, with fiercely glaring large deep gray eyes, and
a hellish expression of face, which seemed to me like some nightmare
vision; there stood before us the king of the African forest. He was
not afraid of us. He stood there and beat his breast with his huge
fists till it resounded like an immense bass drum, which is their mode
of offering defiance; sometimes giving vent to roar after roar. The
roar of the Gorilla is the most singular and awful noise heard in these
African woods. It begins with a sharp bark like an angry dog, then
glides into a deep bass roll, which literally and closely resembles the
roll of distant thunder along the sky, for which I have sometimes been
tempted to take it when I did not see the animal. His eyes began to
flash fiercely, for we stood motionless on the defensive, and the crest
of short hair which stands on his forehead began to twitch rapidly up
and down, while his powerful fangs were shown as he again sent forth
a tremendous roar. He advanced a few steps, then stopped to utter
that hideous roar again; advanced again, and finally stopped when at
the distance of about six yards from us, and then, just as he began
another of his roars, beating his breast with rage, we fired and killed
him. With a groan which had something terribly human in it, and yet
was full of brutishness, he fell forward on his face. The body shook
convulsively for a few minutes, the limbs moved about in a struggling
way, and then all was quiet; death had done its work, and I had leisure
to examine the huge body. It proved to be five feet eight inches high,
and the muscular development of the arms and breast showed the immense
strength it had possessed.”

Du Chaillu once had a capital view of some Gorillas at their meal. News
having come that Gorillas had been recently seen in the neighbourhood
of a plantation on the Fernandez Vas river, just south of the equator
and not far from the West African coast, he got up early and went
into it. He writes: “The plantation was a large one, and situated on
very broken ground, surrounded by the virgin forest. It was a lovely
morning; the sky was almost cloudless, and all around was as still
as death, except the slight rustling of the tree tops moved by the
gentle land breeze. When I reached the place, I had just to pick my way
through the maze of tree-stumps and half-burned logs by the side of a
field of cassada.

[Illustration: FAMILY OF GORILLAS.]

“I was going quietly along the borders of this when I heard in the
grove of plantation trees towards which I was walking a great crushing
noise like the breaking of trees. I immediately hid myself behind a
bush, and was soon gratified with the sight of a female Gorilla; but
before I had time to notice its movements, a second and third emerged
from the masses of colossal foliage; at length, no less than four
came in view. They were all busily engaged in tearing down the larger
trees. One of the females had a young one following her. I had an
excellent opportunity of watching the movements of the impish-looking
band. The shaggy hides, the protuberant abdomens, the hideous features
of these strange creatures, whose forms so nearly resemble man, made
up a picture like a vision in a morbid dream. In destroying a tree,
they first grasped the base of the stem with one of their feet, and
then with their powerful arms pulled it down, a matter of not much
difficulty with so loosely-formed a stem as that of the plantain. They
then set upon the juicy fruit of the tree at the bases of the leaves,
and devoured it with great voracity. While eating, they made a kind of
chuckling noise, expressive of contentment. Many trees they destroyed,
apparently out of pure mischief. Now and then they stood still and
looked around. Once or twice they seemed on the point of starting
off in haste, but recovered themselves, and continued their work.
Gradually they got nearer to the edge of the dark forest, and finally
disappeared.” On the next day he was carrying a light gun, having given
his heavy double-barrelled rifle to a boy to carry, when in a deep
hollow, flanked with sugar-cane, he saw on the slope opposite to him
a gigantic Gorilla standing erect, and walking directly towards him.
Pointing his rifle, he turned to look for the boy, but he had seen the
Gorilla and bolted forthwith. The huge beast stared at Du Chaillu for
about two minutes, and then without uttering any noise moved off to the
shade of the forest, running nimbly on his hands and feet.

This running movement is performed principally by the arms, for the
animal places the backs of its knuckles on the ground, straightens its
elbows, and swings the huge body and short legs so that they come in
front. Then the feet support the weight of the body until the knuckles
are put on the ground in advance.

Anxious to possess some adult Gorillas, Du Chaillu offered rewards
to the native hunters, and on one occasion they brought in three
live ones, one being full-grown. This was a large adult female, who
was bound hand and foot, and with it was her female child, screaming
terribly, and the third was a vigorous young male, who was also
tightly bound. The female had been ingeniously secured by the negroes
to a strong stick, the wrists being bound to the upper part, and the
ankles to the lower, so that she could not reach to tear the cords
with her teeth. It was dark when they were brought in, and the scene
was wild and strange in the extreme. “The fiendish countenances of
the Calibanish trio, one of them distorted by pain, for the mother
Gorilla was severely wounded, were lit up by the ruddy glare of native
torches.” The young male was secured by a chain, and Du Chaillu gave
him the name of Tom. His feet and hands were untied, and he immediately
showed his want of gratitude by rushing at his possessor, screaming
with all his might; but the chain was happily made fast, and he did
no harm. The old mother Gorilla was in an unfortunate plight. She had
an arm broken, and a wound in the chest, besides being dreadfully
beaten about the head; she groaned and roared many times during the
night, probably from pain. She lived until the next day, her moanings
were more frequent in the morning, and they gradually became weaker
as her life ebbed out. Her death was like that of a human being, and
her child clung to her to the last, and tried to obtain milk from her
breast after she was dead. The young one was kept alive for three days
on goat’s milk, but it died on the fourth day. The young male would
not be photographed, for pointing the camera at him made the irascible
little thing a small demon, but after some attempts his likeness was
taken. These Gorillas were caught on a promontory which runs into the
sea like a spit. A woman had seen “two sets of Gorillas on it with
young ones, and the natives assembled, and armed themselves with great
spears and axes, forming a line across the spit, advancing towards its
extremity. They made a good deal of noise, and bewildered the Gorillas,
who were shot down or beaten in their endeavours to escape. There were
eight females together, but no large male.” Du Chaillu, on hearing
this, modified his opinion respecting the solitary habit of the animal,
and he subsequently obtained proofs that they roam in bands of from
five to ten. It is true, however, that when Gorillas become aged, they
seem to be more solitary, and live in pairs, or as in the case of old
males, quite alone. He was assured by the negroes that solitary and
aged Gorillas are sometimes seen almost white, for the hair becomes
grizzled with age. Evidently the animal migrates here and there in
his restricted district during certain seasons, and they search for a
little yellow berry called “rubino,” which grows on a tree resembling
the African teak; and also two other fruits, one like the nectarine in
size, and of the colour of the peach, but not having the rich bloom,
and the other like a plum. The same traveller came suddenly on a band
of Gorillas in a forest; “a whole group was on a tree hidden by the
dense foliage. They bolted off, making the thinner boughs bend with
their weight, and an old male, apparently the guardian of the flock,
made a bold stand, and stared at him through an opening. As soon as
voices were heard, the shaggy Ape roared a cry of alarm, scrambled
to the ground through the entangled lianas that were around the tree
trunk, and soon disappeared into the jungle.”

[Illustration: FACE OF THE GORILLA.]

Having had, then, so many opportunities of seeing Gorillas alive
and dead, Du Chaillu, of course, added largely to the knowledge of
their general shape and habits, and obtained skins for stuffing, and
bones for the anatomists. Five specimens were sent over by him to
England, and great discussions took place; some naturalists asserting
that the ferocity and courage of the great Ape were imaginary, and
others believing in the truth of Du Chaillu, whose only fault was
over-sensational writing, and who strenuously denied many of the native
stories. Then the anatomists had a great quarrel about the brain of
the creature, and handled each other very severely. Of the nature of
the outside of the Gorilla there could be no doubt, fortunately, for
there are the stuffed skins and bones to be seen, and an examination
of those in the national collection will prove how closely Savage must
have questioned the natives who gave him reliable information, and
how little can be added to his description. Du Chaillu says that in
length the adult Gorillas vary as much as men, and believes that the
tallest are six feet two inches in height, but that the average is
from five feet two inches to five feet eight inches. The females are
smaller, or have a lighter frame, their height averaging about four
feet six inches. The colour of the skin in the Gorilla, young as well
as adult, is intense black, so far as the face, breast, and palms of
the hands are concerned. The fur of a grown, but not aged specimen, is
iron-gray, and the individual hairs are ringed with alternate stripes
of black and gray. It is long on the arms, and slopes downwards from
the shoulder to the elbow, and upwards from the wrist to it. The head
is covered with reddish-brown hair, which is short, and reaches the
short neck. The chest is bare in the adults, and thinly covered with
hair in young males. In the female the breast is bare, and the hair
elsewhere is black with a red tinge, but it is not ringed as in the
male; moreover, the reddish crown which covers the scalp of the male
is not apparent in the female till she has almost become full grown.
The eyes are deeply sunken: the immense overhanging long ridge giving
the face the expression of a constant savage scowl. The mouth is wide,
and the lips are sharply cut, exhibiting no red on the edges, as in
the human face. The jaws are of tremendous weight and power. The huge
eye-teeth or canines, of the male, which are fully exhibited when,
in his rage, he draws back his lips and shows the red colour of the
inside of his mouth, lend additional ferocity to his aspect. In the
female these teeth are smaller. The almost total absence of neck,
which gives the head the appearance of being set into the shoulders,
is due to the backward position of the joints which fix the head to
the spine, and this allows the chin to hang over the top of the front
of the chest. The brain-case is low and compressed, and its lofty top
ridge causes the profile of the skull to describe an almost straight
line from the back part, or occiput, to the ridge over the brow. The
immense development of the muscles, which arise from this ridge, and
the corresponding size of the jaw, are evidences of the great strength
of the animal. The eyebrows are thin, but not well-defined, and are
almost lost in the hair of the scalp. The eyelashes are thin also. The
eyes are wide apart; and the ears, which are on a line with them, are
smaller than those of man, but very much like his. In a front view of
the face the nose is flat, but somewhat prominent--more so than in any
other Ape; this is on account of a slightly projecting nose-bone, very
unusual in Apes. The chest is of great capacity; the shoulders being
exceedingly broad. The abdomen is of immense size, very prominent,
and rounded at the sides. The front limbs have a prodigious muscular
development, and are very long, extending nearly as low as the knees.
The forearm is nearly of uniform size from the wrist to the elbow, and,
indeed, the great length of the arms, and the shortness of the legs,
form one of the chief differences between it and man. The arms are not
long when compared with the trunk, but they are so in comparison with
the legs. These are short, and decrease in size from below the knee
to the ankle, having no calf. The hands, especially in the male, are
of immense size, strong-boned, and thick; the fingers are short and
large, the circumference of the middle finger at the first joint being
five and a half inches in some Gorillas. The skin on the back of the
fingers, near the middle, is callous, and very thick, which shows that
the most usual mode of progression of the animal is on all-fours, and
resting on the knuckles. The thumb is short, and not half so thick as
the forefinger; and the hand is hairy as far as the division of the
fingers, which are covered with short thin hairs. The palm of the hand
is naked, callous, and intensely black. The nails are black, and shaped
like those of man, but are smaller in proportion, and project very
slightly beyond the ends of the fingers. They are thick and strong, and
always seem much worn. The hand of the Gorilla is almost as wide as it
is long, and in this it approaches nearer to that of man than any of
the other Apes. The foot is proportionally wider than in man; the sole
is callous, and intensely black, and looks somewhat like a giant hand
of immense power and grasp. The transverse wrinkles show the frequency
and freedom of movement of the two joints of the great toe-thumb,
proving that they have a power of grasp. The middle toe, or third, is
longer than the second and fourth, and this is unlike the foot in man.
The toes are divided into three groups, so to speak; inside the great
toe, outside the little toe, and the three others partly united by a
web. Du Chaillu thinks that in no other animal is the foot so well
adapted for the maintenance of the erect position, and he erroneously
believed that the Gorilla is much less of a tree-climber than any other
Ape. The foot in the Gorilla is certainly longer than the hand, as in
man. These descriptions are fairly correct, but it is necessary to
examine the results of the later writers on the subject, from whom we
may glean the following facts.



(From the _Transactions of the Zoological Society of London_.)]

The Gorilla has a large head, and on looking at a stuffed specimen
one is at once struck with the width and length of the face, and the
great prominent brows immediately over the eyes. There appears to be
no forehead, for the head recedes rapidly backwards, and then comes a
high ridge of hair, in old males, running from before backwards on the
top of the scalp, and meeting another which is less prominent, and
placed across the back of the skull, from the back of one ear to that
of the other. The animal has the power of moving the flesh and skin
which constitute the scalp freely forwards and backwards, so that when
it is in a rage its scowl is made all the more threatening and ugly by
its frowning and bringing down the hairy ridge close to above the eyes.
The hazel eyes are large, and they are separated by a small prominent
bridge belonging to the nose, the rest of which is broad and flattened
out. The jaws project forwards, and are long and wide, the teeth being
large and strong, and visible when uncovered by the fleshy and rather
hairy lips. The ears are small for the size of the head, when they are
compared with those of other Apes, and they as well as the skin of the
face are naked and dark.

Nature has been kinder to the females so far as beauty is concerned,
for they have less marked crests of hair, smaller brows, and shorter
side teeth, and therefore more amiable faces under all circumstances.

Of course the outside appearance of the head has much to do with the
skull beneath, and this has been very carefully studied by anatomists.
As a whole, the skull of a full-grown male Gorilla is larger than that
of a man, but it is lighter, although it appears to be more massive
on account of its being marked by great bony ridges or crests, which
correspond with the lines of hair on the top and back of the head, one
being on the top like the crest of a helmet, and the other crossing
the back and reaching the other so as to form a rude +T+ shape.
Careful measurement proves the great size of the Gorilla’s skull as
a whole, and that this is dependent mainly on the dimensions of the
bones of the face, the cavity for the brain being smaller than that of
man. But it does not appear at first very easy to explain how it is
that this massive-looking skull should be lighter than that of man. A
careful examination of the bones of the Gorilla’s skull explains the
difficulty, and in a very interesting manner.


The massive and solid look is given to it by the crests or ridges
beneath the hair already mentioned; they are of great use, for they
give attachment to very powerful muscles, especially to those which
move the lower jaw, and enable the teeth to bite forcibly. The surface
of the bones of the head for a certain depth is solid enough, but
below this solid layer there is a cellular arrangement consisting of a
network of bone, with cavities communicating with each other with the
internal parts of the ears and nose. Below this is solid bone again. So
that there are three layers, and the central one gives lightness and
strength to the whole; moreover, it protects the brain under the skull
from receiving shocks during falls or blows by boughs.

When the skull receives a sharp blow, for instance, in front or behind,
or low down at the sides, the outer layer of solid bone is often
cracked, and even forced in. If there were no cellular layer, the
tender brain would be injured directly, but the network of bone and the
large spaces amongst it take off the jar from that important organ, and
suffer the outer layer to be pressed in without affecting the deeper
structures. It must be a very hard blow that can press the cellular
layer in sufficiently to break through the third layer, which is solid
but thin. Very possibly the larger air spaces of the cellular layer
assist the senses of hearing and of smelling also.

There is another very strong bone connected with the skull, which
feels like a ridge, passing backward from the eye to the ear; and it
has something to do with the other ridges, for the muscles which are
attached to them, and which pass down to the lower jaw to give it great
power of mastication, are covered on the cheek by it. This cheek-bone
forms a kind of arch, and gives the great breadth to the upper part of
the face of the animal.

In a front view of the skull of the male Gorilla the ridge or crest on
the top of the head stands up like a little peak; then over the eyes
is the great brow ridge, which seems to press the upper part of the
cavity for the eye (the orbit) flat, so that it is not round as in most
animals, but rather square in outline. These three sets of ridges,
those of the upper and back part of the brain case, that of the brow
and those of the cheeks, so large and important, are distinctive of the
adult male animal, and a skull possessing them belongs to the Gorilla
and to no other animal.

The females and the young of both sexes have not the top ridges, and
the others are small in comparison with those of the male adults.

Clearly the ridges give strength to the head, muscular power to the
jaws, and what is of great importance to a large active animal, do not
interfere with the lightness of the strong skull.

The skull is hollow beneath the top and back ridges, and this space
is occupied by the brain and its investing membranes, and the nerves
coming from it, to supply the muscles of the face and head, the skin
over them, and the organs of special sense, such as the eye, the ear,
and the nose. The space is considerable, and for an Ape the Gorilla
has a large brain. He has a large body, very many muscles capable of
complicated movement, and he can see, hear, and smell admirably; and
as the nerves which supply the necessary energy for all this come
from the great nervous centre, as the brain is called, it must be of
considerable size and complexity. Moreover, as many of the motions and
sensations of the Ape resemble those of man, the brains of both will
resemble each other to a certain extent. But all that part of the brain
which serves in a manner, as yet past our comprehension, to assist the
production of the high intelligence and moral powers of man, we should
expect not to find in the purely sensual animal, and the expectation
is realised. Again, although bone for bone, muscle for muscle, and
blood-vessel for blood-vessel, those of the great Ape and man may
be compared with wonderful exactitude; still man in relation to the
Gorilla has a greater power of elegance of movement, and of producing
complicated muscular efforts, and of employing many different muscles
to produce a common end, and therefore his nervous system must be all
the more perfect. Thus, the Ape cannot imitate the graceful actions
which sway the body as when a well-made man walks leisurely, and it
cannot get all the muscles of the mouth, tongue, and larynx (or organ
of voice) to act simultaneously and orderly, so as to produce the sound
of articulate voice. Yet these actions are performed by man without any
special effort; they may be done without thinking, and are mechanical,
as it were, or more properly, “automatic,” done as if by a machine;
they require a very perfect arrangement of the nervous system, and an
unusual amount of nervous matter.

No amount of schooling, could it be given, would ever make a Gorilla
entertain the notion of insuring its life; arithmetic is impossible;
the fine arts and poetry are unattainable, and therefore by so much is
its brain the smaller and simpler.

The brain case, or the space enclosed by the crested skull bones, is
compactly filled with the nervous material in all animals, so it is
only necessary to ascertain the relative dimensions of the spaces in
different animals to get a notion of the difference in the sizes of
their brains. The space can be measured by filling it with sand, and
then measuring its bulk in a proper measure.

Some Gorillas have larger spaces for the brain than others, and in
this they resemble man, for there is a considerable difference between
the capacity or the size of the space in a well-educated European and
a savage Australian. And, doubtless, some Gorillas are cleverer than
others, or are more active, generally speaking, so have larger brains;
but an average may be taken of the different sizes in them as in man,
and the results come out as follows:--

The average or mean size or capacity of the brain case in the Gorilla
is about 31 cubic inches, a cubic inch being a six-sided space of one
inch long, broad, and high. In man, the European may have a brain case
holding 114 cubic inches, and the Australian only 63 cubic inches; the
mean of the European size is 93 cubic inches, that of the Australian
being 75. Hence the brain case, and therefore the mass of the substance
of the brain of the Gorilla, is not one-half that of the lowest race of

Only the brains of young Gorillas have been examined, and these have
not been in a very satisfactory state; but enough has been gleaned from
their study to determine that they are not so high, wide, or long,
relatively, as those of mankind. The brain of man is a wonderfully
complex structure, and the nervous matter is folded and packed in
many ways or “convolutions,” and the nerves arise from special parts
which are connected by cross and long fibres or “commissures.” All
these structures exist, but not in perfection, in the Gorilla’s brain;
and although the nerves are large, that portion of the brain which
originates their energy and action is much smaller than in man.

Apparently the brain grows to a certain age in the Gorilla, and then
the skull increases in outward size, and the creature has a huge body,
with mental capacities far below those of a child or man.

The ridges and crests on the top and back of the Gorilla’s skull are
larger than those of any of the great flesh-eating animals of the cat
tribe, and it has therefore been thought that they were a proof of the
occasional bad habits of the great Ape, and of his indulging now and
then in negro flesh. Large as are the crests in the old males, they
are barely present in the females and young, and they must be regarded
partly as of use to the larger animals, and partly as ornamental; for
in animal nature, as a rule, the gentlemen are more beautiful than
the ladies, the idea of beauty being, of course, very much a matter
of taste. They are evidently protections against falls, and they also
give origin to muscles. The back crest, when looked at from behind, is
almost fan-shaped, the bone being broad, and the great muscles of the
neck and back are attached to it. They pull the head backwards, and the
single, long crest on the top gives origin to the muscles, which pass
downwards on the temples to the lower jaw. Indeed, the energy of the
muscles of the side of the head is principally devoted to the lower
jaw, to its crushing, crunching, and masticating offices, for the food,
although often soft enough, is occasionally inside the sugar-cane, and
several harder woods. The powerful upper jaw is, of course, attached
to an equally strong lower one, which forms the front and lower part
of the face. The upper jaw reaches out far in front of the eyes and
nostrils, and is straight rather than bulged, and appears narrow,
from side to side, in comparison with the great, wide cheek-bones,
but it looks formidable with four strong front teeth, projecting only
slightly, and a large, long, eye tooth on each side, sticking out
rather far below the others.

On looking at the under surface of the roof of the mouth and palate,
the cause of the length of the front of the face is seen. Instead of
the back teeth forming an open curve around the roof of the mouth, as
in men, they are placed in a long, and almost parallel straight row.
Five great teeth on each side thus form with the bone, into which their
fangs are planted, a long side to the face. In front of these is the
large eye, or dog tooth (canine tooth), mentioned above.

The palate and roof of the mouth are long and comparatively narrow,
and hence no Gorilla could speak distinctly, or use his tongue glibly
enough to talk as a child. Howling and a kind of bark may, on the
contrary, be done to perfection.

But although of no use as regards speech, the long roof of the
mouth, with its wide ranges of teeth, is of great importance to a
vegetable-eating creature, which does not want the sugary juices of
its food to run out of the corners of its mouth, and which spends the
greater part of its time in filling its capacious stomach.[4] The lower
jaw fits the upper one, and when its teeth clench with those above, the
cavity of the mouth is nearly shut, and it is quite closed by the lips
and cheeks outside.

As might be expected from the great muscles which unite the lower
jaw to the skull, it is large and strong, but it has no projecting
chin, and this slopes in a retiring manner. The side of the jaw which
supports the teeth is, as in man, curved upwards behind at what is
called the angle. The jaw is very movable, and can act sideways in
munching, or up and down, as in biting; and having these powers--thanks
to the action of different sets of muscles--it has teeth fashioned to
bite, and to crunch, and to chew. They greatly resemble those of the
upper jaw, on which they work, and a superficial view of them all leads
to the opinion that they greatly resemble those of man; there are,
however, many differences. As in the upper jaw, the front and eye teeth
are nearly straight in front, the last-mentioned projecting outwards,
and the front teeth biting inside the upper ones; and the back teeth
are in straight rows also.

The following story is told by Du Chaillu to illustrate the cause of
the wearing of the front teeth of the Gorillas. He had gone into the
interior, and was suffering from hunger, so went out into the forest
for game. Not finding any, he was about to retrace his steps, when
he heard the unmistakable roar of a Gorilla. He writes, “I plunged
forward into the thick of the forest, breaking, as I went along, small
boughs to enable me to find my way back, and tearing my clothes in
the thorny underwood. The roar became nearer, and seemed to shake the
ground under me. I heard the rustling of the branches, and fancied
there must be more than one. The excitement of the moment was great,
and was increased by the prospect of obtaining food for all our party.
Suddenly the roaring ceased. I stopped, thinking that it was a male,
which was preparing to advance on me. But I listened in vain--the beast
had fled. When I reached the spot I saw nothing but broken branches of
trees. I measured some of them with my thumb, and found boughs of five
inches’ diameter broken in two by the powerful grip of this monster
of the forest. Although disappointed in my chase, I was glad to find
a corroboration of the explanation I had given of the wearing down of
the animal’s front teeth, for some of the branches plainly bore the



As the teeth of the Gorilla are admirably adapted for their duties of
masticating and biting vegetable food, sometimes soft and sometimes
hard, and as they resemble in number and general arrangement those of
man, it is necessary to notice them briefly. They are of three kinds,
the front ones, which bite when the jaw is moved up and down, the large
eye teeth (or dog teeth), which pierce, and the back teeth, which crush
and grind. The first-mentioned are called incisor teeth or cutters, and
there are four in the upper and four in the lower jaw, as in man; the
inner two in each jaw being larger than the outer two. They project
slightly, and those of the upper jaw cut on the lower ones, and are,
when the jaws are clenched, in front or “over-hung.” In shape they are
adapted for biting a piece out of anything, and they have one fang
each, which fits into a socket in the jaw. In the upper jaw there is a
space between the incisor teeth and the great eye or dog teeth. This is
one of the matters which distinguish the jaw of the Gorilla from that
of man, whose teeth are continued in a row without any spaces where the
gum is visible between them. The cause of the space is that the lower
eye tooth is so large and long that when the mouth is closed it fits in
there. This space is called a “diastema,” and, as it is a term which
will often be mentioned, it is necessary to notice that it is taken
from the Greek word διάστημα, “an interval.” In the lower jaw the
incisor teeth are succeeded by the eye teeth without any diastema. The
eye or dog teeth are usually called canines, from _Canis_, a dog, they
being very distinct in that animal. They are four in number, two being
in each jaw, one on each side, and those of the upper jaw are long
and pointed, being rounded, moreover, outside, and marked by grooves
inside. The lower canines are nearly as large as the upper ones, and,
as already noticed, fit in the diastema in front of those of the upper

Behind the canine teeth are, on each side in both jaws, five crushing
teeth, that is to say, ten in each jaw, and twenty in all. In the upper
jaw there is a continuous row of teeth from the canines in front to the
last of the crushers, which occupy the position of the upper wisdom
teeth of man, but in the lower jaw there is not this serried row of
teeth, for, between the crushing ones and the canine, there is another
space or diastema into which the upper canine tooth fits when the mouth
is closed.


All these hind teeth are made to endure constant grinding, one over
the other, in masticating, besides frequent shocks--as when nuts are
cracked--and to last for years. Covered with a beautiful enamel, which
gives them strength and smoothness, they are safely fixed by fangs in
sockets in the bone, in such a manner that the nerves and blood-vessels
supplying them do not suffer from pressure. They are not quite flat
at the top, for then they could not grind, and they are not acutely
sharp-pointed, for then the points would prevent the side-to-side
movement of the jaw, and would be broken off; but they have rounded
projections, or cusps, on them, separated by grooves, so that those of
the teeth of one jaw can fit into those of the other. All these teeth
are not quite alike, and they are divisible into two kinds, the three
hinder ones being the molar teeth, from _Mola_, a mill-stone, and the
two in front of them being called false molars or pre-molars (front
molars). Every one who has had a back tooth (a molar) taken out, will
remember its three fangs, and in a Gorilla there would be the same
terrible wrench in extracting a molar for the same reasons as with us.
But, fortunately for it, tooth decay is unknown, and the molars, with
their three fangs, last as long as life. The pre-molars have two fangs
only in man, but it appears that sometimes there are three to those
teeth in the upper jaw of the Gorilla, and two only in the lower. They
are smaller than the true molars or three back teeth, and in front of
them; and that nearest the canine tooth is often tall, and almost like
a four-sided pyramid in shape. The size of the crushing or molar teeth
is very distinctive of the Gorilla when it is compared with the other
great man-like Apes, for the upper ones are equal in size, and in the
lower jaw the hindmost tooth is larger than the others. Moreover, these
lower teeth have five cusps or projections. There is a ridge extending
obliquely across the crowns of the lower molars from an inner to an
outer cusp; and the cross-like grooves of the upper surface of the
corresponding teeth in man are not seen. The manner in which the teeth
of the Gorilla differ from those of other Apes will be mentioned in the
several descriptions. Milk teeth, or those of the first set, are found
in baby and young Gorillas, and when they fall out the permanent set
come out of the jaw and replace them, adding also to their numbers.
The long canine teeth are characteristic of the old males, and those
of the females and young are much smaller. The thirty-two teeth of the
Gorilla, eminently adapted for a mixed vegetable diet, are therefore
arranged as follows:--Upper jaw--four incisors, two canines, four
pre-molars, and six true molars, and there is the same number in the
lower jaw.

It is a very remarkable fact, and one which will be of some interest
in comparing one of the other great Apes with the Gorilla, that the
skull of the young Gorilla (of both sexes) and that of the full-grown
female differs materially from that of the male in the absence of
the prominent ridges of the top and back of the head. This gives a
roundness to their skulls which would at first sight lead to the belief
that they could not belong to the same species.

Living upon such nice things as sugar-canes and pine-apples, the
Gorilla has a long and well-formed tongue to taste them with,[5] and a
good nose to enjoy their scent and fragrance. The nostrils are open,
and look downwards, being separated by a moderately wide piece of flesh
covering, gristle, or cartilage, and they are protected above by very
dense bones, which form the slight ridges called the nasal bones. Up
the nose a passage leads to the air spaces in the bone of the front of
the head, and they and some curiously curled bones not very far from
the nostrils are covered with a delicate membrane well supplied with
the nerves in which the function of smell exists.

Both the natives and Du Chaillu allude to the roaring and yelling of
the old male Gorillas, and it will be noticed further on that the young
ones can make noise enough. Dr. Savage was told that when the male is
first seen he gives a terrific yell that resounds far and near through
the forest, something like _Kh--ah! Kh--ah_, prolonged and shrill,
and others have compared the noise to distant thunder. They have an
organ of voice on the top of the windpipe, made on the plan of that
of man, but deficient in many respects, and especially in those fine
adaptations of structure which produce the human voice. But there is a
very remarkable arrangement in their larynx, as it is called, which,
although it has nothing to do with the formation of sound, may possibly
make it more resonant and growling, and this is one of the things which
separate the great Ape from man in matters of mere construction.

[Illustration: THROAT OF GORILLA.]

At the back of our tongues, and also of those of the Gorilla, is a
little flap, rather hard and gristly in us, and only membranous and
soft in the Ape, which covers over the top of the air-passage into
the windpipe when any food is swallowed. The food or drink would
otherwise get into the air-passage, and would be constantly going
“the wrong way.” Immediately under this flap, or, as it is called,
the epiglottis, is a space limited in front by the hard substance we
call in our throat the “Adam’s apple,” and at the bottom of it are
the movable structures by whose action voice is produced. Now, in the
this space is not shut in front as it is in us, but there are two
openings in it, one on either side, which lead to a complicated sac
or pouch. This pouch is made of thin membrane, and covers, when blown
out like a bag--for the air coming out of the windpipe can be forced
in--the front of the windpipe, and projects sideways under the muscles
of the throat, and even amidst those of the armpits. The Gorilla can
thus blow his neck out, as it were, and when he is yelling, the air
in the bag or pouch must resound. Possibly this great bag of air may
have something to do with making the body lighter when the animal is
climbing and using all the force it can with its arms. These so-called
“laryngeal” pouches are found in many Apes and Monkeys, but their
double opening into the space below the little flap is peculiar to the
great Apes, which are sufficiently man-like as to be called by the term
Anthropoid--the Gorillas, their allies the Chimpanzees, the Orangs,
and the Siamangs.[6] All the other Monkeys of the Old World with sacs
have but one opening into a space, or, as it is termed, the ventricle
of the organ of voice, or larynx. The Monkeys of the New World have
a different arrangement of air pouches, which will be noticed in the
proper place.

The Gorilla has one little peculiarity which distinguishes it from all
other Apes and Monkeys, and which causes it to be more like man, and
insignificant as it may seem, it is of some interest. In man there is
a decided projection of bone behind, or rather below the ear, and this
is called the teat-shaped process of the ear-bone (Mastoid process),
and is of importance to the organ of hearing and also to the muscles
which steady and keep the head erect, and allow of its being moved
in particular directions. This process exists to a certain extent in
the Gorilla but not in the Chimpanzee, Orang-Utan, or in any other of
the Quadrumana. It is smaller in the Gorilla than in man, but it is
made up, as in us, of a number of spaces enclosed by bones which have
to do with the organ of hearing in some way or other, and which are
lined with membrane. On the outside a muscle is attached, which passes
downwards and inwards to the top of the breast-bone, covering the great
blood-vessels and nerves of the neck.

In examining this process of bone, attention is of course drawn to the
ear itself, and there is no doubt of the remarkable resemblance of
those of man and of the Gorilla. The great Ape has evidently a very
quick sense of hearing, for it gets out of the way of men as quickly
as is possible, when it can only hear them in the forest and jungle,
but that it should have the outside ear fashioned nearly after the
resemblance of that beautiful structure in man is very remarkable. The
ear of the Gorilla is smaller in proportion to the size of the head
than those of other Apes, and is about the same length, but broader
than that of man; the lobe, which is perforated by us for earrings,
is perhaps less perfect in the Gorilla, but all the curves and folds,
which are so complicated yet so graceful in the human ear exist in it,
modified more or less, and not so harmonious in their general symmetry,
as in man.

With all its great strength, the head of the great Ape cannot move as
readily on the neck as that of weaker man, for the skull is not placed
on the neck end of the back-bone quite in the same manner, and its
position is not that which is admirably (as in us) adapted for carrying
the head erect. One of the greatest marvels in the structure of man is
the manner in which the tender mass of nerves called the spinal cord or
marrow passes out of the hard skull into a bony canal down the spine,
and yet does not suffer injury as head and back move and roll about.

The spinal cord or marrow passes out of the skull through a special
opening, on the outside of which is a joint on either side. These
joints fit on to corresponding ones on a ring-shaped bone (atlas bone),
and this bone rests on one equally hollow, and which has an upward
projection which enters the ring (axis bone), and is clasped to it by
a strong ligament. It is this projection which prevents the spinal
marrow from being injured by the head moving too freely, and yet life
hangs almost on a thread, for were this strong ligament to break the
soft nerve would be pressed in by the bony projection, and death would
ensue. All the motions of the head are connected with these bones and
their joints, and the way in which it is carried is in relation with
the position of the opening in the skull for the spinal marrow. If the
head is to be carried erect, as in man and in many birds, the opening
is far from the back part of the head. If the face is to look upwards,
as it does in a pig or dog, the opening is very far backwards. In the
Gorilla it is not quite at the back, but further in that direction
than in man, and hence the face of this Ape is more liable to be
looking upwards than forwards. This is really the case, for the natural
position of the animal is not erect, but on all-fours, and then it
wants to look, not on the ground, but upwards and forwards, by tilting
the head. Many of the great muscles of the back crest have to do with
this. It is noticed also that the joint which permits the head to move
on the ring-shaped bone (the atlas bone) is not so long or curved as in
man, and therefore the movements of the Gorilla’s head are restricted.

All accounts of the life of a Gorilla tell of its moving rapidly
amongst trees, climbing readily and noiselessly, and gathering its food
constantly. It is therefore necessary to examine into the manner in
which this is done, and how it relates to the shape and anatomy of the

In climbing trees, the Gorilla, like a man under the same
circumstances, lifts up the arms over the head, and clasps or holds
on with one hand, but the position of the hand is not the same. Apes
seize instinctively with the knuckles towards them, and not with the
ends of the fingers and palm as man: and this makes a great difference,
for the muscles of the back are therefore more important to the Ape
than those of the chest in climbing. Then with some muscular effort
the body is lifted or rather drawn up, so that the unemployed hand
can reach and clasp higher than the other; and having thus two hands
holding on to a bough or a tree, the muscles of both arms are used to
draw up the ponderous trunk, head, and limbs until the face comes more
or less on a level with the wrists. When this is accomplished, one of
the arms is suddenly forced upwards to enable the huge grasp of the
fingers to tighten upon a higher fixed point, and the “hand-over-hand”
process is continued as long as is necessary. Doubtless the clasping
feet assist in this movement, which is only rarely performed by man,
but which is one of the commonest with the great Ape. A sailor or
an acrobat may often use the muscles which are required to perform
this feat of carrying upwards the body with the aid of the arms, but
ordinary people rarely employ their energies in this manner; the
Gorilla, on the contrary, must climb often and for some distance
every day of its life, both for food, amusement, and for shelter. It
becomes, therefore, an interesting question whether the Gorilla has any
special muscles or bones which enable it to climb easily and rapidly,
and for a considerable time, or whether there are the same kinds of
bones and muscles in its hands, arms, and shoulders, which are to be
found in man modified more or less. The results of careful inspection
have proved that, although there are no peculiar structures given to
the great Ape wherewith it may climb, still the bones of the arms and
shoulders, and the muscles which are attached to them, greatly as they
resemble those of man, are larger and stronger. Bone for bone, and
almost muscle for muscle, the climbing limbs of the man and the Gorilla
may be compared with extraordinary exactness; the structures of the
last-mentioned being, as it were, simple exaggerations of the former,
and the increased size bearing a distinct relation to the agility and
energy displayed. It must be remembered, however, that whilst in man
the muscles of the chest assist principally in climbing, in the Ape
those of the back and shoulders are the most important.


It is hardly necessary to notice the relation which bones and muscles
have to movement, and the most unlearned in anatomy need only be
reminded that muscles are adherent to certain parts of bones. The
bone, by itself, is motionless, and the force which can move it, and
with it, the surrounding flesh and skin, acts through the muscles, and
these consist of vast numbers of long microscopic fibrils, placed side
by side, and adherent, at both ends, to different bones. The fibrils
have a vast amount of energy in them, and they can contract, or, in
other words, shorten; the diminution in length being accompanied by
a display of force. As the fibrils shorten, they tend to bring the
motionless bones closer together, and to impart motion, which may be
rapid, and more or less forcible. If one bone is stationary, the other
may be brought towards it by the muscular contraction, or if both are
not fixed, both may move. The nervous force produces the muscular
contraction, whose vigour and lasting power depend a great deal upon
the supply of blood sent to the fibrils through the blood vessels
(arteries), and removed through the veins.



In the principal act of climbing hand-over-hand, a bough or some
stationary object is grasped by the fingers, the arm being straight,
and the body hanging, as it were, to it. The first motion is the
lifting up of the arm; the second is the grasping with the hand; and
the third is the bending of the straight elbow, and bringing the
shoulder up nearer the fixed point, or the part grasped. Whilst this
is being done the body is not limp, but more or less stiffened by the
spine, which runs down the back, and consists of many bones, being
made rigid by the contraction of many small muscles. Now the bones
and muscles of all the parts of the body engaged in climbing are
so arranged that the spine shall not suffer any jarring, but shall
be lifted up safely. Were all the muscles which pull upon the arms
attached to it, every unusual effort would drag it almost to pieces,
so there is a wide flat bone placed between the spine and the arm.
This so-called blade-bone is jointed by a ball and socket joint to the
arm-bone, but is only united to the spine and back part of the head
by muscles. Muscles start from the spine to the blade-bone, from the
blade-bone to the bones of the arm and fore-arm, and from these last to
the bones of the fingers, and by their shortening or contraction, the
fingers being stationary, the body is at last brought closer to them.

In order to explain the first motions of climbing, it is necessary
to remark that on looking at the skeleton of the Gorilla the
shoulder-blades are seen to be of the same general shape as those of
man; they are much larger, however, and there are some anatomical
points about them, which clearly have to do with the ability of the
great Ape to keep its arms up for a long time, and to pull up its heavy
body when the hands and fore-arms are fixed and immovable by clasping.
One muscle, which in ourselves forms the cushion on the shoulder, and
reaches down the outside of the arm for a little distance, is called
the deltoid or Δ-shaped muscle, and its especial duty is, when the
shoulder-blade is fixed, to lift up the arm by its contraction. The
movement is permitted because between the spots where the muscles are
adherent to the blade-bone on the one hand, and to the outside of the
arm-bone on the other, a distance of several inches, there is a joint
like a ball and socket. The muscle is not attached to a flat surface
on the blade-bone, but to a raised edge, which runs rather obliquely,
and is called the spine of the bone. Now this muscle is of immense
importance to the Gorilla, as may be imagined from the nature of its
function or office: it is placed in the same position as in man, and
between the same kind of bones, but the spine of the blade-bone is
longer, broader, and more slantingly set in the Ape, so that extra
strength and greater power are attained.

This spine, or rather raised ridge, can be felt when we place the right
hand over the left shoulder as far as possible, keeping the fingers
between the neck and the end of the shoulder, and its slanting position
can be traced best in the Gorilla; and it may be mentioned, that in the
Chimpanzee the direction is much more oblique. Above this spine of the
blade-bone there is the upper part of the blade, and it is covered with
muscle, the space thus occupied being much larger in the Gorilla than
in man. This muscle starts from this bone, to which it is attached, and
is united to the arm-bone, close to its joint with the blade-bone; it
is larger in the Gorilla than in us, and one of its uses is to assist
the deltoid just mentioned.

There is rather an interesting arrangement in the old Gorillas, which
is not found in the young or in man, and which appears to have to do
with the power of this muscle and its prolonged action. The muscle is
well supplied with blood, and the nerve which endows it with energy
is particularly well prevented from being compressed during the
movements of the muscles amongst which it runs, any compression being
very injurious. The upper edge of the blade-bone is notched, and a
dense tissue or ligament stretches from one point of the notch to the
opposite one, enclosing a small open space; now the nerve runs through
this space, and is protected by the hard tissues of bone and ligament
from the contraction of the soft muscles. In the old Gorilla a further
protection is found in the presence of a little projection of bone in
this space, which acts as a greater preventer of pressure.

After passing through this space the nerve enters the very substance of
the muscle, and is distributed to its fibrils.

The upper arm reaches down from the shoulder to the hips in the
Gorilla, and its bone (_os humerus_, from the Latin) is strongly
marked on its surface by roughnesses and ridges, to which the great
muscles are attached. In man the shape of the upper arm varies with the
strength of the individual, but in the strongest man and in the most
beautifully-shaped woman it has a swelling on the front, and tapers
more or less towards the elbow. This is caused by the two-headed or
biceps muscle, and by other muscles ending in tendons. But the Gorilla
has a very shapeless upper arm; it is, as it were, fat and round
throughout, and very large above the elbow, and this is because of the
size of the bone within, and on account of the muscles not tapering
as they do in man, but being well developed right down to their ends.
Hence, elegance of shape is sacrificed to extra muscular strength and
size of bone.

On looking at the arm-bone, which, being connected to the shoulder
by a joint, has much to do with the act of climbing and striking, it
will be noticed that it greatly resembles that of man in shape, but
is longer, stouter, and clumsier. The joint is nearly in the shape of
a rounded knob, and the corresponding depression or cup on the blade
or shoulder-bone into which it fits, is an oval and concave surface,
and they are kept close together by a kind of capsule which stretches
from one bone to the other and encloses the joint. Perfect freedom
of movement is insured by the bones being covered with glistening
cartilages, and a delicate and moist membrane, and the motion from
the shape of the apparatus is almost equal to that of a chandelier
where there is what is called a cup-and-ball joint at the ceiling. It
has already been noticed that muscles are attached to the blade-bone
and to the arm-bone below the joint, and that, this being movable,
when they contract they move the arm, and the instance was given of
the action of the deltoid muscle in raising the arm. In the Gorilla,
this great muscle reaches lower down than in man, and there is a very
strong mark in the shaft of the bone for its insertion. This gives the
muscle greater play than in us, and enables it to lift, more slowly
perhaps, but more efficiently, for the arm-bone between the joint and
the place where the muscle is attached, is the long arm of a lever
which is shorter in man. Below the globular head of the arm-bone is
the shaft or cylindrical part of the bone which gives origin to the
three-headed muscle called triceps, and is covered by the two-headed
one (biceps) already mentioned, besides the deltoid. A deep groove
allows one of the ends or heads of the biceps to pass along and slide
over the joint and to reach the shoulder-blade. The shaft as a whole
is more or less cylindrical, with a slight angular outline, the angles
being projections of bone which strengthen the whole, besides giving
attachment to muscles; the cylindrical shape is the best for strength
and lightness, and these properties are increased by the adoption of a
plan which engineers have long since unwittingly copied. The shaft is
hollow, and is cellular at both ends, solid bone covering the outside,
conditions which oppose fracture, and produce increased strength,
indeed greater strength and lightness than a solid bone would have.
Below the shaft is an expansion, on which are placed the surfaces
for the jointing on of the two bones of the fore-arm, and the bone
is especially in old Gorillas perforated there, a condition seen in
some very old human bones. There is an important point in the relative
length of the upper arm-bone, and the bones of the fore-arm in the
Gorilla, in other Apes, and in man, for in this great Ape and in us
the humerus is longer than the others, and in the Chimpanzee they are
almost equal, whilst in the rest of the Monkeys they are very unequal,
the bones of the fore-arm being much the longest.

Although they have such strong arms, covered with a stout skin and with
hairs sloping downwards, the Gorillas sometimes manage to break them,
and then Nature endeavours to repair the injury. In the skeleton of the
old male Gorilla in the British Museum there are proofs of a former
fracture of the humerus or upper arm-bone. The arm was broken across,
and as it could not be kept quiet, Dame Nature has not done her work as
well as a modern surgeon could on a patient whose arm he could put in
splints, for it is thickened, shortened, and twisted.

The fore-arm of the Gorilla has its long hairs pointing upwards to
the elbow, and the limb does not slope gracefully towards, and become
slightly smaller above the wrist, as in man, but remains thick and
fleshy as far as the hand. There are two bones in the forearm which are
jointed above with the lower end of the arm-bone (humerus), and which
are also connected by joints at their lower ends with the small bones
forming part of the wrist. The bones of the fore-arm are called the
radius and the ulna in the Gorilla as in man. They are larger, stouter,
and wider apart in the great Ape than in ordinary Europeans, but they
greatly resemble those of the Australian aborigines. As these bones
are covered with muscles, some going to the fingers, and others coming
from the upper arm, there are many ridges or surfaces on them, for
their origin and attachment, and these greatly resemble those of man;
moreover, the muscles perform the same functions and movements.

When compared with that of a strong man, the wrist of the Gorilla is
broader, and the bones, of the same number, are larger from side to
side, and this extra breadth makes this part of the hand very wide. As
the Gorilla’s hand often has to support the weight of the body, on the
back of the fingers and knuckles, it is long, broad, and very strong,
surpassing in these respects those of man; but the thumb is peculiar.
It does not look a well-formed one; it is evidently short, and out of
proportion to the long fingers. The human thumb reaches not far from
the second joint of the fore-finger; but the top of that of the Gorilla
is on a level with the first joint, or at the end of the long bones of
the hand, and which are called metacarpal bones.

Remarkable then for its breadth and thickness, the Gorilla’s hand has
also a long palm, which is not only due to the length of the bones,
just mentioned, but also to the fact that the web or undivided skin
between the fingers, where they join the hand, is not slight as in
man, but long and very decidedly visible. The web extends half way
up the first joint of the fingers. The fingers are therefore made to
appear short[7] (although their bones are long), and they look dumpy
and swollen, and this appearance is increased by there being callous
pads of skin on the back of the middle and end joints. Finally, the
fingers slope to the nails, which are not much larger or longer than
those of man. The back of the hand is hairy as far as the divisions of
the fingers; and the callous pads, just noticed, almost do away with
the appearance of some of the joints. The short thumb, not so big as
the forefinger, has a nail which does not reach the end of it, and the
under-parts of the thumb, fingers, and palm have a bare skin. Professor
Owen, in summing up the difference between the structure of the hands
of the Gorilla and of man, remarks that in the great Ape the hands are
instruments for great power of grasp, and for sustaining great weight,
and the length and strength of the whole upper limb accord with their
mechanical powers and requirements. In man, the framework of the hand
bespeaks an organ of varied and delicate prehension, and the form and
proportion of the rest of the arm-limb relate to the free motions and
complex functions of the instrument.

Having raised the arm by its muscles, the fingers and thumbs grasp an
object, or, in other words, certain muscles which are placed between
the bones of the fingers and between the fingers and the bones of
the fore-arm, contract and move the bones, which are jointed. The
tops of the fingers are bent on the palm, and the thumb is closed on
them, and this continues as long as the contraction permits. All the
apparatus for long-continued clasping is present in the Gorilla, and
there are nearly the same kinds of muscles employed as in man. There
are, however, some differences, to one of which it is necessary now to
allude. The thumb, for instance, of the Gorilla is of great importance
in grasping, but it has not to perform such complicated movements in
other things as that of man. In man its movements are most wonderful,
and by using one muscle after the other which belongs to it, it can
be moved so as to describe a circle with its tip. This is done in the
action of “twiddling,” but also in many others where the will hardly
influences the muscle, and where the thumb may be said to be moved
unconsciously. Gorillas in their quietest and most reflective moods
cannot indulge in the sober practice of twiddling, for an important
twiddling muscle is absent in them. But it is no great loss, and
perhaps it is a real gain, for this muscle would be in the way of rapid
clasping, as it rather tends to keep the thumb from the fingers. Whilst
the great Ape is thus deficient it has a muscle on the other side of
the hand which is not possessed by man, and whose office appears to be
to separate as far as is possible the fourth and fifth fingers (their
first joints), and by so doing to enlarge the grasp of the whole hand.
As the hand of the Gorilla is at least a third larger than that of the
averaged-sized man, there is of course a corresponding increase in the
space which can be grasped. The muscles are stronger and stouter than
in us, and therefore the hand is a more powerful one. Nevertheless it
is incompetent of performing many actions which are readily done by a


Having lifted up the arm in the act of climbing, and having grasped
something, the third motion commences, the object being to draw up
the body to the wrist and fingers, which of course remain as fixed
points. All the muscles which intervene between the fore-arm bones
and the spines of the back have to contract and shorten, so as to
bring the last-named bones towards the fixed point, and they may be
divided into _three_ groups--those which reach from the arm-bones to
the blade-bone, those which connect the blade-bone and the back-bone,
and those which unite the arm and the back-bone. All contract at once
and shorten the distance between the body and the arm; some fix as it
were the blade-bone, and twist it slightly, placing it in a straight
line for the pulling of others; and the most important bend and pull
down the elbow. Two muscles may be noticed in particular. One which
has already been noticed forms the lump on the front of the arm when
the wrist is brought close to the shoulder, and is called “biceps,”
because it has two heads or points of adhesion to the blade-bone, not
far from the joint of the arm-bone. The fibres pass over the arm from
the blade-bone down to one of the bones of the fore-arm, in front of
the bend of the elbow, and when they contract they tend to bend the
elbow and bring the wrist near the shoulder, or the shoulder near the
wrist when the fingers are fixed or clasping. The biceps of the Gorilla
is a vast muscle, but it wants the symmetry of that of man, and it does
not taper downwards so as to make the arm narrower above the elbow.
Another muscle is at the back part of the arm, and from having three
upper heads or attachments is called the “triceps.” Two of the heads
are attached to the arm-bone, and one to the blade-bone, and the lower
one is fixed on to the piece of bone of one of the fore-arm bones, on
which the arm rests when “elbows are on the table.” Its action is to
drag the blade-bone towards that bone, and it is assisted in this by a
muscle which passes from the spine to the arm-bone, and whose office
in climbing is to drag the spine towards the arm. Finally, there are
numerous muscles which pass from the long spines of the pieces of the
back-bone (vertebræ) to the blade-bone, and which in climbing tend to
drag the first towards the last-mentioned bones, and to move the body
generally upwards. The huge size of the blade-bone assists in this in
the Gorilla, as its large surface can give adhesion to larger muscles
than a smaller one; and as the arm-bones are large, there is all the
more room for muscular play.

Considering the bulk of the body of a Gorilla, and the nature of the
movements of climbing, it is to be expected that those muscles and
bones which are connected, as just stated, with the blade-bone, should
be large and strong. This is remarkably the case. On examining the back
of a Gorilla one is struck with the great projection of the back-bones
in the neck. In man each back-bone or vertebra has a projection or
spine which sticks out backwards more or less. These are small in the
region of the neck, but in the Gorilla these spines are very long
there, and give a peculiar hump-necked appearance. Their size, however,
is in exact relation with the size and strength of the muscles attached
to them, and some of these go to the blade-bone to assist in the act of

It is this hump-necked appearance and the round-backed look produced by
the great size of the blade-bones which make a Gorilla so ugly about
the chest and head, but beauty is of much less use in an African forest
than good stout bones and active muscles.

The hind part of the neck does not form a graceful curve as in a
well-made man, but a projection which gradually slopes into the line
of the back. Moreover, the shoulders of the Gorilla do not slope from
the neck--on the contrary, their direction is that which renders the
hand-over-hand movement of climbing the readiest of commencement. They
are “high,” as the term is, the head and neck being as it were sunken
between them, so that the chin, instead of being on a much higher level
than the top of the breast-bone, is naturally lower than it. The front
of the neck is thus hidden by the huge lower jaw.

Gorillas have collar-bones which are in the same position as those
in man, but they are straighter, stouter, and stronger: they are
not placed almost horizontally between the front of the blade-bone
and the breast-bone, as in us, but as the shoulders are “high” they
slant downwards to the breast-bone. By placing the hand on the upper
part of the opposite side of the chest the collar-bone may be felt
with the tips of the fingers like a ridge, and it is one which many
know to their cost is very readily broken by a fall on the end of
the shoulders. The bone is something like the letter _f_ in outline,
without the cross-bar, and it is fixed at both ends: so when a force
acts on one end in the direction of the length of the bone it tends to
bend, and often cracks and breaks across.

Now a fractured collar-bone would be a serious thing to a Gorilla; he
could no longer lift up his arm, and he would be in constant peril and
difficulty; hence, Nature has given him not only a very strong and
straight bone, but has by the “high” shoulder posture rendered a fall
on the top of it almost impossible. A fall would probably injure the
upper part of the arm, which is well protected by the thick cushion of
muscle, flesh, and hairy skin which covers the bone.

Travellers and hunters have noticed the rapidity and ease with which
the Gorilla moves when off the ground, and when the size and the weight
of the animal are considered it becomes evident that not only must it
have great muscular power but a stout heart, good circulation, and
capital “wind.”

It must be remembered also that it is a great eater of vegetable food,
and that it has to consume a large quantity to obtain a supply of
nourishment: in other words, it has a very capacious stomach, which has
to be carried about and kept very well filled.

In order to meet these requirements there is a very capacious chest
(much more so than in man), which contains the large lungs and heart,
and the belly is flaccid and large, so that the stomach need not press
upwards and interfere with the breathing, or with the action of the
circulation. Man has twelve ribs on either side, but the Gorilla has
thirteen, each of which is longer, stouter, and broader than ours,
the result being to make the cavity enclosed by them the greater, but
apparently less readily influenced by the muscles of respiration.

When we breathe deeply and endeavour to inspire more than is usual we
employ certain muscles which act on the ribs, enlarging the cavity of
the chest, and then diminishing it as the expiration occurs. The larger
the spaces between the ribs, and the more elastic the ribs themselves,
the greater is their possible amount of movement. In us it is very
great in the child, great in man, but much less in old age, when the
elasticity of the ribs diminishes. In the Gorilla, the breadth and
strength of the ribs keep the cavity of the chest always vast, and
certainly from their solidity and from the small space which exists
between the successive ribs, great and unusual efforts of respiration
are not very possible. So large is the cavity of the chest in the
Gorilla, and so capacious are the lungs, that it is possibly not
necessary for it to put itself out of breath, and to call extraordinary
muscular exertion into play, during its uneventful life.

Having thirteen ribs on either side, and each rib being attached to a
separate bone of the spine, the Gorilla has therefore one more spine
bone (vertebra) than man, and is all the more long-backed. Moreover,
the breast-bone, which is on the front of the chest, is broader in the
Gorilla than in man, and at least one-third longer, thus adding to
the capacity of the cavity of the chest, making it of about 500 cubic
inches; that of man being 330 cubic inches.

The lungs and heart of the great Ape resemble those of man, and the
great arteries are given off from the main blood-vessel in the same
manner in both.

The Gorillas appear to be great eaters, and to roam about, either in
small bands or alone, seeking for their favourite food in the forest,
and the plantations close by. Sometimes they seek the high plains and
rough ground of the hills, especially where certain trees are found,
and they invariably cling to the forests about water. They eat the
cabbage of the palm nut tree, and partake of the papau, banana, and
amomum fruits. Wild sugar-canes attract them, and they are especially
fond of the succulent white parts of the pine-apple and its leaves.
Some hard kinds of nuts are readily cracked with their huge teeth,
which are also brought into use in tearing open the stems of juicy

All the examinations of the dead bodies of the Gorillas prove their
diet to consist of such things, and the remains of berries, pine-apple
leaves, and other vegetable matters were found, but not flesh or
anything like it. This food is, however, not very nourishing, and it
must be taken in large quantities and frequently. Hence the animal must
not only have good climbing powers to get his food, but a large stomach
and intestines to digest it rapidly. There is no doubt that the figure
of the Gorilla testifies to its kind of food. The abdomen is very
large, and sticks out when the animal is in the erect position; its
paunch is vast, and therefore the bones which support it below, or the
haunch bones, are very wide.

These haunch-bones form part of a girdle of bones which, in a skeleton,
unites the legs to the spine, and which contains, in living animals,
the bladder, part of the reproductive organs, and the unborn young.

It is called the pelvis, or basin-shaped bone (being very unlike one);
its upper edge is formed by the expanded haunch, or ilium bones (ilium,
or gut, alluding to the support given by the bone to the bowels), and
its lower one by the bones on which men and Gorillas sit, or the hip
(the ischium, or hip-bone). In the Gorilla the pelvis is enormous,
and the edge of the haunches is long, so as to give attachment to the
muscles which enclose the vast digestive apparatus behind and at the
side, but it does not form a graceful curve behind and below, for
certain muscles which are of great use to man in maintaining the erect
posture, and which straighten the thigh in the body, are weak in the
great Ape. These muscles originate outside and below the top of the
haunch, and when large and strong, require a peculiar shape of bone:
they form in man what does not exist in the Gorilla, and that in which
the Hottentot Venus glories. But the Gorilla can sit just as well
upon a pair of short and expanded hip-bones (ischial tuberosities, in
the language of anatomists), and as he has no tail (the bones forming
it in other Monkeys being diminished in number and united in a short
process), he can do so for a considerable time with comfort. The
sitting in the upright position is moderately easy to the Gorilla, and
the older ones evidently often do so. They squat and rest their broad
backs against a tree, and as this is a very constant and favourite
position, they wear a good deal of their back hair off.

The fate of a hunter is thus given by Du Chaillu, who pledges himself
to three very debatable points: that the Gorilla meets its enemy erect;
stands and fights; and kills by a blow across the abdomen:--“We set
off towards a dark valley where Gambo said we should find our prey.
The Gorilla chooses the darkest, gloomiest forests, for its home is
found on the edges of the clearings only when in search of plantains,
sugar-canes, or pine-apples. Often they choose for their peculiar haunt
a wood, so dark that even at midday one can scarce see ten yards. This
makes it the more necessary to wait till the monstrous beast approaches
near before shooting, in order that the first shot may be fatal. It
does not often let the hunter reload. Our little party separated, as
is the custom, to stalk the wood in various directions. Gambo and I
kept together. One brave fellow went alone, in a direction where he
thought he could find a Gorilla. The other three took another course.
We had been about an hour separated, when Gambo and I heard a gun
fired, but a little way from us, and presently another. We were already
on our way to the spot, where we hoped to see a Gorilla slain, when the
forest began to resound with the most terrific roars. Gambo seized my
arm in great agitation, and we hurried on, both filled with a dreadful
and sickening alarm. We had not gone far when our worst fears were
realised. The poor brave fellow, who had gone off alone, was lying
on the ground in a pool of his own blood, and I thought, at first,
quite dead. His bowels were protruding through the lacerated abdomen.
Beside him lay his gun. The stock was broken, and the barrel was bent
and flattened. It bore plainly the marks of the Gorilla’s teeth. We
picked him up, and I dressed his wounds as well as I could with rags
torn from my clothes. When I had given him a little brandy to drink he
came to himself, and was able, but with great difficulty, to speak. He
said he had met the Gorilla suddenly, and face to face, and that it
had not attempted to escape. It was, he said, a large male, and seemed
very savage. It was in a gloomy part of the wood, and the darkness I
suppose made him miss. He said he took good aim, and fired when the
beast was only about eight yards off. The ball merely wounded it in the
side, and it at once began beating its breasts, and with the greatest
rage advanced upon him. To run away was impossible, for he would have
been caught in the jungle before he had gone a dozen steps. He stood
his ground, and, as quickly as he could, reloaded his gun. Just as
he raised it to fire, the Gorilla dashed it out of his hand, the gun
going off in the fall; and then in an instant, and with a terrible
roar, the animal gave him a tremendous blow with its immense open paw,
frightfully lacerating the abdomen, and with this single blow laying
bare part of the intestines. As he sank bleeding to the ground, the
monster seized the gun, and the poor hunter thought he would have his
brains dashed out with it. But the Gorilla seemed to have looked upon
this also as an enemy, and in his rage almost flattened the barrel
between his strong jaws.”

In spite of this anecdote, and some drawings by Du Chaillu, which
represent the Gorilla standing erect, it is very doubtful, from
anatomical reasons, whether this is possible. The comparative smallness
of some of the most important muscles in the Gorilla, which in man
produce the erect position, has already been noticed, and it is now
necessary, for the same reasons, to examine into the nature of the
lower limbs.

The thigh-bone (called from the Latin, _femur_) of the Gorilla is
shorter than the arm-bone, the reverse being the case in man; and
hence the Ape appears to be too short in the legs for its long body
and arms. It is stout and rather straight, and has not the forward
bend of the same bone in man: moreover, some well-marked ridges which
run down the back of it, and which were exceedingly well developed in
the oldest races of men, are deficient in the Gorilla. The same may
be said for the markings on the bone, which indicate the presence of
powerful muscles whose action is to keep the thigh straight with the
back--or in other words, to keep the body erect. Below the knee are the
two bones of the leg: the inner one, or shin-bone (the tibia), is very
short for the height of the animal, and the joint on its lower part, on
which moves the ankle-bone, is not so deep and perfect as in man, whose
weight is constantly to be borne on it whilst it is being moved in
walking. The little outside bone, called _fibula_, or the clasp-bone,
in the Gorilla is so made that it adds singularly to the inability to
maintain the erect posture whilst walking, and even in standing still.
The lower end of this bone in man forms the prominence outside the
ankle, and covers and protects the outside of the topmost bone of the
ankle, to which the foot is attached. It strengthens it and prevents
that turning in of the foot, which is antagonistic to the placing the
sole flat on the surface of the earth, so that it can receive the
weight of the body on its broad space and allow of the position so
characteristic of man. In the Gorilla this bone does not come down
as far as the ankle, and all the safeguards against intwisting are
not present. Why, is clear enough, because the Gorilla treads on the
outside of its foot-like hand, and always has the sole turned in. There
are some other points which require to be noticed, however, about the
leg. It is short and evidently wanting in “calf.” It is therefore
deficient in that symmetry of which many mortals are most proud.
Nevertheless, it has a high instep, also a human desideratum; but in
spite of this the ankles are thick and shapeless-looking. The tendon
which reaches from the calf to the back heel-bone (os calcis) gives
a slender appearance to the lower limb of man, but there is no myth
about a Gorilla having been held by that slim spot and dipped in Styx,
to be for ever invulnerable elsewhere. This tendon (tendo Achillis)
so characteristic of man, is supplied with muscular fibres close to
its insertion into the heel-bone in the Gorilla, which thus gains in
strength what it loses in elegance. A snapping of the tendon would be
indeed a grave matter in the huge Ape, and Nature has thus provided
against this accident.

[Illustration: HUNTING THE GORILLA.]

The thick ankles of the Gorilla are rather exaggerated by the hair
which covers them, and it is found over the whole of the upper surface
of the foot to the clefts of the toes. The sole is not thus covered,
and its bare state enables grasping to be performed with ease, while
the absence of hair assists the delicacy of the sense of touch. Another
cause of the ugly appearance of the foot is the backward projection
of the heel, and the hand-like look is of course given by the great
toe-thumb, which projects from the side of the foot at an angle of
60 degrees at least. The sole is narrow behind, and expands to where
the great toe-thumb projects, so as to become very wide close to the
clefts between the other toes. It is marked with lines or indentations,
and there is a kind of pad beneath the ball of the great toe-thumb.
The Gorilla seizes objects and grasps boughs with its feet, the great
toe-thumb being exceedingly movable to and fro as well as across the
sole of the foot. Hence the hand-like appearance of the foot and the
thumb-like appendage of the great toe. Yet it is a foot, and the
movable toe is not really a thumb.

Each kind of animal must be compared with others, some of which appear
to be more complicated and some less highly organised, so that its
peculiar construction can be comprehended. Man, as the perfection of
living forms, is naturally considered the model or type with which
all others should be compared, and therefore anatomists who begin by
studying man name the bones, muscles, and other structures of animals
after his. That is to say, any of their structures which are comparable
with those of man, by their native position and use, are named

The question then arises, and can of course on this principle be
answered, are the hinder extremities of the Gorilla feet or hands? do
they resemble human feet or human hands in their anatomy, or in the
arrangement of their bones, muscles, leaders, and blood-vessels?

By placing side by side the joined bones of the foot of man and those
of the hind extremity of the Gorilla, it will be observed that the same
number are present, and that they can be compared, as regards their
shape and position, in a most remarkable and satisfactory manner.

A human foot is composed of three parts, so far as its bones are
concerned. These are the toes, or the very movable bones in the front
of the foot (1), and then there are five slender bones (2) placed side
by side, and reaching from the toes to the pieces forming the back of
the foot or ankle. The five bones thus parallel, and situated between
the beginning of the toes and the ankle-bones, are counted from within
outwards. That attached to the great toe is the first, and that to the
little toe is the fifth. These are called metatarsal bones, and give
length and narrowness to the foot, and they can be readily felt with
the finger on our own bodies.



Behind them are the seven bones of the “tarsus,” or ankle, all
connected together in a strong arch, and jointed in front to the five
bones just mentioned, and above to the two bones of the leg. The
hindmost part of the ankle or heel is formed by the heel-bone, os
calcis (3), which forms the back part of the arch of the sole. The
Achilles tendon is united to it behind, and above it is jointed with
a bone, on which rest the bones of the leg, the astragalus bone (4),
so called from the Greek word, which means a “die,” for the boys and
men in the olden time tossed these bones, and played with those of the
sheep as modern boys do.

There are two bones of the ankle just in front of these; one in contact
with the heel-bone is called, from its shape, the cuboid or cube-shaped
bone (5), and the other, jointed to the astragalus, is, from its faint
resemblance to a boat or hull of a ship (navis), termed the navicular
bone (6). In front of these two are three others placed side by side,
and jointed in front to some of the metatarsal bones. They are called,
from their wedge-shaped outlines (wedges for the arch of the foot),
cuneiform bones (7), and there are the inner, middle, and outer of
them. The inner is curved on its front surface, and has a joint there
for the end of the slender (metatarsal) bone of the great toe. It is
longer than the next wedge-shaped bone, so that just a little spot
of the second slender bone of the second toe touches it close to the
corresponding one of the great toe. This inner wedge-shaped bone, the
metatarsal bone of the great toe, and the joints of the toe itself,
are all on a line, which is parallel to the bones of the next and
other toes. The middle and the outer wedge-shaped bones have each a
slender metatarsal bone attached to them, and the two remaining slender
metatarsals are jointed on to the cube-shaped bone which projects in
front of the heel-bone (os calcis). It is the length in front, and the
solidity and arched form of the ankle, together with the _parallel_
direction of all the slender metatarsal bones, which give the human
foot its beauty of form, strength, and ability to sustain the weight of
the body flat on the sole. Compare the hinder grasping (so-called) hand
of the Gorilla with this.

At first sight there is a great difference, for the great toe and its
metatarsal bone form _an angle_ with the bones of the other toes and
their metatarsals. Instead of the toes and their slender bones being
parallel and fixed in this position, the great toe of the Gorilla has
a power of moving so as to cross the foot more or less below, as the
human thumb can cross the palm. It has also the capacity of being
stretched out from the foot, so that its movements greatly resemble
those of a thumb. In fact, we want a word to express a toe-thumb.

On examining the foot carefully, it will be found that each of its
bones may be compared and identified in position and office with the
same in man. There is a heel-bone with a great projection behind, for
the fixing on of the Achilles tendon, and this is jointed on to a bone
above, like the human die-bone or astragalus, and to one in front,
like the cuboid. The astragalus resembles that of man, but the upper
and outer surfaces on which the lower ends of the leg-bones move, are
slightly different, so as to admit of greater turning in of the ankle.
The wedge-shaped bones are there, and the inner one, with its joint for
the slender bone of the great toe, is shorter and broader than in man,
so as to allow of great movement of the toe-thumb in front of it. The
slender bones, or metatarsals, are larger and longer, but their shape
and direction, with the exception of the first, are singularly like
those of man. As a whole the foot of the Gorilla, for thus it must be
called, is broader in front of the ankle-bones and longer everywhere
than in us, but it has a sideway and almost club-foot look about it;
its position is “turned in,” like the foot of a young child before it
walks. This is owing to the conformation and easy jointing of the bones
of the ankle and foot, and also to the action of a front muscle of the
leg which pulls the very movable bones inwards. The structures allow
of a very ready turning in of the ankle and foot, and such as would
render climbing easy with the aid of the toe-thumb; but they evidently
interfere with the steadiness in walking. It is a huge foot, and it
is only half an inch or so shorter than the leg below the knee; it is
unwieldy as a foot, but is a capital foot-hand, which cannot readily
have its toes stretched out straight, for their usual position is that
of being slightly bent in the direction of the sole.

Mr. Walker purchased from a native a fine healthy male Gorilla,
apparently about two years of age, and shipped it for England. Being
under the impression that he had taken too much care of all the other
living ones which he had obtained at different times, he determined to
let the new acquisition have its own way, and only take care that it
did no mischief. When purchased, the animal was by no means strange
or spiteful, but rather what may be termed shy, and suspicious of
strangers. At the expiration of about a week, however, it became
sufficiently tame and confiding to admit of its being allowed to run
about loose, and to do as it liked. At the same time its food, instead
of being confined to the fruits on which it is supposed to feed in
its wild state, consisted in general of fragments from the table, and
beside these it had anything edible it could lay its hands on, and
occasionally a basin of condensed milk and a raw egg beaten up in it
was given. It liked amomum fruit, but this produced diarrhœa which had
to be treated with chlorodyne and raw egg. Finding that the animal
became restive, it was left entirely to its own devices, and especially
as every one in the ship was at the same time so very busy as not to
be able to pay much attention to it. It soon became quite at home,
alternately eating, sleeping, and playing with a large bull-terrier (of
by no means the most amiable disposition), which had a most decided
dislike to negroes, but nevertheless took very kindly to the Gorilla,
so that the two animals became constant playfellows. By allowing the
Gorilla to rough it, instead of watching it, and appointing someone to
take care of it, in which case these animals become so much attached to
their keeper or attendant, that a separation from him almost invariably
causes these affectionate Apes to pine away and die, and by habituating
it to such food as is generally to be found on shipboard, it was hoped
that it might be brought to England. But accidents will happen, even
to Gorillas. It came down to dinner one day, and ate scraps with the
dog, and went to sleep. When looked for, some hours afterwards, it was
missing, and must have fallen off the taffrail into the sea. Strangely
enough, this young one was not given to climbing. It will be noticed
that these remarks are totally at variance with those of M. Du Chaillu,
who was impressed with the untamable character of the Gorilla; so we
must wait until further evidence is produced, and probably until a
little Gorilla is safely lodged in the Regent’s Park.

Many attempts have been made to obtain a live Gorilla for exhibition in
Europe, and some years since a showman really had one which he called
a Chimpanzee, but the fact was not known to scientific men until a
photograph of the creature was exhibited after its death. In June,
1876, Mr. Moore, the learned curator of the Free Public Museum, wrote
to the _Times_ after seeing a young Gorilla in Liverpool. He stated--“A
veritable young living Gorilla was yesterday brought into Liverpool by
the German African Society’s Expedition, which arrived by the steamship
_Loanda_, from the West Coast. The animal is a young male, in the
most perfect health and condition, and measures nearly three feet in
height. Its beetling brows, flattened podgy nose, black muzzle, small
ears, and thick fingers, cleft only to the second joint, distinguish it
unmistakably from the Chimpanzee.

“Could it have graced our own Zoological Gardens it would have been
the lion of the day; for, in addition to the great scientific interest
of the species, the abounding life, energy, and joyous spirits of this
example would have made it a universal favourite. Courteously received
at Eberle’s Alexandra Hotel by the members of the Exhibition, I found
the creature romping and rolling in full liberty about the private
drawing-room, now looking out of the window with all becoming gravity
and sedateness, as though interested, but not disconcerted, by the busy
multitude and novelty without, then bounding rapidly along on knuckles
and feet to examine and poke fun at some new comer, playfully mumbling
at his calves, pulling at his beard (a special delight), clinging to
his arms, examining his hat (not at all to its improvement), curiously
inquisitive as to his umbrella, and so on with visitor after visitor.
If he becomes over excited by the fun, a gentle box on the ear would
bring him to order like a child, like a child only to be on the romp
again immediately. He points with the index finger, claps with his
hands, pouts out his tongue, feeds on a mixed diet, decidedly prefers
roast meats to boiled, eats strawberries, as I saw, with delicate
appreciativeness, is exquisitely clean and mannerly. The palms of his
hands and feet are beautifully plump, soft, and black as jet. He has
been eight months and a half in the possession of the Expedition, has
grown some six inches in that time, and is supposed to be between
two and three years of age.” Nearly every other attempt to rear them
in Europe has failed. The Zoological Society has, at rare intervals,
possessed specimens of young Gorillas, but the climate of England would
appear to be quite unsuited to them, for, despite Mr. Bartlett’s every
care and attention, none of these interesting creatures survived for
any length of time.

Du Chaillu insists on the ill-temper, ferocity, and untamable nature of
the young Gorilla, as the results of his experience. One was brought to
him about three years of age, with its neck put in the cleft of a stick
to keep it quiet, and after much trouble they got it into a bamboo
cage. It was a little black thing of two feet six inches in height, and
its habits, escapes, and death are amusingly told. “As soon as I had
the little fellow safely locked in his cage, I ventured to approach to
say a few encouraging words to him. He stood in the furthest corner,
but, as I approached, he bellowed and made a precipitate rush at me;
and though I retreated as quickly as I could he succeeded in catching
my trouser leg, which he grasped with one of his feet, and tore,
retreating immediately to the corner furthest away. This taught me
caution for the present, though I had a hope still to be able to tame
him. He sat in his corner looking wickedly out of his grey eyes, and I
never saw a more morose or more ill-tempered face than had this little
beast. The first thing was, of course, to attend to the wants of my
captive. I sent for some of the forest-berries which these animals are
known to prefer, and placed these and a cup of water within his reach.
He was exceedingly shy, and would neither eat nor drink till I had
removed to a considerable distance. The second day found Joe, as I had
named him, fiercer than the first. He rushed savagely at any one who
stood even for a moment near his cage, and seemed ready to tear us all
to pieces. I threw him some pine-apple leaves, of which I noticed he
ate only the white parts. There seemed no difficulty about his food,
though he refused now, and continued during his short life to refuse,
all food except such wild leaves and fruits as were gathered from his
native woods for him. The third day he was still morose and savage,
bellowing when any person approached, and either retiring to a distant
corner or rushing to attack. On the fourth day, while no one was near,
the little rascal succeeded in forcing apart two of the bamboo rails
which composed his cage, and made his escape. I came up just as his
flight was discovered, and immediately got all the negroes together for
pursuit, determining to surround the wood and recapture my captive. I
was startled by an angry growl issuing from under my low bedstead. It
was Master Joe, who lay there hid, but anxiously watching my movements.
I instantly shut the windows, and called to my people to guard the
door. When Joe saw the crowd of black faces he became furious, and,
with his eyes glaring, and every sign of rage in his little face and
body, got out from beneath the bed. We shut the door at the same time
and left him master of the premises, preferring to devise some plan for
his easy capture rather than to expose ourselves to his terrible teeth.
How to take him was now a puzzling question. He had shown such strength
and such rage already, that not even I cared to run the chance of being
badly bitten in a hand-to-hand struggle. Meantime Joe stood in the
middle of the room looking about for his enemies, and examining, with
some surprise, the furniture. I watched with fear, lest the ticking of
my clock should strike his ear, and perhaps lead him to an assault upon
that precious article. Indeed, I should have left Joe in possession,
but for a fear that he would destroy the many articles of value or
curiosity I had hung about the walls. Finally, seeing him quite quiet,
I dispatched some fellows for a net, and opening the door quickly,
threw this over his head. Fortunately we succeeded at the first throw
in perfectly entangling the young monster, who roared frightfully,
and struck and kicked in every direction. I took hold of the back of
his neck, two men seized his arms, and another the legs, and thus
held by four men this extraordinary little creature still proved most
troublesome. We carried him as quickly as we could to the cage, which
had been repaired, and there once more locked him in. I never saw so
furious a beast in my life as he was. He darted at every one who came
near, bit the bamboos of the house, glared at us with venomous and
sullen eyes, and in every motion showed a temper thoroughly wicked and
malicious. As there was no change in this for two days thereafter, but
continual moroseness, I tried what starvation would do towards breaking
his spirit; also, it began to be troublesome to procure his food from
the woods, and I wanted him to become accustomed to civilised food,
which was placed before him. But he would touch nothing of the kind;
and as for temper, after starving him twenty-four hours, all I gained
was that he came slowly up and took some berries from the forest out
of my hand, immediately retreating to his corner to eat them. Daily
attentions from me for a fortnight more did not bring me any further
confidence from him than this. He always snarled at me, and only when
_very_ hungry would he take even his choicest food from my hands. At
the end of this fortnight I came to feed him, and found that he had
gnawed a bamboo to pieces slyly, and again made his escape. Luckily he
had but just gone; for, as I looked around, I caught sight of Master
Joe making off on all-fours, and with great speed, across the little
prairie, for a clump of trees. I called the men up, and we gave chase.
He saw us, and before we could head him off made for another clump.
This we surrounded. He did not ascend a tree, but stood defiantly at
the border of the wood. About one hundred and fifty of us surrounded
him. As we moved up he began to yell, and made a sudden dash upon a
poor fellow who was in advance, who ran, tumbled down in affright,
and, by his fall, escaped, but also detained Joe sufficiently long
for the nets to be brought to bear upon him. Four of us again bore
him, struggling, into the village. This time I could not trust him
to the cage, but had a little light chain fastened around his neck.
This operation he resisted with all his might, and it took us quite an
hour to securely chain the little fellow, whose strength was something
marvellous. Ten days after he was thus chained he died suddenly. He
was in good health, and ate plentifully of his natural food, which was
brought every day for him; did not seem to sicken until two days before
his death, and died in some pain. To the last he continued entirely
untamable; and, after his chains were on, added the vice of treachery
to his others.”

In one of his hunting excursions Du Chaillu obtained a younger Gorilla
than the last, but its end was sad enough.

“I was accessory to its capture,” writes Du Chaillu, “and we were
walking along in silence, when I heard a cry, and presently saw before
me a female Gorilla, with a tiny baby Gorilla hanging to her breast and
sucking. The mother was stroking the little one, and looking fondly
down at it; and the scene was so pretty and touching that I held my
fire, and considered--like a soft-hearted fellow--whether I had not
better leave them in peace. Before I could make up my mind, however,
my hunter fired and killed the mother, who fell without a struggle.
The mother fell, but the baby clung to her, and, with pitiful cries,
endeavoured to attract her attention. I came up, and when it saw me it
hid its poor little head in its mother’s breast. It could neither walk
nor bite, so we could easily manage it; and I carried it, while the men
bore the mother on a pole. When we got to the village another scene
ensued. The men put the body down, and I set the little fellow near. As
soon as he saw his mother he crawled to her, and threw himself on her
breast. He did not find his accustomed nourishment, and I saw that he
perceived something was the matter with the old one. He crawled over
her body, smelt at it, and gave utterance, from time to time, to a
plaintive cry--‘Hoo, hoo, hoo!’ which touched my heart. I could get no
milk for this poor little fellow, who could not eat, and consequently
died on the third day after he was caught. He seemed more docile than
the other I had, for he already recognised my voice, and would try to
hurry towards me when he saw me. I put the little body in alcohol, and
sent it to Dr. Wyman, of Boston, for dissection.”

Of course all the stories about the Gorilla are not believed, and those
of all writers, from Hanno downwards, have been severely criticised.

A distinguished African traveller, Winwood Reade, stated that the name,
leaving alone the stories, of Hanno, was a blunder, and that the word
Gorilla was misapplied, because the habits of the creature do not tally
with the story. The Gorillæ of Hanno were found, it is supposed, on
Sherboro Island; they scaled rocks and defended themselves with stones.
They could neither have been Gorillas nor Chimpanzees, but a species of
Cynocephalus, or Dog-faced Monkey or Baboon. “These animals,” writes
this author, “which I have seen often enough, go in troops, which
Gorillas do not, and actually defend themselves with stones, a fact
which I assert not only on the evidence of natives, but on the evidence
of white men who have kept them in a state of captivity. They are also
very ferocious, and will always defend themselves when attacked either
by man or beast. I spent five months,” he continues, “in the Gorilla
country, and did not leave that part of Africa till I had completely
satisfied myself respecting the habits of this animal. The evidence
which I now lay before you is composed of statements made to me by men
who had killed Gorillas. It is collected from three distinct parts
of Equatorial Africa, namely, from the Balengi of the Muni River,
from the Shekani and Fans, of the Gaboon, and from the Commi, Bakeli,
&c., of the Fernando Vaz. But from the last river, where Gorillas are
plentiful, I obtained the most information.”

“The Gorilla is found in those thick and solitary places of the forest
where animal life is scarce. His food is strictly vegetable. He moves
along the ground on all-fours, sometimes he goes up into trees to feed
on fruit, and at night he sleeps in a large tree. When the female is
pregnant, the male builds a nest, where she is confined, and which
she abandons as soon as her young one is born. The Gorilla does not
beat its breast like a drum. It utters a kind of short sharp bark when
enraged, and its ordinary cry is of a plaintive nature. With respect
to its ferocity, the hunters have a proverb, ‘Leave a _Ngina_ alone,
and it will leave you alone.’ When it is at bay, and wounded, it
will attack man like the stag, the elephant, and other animals which
are naturally timid. But it makes its attack on all-fours, and the
hunters, who are themselves as nimble as Apes, often escape from it
as men escape from the charge of an elephant. I have seen a man who
was wounded by a Gorilla; his wrist was crippled, and the marks of the
teeth were visible. He told me that the Gorilla seized his wrist, and
dragged it into his mouth; it was contented with having done this,
and then made off. The nearest approach to an erect posture which the
Gorilla attains is by supporting itself by hanging on to the branches.
When I asked the people of Ngumbi whether a man had ever been killed
by a Gorilla, they said that their fathers had spoken of such a thing,
but that nothing of the kind had happened within the memory of anybody
living. Such is the evidence of the native hunters upon the habits of
the Gorilla. I could not find that it differed in any important respect
from the Chimpanzee, except in its superior size and strength, and in
its certainly being more formidable when wounded. But when I asked the
hunters which was the most dangerous, the Leopard or the Gorilla, they
replied the ‘Leopard.’

“I can make one or two positive assertions from my own experience.
Although I never succeeded in viewing a Gorilla in its wild state, I
can assert that it travels on all-fours, for I have seen the tracks
of its four feet over and over again. I can assert that it runs away
from man, for I have been near enough to hear one running away from
me; and I can assert that the young Gorilla is as docile as the young
Chimpanzee in captivity, for I have seen them both in a state of
captivity. I have also seen the lying-in nests both of Chimpanzees and
Gorillas, the latter being the larger of the two. The Chimpanzee has
the character of being more intelligent than his big brother.” This
careful traveller doubted some of the stories told by M. Du Chaillu
about Gorilla killing, so he went to the neighbourhood where this
slaying was said to have taken place. On arriving at the town of Ngumbi
pretending to be trading, he writes, “I was asked whether I would buy
Gorillas as M. Du Chaillu did. I refused to buy them, but said that
I would give a large reward to any hunter who would get me a shot at
one, and also a present to the King. They seemed astonished at this,
and asked me why I wished to do a thing that other white men had never
wished to do. Now, I had taken with me two interpreters, and managed to
make them quarrel, so that there might be no collusion in the matter.
I examined Etia, a hunter, in whose company M. Du Chaillu professes to
have killed Gorillas, by each interpreter separately. I examined in the
same manner the five guides who had escorted him in the Opingi country;
and though they spoke of M. Du Chaillu in high terms, and appeared to
have a great affection for him, all replied that he had never shot a

[Illustration: YOUNG GORILLA AND DOG.]

Still later accounts from able naturalists confirm Winwood Reade’s
views, and insist upon the truth of the fact that no European has ever
seen a Gorilla in its adult age alive, and in its native forests. They
start off at the slightest noise, and are only hunted by natives for
the sake of their bones and skins, which are valuable enough in Europe.
Moreover, exception has been taken to the tales about the intractable
and violent nature of the Gorilla, and more than one well-known African
naturalist sides with those who disbelieve in the ferocity of the young

The reason why the Gorilla flourishes in Western Equatorial Africa is
probably because the great Carnivora, or beasts of prey, are not found
in the dense forests and open prairies which cover the country. The
jungle begins where the sea ceases, and then comes the virgin forest,
extending some degrees north and south of the equator, and reaching
unknown distances inland. There are no Lions, and but few Leopards,
Hyenas, and Jackals to be met with; the great African beasts--the
Rhinoceroses, Giraffes, Zebras, &c.--are absent. Snakes, Lizards, and a
vast insect world abound, and there are birds of prey. The Elephant is
scarce, and, indeed, miles and miles may be traversed without hearing
or seeing any signs of large animal life. But of all the mammals the
Monkeys are the most numerous, and the Gorilla reigns supreme. He has
the forest to himself, and but few enemies. He has companions, however,
nearly of his own size, and whose description we owe to Du Chaillu, and
they are so constructed, anatomically, that they link on, as it were,
this greatest of all Apes with the well-known Chimpanzee, which is also
indigenous to the Gorilla land. The new Apes are the Nschiego Mbouvé,
or Tschiégo, and the Koolo-Kamba.



    THE NSCHIEGO MBOUVÉ--Its Nests and Habits--A Specimen
    Shot--Differences between it and the Gorilla--Structural
    Peculiarities--THE KOOLO-KAMBA--Meaning of the Name--Discovered
    by Du Chaillu--Its Outward Appearance and Anatomy--THE
    SOKO--Discovered by Livingstone--Hunting the Soko--THE
    CHIMPANZEE--In Captivity--On board Ship--A Young Chimpanzee--The
    Brain and Nerves--Anatomical Peculiarities--General Remarks upon
    the Group.


This great Ape, which attains the height of four feet, and has a spread
of arms of seven feet, was discovered by Du Chaillu in the Gaboon
district. It is remarkable for building very comfortable shelters, and
this led to its being found; for Du Chaillu, in one of his excursions,
was trudging along, rather tired of sport, when he saw a most
singular-looking shelter built on the branches of a tree. He thought
it had been made by the natives, and asked whether the hunters had the
habit of sleeping in the woods, but was told, to his great surprise,
that it was a nest built by the Nschiego Mbouvé, an Ape. Moreover, one
of the natives told him that it was a curious creature, which had a
bald head.

Many of the nests were seen subsequently, and it was noticed that they
were generally built about fifteen or twenty feet from the ground,
and invariably on a tree which stands slightly apart from others, and
which had no lower bough beneath the shelter. Occasionally they are
to be seen at the height of fifty feet; and it would appear that the
altitude has something to do with the dread of the few flesh-eating
and destructive beasts, such as the Leopard. The loneliest parts of
the forest are chosen, for the animal is shy, and is very rarely seen,
even by the negroes. The materials for the nest consist of leafy
branches, and are collected by the male and the female also, who tie
them together, and to the tree, very neatly with twigs of the vine.
The roof is so well constructed that it closely resembles human work,
and it throws off the rain admirably, for it is neatly rounded at the
top. During its construction, the female gathers the branches and
vines, whilst the male builds; but afterwards they do not occupy the
same shelter, the male making another close by in a neighbouring tree.
The roof, which is usually some six or eight feet in diameter, is more
or less dome-shaped, or something like an extended umbrella; and the
Nschiego gets under it and clasps the tree, or squats on a bough, so
that its head is just beneath the under surface. The nests are not
occupied permanently, and usually for not more than eight or ten days,
for the Apes, living upon wild berries of a certain kind, select spots
where they are plentiful, and leave them when the store is exhausted.
Du Chaillu never saw many nests together, and he does not think the
animals live in troops, but only in pairs. Sometimes a solitary nest is
seen, inhabited by a Nschiego, whose silvery hair denotes its age, and
probably its desire for solitude after a long and troublous life.

Being desirous of obtaining one of these shelter makers, as they were
evidently new to science, Du Chaillu took every precaution to surprise
his prey; but it is best to tell the story in his own words:--

“We travelled with great caution, not to alarm our prey, and had a hope
that, by singling out a shelter, and waiting till dark, we should find
it occupied. In this hope we were not disappointed. Lying quite still
in our concealment (which tried my patience sorely), we at last, just
at dusk, heard the peculiar ‘Hew, hew, hew,’ which is the call of the
male to his mate. We waited till it was quite dark, and then I saw what
I had so longed all the weary afternoon to see. A Nschiego was sitting
in his nest. His feet rested on the lower branch, his head reached
quite into the little dome of the roof, and his arm was clasped firmly
round the tree-trunk. This is their way of sleeping. After gazing till
I was tired through the gloom at my sleeping victim, two of us fired,
and the unfortunate beast fell at our feet without a struggle, or even
a groan. We built a fire at once, and made our camp in this place, that
when daylight came I might first of all examine and skin my prize. The
poor Ape was hung up to be out of the way of insects, and I fell asleep
on my bed of leaves and grass, as pleased a man as the world could well
hold. Next morning I had leisure to examine the Nschiego.

[Illustration: NSCHIEGO MBOUVÉ. (From a Stuffed Specimen.)]

“I was at once struck with points of difference between it and the
Chimpanzee. It was smaller, and had a bald black head. This is its
distinctive character. This specimen was three feet eleven inches high,
or long. It was an adult. Its skin, where there is no hair, is black,
and the thick breast and abdomen are covered with short and rather thin
blackish hairs. On the lower part of the abdomen the hair is thinnest,
but this is not perceived unless looked at carefully, as the skin is
the colour of the hair. On the legs the hair is of a dirty grey, mixed
with black. The shoulders and back have black hair between two and
three inches long, mixed with a little grey. The arms down to the wrist
have also long black hair, but shorter than in the Gorilla. The hair
is blacker, longer, glossier, and thinner in general than that on the
Gorilla, and the skin is not so tough. I noticed that the bare places,
where the hair is worn off by contact with hard substances in sleeping,
were different from the bare places which are so conspicuous on the
common Chimpanzee.

“It is not as powerful an animal as the Gorilla, its chest is not so
large, but the arms and fingers are a little longer, and this is the
case with the toes also. The nose is not so prominent, but the mouth is
wider and the ears are larger. Its chin is rounder, and has more small
hairs, and the side of the face is thinly covered with hair, commencing
about the middle of the ear, and these would seem to be signs of an
incipient beard and whiskers. The lower parts of the body are bare, and
the skin is white there.”

Apparently the disposition and temper of the Nschiego are better than
those of the Gorilla; it is less ferocious, and is even docile in
captivity. It has not the hideous expression of the great Ape, for
there is something of a forehead above the ridge of the eyebrow, and
there are no great crests on the head, which is rounder than that of
the Gorilla. The teeth are rather smaller, but are of the same number.
The height is less than that of the female Gorilla, as a rule; and the
male of this bald kind is larger than its female; whilst the little
young ones differ in their colour from both, being white. Finally,
it would appear that there are hard callous pads on the back of the
fingers, that the hand is larger than the feet, and that the tips of
the fingers reach a little below the knee. Associated with the Gorilla
and with the Chimpanzee in the forests of Equatorial Western Africa,
the Bald-headed Troglodyte appears to have a restricted geographical
range, and not to be found over so large a district as its companions,
for it was only met with on the table-lands of the interior, and in the
densest forests.

Subsequently Du Chaillu had a good opportunity of substantiating his
statements about the nests.

“On our way down, at sunset of the third day, we heard the call of a
Nschiego Mbouvé (_Troglodytes calvus_). I immediately caused my men
to lie down, and was just getting into a hiding-place myself, when I
saw, in the branches of a tree at a little distance, the curious nest
or bower of this Ape; hard by, on another tree, was another shelter.
We crept up within shot of this nest, and then waited, for I was
determined to see once more the precise manner in which this animal
goes to rest. We lay flat on the ground, and covered ourselves with
leaves and bush, scarcely daring to breathe, lest the approaching
animal should hear us. From time to time I heard the calls. There were
evidently two, probably male and female. Just as the sun was setting,
I saw an animal approach the tree. It ascended by a hand-over-hand
movement, with great rapidity, crept carefully under the shelter,
seated itself on the crotch made by a projecting bough, its feet and
haunches resting on this bough; then it put one arm about the trunk of
the tree for security.


“Thus, I suppose, they rest all night; and this posture accounts for
some singular abrasions of hair on the side of the Nschiego Mbouvé.
At a little distance off I saw another shelter made for the mate.
No sooner was it seated than it began again to utter its call. It
was answered; and I began to have the hope that I should shoot both
animals, when an unlucky motion of one of my men roused the suspicions
of the Ape in the tree. It began to prepare for descent, and, unwilling
to risk the loss of this one, I fired. It fell to the ground dead. It
proved to be a male, with the face and hands entirely black. As we
were not in haste, I made my men cut down the trees which contained
the nests of these Apes. I found them made precisely as I have before
described, and as I have always found them, of long branches and
leaves, laid one over the other very carefully and thickly, so as
to render the structure capable of shedding off water. The branches
were fastened to the tree in the middle of the structure by means of
wild vines and creepers, which are so abundant in these forests. The
projecting limb on which the Ape perched was about four feet long.
There remains no doubt in my mind that these nests are made by the
animal to protect it from the nightly rains. When the leaves begin to
dry to that degree that the structure no longer throws off water, the
owner builds a new shelter, and this happens generally once in ten
or fifteen days. At this rate the Nschiego Mbouvé is an animal of no
little industry.”

The differences between the outside appearance and the intelligence and
temper of this Bald-headed Ape and those of the Gorilla are accompanied
by certain internal ones. A careful examination of the skull of the
Tschiégo, as its clever French describer, Duvernay, calls it, shows
that it has smaller ridges, a less prominent muzzle, and a wider and
shorter roof of the mouth than the Gorilla. The last of the upper
crushing, or back teeth, is the smallest. In the Gorilla they are
nearly equal in size. The lower jaw in the Nschiego has three nearly
equal-sized molar or back teeth, and the first and the second have
five projections or cusps, but the last has only four. In the Gorilla
it has five cusps. These minute differences are probably constant, and
therefore must not be passed over, although they may seem to be of no
importance to the creatures. But the classification of animals can
only depend upon the presence or absence of structural peculiarities;
and when such and such a structure exists in one, and not in another,
they cannot both be of the same kind. According to the relation of the
structure to the life, and according to its being constantly found, so
is it important in deciding whether the “kind” is a species, or a mere
variety or race.

[Illustration: SKULL OF NSCHIEGO.]

The great distinction between the two animals is that the Nschiego’s
forehead, formed by the frontal bone, rises up from the great brow
ridge, and is visible from the front. This is not the case with
the Gorilla, whose forehead recedes greatly. Both animals have the
same number of ribs (thirteen), but those of the Nschiego are more
man-shaped and are not so broad and close together; and their chests
differ in breadth, for the breast-bone of the new Ape is narrower, but
it is long and thick. The blade-bone, so important to the Gorilla, is
equally so to the Nschiego, but it is longer and narrower on the back,
and its spine is very oblique. Possibly this conformation of the bone
may have to do with the constant climbing of the Bald-headed Ape, but
nevertheless the spines on the neck-bones, which give origin to such
exceedingly strong muscles in the Gorilla, are much smaller in the
Nschiego. The first neck-bone, or atlas, has no spine in this Ape, in
which it is like man, and the axis, or second, has a forked spine, and
is crested at the end, but otherwise is like that in man.

Finally, the rudiment of a tail is like that end of the back-bone found
in the Gorilla and in man.

These are the principal points and the most important distinctions;
they show that the Nschiego cannot be of the same kind or species as
the Gorilla, but is a Troglodyte, resembling the Gorilla somewhat in
its skeleton, and although smaller than the male, still quite, if not
more, man-shaped.

The London Zoological Society own a fine example of the Bald-headed
Chimpanzee (_Anthropopithecus calvus_), which, under the name of
“Sally,” is known to every frequenter of their famous Gardens, where it
has resided since October, 1883.


This kind of Troglodyte is celebrated for saying koola-koolo over
and over again as its favourite cry, for having a very extraordinary
frog-like figure, and for being one of those creatures which are
exceedingly interesting to zoologists, because they are, as it were,
half one thing and half another.

A neighbour of the great Apes already noticed, it associates also with
the common Chimpanzee, in the quiet forests of Western Equatorial
Africa. In one of these Du Chaillu first saw it, and he describes his
discovery as follows:--

“We had hardly got clear of the Bashikoway ants and their bites
when my ears were saluted by the singular cry of the Ape I was
after. ‘Koola-koolo! koola-koolo!’[10] it said several times. Gambo
and I raised our eyes, and saw, high up on a tree-branch, a large
Ape. We both fired at once, and the next moment the poor beast fell
to the ground with a heavy crash. I rushed up, anxious to see if,
indeed, I had a new animal. I saw in a moment that it was neither
a Nschiego Mbouvé, nor a Chimpanzee, nor a Gorilla. Again I had a
happy day--marked for ever with red ink in my calendar. We at once
disembowelled the animal, which was a male. I found in its intestines
only vegetable matter and remains. The skin and skeleton were taken
into camp, where I cured the former with arsenic sufficiently to take
it into Obindji. The animal was a full-grown male, four feet three
inches high, and was less powerfully built than the male Gorilla, but
as powerful as either the Chimpanzee or Nschiego Mbouvé. When it was
brought into Obindji, all the people, and even Quenqueza, at once
exclaimed, ‘That is a Koolo-Kamba.’ Then I asked them about the other
Apes I already knew, but for these they had other names, and did not
at all confound the species. For all these reasons I was assured that
my prize was indeed a new animal; a variety, at least, of those before
known. The Koolo-Kamba has several distinctive marks: a very round
head, whiskers running quite round the face and below the chin; the
face is round, the cheek-bones prominent, the eyes sunken, and the jaws
not very prominent, less so than in any of the Apes. The hair is black
and long on the arm, which was, however, partly bare. The Koolo is the
Ape, of all the great Apes now known, which most nearly approaches
man in the structure of its head; for the capacity of the cranium is
somewhat greater, in proportion to the animal’s size, than in either
the Gorilla or the Nschiego Mbouvé. Of its habits these people could
tell me nothing, except that farther in the interior it was found
more frequently, and that it was like the Gorilla, very shy and hard
of approach.” They are rare animals, and Du Chaillu met with this one
only; it was as large as a female Gorilla, and from its structure was
evidently a great climber.

One was killed and sent over to Paris several years since, and its
anatomy forms a great treatise by the distinguished men whose names are
appended to its title, _Troglodytes Aubryi_.

They agree with Du Chaillu in his slight notice of its shape and
peculiarities to a certain extent, and in his notice that the arms
reach below the knee, that the shoulders are broad, and that the ears
are large, but they give some very interesting descriptions of its
strange characteristics. It has many points of resemblance with the
Gorilla and many with the Nschiego, but it has others which cause it
to be like the common Chimpanzee, and which show some likeness to
the great Baboon. It fills up the gap in the animal scale between
the Nschiego and Gorilla on the one hand, and the true Chimpanzee
(_Troglodytes niger_) on the other; and were it not in existence, it
would be necessary to divide these Apes into two groups or genera, to
make, in fact, a genus Gorilla and a genus Troglodytes, the first to
contain the Gorilla and Nschiego, and the last the Chimpanzee. They are
all therefore linked together in one genus by it, that of _Troglodytes_.

The shape and the peculiar anatomy of the Koolo-Kamba are not simply
curious and only interesting to those who study dry bones, for they
have to do with its habits and mode of life, and their examination
is full of instruction to those who like to understand causes and
effects, and design in Nature. Much has been explained in the chapter
on the Gorilla regarding the different parts of the body, and if that
information is considered there will be no difficulty in comprehending
all about the Ape now under consideration.

The shape of the body as a whole is admirably adapted for great
powers of climbing and of exertion of the limbs, and these last are
adapted for the same end in a manner surpassing the great Apes already
described. But, moreover, the body is peculiarly suited, not for
maintaining or often using the upright position or the legs, but for
going on all-fours, like a Baboon or Dog. Doubtless the Gorilla and the
Nschiego do often stand up for a short time, and their construction
points at this being very possible, as their frame has a combination of
structures for doing this and for climbing. Now the Koolo-Kamba must
differ from them in its structure, for it requires those which enable
it to invariably go on all-fours, and yet to climb better than the

It never wants to sit down, except with its knees drawn up to its nose,
and it squats on its haunch bones (the tuberosities of the haunch--of
the “_ischium_” bone).

The body is very ball-like, and there is no visible division between
the chest, the stomach, and the hips; it is not troubled with a waist,
and anything like one is positively below the hips, just over where the
thighs join the body. In fact, as before noticed, the shape is that
of a frog. There are no graceful curves to the back, and there is no
“small” to it. On looking at the chest, it will be noticed that it is
long behind and short in front; the ribs go down close to the edge of
the hips; and in order that this extra stoutness and strength of loin
shall be there, there are fourteen ribs, instead of thirteen, as in the
other great Apes. The breast-bone in front sticks out, so that were the
animal to lie on its stomach its point would lean on the ground, and
not its front, as in us. This last peculiarity is an adaptation for
going on all-fours. The absence of waist and the shape of the loins
relate to the small size of one of the muscles of the back (sacro
lumbalis), large and important in man.

[Illustration: KOOLO-KAMBA.]

The belly is very large, and it is kept from pushing into the chest by
the capacity given to the space within the ribs and breast-bone, by a
bulged-out state of the ribs at the back, and the projection of the
breast-bone. Hence, the frog-like figure looks asthmatical; and as it
is very high-shouldered, there is but little neck.

All this bulging has not only reference to the maintenance of the
capacity of the lungs, and its independence of the great stomach,
which, when full, would tend to press in all directions, but it enables
the muscles of the back and shoulders, which have so much to do with
climbing, to be large and vigorous. More space is afforded for the
insertion or attachment of muscular fibres.

The blade-bone does not add to the bulk of the shoulders, for it is
rather long and narrow for a great Ape; and its spine, which has so
much to do with the muscles which lift up the arm, is very much aslant,
and in the best direction for constant climbing, instead of much
walking on the knuckles. And that climbing and holding on are the usual
motions may be credited, it is only necessary to notice that the arms
and the fingers are long, and that the tips of them touch below the
knee when the skeleton is placed upright. Moreover, this great length
is accompanied by corresponding strength, and also by a very curious
condition of the hands.

The Koolo has a larger hand in relation to its breadth than the
Gorilla, and there are no bunches of muscle forming rounded swellings
or balls under the thumb and little finger. On the contrary, the
long and narrow palm is, as it were, bent across, as if it could fit
capitally on to a bough. There is no doubt that this Ape, like all the
others, does a good deal of swinging, by holding on to boughs with its
hands, when the arms are straight above the head; and that they move
along a bough, or from tree to tree, in this position, without bending
the elbow, and with considerable speed. This method of getting along
may also be seen in Chimpanzees. Evidently the curved palm will be of
immense advantage in such actions, and especially when it is combined,
as it is in the Koolo-Kamba, with a slightly bent-downwards condition
of the fingers. The bones (phalanges) of the fingers are long, and
each is slightly curved, and not straight, as in man and the great
Apes already noticed, so that their three bones, when in their proper
position, are decidedly out of a straight line, and present a general
curve, which is rendered all the more decided by the bend in the palm.
All this is very useful for grasping and holding on. But it is not
all; in man and the other great Apes, the wrist consists of two rows
of small bones, one placed before the other: the first row is jointed
to the bones of the fore-arm, at what is called the wrist-joint, which
moves forwards and backwards as a hinge; and the second row is so
jointed on the first row that there is no movement, and in front it is
jointed to the bones of the palm, and to those of the thumb. Now in the
Koolo the second row of wrist-bones--or as they are called from the
Latin, _carpus_, a wrist--carpal bones _are movable_ on the first row,
and muscular exertion can bend, not only the metacarpal bones and the
fingers, but also the wrist-bones. Hence the hand is more movable in
the bending direction than that of man, and the reason is because of
the peculiar requirements of the creature’s life. The thumb is small,
and only reaches the first joint of the forefinger: its tip can only
touch the tip of one finger at a time, and not those of all, as in
man, and therefore it is not of much use in distinguishing objects by
touch; moreover, it cannot be stuck out far--and this is necessary,
for in climbing its tip is required to be as close to the fingers as
is possible. The muscles of the hands and arms resemble those of the
Chimpanzee generally, and will be noticed in describing it.

When the Koolo-Kamba walks, it does so like the Gorilla, by leaning on
the backs of its fingers, and hence it has callous pads on the back
of their second bones. All the peculiar construction of the hands and
wrist bears a relation to the vast muscular development of the muscles
of the back of the chest and shoulders in the process of climbing;
and it is to be observed, as it was in the instance of the Gorilla,
that these muscles have more to do with such actions than those of
the chest, which go to the arm, and which are so much used in man for
that purpose. The muscles of the chest are not large and strong in the
Apes, for, as has already been mentioned, they climb with the back of
the hand towards the face, and do not attempt, like man, to lift the
body with the palm and nails turned towards him. This last proceeding
necessitates large chest muscles, and the former large ones at the back
of the shoulders.

There is something remarkable about the haunch-bones, or those parts of
them which support the body when sitting. In man they are well in front
of the end of the back-bone, which tapers off and turns in a little,
and forms a rudiment of a tail. These tuberosities of the haunch-bone
(as they are called, because they are swollen out and flattened for
the especial purpose in man) are placed, in the Koolo-Kamba, behind
the end of the spine or the true rudiment of the tail, and this throws
all the under parts backwards, giving the animal a thorough Baboon and
animal character. Oddly enough, the rudiment of the tail in this Ape is
smaller than in man.

A study of the foot shows that it is of immense use in holding on and
in climbing, and of none in walking. It looks more like a small hand,
furnished with a great thumb, than a foot with a toe-thumb.

It differs from human feet in the length of the toes, and this is
rather an interesting artistic point, for there is some diversity in
the opinions regarding which should be the longest toes in man.

The Greek statues--those grand models of the highest types of
mankind--very constantly have the second toe the longest, and reaching
more to the front, when the foot is on the ground, than the great
toe and the third. Nowadays, after men have had their feet pinched,
cabined, and confined in all sorts of boots and shoes, generation after
generation it is wonderful that their toes should be of any shape at
all; and, therefore, it must be anticipated that the Grecian type will
not always prevail. Nevertheless, although the great toe is often
the longest, the third toe never is, except there is some decided
deformity, like double toes. It is, however, the third toe which is the
longest in the Ape, just as the third finger of the hand is the longest
in man; and hence the Ape’s foot, with its great thumb, is in this
hand-like. But as has been mentioned before, bone for bone, and almost
muscle for muscle, the human and Ape’s foot agree, and the hinder
extremity of this last is really a foot with a toe-thumb.

On looking at the head of the Koolo, one is struck with the great ears,
which are larger than those of the Apes already described, and almost
as large as, but less detached, than those of the Chimpanzee. The skull
is globular, and with a low contracted forehead receding behind the
brow crests; but there are only faint ridges on its sides, although
the muscles of the jaw are large, and they come from the sides of the
skull. The head is very hairy, and the face, which is very prognathous
(Greek, _gnathos_, jaw or mouth), or projecting in front, is black.
It is rendered very tigerish and ugly by the flat nose merging into a
wide, thick, projecting upper lip, without any furrow; and the mouth
looks like a wide slit, there being no chin, on account of the pouting
nature of the great lips.

Like the other Troglodytes, the Koolo-Kamba has great air sacs or
throat pouches, which are hidden amongst the great muscles of the
neck, and enter the organ of voice, or the larynx, between the upper
and lower structures for the production of vocal sound. Their size
and general nature may be satisfactorily compared with those of the
Gorilla. (See page 22.)

Having something of a voice, this Ape has a better-formed palate than
the others, and its tongue has not such a jumble of papillæ or little
needle points on it as they have, for the larger cup-shaped ones are
arranged at the back in the shape of the letter Y. The last molar tooth
of the lower jaw has five cusps.

A huge eater of vegetable food, it requires a large stomach, and this
has the two openings very close together, that is to say, the one for
the passage of food in, and the other for the passage of food out,
into the small gut. There is, as in all vegetarians by nature, a large
great intestine, enormous, in fact, and this ends, as in man, in a
blind gut with an appendix. The cause of all this is that vegetable
food does not contain much available nourishment, and large portions
of it must come in contact with the mucous or absorbing membrane of
the stomach and bowels, in order that a proper quantity of nutritious
matter may be absorbed, and be made into blood. The contrary is the
case in flesh-eating animals, whose food contains a high percentage
of nourishment; for in them the stomach and intestines are small, the
surface required not being great, and nature is wonderfully economical.


This animal, both as regards its name, description, and habits, we owe
to Livingstone; and the stories which he heard of it from the natives,
in the strange country to the west of the great lake Tanganyika, must
have wiled away many a weary hour during his ill-health and gradual
loss of energy.

The first notice of it is curious, and occurs in his “Last Journals.”
They were in want of rain, and he writes:--“A Soko, alive, was believed
to be a good charm for rain, so one was caught; and the captor had the
ends of two fingers and toes bitten off. The Soko, or Gorilla, always
tries to bite off these parts, and has been known to overpower a young
man, and leave him without the ends of fingers and toes. I saw the nest
of one; it was a poor contrivance--no more architectural skill shown
than in the nest of our cushat dove.” Here the consideration of this
creature might have ended, for Livingstone terms it a Gorilla, but this
name, like that of Pongo, is evidently given to all great African Apes
with bad characters, and moreover, as will be noticed presently, when
one of the illustrious traveller’s native companions came to England,
and was shown a stuffed Gorilla, he decided that it was not the same
thing as the Soko.

In another part of his Journal Livingstone returns to the Soko, which
he still calls the Gorilla; but in the drawings given it evidently is
not one, and is neither as large in its body nor as ugly in the face;
moreover, the large ears would cause it to be considered, were there
not other reasons, as one of the true Chimpanzees, or _Troglodytes

The following extracts from Livingstone possess undoubted interest:--

“24th August.--Four Gorillas or Sokos were killed yesterday; an
extensive grass-burning forced them out of their usual haunt, and
coming on the plain they were speared. They often go erect, but place
the hand on the head, as if to steady the body. When seen thus the Soko
is an ungainly beast. The most sentimental young lady would not call
him a ‘dear,’ but a bandy-legged, pot-bellied, low-looking villain,
without a particle of the gentleman in him. Other animals, especially
the Antelopes, are graceful, and it is pleasant to see them, either at
rest or in motion; the natives also are well made, lithe and comely to
behold; but the Soko, if large, would do well to stand for a picture of
the devil. He takes away my appetite by his disgusting bestiality of
appearance. His light yellow face shows off his ugly whiskers and faint
apology for a beard; the forehead, villainously low, with high ears, is
well in the background of the great dog-mouth; the teeth are slightly
human, but the canines show the beast by their large development. The
hands, or rather the fingers, are like those of the natives. The flesh
of the feet is yellow; and the eagerness with which the Manyuema devour
it, leaves the impression that eating Sokos was the first stage by
which they arrived at being cannibals; they say the flesh is delicious.
The Soko is represented by some to be extremely knowing, successfully
stalking men and women while at their work; kidnapping children, and
running up trees with them, he seems to be amused by the sight of the
young native in his arms, but comes down when tempted by a bunch of
bananas, and as he lifts that, drops the child; the young Soko, in such
a case, would cling closely to the armpit of the elder. One man was
cutting out honey from a tree, and naked, when a Soko suddenly appeared
and caught him, then let him go; another man was hunting, and missed
in his attempt to stab a Soko; it seized the spear, and broke it, then
grappled with the man, who called to his companions, ‘Soko has caught
me!’ The Soko bit off the ends of his fingers, and escaped unharmed.
Both men are now alive at Bambarré.”

[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG SOKO. (_Copied by permission from
the Engraving In Livingstone’s “Last Journal.”_)]

“The Soko is so cunning, and has such sharp eyes, that no one can stalk
him in front without being seen; hence, when shot, it is always in the
back; when surrounded by men and nets, he is generally speared in the
back too, otherwise he is not a very formidable beast. He is nothing,
as compared in power of damaging his assailant, to a Leopard or Lion,
but is more like a man unarmed, for it does not occur to him to use
his canine teeth, which are long and formidable. Numbers of them came
down in the forest, within a hundred yards of our camp, and would be
unknown but for giving tongue like Fox-hounds; this is their nearest
approach to speech. A man, hoeing, was stalked by a Soko, and seized;
he roared out, but the Soko giggled and grinned, and left him as if he
had done it in play. A child, caught up by a Soko, is often abused by
being pinched, and scratched, and let fall.”

[Illustration: SOKO HUNT. (_After a Sketch by Dr. Livingstone._)]

“The Soko kills the Leopard occasionally, by seizing both paws and
biting them, so as to disable them; he then goes up a tree, groans
over his wounds, and sometimes recovers, while the Leopard dies. At
other times both Soko and Leopard die. The Lion kills him at once, and
sometimes tears his limbs off, but does not eat him. The Soko eats no
flesh; small bananas are his dainties, but not maize. His food consists
of wild fruits, which abound, and of these one is like large sweet sop,
but indifferent in taste. The Soko brings forth at times twins. A very
large Soko was seen by Mohamad’s hunters, sitting picking his nails;
they tried to stalk him, but he vanished. Some Manyuema think that
their buried dead rise as Sokos, and one was killed with holes in his
ears, as if he had been a man. He is very strong, and fears guns, but
not spears. He never catches women.”

“Sokos collect together, and make a drumming noise, some say with
hollow trees, then burst forth into loud yells, which are well imitated
by the natives’ embryonic music. If a man has no spear, the Soko goes
away satisfied; but if wounded, he seizes the wrist, lops off the
fingers and spits them out, slaps the cheeks of his victim, and bites
without breaking the skin; he draws out a spear (but never uses it),
and takes some leaves and stuffs them into his wound to staunch the
blood; he does not seek an encounter with an armed man. He sees women
do him no harm, and never molests them; a man without a spear is
nearly safe from him. Manyuema say, ‘Soko is a man, and nothing bad
in him.’ They live in communities of about ten, each having his own
female; an intruder from another camp is beaten off with their fists
and loud yells. If one tries to seize the female of another, he is
caught on the ground, and all unite in boxing and biting the offender.
A male often carries a child, especially if they are passing from one
patch of forest to another over a grassy space; he then gives it to the

The “Last Journals” contains a portrait of a young Soko (reproduced on
page 47), which shows a short-armed, weak-legged, long-eared creature;
and in the engraving on page 48, the adults which are being hunted are
certainly very much shorter than the natives who are killing them.
All that can be said, then, is that possibly the Soko is a kind of
Troglodyte, greatly resembling the kind we have next to notice; but
its geographical range is most interesting. Its being found so many
hundreds of miles from the Sierra del Crystal, and beyond the woods
of the coast-living Chimpanzees, would appear to prove that formerly
there were forest and jungle far away to the east, where there are now
plains, rivers, and lakes with much forest land.

[Illustration: CHIMPANZEE. (_From a Sketch by Wolf, in the possession
of the Zoological Society._)]


The name Chimpanzee has sometimes been given to all the great Apes just
described, but reference has been made, in considering some points
in their anatomy and habits, to a particular animal which bears this
name. This one comes next to them in the descending order of the scale
of beings, and completes the number of the kinds of these man-shaped
Apes of Equatorial Africa. It is the animal, the young of which have
frequently been brought to England, where they have been celebrated
for their gentle fun, romping play, good climbing, and their ability
to imitate many human habits--clothes-wearing, tobacco-smoking, and
tea-drinking especially. It is the Chimpanzee of Chimpanzees, the
young of which have such very human-looking faces and most baby-like
skulls. Being covered for the most part, and especially on the top
and sides of the head, with long black hairs, it is called the Black
Chimpanzee, or _Troglodytes niger_.

It was a sight worth seeing to be present in the Monkey House of the
Zoological Gardens, in London, when the keeper paid an early morning
visit to his attached friend, the Chimpanzee. If he was not quite
awake, or lazily inclined, and snugly covered up in his little wooden
house, and the keeper called him, a commotion was heard inside, and
then a round little figure with a large head came tumbling out,
and rushed to the iron wicket. He creeps along at a great rate on
all-fours, but the body is half erect, for the fore limbs are long,
and the knuckles, or rather the back parts of the second joints of
the fingers, are allowed to touch the ground and support the frame in
front, whilst the elbows are kept straight. The hind legs, being short,
move one after the other as in a canter, and it is readily noticed that
although the feet touch the ground on their outer edges they can rest
flat on the soles.

There is much joyful recognition, and after he has put his arms around
the keeper’s neck, he enjoys being tickled and laid on his back in the
straw. Making grunts and little laughs, he shows his fine set of teeth,
and his fine hazel-coloured eyes twinkle with fun. Then he rushes
off, tumbling head over heels, scampers over the straw, and with a
jump clasps one of the horizontal wooden bars in the cage, and swings
himself up and on to it with an ease and grace which many a gymnast
might envy. Running along this, and just balancing himself with the
assistance of the back of his hand, he nears a rope, and then, after
seizing it, swings with arms out at full length, now catching hold of
others or of the wire lattice-work with his feet and toe-thumb, or
suddenly coming to the ground with a great bounce. This is usually
preparatory to coming to the spectators, and he then squats down,
folds his arms, and moves his shoulders from side to side in a quick
and restless manner. Another scamper brings him to his house on the
ground-floor, into which he looks, and then taking a lot of biscuit, he
gives a jump on to its shelving top, sits down, and begins to eat. He
sits upright enough, and puts the biscuit into his mouth, but rather
clumsily. He does not take it between the tips of his fingers and the
thumb, but between the thumb and the side of the first finger, for
the thumb is short. Hence, as the food disappears, he appears to be
cramming the knuckle of his first finger into his mouth.[12]

One is struck with the colour of the face, which is nearly hairless,
for the tint of its skin is a dirty yellow-ochre; but it is relieved
by the beautiful white teeth, the hazel eyes, and the long hair which
comes down from the top of the head in front of the ear like a lock.
The upper lip has no furrow running down from the small and flat nose,
but it is very large, and the mouth looks like a slit in the face when
both lips are together. He has distinct eyelids; and when he sits
and looks forwards, the chin reaches below the top of the breast and
hides the neck. The palm of the hands is flesh-coloured, or darker,
and the foot looks very strange, for the hair is long over the ankle
and very black, and it ceases suddenly, so that the heel and all the
sides and the sole are naked and flesh-tinted. The absence of hair on
the face--there being a little straggling beard only--is possibly an
ornament, and it is noticed in many Monkeys; but its absence from the
under part of the hand and foot, of course, is of use, for it gives
a greater power of grasp and a finer sense of touch. The front hair
comes to a peak over the forehead, and the curve on either side is as
graceful as that of a Queen’s Counsel’s wig; then it covers a broad
low head, which looks very big behind and decidedly over-burdened
with two great ears, larger than those of the Gorilla, and which are
close neighbours to the high shoulders. Long black hair, with the ears
peering through, covers all the back and sides of the head and the
wide shoulders and very short neck, and is continued down the back,
which shows no sign of a waist, and only becomes smaller just above the
thighs. Here, then, is another instance of the frog-like body shape,
and it is produced by the same general internal arrangements which have
been noticed in the great Apes already described. That is to say, large
lungs, and a great stomach and digestive apparatus, are more important
than a slim and elegant figure; and good short back-bones, and at least
thirteen ribs on each side are more satisfactory possessions in an
African forest than long bones and a weak spine.

The arm, fore-arm, and fingers, as a limb, are long, and the tips of
the fingers reach just below the knee. This is consistent with the
scheme of the construction of the animal, and its adaptation for
the forest life, which requires the ability to move rapidly and also
to climb very easily. The arms are in constant movement when the
Chimpanzee is walking, and if they are not assisting in the motion they
are uplifted, the head being, moreover, carried a little forward with
regard to the body. When the hands clasp a cross-bar, the little use of
the small thumb is readily noticed, and the body is allowed to swing,
as it were, at the full length of the arms, the thumb not assisting
in holding on. But when it climbs a pole, it grasps just like a man
under the same circumstances, and the thumb partly encircles the wood.
It is very curious to feel the grasp of the hand, and the vigorous
squeeze that the foot can give, and to look at the palms and soles.
The palms seem very wrinkled across, but not to have a ball under the
thumb of any size, and they seem narrow for their length. But although
this is the case, and the thumb is short, they assist in grasping very
forcibly. All the fingers and the thumbs have flat nails on them, which
do not approach the character of a claw, and corresponding nails are
found on the feet. All the heel is naked, as if it came through a hole
in a stocking of black hair; and as a whole, the foot is shorter than
the hand, the third toe being the longest. The toe-thumb is easily
movable, and assists in climbing, for it grasps with the aid of the
other toes very readily. Like the other large Apes already mentioned,
it has no calf, and the legs seem to be too small for it, and to be
stuck on to the body by small hips. The roundness behind is wanting,
and therefore the muscles which particularly assist in the erect
position are not large, as in man.

Yet at first sight there is something very human about the Chimpanzee;
it looks like a very old child, and doubtless this is increased by its
gentle habits and amiability; and there is every apology to be made for
the early geographers and anatomists, who called it the “Pigmie.”

One of the first living Chimpanzees which was brought to England took
strange dislikes to people. When it was brought on board the ship it
would give its hand to be shaken by some, but refused it to others of
the sailors with marks of anger, and it speedily became very familiar
with the crew, except with a boy, to whom it never became reconciled.
When the seamen’s mess was brought on deck, it was a constant
attendant; it would go round and embrace each person, while it uttered
loud yells, and then seated itself to enjoy the repast. If it was
pleased at any favourite morsel, or if a piece of sweetmeat was given
to it, satisfaction was expressed by a sound like a “hem,” in a grave
tone; but if it was made angry or vexed, it would bark like a dog or
cry like a child, and scratch itself most vehemently. It was active and
cheerful in warm latitudes, but it became languid as it left the Torrid
Zone, so that a blanket had to be given it as the English Channel was

Bamboo, a Chimpanzee, once in the Zoological Society’s Gardens,
Regent’s Park, and the subject of the following sketch, by Lieut.
Sayers, “was purchased from a Mandingo, at Sierra Leone, who related
that he had captured him in the Bullom country some months before,
having first shot the mother, on which occasions the young ones never
fail to remain by their wounded parents. On becoming mine, he was
delivered over to a black boy, my servant, and in a few days became
so attached to him as to be exceedingly troublesome, screaming and
throwing himself into the most violent passion if he attempted to
leave him for a moment. He evinced also a most strange affection for
clothes, never omitting an opportunity of possessing himself of the
first garment he came across, whenever he had the means of entering my
apartment. He carried it immediately to the piazza, where invariably he
seated himself on it with a self-satisfied grunt; nor would he resign
it without a hard fight, and, on being worsted, exhibited every symptom
of the greatest anger. Observing this strange fancy, I procured him
a piece of cotton cloth, which, much to the amusement of all who saw
him, he was never without, carrying it with him wherever he went, nor
could any temptation induce him to resign it even for a moment. Totally
unacquainted with their mode of living in the wild state, I adopted
the following method of feeding him, which has appeared to succeed
admirably. In the morning, at eight o’clock, he received a piece of
bread, about the size of a halfpenny loaf, steeped in water or milk
and water; about two, a couple of bananas or plantains; and before he
retired for the night, a banana, orange, or slice of pine-apple. The
banana appeared to be his favourite fruit; for it he would forsake all
other viands, and if not gratified, would exhibit the utmost petulance.
On one occasion I deemed it necessary to refuse him one, considering
that he had already eaten a sufficiency, upon which he threw himself
into the most violent passion, and uttering a piercing cry, knocked his
head with such violence against the wall as to throw himself on his
back, then ascending a chest which was near, wildly threw his arms
into the air and precipitated himself from it. These actions so alarmed
me for his safety that I gave up the contest, and on doing so he
evinced the greatest satisfaction at his victory, uttering for several
minutes the most expressive grunts and cries; in short, he exhibited,
on all occasions when his will was opposed, the impatient temper of a
spoilt child; but even in the height of passion I never observed any
disposition to bite or otherwise ill-treat his keeper or myself.


“Although he would never object to be caressed or nursed by even a
stranger, yet I never saw him evince the slightest disposition to
make the acquaintance of any other animal. At the time he came into
my possession I had two Patas Monkeys, and thinking they might become
acquainted, I placed Mr. Bamboo in the same apartment, where he resided
for five months, yet I never saw the least desire on his part to become
even friendly; on the contrary, he showed evident anger and dislike at
their approach. This strange attachment to the human race, and manifest
dislike to all others, I have considered one of the most extraordinary
features of this genus. His cunning was also remarkable. On all
occasions when he thought he was unobserved, he would not fail to
steal everything within his reach, for no other apparent purpose than
to gratify a propensity for thieving; did he, however, even think you
were looking at him, he would wait his opportunity with the greatest
patience before he commenced depredation. In his habits, unlike the
Monkey tribe, he was exceedingly cleanly, never soiling his bed or
any place near it; and even on board ship (during the warm weather)
he never failed to seek the deck, unassisted, whenever time calls of
nature required it. On being left by himself in his piazza he would
invariably seat himself on the window-sill, which was the highest point
he could attain, and commanded a view of the barrack-yard as well as
the interior of my bedroom; but at sunset he would descend, enter a
washing-tub, which he had of his own accord chosen as a sleeping-place,
and remain there all night; as soon, however, as the sun rose, he would
never fail to occupy his favourite position on the window-ledge. From
this, I should say, that trees are ascended by the Chimpanzee merely
for observation or food, and that they live principally on the ground.
Bamboo, at the time of purchase, appeared to be about fourteen months
old, and from what I could learn from the natives, they do not reach
their full growth till between nine and ten years of age; which, if
true, brings them extremely near the human species, as the boy or girl
of West Africa, at thirteen or fourteen years old, is quite as much
a man or woman as those of nineteen or twenty in our more northern
clime. Their height, when full grown, is said to be between four and
five feet; indeed, I was credibly informed that a male Chimpanzee,
which had been shot in the neighbourhood and brought into Free Town,
measured four feet five inches in length, and was so heavy as to form
a very fair load for two men, who carried him on a pole between them.
The natives say that in their wild state their strength is enormous,
and that they have seen them snap boughs off the trees with the
greatest apparent ease, which the united strength of two men could
scarcely bend. The Chimpanzee is, without doubt, to be found in all the
countries, from the banks of the Gambia in the north to the kingdom
of Congo in the south, as the natives of all the intermediate parts
seem to be perfectly acquainted with them. From my own experience, I
can state that the low shores of the Bullom country, situated on the
northern shores of the river near Sierra Leone, are infested by them
in numbers quite equal to the commonest species of Monkeys. I consider
these animals to be gregarious; for when visiting the rice farms of
the Chief Dalla Mohammadoo, on the Bullom shore, their cries plainly
indicated the vicinity of a troop, as the noise heard could not have
been produced by less than eight or ten of them. The natives also
affirmed that they always travel in strong bodies, armed with sticks,
which they use with much dexterity. They are exceedingly watchful;
and the first one who discovers the approach of a stranger utters a
protracted cry, much resembling that of a human being in the greatest
distress. The first time I heard it I was much startled; the animal
was apparently not more than thirty paces distant, but had it been but
five I could not have seen it, from the tangled nature of the jungle,
and I certainly conceived that such sounds could only have proceeded
from a human being, who hoped to gain assistance by his cries from some
terrible and instant death. The native who was with me laid his hand
upon my shoulder, and pointing suspiciously to the bush, said, ‘Massa,
Baboo live there!’ and in a few minutes the wood appeared alive with
them, their cries resembling the barking of dogs. My guide informed
me that the cry first heard was to inform the troop of my approach,
and that they would all immediately leave the trees, or any exalted
situation that might expose them to view, and seek the bush; he also
showed evident fear, and entreated me not to proceed any further in
that direction. The plantations of bananas, pampaws, and plantains,
which the natives usually intermix with their rice, constituting the
favourite food of the Chimpanzee, account for their being so frequent
in the neighbourhood of rice fields. The difficulty of procuring live
specimens of this genus arises principally, I should say, from the
superstitions of the natives concerning them, who believe they possess
the power of ‘witching.’”

[Illustration: SICK ORANG-UTAN.]

A most interesting little male Chimpanzee was obtained from the natives
of the Gambia coast some years since, and became famous in London for
its great intelligence and human-like conduct. His mother was shot when
he was about a twelvemonth old, about 120 miles from the sea; and after
being well taken care of he was sent to England on board ship, where he
had a free range of the rigging and decks, and where he made himself
much liked. A distinguished zoologist, Mr. Broderip, visited him in the
Zoological Gardens after he had undergone some tuition, and describes
what he saw as follows:--

“I saw him for the first time in the kitchen belonging to the keepers’
apartments, dressed in a little Guernsey shirt, or banyan jacket. He
was sitting child-like in the lap of a good old woman, to whom he
clung whenever she made show of putting him down. His aspect was mild
and passive, but that of a little withered old man, and his large
eyes, hairless and crimpled visage, and man-like ears, surmounted by
the black hair of his head, rendered the resemblance very striking,
notwithstanding the depressed nose and the projecting mouth. He had
already become very fond of his good old nurse, and she had evidently
become attached to her nursling, although they had only been acquainted
for three or four days, and it was with difficulty that he permitted
her to go away to do her work in another part of the building. On
her lap he was perfectly at his ease, and it seemed to me that he
considered her as occupying the place of his mother. He was constantly
reaching up with his hand to the fold of her neckerchief, though when
he did so she checked him, saying, ‘No, Tommy, you must not pull the
pin out.’ When not otherwise occupied, he would sit quietly in her lap,
pulling his toes about with his fingers, with the same passive air as a
human child exhibits when amusing himself in the same manner. I wished
to examine his teeth; and when his nurse, in order to make him open his
mouth, threw him back in her arm and tickled him just as she would a
child, the caricature was complete.

“I offered him my ungloved hand. He took it mildly in his, with a
manner equally exempt from forwardness and fear, examined it with his
eyes, and perceiving a ring on one of my fingers, submitted that, and
that only, to a very cautious and gentle examination with his teeth,
so as not to leave any mark on the ring. I then offered him my other
hand with the glove on. This he felt, looked at it, turned it about,
and then tried it with his teeth. At length it became necessary for
his kind nurse to leave him, and after much remonstrance on his part
she put him on the floor. He would not leave her, however, and walked
nearly erect by her side, holding by her gown just like a child. At
last she got him away by offering him a peeled raw potato, which he
ate with great relish, holding it in his right hand. His keeper,
who is very attentive to him, then made his appearance, and spoke
to him. Tommy evidently made an attempt to speak, gesticulating as
he stood erect, protruding his lips, and making a hoarse noise like
‘hoo! hoo!’ He soon showed a disposition to play with me, jumping on
his lower extremities opposite to me like a child, and looking at me
with an expression indicating a wish for a game at romps. I confess
I complied, and a capital game we had. On another occasion, and when
he had become familiar with me, I caused, in the midst of his play,
a looking-glass to be brought and held before him. His attention was
constantly and strongly arrested: from the utmost activity he became
immovably fixed, steadfastly gazing at the mirror with eagerness, and
something like wonder depicted in his face. He at length looked up at
me, then again gazed at the glass. The tips of my fingers appeared on
one side as I held it; he put his hands and then his lips to them,
then looked behind the glass, and finally passed his hands behind
it, evidently to feel if there were anything substantial there. I
presented him with a cocoa-nut, to the shell of which some bark was
still adhering; the tender bud was just beginning to shoot forth--this
he immediately bit off and ate. He then stripped off some of the bark
with his teeth, moving it by the crust of adhering fibres round his
head, darted it down, and repeatedly jumped on it with all his weight.
A hole was bored in one of the eyes, and the nut again given to him,
and he immediately held it up with the aperture downwards, applied
his mouth to it, and sucked away at what milk there was with great
glee. As I was making notes with a paper and pencil, he came up and
looked at me inquisitively, testing the pencil with his teeth when he
had it given to him. A trial was made of the little fellow’s courage;
for when his attention was directed elsewhere, a hamper containing a
large snake, called Python, was brought in and placed on a chair near
the dresser. The lid was raised, and the basket in which the snake was
enveloped was opened, and soon after Tommy came gambolling that way. As
he jumped and danced along the dresser towards the basket he was all
gaiety and life; suddenly he seemed to be taken aback, stopped, and
cautiously advanced towards the basket, peered or rather craned over
it, and constantly, with a gesture of horror and aversion and the cry
of ‘hoo! hoo!’ recoiled from the detested object, jumped back as far
as he could, and then sprang to his keeper for protection. Tommy does
not like confinement, and when he is shut up in his cage, the violence
with which he pulls at and shakes the door is very great, and shows
considerable strength; but I have never seen him use this exertion
against any other part of the cage, though his keeper has endeavoured
to induce him to do so, in order to see whether he would make the
distinction. When at liberty he is extremely playful; and in his high
jinks, I saw him toddle into a corner where an unlucky bitch was lying
with a litter of very young pups, and lay hold of one of them, till the
snarling of the mother and the cries of the keeper made him put the pup
down. He then climbed up to the top of the cage where the Marmosets
were, and jumped furiously upon it, evidently to astonish the inmates,
who huddled together, looking up at the dreadful creature over their
heads. Then he went to a window, opened it and looked out. I was afraid
that he might make his escape; but the words ‘Tommy, No!’ pronounced by
the keeper in a mild but firm tone, caused him to shut the window and
to come away. He is, in truth, a most docile and affectionate animal,
and it is impossible not to be taken with the expressive gestures and
looks with which he courts your good opinion, and throws himself upon
you for protection against annoyance.”

Whether they grow cross and savage as they get old is not known, for
no adults have been kept in captivity, but as this is usual in other
Monkeys, it is probable that their interesting time of life is that of
childhood, and that when the age of fun and tricks has passed there is
not much else but brutality left.

Little or nothing reliable is known about the habits of the adults, and
all the wickednesses of Gorillas and Baboons have been attributed to
them, and, in fact, the very same stories will do for any one of them.

These stories have, however, been believed; and even Cuvier, the great
comparative anatomist, wrote, that the Chimpanzees live in troops,
construct themselves huts of leaves, arm themselves with sticks and
stones, and employ these weapons to drive away men and Elephants from
their dwellings. They did not, he believed, scruple to attack the Lion,
and they were exceedingly impolite to negresses in general.

As they all, except possibly the Soko, live in a district where the
forests are dense and close, there is no doubt they are rarely seen;
and indeed reliable travellers do not hesitate to say that a white man
has never seen them in a state of nature, except by obtaining a glance
as they rush off on being surprised. All the stories must, therefore,
be received with suspicion, as tainted with the results of African
fear and love of the wonderful; especially as they come from the negro
race living in the remarkable tract of country extending along the
West Coast from the river Gambia to some distance north of Angola, and
thence into the interior to the little known regions between the hills
which run parallel with the sea many miles inland, and the country of
the large lakes far away to the East.

Gifted with wonderful agility and no little power of imitation and
intelligence, and possessed of very acute senses and ability to
unite the actions of many groups of muscles to a common purpose, the
Chimpanzee must have a well-formed nervous system--that is to say, a
good brain and spinal cord. A brain to originate or commence actions,
and the cord of nerves to carry the orders of the brain to the limbs.
Measured over the brain case of the skull, that of the Chimpanzee has
a bulk of about one-half of that of man, and less than that of the
Gorilla; but the brain itself has striking resemblances to that of
man. The principal folds which are noticed on the human brain exist
in the Chimpanzee, but they are simpler in their foldings, and are
large in proportion to the whole. This means that there is not as much
nerve structure packed in a given space as there is in man; and the
distinction is most important, for the greater the packing the greater
the nervous energy and power. But the parts of the brain which have
especially to do with the movements of the body, and their regulations
and adaptations, are very well formed; and it is the comparative
deficiency in those parts which have a mysterious relation with the
intelligence, instinct, and the mind which causes the brain of the
Chimpanzee to differ in appearance and size from that of man. But in
both the brain proper over-laps and covers the cerebellum or little
brain. The nerves are well formed and large.

It seems that the brain of the Chimpanzee never has a chance of
increasing in size, for after a certain age the bones of the brain case
become, as it were, soldered together.

The Chimpanzee has a famous pair of shoulders, a broad back, and, like
the Gorilla, a very short neck. Its weight is less than that of the
greatest of Apes, and therefore it does not require such huge muscles
for climbing. The great bony spines of the neck-bones are smaller; and
the bones of the upper part of the spine are not made as strongly.

Loving much to hang by the hands, with the arms stretched out above the
head, the Chimpanzee has the blade-bone more like that of an ordinary
Monkey, and less like that of man and the Gorilla, and its muscles are
so placed as to permit of their acting readily when this position is
kept up. As this position is extremely easy and useful, it is assisted
by the animal’s having a short and stout collar-bone. Its arm-bone is
tolerably near the length of that of man, but it is like a Gorilla’s
in miniature. The bones of the fore-arm (the radius and ulna), instead
of being shorter than the arm-bone, equal it in length, and the last
named is much bent, so as to give a large surface for the muscles which
supply the hand and wrist.

As a whole, the hand of the Chimpanzee is, in proportion to the size of
the animal, larger than that of the Gorilla, but the thumb is shorter,
and this makes it more Monkey-like than human; and the same may be said
of the lower limbs, for the thigh-bone and those of the leg, although
greatly resembling those of the Gorilla, have many peculiarities which
make them resemble those of the less important Monkeys. Finally, with
regard to the foot, that of the Chimpanzee is more Monkeyish than that
of the Gorilla. The great Ape’s foot has many peculiarities which make
it differ from that of man, and these are all magnified, as it were, in
the Chimpanzee, whose foot, therefore, is all the more unlike ours. It
is especially adapted for grasping and climbing, and less well suited
for occasionally standing erect and walking. Its heel is short and
slender, and the toe-thumb is smaller, and the whole foot is slenderer,
than the Gorilla’s. Moreover, it is more turned in.

When young, there are no crests on the head, but with age a small one
grows on each side in front, running from about the centre of each side
of the brow ridge over the receding forehead, and joining together in
the middle line, close to the top of the skull. This meets a larger
and stronger one, which is a miniature of the head crest of the
Gorilla, and which reaches from ear to ear. The use is probably for the
attachment of the masticating muscles at the side, and for that of the
muscles of the neck behind; but it is also a kind of ornament of the

Strong as this Ape is in its loins, from its extra ribs, the hip-bones
seem narrow from side to side; and one of the causes of this is
interesting, not only because it is also noticed in the other great
Apes, but also because it is one of their marked distinctions from man.

The pieces of the back-bone (or vertebræ), as they pass between the
hip-bones behind, unite them together, and degenerate until they form
the curious little tail-end of the back-bone, which in us, and in the
Apes, is curled slightly, with the concave part of the bend forward.
The pieces unite strongly to each other above and below, and form
really one bone, which is called the sacrum. Now, if these pieces were
nearly or quite as stout and broad as those higher up, the hips would
be wide apart; but if they become narrow, the hips will be all the
closer together. In man, the pieces are broad, and the sacrum, as a
whole, is so also, and the hips are widely separate; but the reverse is
the case in the Apes.

[Illustration: BRAIN OF CHIMPANZEE.]

This difference in the breadth of the bone and the width of the hip
has evidently to do with the maintenance of the erect posture in man,
and the inability to keep erect for long, and comfortably, by these
great Apes. The larger the surface of the sacrum, the greater is the
mass of muscle passing to the back and downwards; and this is small in
comparison in the Chimpanzee.

Where the proper vertebræ of the sacrum end--that is to say, the pieces
of the back-bone which are placed between the hip (ilium) bones--the
tail begins. It is made up of three stunted bones, which are something
like ill-made back-bone pieces (vertebræ); they are usually inseparably
joined together to make a special bone, which is broad above, and
tapering below. This bone, the rudiment of the tail, which, from some
fancied resemblance to a Cuckoo’s back, has been called the cuckoo-bone
(_os coccygis_), is covered by skin and embedded in muscles, which
do not allow it to stick out visibly even as a stump; for its tip
is curled inwards. This apology for the member which is so vastly
important in many Monkeys is narrow in the man-like Apes, the black
Chimpanzee included; but it is a little wider in man, although the
general construction is the same. Could these bones--which, by their
being united, form this rudiment of a tail--be disunited and increased
in number, stuck out, and covered with skin and muscles, something like
the very Monkey-like appendage would be formed. But noble tails are
not the gifts of the higher Apes, as they are called, from their many
points of resemblance in structure with man, and even in the smaller
Monkeys they are extremely variable belongings, being given to one kind
and not to another in a manner far beyond our philosophy.

The Chimpanzee has a long palate, like the other great Apes of the West
African woods. Moreover, it has a uvula in the back of the throat, and
the back of the tongue is marked with great papillæ, which take up the
shape of a T. It does not do more than grunt “hem,” and bark after a
fashion; and the use of some great air-pouches, which resemble those of
the Gorilla, are therefore not very apparent. But the bony structures
of the palate are interesting, for at the back of it they do not form a
simple knob, as in the Gorilla, but resemble those of man, and there is
a little prominence, with a festoon curve on each side.

It lives upon vegetable food, and its teeth are admirably suited for
it; they are of the same number as those of the rest of the great
man-shaped Apes, and do not differ very much from them. The front
teeth are large, and project, and do not bite very up and down on the
tips, so they wear behind quicker than in front, their general shape
being rather peculiar and distinctive. Female Chimpanzees have smaller
eye-teeth than the males, and all have them with a sharp edge behind,
so that they can cut a pine-apple as well as pierce it. Behind them
are the pre-and true molars, but the last tooth of the upper jaw looks
small, for its hinder projections or cusps are small. In the lower jaw
the last tooth has a fifth cusp, but it is smaller proportionately than
in the lower Monkeys; and the first pre-molar has its front and outer
angle stuck out very much after the fashion of the Baboons. Now these
are little matters, which do not appear to have anything to do with
causes and effects, the adaptation of means to ends, or which do not
enable the creature to chew and crush its food a bit the less well,
or better than others; they refer to some hidden mystery which unites
apparently very different animals together in the scheme of creation.
Thus the Chimpanzee has human-like, Gorilla-like, Baboon-like, and
other Monkey-like peculiarities, so far as the teeth are concerned, and
yet which do not interfere with the successful mastication of the food.
We may make theories about them of supreme interest, which may explain
why animals are alike and unlike, and how the structures of superior
animals were foreshadowed in those of lower ones, and the structures of
the latter in those of still simpler forms of life.

It is the great front teeth, the large space hidden by the visible
nose, the prominent upper, and the great length of the lower jaw, which
give such a Baboon-like appearance to the face of the Chimpanzee’s
skull; and this is interesting, for there may have been a kinship
between the two tribes.

These man-shaped Apes, the Gorilla, the Nschiego Mbouvé, the
Koolo-Kamba, the Soko, and the Chimpanzee, form a group of beings which
is peculiarly situated geographically, and which is separated from all
others by anatomical differences. Their home is in Equatorial Africa,
from the Western Sea to the Great Lakes near the eastern side of the
Continent, and none of the kinds composing it have ever been found out
of this range. Their bones have not been found in caves or in the state
of fossils anywhere, so they must be regarded as essentially African.
The group clings to forest and jungle, and its members lead very much
the same kind of lives, for they are all vegetarians, liking quietude,
and either roaming singly or in pairs, or living in troops. There is
no evidence whatever that any of these species of Troglodytes have
ever wandered; and it must be admitted that they have lived where they
are now found ever since the country has been as it is, as regards its
physical geography and peculiar climate. As regards their anatomical
distinctness from other beings, they may be separated from man on the
one hand, and from the Monkeys, which form the subject of the next
chapters, on the other. They are linked together as a group by many
resemblances in their construction, although there are differences
enough to distinguish kind from kind. From man they one and all differ
in the shape of the head, the size of the brain case, the nature of the
palate, the shape of the jaws, and in the last lower molar teeth and
tooth-spaces. Their head-ridges, the shape and length of their limbs,
and the nature of their thumbs and toe-thumbs are very distinctive.
The great air-pouches, the shape of the chest, the extra ribs, and the
shape of the hip-girdle, cause them to differ much from man; and their
brain is, as it were, dwarfed and infantile.[13]


THE MAN-SHAPED APES (_continued_)--Genus _Simia_--THE ORANG-UTAN.

    Origin of the Name--Description of the Orang--Rajah Brooke’s
    First Specimen--Mr. Wallace’s Experiences in Mias Hunting--The
    Home of the Mias--A Mias at Bay--Their Nests, Habits, Food, and
    Localities--Different kinds of Orangs--Structural Points--The
    Intelligence and Habits of the Young--The Brain and its
    Case--Resemblances and Differences of Old and Young.


The Malays call their chiefs Orangs, and the word relates to the
intelligence of those called by it, meaning “a rational being.” They
apply it also to their Elephants, and to the great Ape of Sumatra
and Borneo. Utan, or as some spell it, Oetan (utang being wrong),
means wild, or “of the woods;” and hence the conjoined words may be
translated by what the natives really mean, “the wild man of the wood.”
There are two kinds of Orang-utan, and both are, to a certain extent,
man-like, the resemblance being greatest in the females and in the
young, and diminishing as the males grow older.

All have long ruddy-brown hair, the tinge being decidedly red, a dark
face, with small eyes, small nose, and great projecting jaws. The hair
comes over the forehead and backwards over the neck; it is long on the
limbs, and points downwards on the upper and upwards on the lower arm.
It covers the back, and seat, and legs, standing out often, and gives
a very wiry look to the fur. What strikes one directly on looking at a
well-stuffed specimen of an old male, for instance, is the great length
of the fore-limbs, which reach far towards the ankle, the length of
the muzzle, and the extraordinary breadth of the face under the eyes,
where the flatness resembles a mask more than a natural growth. In the
females and young this growth of the cheek-bone and its covering of fat
and skin are not seen; and it appears to be a mark of male beauty, as
are also two sets of ridges on the skull, which greatly resemble those
of the Gorilla.

Rajah Brooke, whose name will always be associated with Borneo, took
great interest in Orang-utan hunting, principally with a view to
decide how many kinds there were; and his first impressions on killing
his first large one were excited by the prominent peculiarities just
noticed. The first male he killed was seated lazily on a tree, and
when the people approached he only took the trouble to hide behind the
trunk, peeping first on one side and then on the other, and “dodging,”
as the Rajah did the same. He was wounded in the wrist, and afterwards
was despatched. The Rajah wrote to the Zoological Society of London as
follows:--“Great was our triumph as we gazed on the huge animal dead
at our feet, and proud were we of having shot the first Orang we had
seen, and shot him in his native woods, in a Borneo forest hitherto
untrodden by European feet. We were struck with the length of his arms,
the enormous neck, the expanse of face, which altogether gave the
impression of great height, whereas it was only great power. The hair
was long, reddish, and thin; the face remarkably broad and fleshy, and
on each side, in the place of a man’s whiskers, were the callosities,
or rather fleshy protuberances, which I was so desirous to see, and
which were nearly two inches in thickness. The ears were small and well
shaped, the nose quite flat, the mouth prominent, the lips thick, the
eyes small and roundish, the teeth large and discoloured, the face and
hands black--these last being very powerful. This animal was four feet
one inch in height, and its fore limb was three feet five inches and
three-quarters in length; the width of the face, moreover, being as
much as one foot one inch.”

“Whilst the fore limb was so long, the lower limb, from the hip to the
heel, only measured one foot nine inches; and hence there is great
disproportion between the limbs, the legs and feet appearing dwarfed in

The Rajah considered the Orangs to be as dull and slothful as one
could conceive, and on no occasion, when pursuing them, did they
move so fast as to preclude his keeping pace with them easily through
a moderately clear forest, and even when obstructions below (such as
wading up to the neck) enabled them to get away some distance, they
were sure to stop and allow the hunters to come up. He never observed
any attempt at defiance; and the wood which sometimes rattled about his
ears was broken by their weight, and not thrown down, as some people
imagine to be the case.

If pushed to extremity, the large male with crests on its head (which
is called “Pappan”), could be formidable; and one unfortunate man, who,
with a party, was trying to catch a large one alive, lost two of his
fingers, besides being severely bitten in the face, whilst the animal
finally beat off its pursuers. When the natives wish to catch an adult,
they cut down a circle of trees round the one on which he is seated,
and then fell that also, and close before he can recover himself, and
try to bind him. The Rajah also notices the little dread the natives
have of them, and that they form seats rather than nests in the trees.

These observations regarding their habits have been slightly opposed
by Mr. Wallace, whose descriptions of Orang--or, as he prefers to call
it, from the Dyak language, Mias--hunting and of their habits are
undoubtedly the most reliable.

Wallace spent a long time in the islands of Borneo, Java, and Sumatra;
and one of his principal objects in visiting the first especially was
to obtain an insight as to the nature and life of the great man-like
Apes of the country. After some time spent in hunting, he succeeded in
shooting a full-grown male Orang-utan, and he describes the scene as

[Illustration: ORANG-UTANS.]

“I had just come home from an entomologising excursion, when Charles
rushed in, out of breath with running and excitement, and exclaimed,
interrupted by gasps, ‘Get the gun, sir--be quick--such a large Mias!’
‘Where is it?’ I asked, taking hold of my gun as I spoke, which
happened luckily to have one barrel loaded with ball. ‘Close by,
sir--on the path to the mines; he can’t get away.’ Two Dyaks chanced
to be in the house at the time, so I called them to accompany me, and
started off, telling Charley to bring all the ammunition after me as
soon as possible. The path from our clearing to the mines led along
the side of the hill, a little way up its slope, and parallel with it
at the foot a wide opening had been made for a road, in which several
Chinamen were working, so that the animal could not escape into the
swampy forest below without descending to cross the road, or ascending
to get round the clearing. We walked cautiously along, not making
the least noise, and listening attentively for any sound which might
betray the presence of the Mias, stopping at intervals to gaze upwards.
Charley soon joined us at the place where he had seen the creature,
and having taken the ammunition, and put a bullet in the other barrel,
we dispersed a little, feeling sure that it must be somewhere near,
as it had probably descended the hill, and would not be likely to
return again. After a short time I heard a very slight rustling sound
overhead, but on gazing up could see nothing. I moved about in every
direction, to get a full view into every part of the tree under which
I had been standing, when I again heard the same noise, but louder,
and saw the leaves shaking, as if caused by the motion of some heavy
animal, which moved off to an adjoining tree. I immediately shouted for
all of them to come up and try and get a view, so as to allow me to
have a shot. This was not an easy matter, as the Mias had a knack of
selecting places with dense foliage beneath. Very soon, however, one of
the Dyaks called me and pointed upwards, and on looking I saw a great
red hairy body and a huge black face gazing down from a great height,
as if wanting to know what was making such a disturbance below. I
instantly fired, and he made off at once, so that I could not then tell
whether I had hit him. He now moved very rapidly and very noiselessly
for so large an animal, so I told the Dyaks to follow and keep him
in sight while I loaded. The jungle was here full of large angular
fragments of rock from the mountain above, and thick with hanging and
twisting creepers. Running, climbing, and creeping among these, we came
up with the creature on the top of a high tree near the road, where
the Chinamen had discovered him, and were shouting their astonishment
with open mouth: ‘Ya, ya, Tuan! Orang-utan, Tuan!’ Seeing that he
could not pass here without descending, he turned up again towards the
hill, and I got two shots, and following quickly had two more by the
time he had again reached the path; but he was almost more or less
concealed by foliage, and protected by the large branch on which he
was walking. Once while loading I had a splendid view of him, moving
along a large limb of a tree in a semi-erect posture, and showing him
to be an animal of the largest size. At the path he got on to one of
the loftiest trees in the forest, and we could see one leg hanging
down useless, having been broken by a ball. He now fixed himself in a
fork, where he was hidden by thick foliage, and seemed disinclined to
move. I was afraid he would remain and die in this position, and as it
was nearly evening I could not have got the tree cut down that day. I
therefore fired again, and he then moved off, and going up the hill was
obliged to get on to some lower trees, on the branches of one of which
he fixed himself in such a position that he could not fall, and lay all
in a heap, as if dead or dying. I now wanted the Dyaks to go up and cut
off the branch he was resting on, but they were afraid, saying he was
not dead, and would come and attack them. We then shook the adjoining
tree, pulled the hanging creepers, and did all we could to disturb him,
but without effect; so I thought it best to send for two Chinamen with
axes to cut down the tree. While the messenger was gone, however, one
of the Dyaks took courage and climbed towards him, but the Mias did
not wait for him to get near, moving off to another tree, where he got
on to a dense mass of branches and creepers, which almost completely
hid him from our view. The tree was luckily a small one, so when the
axes came we soon had it cut through; but it was so held up by jungle
ropes and climbers to adjoining trees that it only fell into a sloping
position. The Mias did not move, and I began to fear that, after all,
we should not get him, as it was near evening, and half-a-dozen more
trees would have to be cut down before the one he was on would fall.
As a last resource we all began pulling at the creepers, which shook
the tree very much; and, after a few minutes, when we had almost given
up all hopes, down he came with a crash and a thud like the fall of a
giant. And he was a giant, his head and body being full as large as
a man’s. He was of the kind called by the Dyaks ‘Mias Chapyian,’ or
‘Mias Pappan,’ which has the skin of the face broadened out to a ridge
or fold at each side. His outstretched arms measured seven feet three
inches across, and his height, measuring fairly from the top of the
head to the heel, was four feet two inches. The body just below the
arms was three feet two inches round, and was quite as long as a man’s,
the legs being exceedingly short in proportion. On examination we found
he had been dreadfully wounded. Both legs were broken, one hip-joint
and the root of the spine completely shattered, and two bullets were
found flattened in his neck and jaws; yet he was still alive when he
fell. The two Chinamen carried him home tied to a pole; and I was
occupied with Charley the whole of the next day, preparing the skin and
boiling the bones, to make a perfect skeleton, which are now preserved
in the museum at Derby.”


The following description from the same author gives an excellent idea
of the nature of the country inhabited by another Orang, and of its
Monkey companions:--

“After a few miles, the stream became very narrow and winding, and the
whole country on each side was flooded. On the banks were abundance
of Monkeys--the common _Macacus cynomolgus_, a black _Semnopithecus_,
and the extraordinary Long-nosed Monkey (_Nasalis larvatus_), which
is as large as a three-year-old child, has a very long tail, and a
fleshy nose, longer than that of the biggest-nosed man. The further we
went on the narrower and more winding the stream became; fallen trees
sometimes blocked up our passage, and sometimes tangled branches and
creepers met completely across it, and had to be cut away before we
could get on. It took us two days to reach Semábanga, and we hardly
saw a bit of dry land all the way. In the latter part of the journey
I could touch the bushes on each side for miles; and we were often
delayed by the screw-pines (_Pandanus_) which grew abundantly in the
water, falling across the stream. In other places dense rafts of
floating grass completely filled up the channel, making our journey a
constant succession of difficulties. The mountain or hill was close
by, covered with a complete forest of fruit-trees, among which the
Durion and Mangosteen were very abundant; but the fruit was not yet
quite ripe, except a little here and there. I spent a week at this
place, going out every day in various directions about the mountain,
accompanied by a Malay, who had stayed with me while the other boatmen
returned. For three days we found no Orangs, but shot a Deer and
several Monkeys. On the fourth day, however, we found a Mias feeding
on a very lofty Durion tree, and succeeded in killing it, after eight
shots. Unfortunately it remained in the tree, hanging by its hands, and
we were obliged to leave it and return home, as it was several miles
off. As I felt pretty sure it would fall during the night, I returned
to the place early the next morning, and found it on the ground
beneath the tree. To my astonishment and pleasure, it appeared to be a
different kind from any I had yet seen; for although a full-grown male,
by its fully-developed teeth and very large canines, it had no sign of
the lateral protuberance on the face, and was about one-tenth smaller
than the other adult males. The upper incisors, however, appeared to
be broader than in the larger species, a character distinguishing the
_Simia morio_ of Professor Owen, which he has described from the skull
of a female specimen. As it was too far to carry the animal home, I
set to work and skinned the body on the spot, leaving the head, hands,
and feet attached, to be finished at home. This specimen is now in the
British Museum.”

The Mias, as stated by Rajah Brooke, will turn upon an antagonist when
hard pressed, and with no small bravery and ferocity; and this was
satisfactorily proved by Mr. Wallace, who tells the following story:--

“About ten days after this, on June 4th, some Dyaks came to tell me
that the day before a Mias had nearly killed one of their companions.
A few miles down the river there is a Dyak house, and the inhabitants
saw a large Orang feeding on the young shoots of a palm by the river
side. On being alarmed he retreated towards the jungle, which was
close by, and a number of the men, armed with spears and choppers,
ran out to intercept him. The man who was in front tried to run his
spear through the animal’s body, but the Mias seized it in his hands,
and in an instant got hold of the man’s arm, which he seized in his
mouth, making his teeth meet in the flesh above the elbow, which he
tore and lacerated in a dreadful manner. Had not the others been close
behind, the man would have been more seriously injured, if not killed,
as he was quite powerless; but they soon destroyed the creature with
their spears and choppers. The man remained ill for a long time,
and never fully recovered the use of his arm. They told me the dead
Mias was still lying where it had been killed, so I offered them a
reward to bring it up to our landing-place immediately, which they
promised to do. They did not come, however, till the next day, and then
decomposition had commenced, and great patches of the hair came off, so
that it was useless to skin it. This I regretted much, as it was a very
fine, full-grown male. I cut off the head and took it home to clean,
while I got my men to make a close fence, about five feet high, round
the rest of the body, which would soon be devoured by maggots, small
lizards, and ants, leaving me the skeleton.”

On another occasion Mr. Wallace had an opportunity of observing the
nest, or rather nest-making, which is performed by these animals when
severely wounded. “He was called by a Chinaman working in Borneo to
shoot a Mias which, he said, was on a tree close by his house at the
coal-mines. Arriving at the place, we had some difficulty in finding
the animal, as he had gone off into the jungle, which was very rocky
and difficult to traverse. At last we found him up a very high tree,
and could see that he was a male of the largest size. As soon as I had
fired, he moved higher up the tree, and while he was doing so I fired
again; and we then saw that one arm was broken. He had now reached the
very highest part of an immense tree, and immediately began breaking
off boughs all around, and laying them across and across to make a
nest. It was very interesting to see how well he had chosen his place,
and how rapidly he stretched out his unwounded arm in every direction,
breaking off good-sized boughs with the greatest ease, and laying
them back across each other, so that in a few minutes he had formed a
compact mass of foliage, which entirely concealed him from our sight.
He was evidently going to pass the night here, and would probably get
away early the next morning, if not wounded too severely. I therefore
fired again several times, in hopes of making him leave his nest; but,
though I felt sure I had hit him, as at each shot he moved a little,
he would not go away. At length he raised himself up, so that half
his body was visible, and then gradually sank down, his head alone
remaining on the edge of the nest. I now felt sure he was dead, and
tried to persuade the Chinaman and his companion to cut down the tree;
but it was a very large one, and they had been at work all day, and
nothing would induce them to attempt it. The next morning, at daybreak,
I came to the place, and found that the Mias was evidently dead, as his
head was visible in exactly the same position as before.”

There is every reason to believe that the Mias, or Orang-utan, is
confined to the two great islands of Sumatra and Borneo, in the former
of which, however, it seems to be much more rare. In Borneo it has a
wide range, inhabiting many districts on the south-west, south-east,
north-east, and north-west coasts, but appears to be chiefly confined
to the low and swampy forests. It seems, at first sight, very
inexplicable that the Mias should be quite unknown in the Saráwak
valley, while it is abundant in Sambas, on the west, and Sádong, on
the east; but when we know the habits and mode of life of the animal,
we see a sufficient reason for this apparent anomaly in the physical
features of the Saráwak district. Where Mr. Wallace observed the Mias
it was where the country is low, level, and swampy, and at the same
time covered with a lofty virgin forest. Many isolated mountains, on
some of which the Dyaks have settled, are close by, and are covered
with plantations of fruit-trees. These are a great attraction to the
Mias, which comes to feed on the fruits, but always retires to the
swamp at night. When the country becomes slightly elevated, and the
soil dry, the Mias is no longer to be found. For example, in all the
lower parts of the Sádong valley it abounds, but as soon as we ascend
above the limits of the tides, where the country, though still flat,
is high enough to be dry, it disappears. Now, the Saráwak valley has
this peculiarity: the lower portion, though swampy, is not covered
with continuous lofty forests, but is principally occupied by the Nipa
palm; and near the town of Saráwak, where the country becomes dry, it
is greatly undulated in many parts, and covered with small patches
of virgin forest and much second-growth jungle, on ground which has
once been cultivated by the Malays or Dyaks. “Now it seems to me,”
writes the same author, “that a wide extent of unbroken and equally
lofty virgin forest is necessary to the comfortable existence of these
animals. Such forests form their open country, where they can roam in
every direction, with as much facility as the Indian on the prairie
or the Arab on the desert; passing from tree-top to tree-top without
ever being obliged to descend upon the earth. The elevated and the
drier districts are more frequented by man, and are more cut up by
clearings and low second-growth jungle. They are not adapted to its
peculiar mode of progression, and they would be more exposed to danger,
and more frequently obliged to descend upon the earth in such places.
There is probably also a greater variety of fruit in the Mias district,
the small mountains which rise like islands out of it serving as a
sort of gardens or plantations. It is a singular and very interesting
sight to watch a Mias making his way leisurely through the forest. He
walks deliberately along some of the larger branches in the semi-erect
attitude, which the great length of his arms and the shortness of his
legs cause him naturally to assume; and the disproportion between these
limbs is increased by his walking on his knuckles, not on the palm of
the hand, as we should do. He seems always to choose those branches
which intermingle with an adjoining tree, on approaching which he
stretches out his long arms, and seizing the opposing boughs, grasps
them together with both hands, seems to try their strength, and then
deliberately swings himself across to the next branch on which he walks
along as before. He never jumps or springs, or even appears to hurry
himself, and yet manages to get along almost as quickly as a person can
run through the forest beneath. The long and powerful arms are of the
greatest use to the animal, enabling it to climb easily up the loftiest
trees, to seize fruits and young leaves from slender boughs which will
not bear its weight, and to gather leaves and branches with which to
form its nest.”

[Illustration: ORANG AT BAY.]

[Illustration: FAMILY OF ORANG-UTANS.]

Mr. Wallace, who described how it forms a nest when wounded, states
“that it uses a similar one to sleep in almost every night. This is
placed low down, however, on a small tree, not more than from twenty
to fifty feet from the ground, probably because it is warmer and less
exposed to wind than higher up. Each Mias is said to make a fresh one
for himself every night; but I should think that is hardly probable,
or their remains would be much more abundant; for though I saw several
about the coal-mines, there must have been many Orangs about every
day, and in a year their deserted nests would become very numerous.
The Dyaks say that when it is very wet the Mias covers himself over
with leaves of Pandanus, or large ferns, which has, perhaps, led to
the story of his making a hut in the trees. The Orang does not leave
his bed till the sun has well risen and has dried up the dew upon the
leaves. He feeds all through the middle of the day, but seldom returns
to the same tree two days running. They do not seem much alarmed at
man, as they often stared down upon me for several minutes, and they
only moved away slowly to an adjacent tree. After seeing one, I have
often had to go half a mile or more to fetch my gun, and in nearly
every case have found it on the same tree, or within a hundred yards,
when I returned. I never saw two full-grown animals together, but both
males and females are sometimes accompanied by half-grown young ones,
while, at other times, three or four young ones were seen in company.
Their food consists almost exclusively of fruit, with occasional
leaves, buds, and young shoots. They seem to prefer unripe fruits,
some of which were very sour, others intensely bitter, particularly
the large red fleshy arillus, or rind of one, which seemed an especial
favourite. In other cases they eat only the small seed of a large
fruit, and they almost always waste and destroy more than they eat,
so that there is a continual rain of rejected portions below the
tree they are feeding on. The Durion is an especial favourite, and
quantities of this delicious fruit are destroyed wherever it grows
surrounded by forest, but they will not cross clearings to get at them.
It seems wonderful how the animal can tear open this fruit, the outer
covering of which is so thick and tough, and closely covered with
strong conical spines. It probably bites off a few of these first,
and then, making a small hole, tears open the fruit with its powerful
fingers. The Mias rarely descends to the ground, except when, pressed
by hunger, it seeks for succulent shoots by the river side; or, in very
dry weather, has to search after water, of which it generally finds
sufficient in the hollows of leaves. Once only I saw two half-grown
Orangs on the ground, in a dry hollow at the foot of the Simunjou Hill.
They were playing together, standing erect, and grasping each other
by the arms. It may be safely stated, however, that the Orang never
walks erect, unless when using its hands to support itself by branches
overhead, or when attacked. Representations of its walking with a
stick are entirely imaginary. The Dyaks all declare that the Mias is
never attacked by any animal in the forest, with two rare exceptions;
and the accounts I received of these are so curious, that I give them
nearly in the words of my informants, old Dyak chiefs, who had lived
all their lives in the places where the animal is most abundant. The
first of whom I inquired said:--‘No animal is strong enough to hurt the
Mias, and the only creature he ever fights with is the Crocodile. When
there is no fruit in the jungle, he goes to seek food on the banks of
the river, where there are plenty of young shoots that he likes, and
fruits that grow close to the water. Then the Crocodile sometimes tries
to seize him, but the Mias gets upon him, and beats him with his hands
and feet, and tears him, and kills him.’ He added that he had once seen
such a fight, and that he believes that the Mias is always the victor.
My next informant was the Orang Kaya, or chief of the Balow Dyaks,
on the Simunjou River. He said: ‘The Mias has no enemies; no animals
dare attack it but the Crocodile and the Python. He always kills the
Crocodile by main strength, standing upon it, pulling open its jaws,
and ripping up its throat. If a Python attacks a Mias, he seizes it
with his hands, and then bites it, and soon kills it. The Mias is very
strong; there is no animal in the jungle so strong as he.’”

It is very remarkable that an animal so large, so peculiar, and of such
a high type of form as the Orang-utan, should be confined to so limited
a district--to two islands, and those almost the last inhabited by the
higher Mammalia; but in the Mid-Tertiary Period, and just before the
formation of the Himalayan Mountains, Orangs lived on the continent of
India, and their remains have been found fossilised. With what interest
must every naturalist look forward to the time when the caves and
Tertiary deposits of the tropics may be thoroughly examined, and the
past history and earliest appearance of the great man-like Apes be at
length made known!

The Orang-utans appear, from what has been written by all competent
observers, to be of two kinds, the one larger, and the other smaller
in stature; the first is called _Simia satyrus_, and the other _Simia
morio_. Simia is translated in old Latin dictionaries as an Ape, or
Jackanapes, and the term was used to designate the tribe or genus which
should include all the species or kinds of man-shaped Apes. But after
a while there was thought to be sufficient reasons for separating the
Troglodytes from the genus Simia, and therefore this last-named one,
instead of comprising the Gorilla, the Nschiego, the Koolo, the Soko,
and the Chimpanzee, has but the Orang-utan.

Why this separation should have taken place is of course a very natural
question, and the answer is that there are sufficient differences in
the construction of the Orangs and the Chimpanzees and the others to
warrant it. There is a greater structural difference between the Orang
and the Chimpanzee than between this last and any of its congeners,
that is to say, species included in the genus Troglodytes.

Moreover, on examining several skulls and skeletons of all these kinds,
it seems as if, whilst the African Troglodytes may have descended from
a common ancestor, probably a Baboon, the Orang-utan could not have
come from the same stock.

There are some important distinctions in the anatomy of the Orang, some
of which are evidently produced by adaptation to a particular habit
or mode of life, and others in which the results of cause and effect
cannot be traced.

In making its way through the forest, and in climbing so constantly
that any position on the ground is rare, the great length of the fore
limbs is of immense use to them. They nearly touch the ground, so long
are they, when the creature is erect, and this peculiarity separates
them from the Chimpanzees. In climbing, the blade-bone is of great
importance; and in the Orang it is broader, and more like that of man
than in the Chimpanzee and Gorilla, and its spine is inclined upwards;
and one of the processes of the blade-bone which has to do with the
muscles which pass from the shoulder to the arm, and which is called
the coracoid, is more inclined downwards than in the Apes already
described. Now, the blade-bone of the Chimpanzee and its coracoid are
admirably adapted for climbing; why are they not, therefore, exactly
like those of the Orang, and _vice versâ_? This is not a difference
produced by adaptation of means to ends, but one which relates to the
origin of the two animals, and to those which preceded them. The same
is the case in respect of the wrist of the Orang. It has one bone more
than the Chimpanzee, which has the same number as in other Troglodytes,
and in man also. This bone is fixed in between the two rows of the
bones of the wrist, and is called the “intermediate,” and is found in
the Monkeys which are below the Orang in the animal scale. It is an
offshoot of the scaphoid bone.

Oddly enough, although the number of the ribs of the Troglodytes is
thirteen, and probably in one of them there are fourteen, there are
only twelve in the Orang; and the breast-bone, which consists of a
large upper bone and several smaller ones (united above and below to
each other, in the Troglodytes), has these bones separate and halved,
as it were, sideways in the Orang, resembling in it the condition of
the bones of the immature man. In the Troglodytes the round top of
the thigh-bone, where it fits into its socket, the hip, has a kind of
rope-like ligament attaching the one bone to the other, but this does
not exist in the Orang. The knee-cap is very small, and the heel-bone
hardly projects backwards in the Orang, and the “toe-thumb” sticks
out at right angles from the foot, being about one-quarter of its
length. The Orang is a great climber, and rarely, if ever, walks on
its sole, which the Chimpanzee can do slightly. The general appearance
and the nature of the movements of the foot of the Orang is that of a
thin “club foot.” All the turning-in of the bones of the foot in the
Chimpanzee is exaggerated in the Orang, whose toe-thumbs are capable of
great activity. Tame Orangs may be noticed to use the foot, which is
longer than the lower leg, in climbing, as perfectly as the hand; and
it appears that the frequency of their movements of grasping, rather
than of delicate prehension, tends to the last joint of the “toe-thumb”
becoming small and losing its nail.

A huge air-pouch is packed away in front of the windpipe and amongst
the muscles of the neck, as in the Apes already noticed, and it
commences in the so-called ventricles of the larynx. Its extension
amongst the upper muscles of the chest is most remarkable, for when
full of air, these being relaxed, it must blow out the upper part of
the body and neck in a singular manner.

One of the muscles of the chest, common to man and Apes, the great
pectoral (_pectoralis major_)--which has already been noticed as
springing from the ribs, the breast and collar-bone, and to be attached
in front of the groove in the upper arm-bone--is not a continuous sheet
of muscular fibre as in man, but is divided into a number of bundles,
there being at least three great ones. Now, it is between these and
in their intervals that the vast laryngeal air-pouch is found on the
chest. Great as it is, however, it does not appear to have anything
to do with the voice, except, perhaps, to produce resonance during

The muscles of the hips, thigh, and leg-bones of the Orang cannot be
distinguished generally from those of the Chimpanzee; but it is evident
that the position of some is such as to make straightening of the knee
very difficult, and on the contrary, they assist jumping and climbing,
or any movement in which it can be kept permanently bent. As it is
most convenient for the foot of the Orang to be well expanded during
climbing or holding on, and not for its bones to be too much forced
together sideways, the animal is deficient in a muscle which exists
in man,[15] and which stretches transversely across, between the ends
of the metatarsal bones. In like manner the inability of the thumb to
perform many separate actions is produced by the absence of the flexor
muscle; but there is a slip of a muscle whose tendon reaches the first
joint, and its office is to oppose the thumb, not to the palm of the
hand, but to the first joint of the second finger. This is a monkeyish

The animal, using as it does its short toe-thumb for grasping forcibly,
requires all the power possible to be exercised between its bones and
those of the ankle. Hence it has a muscle which exists in the hand but
not in the foot of man, and which, from its drawing the bones together,
is called the _opponens_ (of the great toe). This does not appear to
exist in the Troglodytes.

The other most important peculiarities of the muscles which relate to
the greater but less independent movement of the toes and fingers, are
the connection of the long flexor of the “toe-thumb” with the lower and
outer part of the thigh-bone, and the possession of a complete set of
deep extensor muscles for the four outer fingers. The extensor of the
first, and the corresponding muscle of the little finger, subdivide to
supply the third and fourth. This is the case in the next group of Apes
also, but in the Troglodytes each of these muscles has but a single

[Illustration: ORANG AND NEST.]

Before considering the anatomy of the brain, skull, and the inside of
the Orang, it is as well to become aware of some of its peculiarities
when young, and in a state of captivity.

[Illustration: YOUNG ORANG.

(_From Wallace, by permission of the Publishers._)]

Several young Orang-utans have been brought to Europe and exhibited, to
the delight of every one who saw them, but Mr. Wallace was fortunate
enough to obtain one in its native haunts, and to observe it in its
own climate. After shooting a female Mias, he found a little tiny one,
lying face downwards, in the swamp where they were. “It was only about
a foot long,” writes Mr. Wallace, “and had evidently been hanging to
its mother when she first fell. Luckily, it did not appear to have
been wounded, and after we had cleaned the mud out of its mouth it
began to cry out, and seemed quite strong and active. While carrying
it home it got its hands in my beard, and grasped so tightly, that I
had great difficulty in getting free, for the fingers are habitually
bent inwards at the last joint, so as to form complete hooks. At this
time it had not a single tooth, but a few days afterwards it cut its
two lower front teeth. Unfortunately, I had no milk to give it, as
neither Malays, Chinese, nor Dyaks ever use the article, and I in vain
inquired for any female animal that could suckle my little infant. I
was therefore obliged to give it rice-water from a bottle, with a quill
in the cork, which after a few trials it learned to suck very well.
This was very meagre diet, and the little creature did not thrive well
on it, although I added sugar and cocoa-nut milk occasionally, to make
it more nourishing. When I put my finger in its mouth it sucked with
great vigour, drawing in its cheeks with all its might in the vain
effort to extract some milk, and only after persevering a long time
would it give up in disgust, and set up a scream very like that of a
baby in similar circumstances. When handled or nursed, it was very
quiet and contented, but when laid down by itself would invariably cry;
and for the first few nights was very restless and noisy. I fitted up
a little box for a cradle, with a soft mat for it to lie upon, which
was changed and washed every day; and I soon found it necessary to wash
the little Mias as well. After I had done so a few times, it came to
like the operation, and as soon as it was dirty would begin crying,
and not leave off till I took it out and carried it to the spout, when
it immediately became quiet, although it would wince a little at the
first rush of the cold water, and make ridiculously wry faces while the
stream was running over its head. It enjoyed the wiping and rubbing
dry amazingly, and when I brushed its hair seemed to be perfectly
happy, lying quite still, with its arms and legs stretched out, while
I thoroughly brushed the long hair of its back and arms. For the first
few days it clung desperately with all four hands to whatever it could
lay hold of, and I had to be careful to keep my beard out of its way,
as its fingers clutched hold of hair more tenaciously than anything
else, and it was impossible to free myself without assistance. When
restless, it would struggle about, with its hands up in the air, trying
to find something to take hold of, and, when it had got a bit of stick
or rag in two or three of its hands, seemed quite happy. For want of
something else, it would often seize its own feet, and after a time
it would constantly cross its arms, and grasp with each hand the long
hair that grew just below the opposite shoulder. The great tenacity
of its grasp soon diminished, and I was obliged to invent some means
to give it exercise and strengthen its limbs. For this purpose I made
a short ladder of three or four rounds, on which I put it to hang for
a quarter of an hour at a time. At first it seemed much pleased, but
it could not get all four hands in a comfortable position, and, after
changing about several times, would leave hold of one hand after the
other, and drop on the floor. Sometimes when hanging only by two hands,
it would loose one, and cross it to the opposite shoulder, grasping
its own hair; and, as this seemed much more agreeable than the stick,
it would then loose the other and tumble down, when it would cross
both, and lie on its back quite contentedly, never seeming to be hurt
by its numerous tumbles. Finding it so fond of hair, I endeavoured
to make an artificial mother, by wrapping up a piece of buffalo-skin
into a bundle, and suspending it about a foot from the floor. At
first this seemed to suit it admirably, as it could sprawl its legs
about and always find some hair, which it grasped with the greatest
tenacity. I was now in hopes that I had made the little orphan quite
happy; and so it seemed for some time, till it began to remember its
lost parent, and try to suck. It would pull itself up close to the
skin, and try about everywhere for a likely place; but, as it only
succeeded in getting mouthfuls of hair and wool, it would be greatly
disgusted, and scream violently, and after two or three attempts, let
go altogether. One day it got some wool into its throat, and I thought
it would have choked, but after much gasping it recovered, and I was
obliged to take the imitation mother to pieces again, and give up this
last attempt to exercise the little creature. After the first week I
found I could feed it better with a spoon, and give it a little more
varied and more solid food. Well-soaked biscuit, mixed with a little
egg and sugar, and sometimes sweet potatoes, were readily eaten; and
it was a never-failing amusement to observe the curious changes of
countenance by which it would express its approval or dislike of what
was given to it. The poor little thing would lick its lips, draw in its
cheeks, and turn up its eyes with an expression of the most supreme
satisfaction when it had a mouthful particularly to its taste. On the
other hand, when its food was not sufficiently sweet or palatable,
it would turn the mouthful about with its tongue for a moment, as if
trying to extract what flavour there was, and then push it all out
between its lips. If the same food was continued, it would set up a
scream, and kick about violently, exactly like a baby in a passion.
After I had had the little Mias about three weeks, I fortunately
obtained a young Macaque Monkey (_Macacus cynomolgus_), which, though
small, was very active, and could feed itself. I placed it in the same
box with the Mias, and they immediately became excellent friends,
neither exhibiting the least fear of the other. The little Monkey
would sit upon the other’s stomach, or even on its face, without the
least regard to its feelings. While I was feeding the Mias, the Monkey
would sit by, picking up all that was spilt, and occasionally putting
out its hands to intercept the spoon, and as soon as I had finished
would pick off what was left sticking to the Mias’ lips, and then pull
open its mouth to see if any still remained inside, afterwards lying
down on the poor creature’s stomach as on a comfortable cushion. The
little helpless Mias would submit to all these insults with the most
exemplary patience, only too glad to have something warm near it which
it could clasp affectionately in its arms. It sometimes, however, had
its revenge; for when the Monkey wanted to go away, the Mias would hold
on as long as it could by the loose skin of its back or head, or by its
tail, and it was only after many vigorous jumps that the Monkey could
make its escape. It was curious to observe the different actions of
these two animals, which could not have differed much in age. The Mias,
like a very young baby, lying on its back, quite helpless, rolling
lazily from side to side, stretching out all four hands into the air,
wishing to grasp something, but hardly able to guide its fingers to
any definite object, and when dissatisfied opening wide its almost
toothless mouth, and expressing its wants by a most infantine scream;
the little Monkey, on the other hand, in constant motion, running and
jumping about wherever it pleased, examining everything around it,
seizing hold of the smallest objects with the greatest precision,
balancing itself on the edge of the box, or running up a post, and
helping itself to anything eatable that came in its way. There could
hardly be a greater contrast; and the baby Mias looked more baby-like
by the comparison. When I had had it about a month, it began to exhibit
some signs of learning to run alone. When laid upon the floor it would
push itself along by its legs, or roll itself over, and thus make an
unwieldy progression. When lying in the box it would lift itself up to
the edge into almost an erect position, and once or twice succeeded in
tumbling out. When left dirty, or hungry, or otherwise neglected, it
would scream violently till attended to, varied by a kind of coughing
or pumping noise, very similar to that which is made by the adult
animal. If no one was in the house, or its cries were not attended
to, it would be quiet after a little while, but the moment it heard
a footstep would begin again harder than ever. After five weeks it
cut its two upper front teeth, but in all this time it had not grown
the least bit, remaining, both in size and weight, the same as when I
first procured it. This was, no doubt, owing to the want of milk or
other equally nourishing food. Rice-water, rice, and biscuits were
but a poor substitute, and the expressed milk of the cocoa-nut, which
I sometimes gave it, did not quite agree with its stomach. To this I
imputed an attack of diarrhœa, from which the poor little creature
suffered greatly, but a small dose of castor-oil operated well, and
cured it. A week or two afterwards it was again taken ill, and this
time more seriously. The symptoms were exactly those of intermittent
fever, accompanied by watery swellings on the feet and head. It lost
all appetite for its food, and after lingering for a week, a most
pitiable object, died, after being in my possession nearly three
months. I much regretted the loss of my little pet, which I had at one
time looked forward to bringing up to years of maturity, and taking
home to England. For several months it had afforded me daily amusement
by its curious ways and the inimitably ludicrous expression of its
little countenance. Its weight was three pounds nine ounces, its height
fourteen inches, and the spread of its arms twenty-three inches. I
preserved its skin and skeleton, and in doing so found that, when it
fell from the tree, it must have broken an arm and a leg, which had,
however, united so rapidly, that I only noticed the hard swellings on
the limbs where the irregular junction of the bones had taken place.”

There is evidently much intelligence in the young Orang, when brought
in contact with man, but probably in its native woods it leads a very
quiet and almost mechanical life, there being nothing to develop extra
instincts, thought, or unusual intelligence. Of course, some are more
active than others, and many have to use greater exertion than others
to obtain food. Hence, whilst there is no increased growth of the
mental organ after Orang childhood, there may be great increase of
the muscular structures. In the first instance, the brain case does
not enlarge internally, and the old ones have no more brains than the
young; and in the second, the ridges on the skull, the spines of the
neck, and the markings on the bones generally do grow immensely, so as
to give attachment to extra-muscular fibres.

[Illustration: AIR POUCHES OF ORANG.

(_After Temminck._)]

[Illustration: BRAIN OF ORANG.

(_From Royal College of Surgeons._)]

Moreover, besides these causes of growth there are those hidden ones
which refer to sex, the old males acquiring a hideous aspect in our
eyes, but lovely in those of the more comely female Miases, from the
growth of long head ridges and the curious face pads. The bulk of the
brain of an Orang is about one-half of that of a man of ordinary mind;
and the brain itself, whilst it is higher in measurement than that of
any of the Apes already mentioned, is long and flat in comparison with
that of man. In front it tapers off slightly, and is not flat in front
and below, for there the eye-cases or orbits, by projecting upwards,
render the brain in their neighbourhood, as it were, excavated. As
in the other Apes, the back of the brain is well developed, and the
several parts distinguishable in man exist. One of the furrows so
visible in the Troglodytes, which marks the side of the brain towards
the back (the occipito-temporal), is scarcely in existence in the Orang.

There is something very human in the appearance of the brain case
in the young of both species of Orang. The back and sides have the
peculiar “bumpy” look of those of the child; there are then no crests,
and the brow ridges, extremely small, merge into a straightish
forehead. The face looks long in front of the eyes, or orbits, and
these are elliptical or oval, and approaching the circular in outline.
The cheeks look wide even in the young ones; and it will be noticed
that the bone of the upper jaw (superior maxillary bone) has a short
projection, which joins the molar or cheek-bone at some distance
from the jaw. There is a hole or holes under the orbit in man and in
the Troglodytes which transmits a nerve to the face, and people who
have tic-douloureux know where it is very well; this is close to the
junction of the molar and jaw-bones in the Troglodytes, but in the
Orang this junction is much further off the middle of the face. This
causes the extra width to the cheeks. The bone there forms the surface
upon which the curious pad of fat and skin rests, which gives such an
ugly look to the face in the old ones, when all these parts have grown
to excess. The young have milk teeth, and in the upper jaw the last
crushing or molar tooth has large cusps behind and projecting inwards,
and the incisor teeth are equal in size. In the lower jaw the incisors
are grooved in front in a curious manner; and the great molar teeth
with five cusps have a curiously wrinkled-looking surface. Underneath
the skull looks long, and the hole for the spinal cord is much longer
than broad, and the joints or condyles are distant from the front of
it. The palate is broad and the nose cavity also, and there is a bony
styloid process connected with the ear-bone.

In the female of the _Simia morio_, which is the smallest Orang, all
the structures just mentioned as characterising the young _Simia
satyrus_ and the young male _Morio_ are exaggerated. There are faint
frontal ridges also, and the back ridge or crest is shown, but there is
hardly any difference in the size of the brain case. The front bone of
the upper jaw is very distinct; and the creature whose skull is in the
British Museum had its permanent teeth, the milk ones having fallen.
There was the same number of teeth as in the Troglodytes and in man.
But it is in the old males that the juvenile structures are greatly
altered; and it is indeed hard to believe their skulls ever could have
belonged to the same species. In the old males the brain case has not
increased in its capacity, but it is furnished with huge ridges along
the front and crossing behind. The ridges commence on the brow ridges
and the outside of the orbits, which are no longer nearly circular, but
flattened above; they pass on to the forehead, and curve to join in
the middle line of the skull, forming a crest. This meets at the back
a crest coming from the tip of each ear-bone. The cheek-bones are huge
and wide apart; the upper canine teeth are great, and their sockets
mark the face. The palate is huge, wide, and not arched; and the upper
middle incisors project, and are very large, cutting indeed upon three
of the lower ones.

[Illustration: WRIST BONES OF ORANG.[17]]

All the roughnesses for the attachment of muscles are great, and the
lower jaw is immense, and the tooth next to the lower canine--the first
false molar--is pointed and cutting behind. Finally, the opening for
the spinal cord (the foramen magnum) is round in front, and the condyle
joints are close to its anterior margin. These are changes during the
growth which are worth considering, especially as they cause the animal
to depart from many of its man-like characters, which are so well seen
in the young and in the females.

The Orang has no uvula, and the papillæ of the back of the tongue are
in the shape of the letter V. Its stomach differs somewhat in shape
from that of man and the Troglodytes, but its vegetable diet determines
the existence of a large intestine which has a little ending or
appendix (vermiformis) as in man.

[Illustration: SIAMANG.]



    General Characteristics of the Species--THE SIAMANG--Its Habits
    and Anatomy--Distinctness from the Orangs and Gibbons--Special
    Peculiarities--THE WHITE-HANDED GIBBON--Where Found--Its Cry--Its
    Habits--Special Anatomical Features--THE HOOLOOK--Where Found--A
    Young One in Captivity--Shape of the Skull--THE WOOYEN APE--Its
    Appearance and Habits--THE WOW-WOW--Very little Known about
    it--THE AGILE GIBBON--Reason of the Name--Peculiarities of the
    Anatomy--General Comparison of the Different Varieties of the Great

The Orang-utan is not the only man-shaped Ape of the forests and
jungles of the great Asiatic Islands, for there are several others to
be found there, and which also live on the main land, from Malacca far
away to the north in Assam; southwards, in the peninsula of Hindostan,
and in South China.

They are less human-looking than the red Orangs, and they are smaller
and more slender, but when they walk for a short distance erect, with
the arms above the head balancing the body, their resemblance to a
small and hairy “lord of creation” is considerable. A very slight
glance distinguishes them from the Orangs; they have straight backs,
small beads, large eyes, rather prominent chins, very long fore-arms,
and their fingers reach the ankle in some, and the ground in others.
Moreover, the Orangs sit upon a surface of hair, and these are
furnished with a hard pad-like seat which is bare, and is called a
callosity, but they have no tail. They can run.

These long-armed Apes have a number of names, but as a whole they
are called Gibbons; and as their outside and inside differences and
distinctions from the Orangs are considerable and more than those
of the kinds of Orangs between themselves, they are grouped into a
separate genus. The Orangs form, as has been stated before, the genus
_Simia_, and these Gibbons constitute the genus _Hylobates_, a term
taken from the Greek ὑλοβάτης, a walker in the woods.

So far as their intelligence, amiability, and teachableness are
concerned, they are equal to the Orangs, and indeed they seem to adapt
themselves to the methods of men more readily. Not only do they become
very fond of their keepers, but they recollect them after the lapse of
time; and they are constantly let loose by those who keep them in India
to wander about the trees in the neighbourhood, and they will return to
be cared for, and come, when called, to be fed.

Interesting to those who study the intelligence of animals, they are
equally so to the common observer, who delights in witnessing their
surpassing agility, wonderful leaps, and graceful swings from bough
to bough. But to the anatomist they present many complicated problems
for although evidently not so high in the animal scale as the Orangs
and Chimpanzees, they have some things about them which cause them to
resemble man more than do these great Apes, and others which cause
them to resemble the large army of Monkeys. They are the last of the
man-shaped in the classification, and the usual plan is to place them
after the Orangs.

They are extremely delicate animals, although their fur is thick,
and, in some kinds, long. They require a considerable temperature and
very pure air; hence, although many have been brought to Europe, and
exhibited to the delight of thousands, they do not live long, dying
usually from consumption or from some lung disease. In the British
Museum there are several groups of stuffed specimens of them, and also
many skulls and skeletons, and a cursory examination of the first
will prove that it is very difficult to distinguish one kind from
another, for in the same kind, or species, there is a great variety of
colour, and a different individuality in the two sexes and young. It
has happened that the same kind has been called by several names by
different observers, and it is only when the skeleton has been examined
with the stuffed specimen that a satisfactory distinction between the
species or kinds has been made.

Evidently, the whole of these long-armed Apes, with small heads and
callosities on the seat, are separable into two divisions. In one the
animals are larger than the others, and have a very singular adaptation
of the foot for rapid movement amongst the boughs, and they have
air-pouches; and in the second the animals are smaller, and have the
toes free, and have no pouches. So the genus _Hylobates_ is divided
into two divisions: 1. The Siamangs. 2. The True Gibbons.


Sir Stamford Raffles brought the Siamang prominently before the
scientific world, and noticed the curious manner in which some of the
toes were united, and he considered that this was to enable them to
swing rapidly from branch to branch during their ordinary movements
in the forest, when any stretching out of the fingers might be
dangerous and produce a fall. But in this, as in many others, we owe
to Mr. Wallace thanks for a concise description of the habits of the
creature, which, from having its toes partly joined, has been named,
_Syndactylus_, from the Greek words σὺν and δάκτυλος, which mean
“together” and “finger.”

“A very curious Ape, the Siamang, was rather abundant, but it is much
less bold than the common Monkeys, keeping to the virgin forest, and
avoiding villages. This species is allied to the little long-armed
Apes of the genus _Hylobates_, but is considerably larger, and differs
from them by having the two first fingers of the feet united together,
nearly to the end; whence its name. It moves much more slowly than the
_Hylobates_, keeping lower down in the trees, and not indulging in such
tremendous leaps; but still it is very active, and by means of its
immense long arms--five feet six inches across in an adult about three
feet high--can swing itself along among the trees at a great rate. I
purchased a small one, which had been caught by the natives, and tied
up so tightly as to hurt it. It was rather savage at first, and tried
to bite, but when we had released it, and given it two poles under
the verandah to hang upon, securing it by a short cord running along
the pole with a ring, so that it could move easily, it became more
contented, and would swing itself about with greater rapidity. It ate
almost any kind of fruit and rice, and I was in hopes to have brought
it to England, but it died just before I started. It took a dislike
to me at first, which I tried to get over by feeding it constantly
myself. One day, however, it bit me so sharply while giving it food
that I lost patience, and gave it rather a severe beating which I
regretted afterwards, as from that time it disliked me more than ever.
It would allow my Malay boys to play with it, and for hours together
would swing by its arms from pole to pole, and on to the rafters of the
verandah, with so much ease and rapidity, that it was a constant source
of amusement to us. When I returned to Singapore it attracted great
attention, as no one had seen a Siamang before, although it is not
uncommon in some parts of the Malay peninsula.”

There are some interesting points about the relation of the
construction of this animal and its method of moving. Thus, in
grasping a bough with the arm at full length above the head, so as
to leave it with a swing in order to grasp another rapidly and for
a correspondingly short period of time, the fingers require to be
kept together as much as is possible, and to remain more or less bent
on the palm. The long thumb may or may not be used, but in order to
move efficiently it must be free, and also strong. Now in the Siamang
these necessary peculiarities are present, and the common use of the
finger and thumb in taking hold of things in the ordinary manner is
sacrificed to them, and there is little or no delicacy of fingering or
of prehension. Moreover, the fingers and thumbs are extremely thin and
delicate, and in order to render the first finger less movable, it is,
to a certain extent, deficient in its muscles of extension; and the
common bending or flexor muscle of the fingers is very independent of
that of the thumb. In compensation there is a special muscle found in
this genus alone, which pulls the top of the second finger towards the
thumb.[20] The skeleton of the hand shows that the fingers are slightly
curved. There is no doubt that the hand of the Siamang, although it has
these peculiar muscles, the curve of the bones, and also the extra bone
noticed in the Orangs, is, as far as its skeleton is concerned, much
more human than that of the other Apes. The extensor muscles of the
fingers resemble those of the Orangs. The hand is larger than the foot
in these animals, and the forearm is much longer than the upper arm.

A French naturalist states that the animal can leap, or, rather,
swing--for it is done with the fore limbs--with graceful agility at
least eighty feet, and the muscles of the arm, which are connected with
the chest, aid in this. The pull is from the stationary arm to the
chest of the movable body by muscular contraction; and the greater the
muscular connection between the arm and chest, the greater will be the
movement. In order to provide for this, the great muscle of the front
of the upper arm, the biceps (see page 26), is not only attached, as in
the other Apes and in man, to the blade-bone just above the arm-joint,
but also to the chest in front, for it is united there with the great
muscle which springs from the ribs and breast-bone, and is attached
high up to the arm (_pectoralis major_). In some of the other Apes this
second part of the biceps is attached to a bent projection (coracoid)
of the blade-bone, so that it has no direct attachment with the chest

The Siamang can walk fairly in the erect posture by balancing with
the arms, or by placing them over the head, and it has a great power
of grasp with its toe-thumb. The shape of the foot resembles that of
man more than that of the Troglodytes and Orangs, and the heel-bone is
strong, and projects but slightly, and the toe-thumb is stout and long.
The muscles of the foot are, as it were, more separate than in man,
especially the flexors: and there is an extra muscle, an abductor of
the third joint of the second toe.

The ability to walk well was proved when a tame Siamang used to walk
along a cabin table at sea, without disturbing the crockery; and
curiously enough this was better done than were some of the ordinary
movements of the hand, for drinking out of the palm was a most
ineffective and clumsy effort.

The bones of the foot resemble those of man more than do those of the
Apes already noticed; but the first and second fingers are united by a
fold of skin.

Under the jaw and along the throat of a tame Siamang, a large swelling,
not very well covered with hair, was visible enough. This was a vast
air or laryngeal pouch, and pressure emptied it into the throat. Hence
the creature in this point resembles the Oranges and the Troglodytes,
but the use of the sac could not be satisfactorily decided. The sac
opens into the windpipe by two apertures, which are in a membrane that
unites the base of the tongue and the organ of voice together. It has
an uvula.

They are quiet, inoffensive animals, full of affection for man,
and having good memories. Their temper is short enough sometimes,
especially if there is any disappointment, but they have none of the
mischievous tricks or malice of the Monkeys. Liking milk occasionally,
they still mainly feed on fruit and leaves, and hence the nature of
their teeth, the size of their jaws, and the capacity of their brain
case may be fairly anticipated.

The bulk of the brain is less in comparison with that of the Orang,
and the hind part does not quite cover or overlap the cerebellum, and
the whole skull is long and low, and slightly broad behind. The most
striking parts about it are the cavities for the eyes (the orbits),
which are nearly circular in outline, deep, open, and swollen behind;
moreover, they are wide apart, and there is no brow ridge connecting
them. They, the face and the lower jaw, occupy only one-half of the
skull, and the brain case is composed of the usual bones, which are
extremely faintly ridged, the ridges extending on either side from the
outer part of the orbit on to the frontal and parietal (or side) head
bones. The back of the skull is rough, for the attachment of muscles,
and the opening for the spinal cord and the joints for the top of the
neck are far back, so that the head is set, as it were, forward in
respect of the spine. There is a long and narrow roof to the mouth,
and the diastema, or space in the line of the teeth, in front of the
upper eye or canine teeth, is very distinct. These teeth are long,
thin, and grooved, and project rather outwards as well as far below the
other upper teeth. Yet, in all probability, this is not a bloodthirsty
sign, but one which may have to do with sex, the males of many of
the Monkeys possessing these great teeth only, or having them larger
than the females. The first, or incisor teeth, occupy a very small
space, and they and the two front molars are like those of man. An
examination of the three true crushing molars shows the last, or that
nearest the back of the jaw, to be the largest. They have four cusps or
projections, which are small but decided, and somewhat resemble those
of insect-eating animals.

The lower jaw is very remarkable, for it has a good straight chin; and
the joint and the part which passes from it to the body of the jaw, or
the “angle,” resembles that of man more than that of the rest of the

The lower teeth are very unlike the upper, and the canines are smaller;
the first false molar is pyramidal, and has a cutting surface in front
and behind. The true molars have at least five cusps or projections,
and are admirably suited for the creature’s diet.


(_From the “Cyclopædia of Anatomy and Physiology.”_)]

One of the most curious points about the Siamang is that the broad
breast-bone, the blade-bone, and large chest, and the ribs present
human resemblances, but there are fourteen pairs of these last. The
hip-bones are long and do not curve far in front, but the joint of the
thigh is situated more after the manner of that of man than is the case
in the other great Apes.

Everything in this creature’s anatomy, and, amongst other things, its
delicate, long bones, great grasp, supple back, small head, long neck,
and long hair, assist in its peculiar life, which is evidently one of
much climbing, swaying, swinging, and passing from tree to tree with
the hands rather than with the feet. It lives in Sumatra and in the
Malay peninsula.


The other kinds of Hylobates are called the True Gibbons, and although
in their habits they greatly resemble the Siamang, they are smaller
in size, and have some very remarkable structural differences.
They inhabit the mainland of India and the great islands of Borneo
and Sumatra, or, rather, all the great islands of the Indo-Malayan
sub-region, except the Philippines. They are found in Sylhet, and
Assam, and Camboja, in South China, to the west of Canton, and in the
island of Hainan.



A well-known kind of Gibbon, which is found in Tenasserim, is called
the White-handed Gibbon, or _Hylobates lar_. The old Latin dictionaries
translated “lar” as a god who preserved both house and land, and
presided over cities and houses, or the chimney or fireside; but this
evidently does not apply to the Gibbon. But the Lar, or Lares, were
demons, genii, or sprites, and probably the sprite-like activity of the
Gibbons in their own woods suggested the name.

[Illustration: WHITE-HANDED GIBBON. (_From a stuffed specimen._)]

The Hylobates Lar is found in great abundance in all the forests
skirting the hills, which run from north to south in the country of
Tenasserim, south-west of Burmah. They ascend the hills up to an
elevation of from 3,000 to 3,500 feet, but not higher, and are met with
in parties of from eight to twenty in number, composed of individuals
of all ages. It is rare to see a solitary one; occasionally, however,
an old male will stray apart from the flock, and perch on the summit
of some vast tree, whence his howls are heard for miles around. The
forests which these animals inhabit resound with their cries from
sunrise to about nine in the morning, and their usual call may be thus

[Illustration: Woo, a-woo, a-woo, a-wow--------o-o woo.]

The sounds vary from the deep notes of the old ones to the sharp
treble of the young, in horrible unison. During these vocal efforts
they appear to resort to the tops of the loftiest trees, and to
call each other from different parts of the jungle. After nine or
ten o’clock they begin to think of eating, and are soon engaged in
feeding on fruit, young leaves, buds, shoots, and insects, for which
they occasionally come to the ground. When approached, if alone, they
will sit so close, doubled up in a thick tuft of foliage, or behind
the fork of a tree, and so screened as to be safe from the shot of
the sportsman. With a companion this manœuvre is of course useless.
But even when the creature is forced from its hiding-place it is not
easily shot, for it swings from branch to branch with its long arms,
shaking the boughs all round, and flinging itself from prodigious
heights into the dense under-scrub, and is quickly concealed from view.
This long-armed Ape does not walk readily on its hind-legs, and has to
stop frequently and prop or urge itself on, having the knuckles on the
ground. In sitting it often rests on its elbows, and it likes to lie on
its back. They make great use of their hind limbs, and of the hand-foot
especially, for they will cling on and swing with their fore-hands, and
steal and carry anything which pleases them with their hinder ones. In
captivity it is generally a gentle, peaceable animal, very timid; but
when captured after its young days have passed, it becomes very wild.
The adults soon die, and even the young seldom reach maturity when
deprived of liberty. They are born generally in the early part of the
cold weather, a single one at a time, two being as rare as human twins.
The young one clings safely to the mother for about seven months,
although she swings and climbs to perfection, and then it shifts for
itself. They may be made cross, like most creatures, by being teased,
and anger is then shown by a steady look, with the mouth held open, and
the lips occasionally drawn back to show the eye teeth, with which they
bite severely. But usually it attacks with its long hands, which are
at such times held dangling and shaken in a ridiculous manner, like a
person who has suddenly burnt his fingers. It drinks in a curious and
difficult manner, by scooping the water in its long narrow hand, and
thus conveying a very little drop at a time to its mouth.

Usually the young are feeble, dull, and querulous in captivity, and
sit huddled up together on the ground, seldom or never climbing trees.
On the smooth surface of a matted floor they will run along on their
feet and slide on their hands at the same time. By being fed solely
on plantains, or on milk and rice, they are apt to lose all their
fur, presenting in their nude state a most ridiculous appearance. Few
recover; but by change of diet, and especially by allowing them to
help themselves to insects, some of them come round, and resume their
natural covering. For the most part they are devoid of those pranks
and tricks which are exhibited by the smaller Monkeys. The length of
a full-grown male was two feet six inches; the fore-limb measured two
feet one inch, and the hind limb one foot seven and a half inches. The
Lar or White-handed Gibbon has a black skin and hair, and there is a
white band round the entire face, across the forehead.

The Lar is common in its native haunts, and is subject to great
variation in its colour. Some are dark brown or black, with white hands
and feet, and they have the circle of white hairs around the face, the
band across the forehead coming down in a peak above the nose. Others
are ochre-brown, and have a lighter-coloured hand, foot, and anklet;
whilst many are a dirty white. They take odd fancies, and likes and
dislikes. Some which are allowed in India to roam about the grounds of
the Zoological Gardens there will come in to sleep, and are exceedingly
gentle to men, but extremely savage to women; others do not do this.

In looking at the collection in the British Museum, every one must
be struck with the long necks of these creatures, which do not allow
the little muzzle and snub-like nose to come down on a level with the
breast-bone (as in the Chimpanzee, for instance), and also with the
extremely narrow and long hands and feet, with their thin fingers. It
will be also noticed that the nails of their thumbs and toe-thumbs are
flat, whilst all the rest are claws. Their chin is less prominent than
that of the Siamang, and this is shown in the skull. In the lower jaw
there are some interesting differences between the Lar and the Siamang
which cannot readily be accounted for; firstly, the crushing teeth wear
in pits in the middle, whilst a ridge is formed in the Siamang; and in
the Lar the angle of the jaw is decidedly turned in or inflected, as
the term is, a condition which will be noticed in the other Hylobates.

No air or laryngeal sac is found in the Lar or in any Gibbon, and its
noise has therefore nothing to do with such an organ.

Their swinging from branch to branch is assisted by the same
arrangement of the muscle of the arm as in the Siamang; and they have
the _transversus pedis_, which was stated to be wanting in the Orang,
and it is united with the adductor of the thumb.


Naturalists have ransacked nearly every part of the globe for
interesting animals, and have procured them from very out-of-the-way
places. One of these localities was particularly difficult to get
at years ago, for it is in the hills, far away to the north-east of
Calcutta the other side of the great river Brahmapootra, in Assam.
Amongst the Garrow and Cossyah hills, where there are wild gorges, and
uplands crowded with vast forests, overlooking the wide plains of the
river-valley, there were many wonderfully active Gibbons. About two
feet in length, they were capable of swinging with unerring certainty
from branch to branch, many feet apart; and even the females performed
these constant and natural movements while their young were hanging to
them. They were black in colour, with white eyebrows, or, rather, a
white band across the forehead. When caught, they soon became tamed,
especially when young, and were docile and affectionate. One which
was kept by Dr. Burrough was two feet six inches in length, yet the
fore-limb was only five inches shorter than this, the length of the
hand itself being six inches.

[Illustration: SKULL OF HOOLOOK.]

So great was the disproportion of the legs and arms, that the first
were, including the feet, only nineteen inches long, and the fingers
touched the ground readily when he was standing erect. This Hoolook
was of a deep black colour, and he had the usual simple band of white
across the forehead, and black hands and feet. He was caught in the
usual haunt of this species, not on the upper, but on the lower hills,
which do not reach a greater altitude than 500 feet, and being well
treated, he was easily tamed, and his habits were capable of being well
watched. He liked the fruit of the peepul-tree better than anything,
and bananas; but he took to rice and milk, and enjoyed snapping up a
sweet or two, and especially delighted in Spiders. Meat he cared little
about, and pork and beef he detested, but he liked fish occasionally.
After about a month’s captivity he took a great fancy to his master,
and would come to his call, and sit up to breakfast. He liked to help
himself to chicken and egg, and at first was very bad in his manners,
dipping his fingers into the coffee and milk, and then sucking them.
Afterwards he was taught to hold a cup and to drink from it.

He would walk erect slowly, first on one foot and then on the other,
and would put his long arms over his head to balance his body, as it
swayed first on one side and then on the other as his pace increased;
then he began to run, and at last, grasping a bough, would swing
himself forwards first with one hand and then with the other, getting
over twenty to thirty paces with the greatest ease and regularity.
He was timid, very reluctant to oppose those who teased him, and
usually retreated at once. His master used to brush his skin for him
when he was out of sorts, and the sensation appears to have been most
pleasurable, and he evidently enjoyed the gentle friction very much.
Falling ill he had a dose of calomel and a warm bath, the latter remedy
being much more to his taste than the other.

The skull in the Hoolook has less breadth across the orbits than in
the Lar; and in that of a young one the sutures or joinings of the
skull-bones are distinct, showing that the side-bones (parietal) of the
head unite with the front (frontals), the temporal or ear-bones, and
with a part of a wing-shaped bone which forms part of the base of the
skull (sphenoid bone). The angle of the jaw projects backwards, and
it is slightly turned in; moreover, the projections or cusps of the
lower back teeth are five in number, and are prominent-looking and very
sharp, as if they could crush a beetle as well as crack a nut.


A number of Apes were found in company on a small island near
Camboja, and at first sight they appeared to be of different kinds,
although they all had the long arms and the general appearance of
the “Long-armed Apes” (_Hylobates_). But a careful examination proved
that they belonged to one particular species, the individuals of which
differ greatly in their colour during different parts of their lives.
The young were uniformly dirty white in colour, and had no black spots
on their chests or heads. The females were white, with the fur of the
back brownish-white, slightly waved, and there was a large black spot
on the crown and one on the chest. On the other hand the male was
black, and the back of the head, body, and legs greyish. The hands were
white. This variation in colour at different ages and in different
sexes in one kind should teach us that something more than mere outside
distinctions is requisite for deciding the value of what are called
species. The dark cap-like mass of hair on the head gives the name
to this Ape. Evidently the animal is a puzzle and a source of the
marvellous to the Chinese, for one of their gazetteers gives a mixture
of correct information regarding its natural history, and of what has
been drawn from a very vigorous imagination.

[Illustration: HOOLOOK. (_From a stuffed specimen in the British

It is described in the following manner, as coming from the district of
Hainan:--“Yuen--male black, female white, like a Macaque, but larger,
with the two fore-arms exceedingly long. Climbs to tree-tops, and runs
among them backwards and forwards with great agility. If it falls to
the ground it remains there like a log! Its delight is in scaling
trees, as it cannot walk on the ground. Those desiring to rear it in
confinement should keep it amongst trees, for the exhalations of the
earth affect it with diarrhœa, causing death; a sure remedy for this,
however, may be found in a draught made of the syrup of the fried
foo-tse” (seeds of _Abrus precatorius_, the Indian liquorice).

In a work called _Pun Yu liang che_, the various kinds of Yuens are
mentioned which are known to the author. “There are three kinds of
Yuens--the Golden-silk Yuen, which is yellow; the Jade-faced Yuen,
which is black; and the Jet-black Yuen, which has the face also black.
The Golden-silk and the Jade-face are both difficult to procure.”
“Hainan has also the Rock Yuen; it is small, about the size of one’s
fist. If allowed to drink water it grows in size. This is also called
the Black Yuen, and is difficult to obtain.” “The word Yuen is given
to them from their love of climbing and their wild disposition.”

In Central Hainan the magistrate of the district was of opinion that
the Yuen had the power of drawing its long arm-bones into its body,
and that when it drew in one it pushed out the other to such an
extraordinary length that he believed the two bones united in the body.
He used the front bones of the arms for chopsticks.


A species which is called the Wow-wow, or Silvery Gibbon (_Hylobates
leuciscus_), is perhaps more interesting to the anatomist than to the
observer of the habits of animals; for nothing is known about their
method of living. Their skull shows a decided ridge or crest along the
top, which branches well in front into two ridges going to the front
over the orbit. Moreover, the chin of the lower jaw is very deep, the
angles slightly turned in, and the eye teeth are thin and sharp.

[Illustration: WOOYEN APE. (_From a stuffed specimen in the British


This animal is also interesting, from having a great twist inwards of
the jaw behind, and two curious ridge-like crests on the head. Its name
conveys the extreme agility of the animal, as observed in confinement.

These Gibbons have many interesting points about them, and one of the
most curious is that they have no air or laryngeal pouches, and yet
their general anatomy, especially of the muscles of the throat, neck,
and body, is the same as that of the Siamang, which has been noticed
above to have a vast pouch. The brain is small, especially behind, but
why it is difficult to imagine, for the Spider Monkey, which lives
in the New World, and whose feats of agility resemble those of the
Gibbons, has a very large back portion of the brain, large even in
proportion to that of man; and the importance of this difference is
all the greater when it is remembered that all the last investigations
into the actions of the nerves arising from the sides of the brain
towards the back connect them with motions of the hands and fore-limbs
especially. But it is possible that the back of the brain in the
Siamang appears to be smaller than it really is, because of the large
size of the cerebellum. The skulls of the Gibbons are very man-like,
and more so than those of the other Apes, and this is because of their
faces and jaws being smaller in comparison with the brain case. If the
young of all the great Apes be examined, their skulls will appear much
more human than those of the adults, because the brain and face grow up
to a certain point together and equally; but with age the brain does
not increase in size proportionally with the face, which grows on, and
finally preponderates in size. But if the skulls of the young Apes be
compared one with the other, that of the Siamang will really not look
as human as that of the Gorilla or Chimpanzee.

[Illustration: AGILE GIBBON.]

The Gibbons have a very small appendage to the blindgut, and they have
hard bare pads or callosities on the seat, and these structures connect
them with the next group of Monkeys, which cease to be man-shaped; and
indeed the Gibbons and Siamangs, although man-shaped (Anthropomorpha),
occupy neutral ground between the Orangs and the Cynomorpha.

Formerly, in those ages when the Orang lived on the continent of India,
the Gibbons roamed far over the vast land surfaces of the period, and
lived in Southern France. Portions of the skeleton of an Ape as large
as a man, but which resembled the Hylobates, were found there, and
named _Dryopithecus_, in strata of Mid-Tertiary age.

In concluding this part of the subject, which relates especially to
the man-shaped Apes, some very obvious reflections occur. There is
something very interesting as well as instructive and suggestive in
the study of the proportions of the limbs to each other and to the
body in the larger Apes, of which the Gorilla is the highest in the
scale, and in man. The fingers in man hang down to below the middle of
the thigh; in the Gorilla they attain the knee; in the Chimpanzee they
reach below the knee; in the Orang they touch the ankle; in the Siamang
they reach the sole; and in some Gibbons the whole palm may be applied
to the ground without the trunk being bent forward beyond its natural
position on the legs. It is also found that in man the arm-bone exceeds
in length each of the bones of the fore-arm in a marked manner, and in
the Gorilla and Chimpanzee it does so but slightly; the bones are equal
in the Orangs, and very unequal in the Gibbons, those of the fore-arm
being the longest. When the length of the arms down to the wrist
is compared with that of the body, omitting the legs, there is not
much difference between man and the Gorilla, but it increases in the
Chimpanzee, Orang, and in the Siamang. The lower limbs are short in the
Gorilla, and this is characteristic--they offer but a poor support to
the huge body--and the resemblance to the symmetrical proportion of the
legs to the body in man is scanty indeed. This disproportion is greater
in the Chimpanzee and Orangs, in which the lower limbs are pigmies.

[Illustration: JAW OF THE GIBBON.]

Consider the hand in the same manner. Man’s perfect hand, writes Owen,
is one of his peculiar physical characters, and that perfection is
mainly due to the differences of the first and the other four fingers,
and the ability of this first to be opposed to them, as a perfect
thumb. A partially opposable thumb, that is to say, one which can be
brought over the palm, more or less, is present in the hand of the
great Apes. It is large in the Gorilla, so far as Apes are concerned,
and it reaches, when it and the fingers are stretched out, to just
a little beyond the first joint of the first finger, or rather of
its first movable part. But in the Chimpanzee and Orang it does not
reach to the joint, and it is longest and strongest in proportion in
the Gibbons (_Hylobates_). In the Gorilla and the Chimpanzee, the
wrist-bones are eight in number, but there are nine in the Orangs and


The toe-thumb is about five-twelfths of the length of the whole foot in
the Gorilla, and it is slightly longer in the Chimpanzee and Hylobates,
but it is not more than a fourth of the length of the foot in Orangs.

The nails of all the fingers and toes of the great Apes are flattened,
except in the Hylobates, whose thumb and toe-thumb nails only are so;
the rest are more claw-like.

Finally, as regards the brain and nervous system. In the man-shaped
Apes the brain is smaller as compared with the nerves which proceed
from it than in man; and the brain proper is smaller relatively to the
cerebellum than in man. The convolutions, the fissures, and eminences
of the brain are generally less complex, and those of the two sides
or hemispheres of the brain are more symmetrical than in man. The
sides of the brain or the hemispheres are rounder and deeper in man,
and the proportions of their lobes to one another are different. Some
convolutions and fissures present in man are less perfectly formed, but
still exist in the Apes, and the cerebellum is not covered entirely in
the Hylobates, but it is in the other Anthropomorpha.



    General Characteristics of the Monkeys of the Old
    World--Distinguished from the Apes by Length of the Hinder Limbs
    and presence of Tails--Divided into those with and those without
    Cheek-pouches--Use of the Cheek-pouches--The two Genera of
    Pouchless Monkeys--THE SACRED MONKEYS, or Semnopitheci--Derivation
    of the Name--First Discovery--Ape Worship in India--General
    Description--Limited to Asia--THE SIMPAI--Its Locality and
    Appearance--THE BUDENG--Hunted for their Fur--Its Colour and
    Appearance--THE LONG-NOSED MONKEY--Reason of the Name--Quaint
    Appearance of the Young--Anatomical Peculiarities--Their First
    Appearance in Europe--Description of the Nose--Peculiar Formation
    of the Stomach--Bezoars--THE HOONUMAN MONKEY--The Sacred Monkey
    of the Hindoos--Legends about it--THE DOUC MONKEY--Its Appearance
    and Habitat--THE BLACK-LEGGED DOUC--Anatomical Peculiarities--THE
    WHITE-BEARDED MONKEY--Found in Ceylon--Its Intelligence--THE
    GREAT WANDEROO--Other Ceylonese Monkeys--THE GENUS COLOBUS, or
    Thumbless Monkeys--Description of the Hand and Wrist--Different
    Varieties--COLOBUS VERUS--COLOBUS GUEREZA--Their Habitat and
    Peculiarities--Fossil Semnopitheci.

The Apes which have formed the subject of the previous chapters, and
which, from their greater or less resemblance to man, have been called
the _Anthropomorpha_, have long arms, short legs, and no tails. The
great length of the fore limb distinguishes them not only from man,
but also from all the other Quadrumana, and so does the relative
shortness of the hinder limbs. The length of limb is thus sufficient
to afford data for classifying the Quadrumana of the Old World in two
great groups, of which the Anthropomorpha form the first, and the rest
of the Monkeys the second. In these the fore limb is invariably the
_shortest_, and the hinder one the _longest_; so that there is exactly
the reverse condition of that observed in the great Apes. With regard
to the tail question, it may be stated that, whilst many species have
very long tails, others have them of moderate length, and a few have

The Monkeys of this second group, or the Cynomorpha, all of which live
in the Old World, have a thin division (septum) between the nostrils,
whose openings look downwards, or downwards and outwards. They are
Catarhine Quadrumana (see page 3), and many have cheek-pouches, but
not all, whilst all have the peculiar pads, more or less brightly
coloured, which are placed where the animal sits, or on the swelling of
the haunch-bone. All these Old World Monkeys have the same number of
teeth as the Apes already described, and arranged in the same manner,
and most have a laryngeal or air pouch; but there is great diversity
in their size, shape, and in the method of progression of the body
and shape of the head, and also in the construction of the brain and
internal organs. Moreover, the arrangement of the muscles and of the
back-bone differs.

The presence or absence of the cheek-pouches, the peculiarity in the
shape of the teeth, the shape of the body and limbs, and the method
of moving along, are all matters of importance to the zoologist, for
by them he is enabled to arrange these Monkeys in genera and species,
so as to give the naturalist the proper name of the kind whose habits
he may be studying. Moreover, the comparative anatomist, in examining
the insides of these creatures, and explaining their peculiarities
of internal construction, is able to account for many habits and the
presence of many structures, as well as to assist the zoologist. For, a
classification, to be good for anything, must be more than skin deep,
and must depend upon the differences in those parts which are not
readily changed by habits or peculiar methods of life.

The Monkeys of the Old World, excluding the great Apes already
described, and including alone those with long hind limbs, may be
divided into those without cheek-pouches and those which have them;
and those in the first division form the subject of this chapter.
Cheek-pouches may be seen crammed with nuts in most of the Monkeys
at the Zoological Gardens, and the appearance given to the face is
as if the skin on each side of the lower part of it were distended.
When there are no nuts thus stowed away, the cheeks do not present a
swollen or unusual appearance. The Monkey does not force nuts outside
its jaws and between them and the cheeks so as to simply distend
them, but it presses its food into what look like some folds in the
cheek. These unfold, and form a bag or pouch on each side of the face,
and the animal can eat, scream, and scold with the pouches full, and
without their contents coming by chance into the mouth. The gift of a
cheek-pouch is of great importance to a Monkey; it is a stowaway for
his food, which may have to be carried some distance before it can be
eaten. And it must be remembered, that not only have the Monkeys very
indefinite notions of _meum et tuum_, but that they are surrounded by
dangers from many other animals; they are communists, and their motto
is _la propriété c’est le vol_; and, on the other hand, the great
beasts of the earth, whose stealing is less thought of, because it is
done with great violence, openly, and on a large scale, put down the
Monkeys whenever they have the chance. But Nature, ever a considerate
mother, whilst she is exceedingly economical, and does not allow any
structures to be unused or wasted without gradually abolishing them,
often gives animals which are defective in some things very important


The pouchless Monkeys are evidently at a disadvantage; but by this
system of compensation they have very peculiar stomachs, in which they
can stow away quite as much food before more is absolutely wanted as
their pouched friends can. The nature of this stomach will be noticed
further on; and it is only necessary to observe that it is not in
existence in the cheek-pouched division at all. The cheeks of the
Monkeys with the peculiar stomach, on the other hand, are not pouched,
but there is just the vestige of a fold or two, which, although of no
use, still remains as an evidence of their ancestry--for, doubtless,
these are descended from those with pouches. The great Anthropomorphous
Apes have no cheek-pouches, neither have the American Monkeys; and, for
reasons which will be noticed in treating of these last, they have not
the complicated stomach of the Old World pouchless group.

The pouchless division of Monkeys with complicated stomachs, and which,
of course, have long hind limbs, comprehends two genera--the genus
Semnopithecus, and the genus Colobus.


The Semnopitheci, or the Sacred Apes--from σεμνός (sacred), and
πίθηκος (an Ape)--were probably known to the Greeks who invaded India
under Alexander the Great; and Ctesias, a Greek writer, who was taken
prisoner by Artaxerxes of Persia, at the battle of Cunaxa, some 400
years B.C., studied them. He was kept for seventeen years at
the court of that monarch, and made notes on most subjects, and also
on the natural history of Persia and India. On his return to Athens he
gave the world the results of his observation in a book, and in it he
treats of two Apes, one of which was smaller than the other, and had a
very long tail. This was a Semnopithecus, for the genus is especially
Asiatic; but the ancients did not discriminate between the long-tailed
Apes of Africa and those of Asia, but called both Cercopithecus--from
κέρκος (a tail), and πίθηκος (Ape). At the present time the word
Cercopithecus is restricted to the kinds which live in Africa. These
differ in their internal construction from the Asiatic varieties.

During the rise of the religion of Brahma, the contemplation of the
Creator became singularly mixed up with the worship of the created, and
many animals became sacred. Hence, when one of those wandering restless
spirits, Gasparo Balbi by name, started in 1570 from the town of
Venice, where he was a jeweller, to reach the Indies, and came to the
end of his journey, he saw many a long-tailed Ape worshipped and petted
by his customers. He wandered amidst many a danger--but the people were
honest then--and reached Aleppo. Then he went by caravan to Bagdad,
and got to Old Babylon--by the way, “a place perilous for robbers and
lions.” Reaching Bagdad, he embarked for Balsora, and reached that
place after escaping whirlpools and hot and deadly winds. Thence he
went to the cities of St. Thomas, by the Seven Pagodas, in Southern
India. Leaving there, and much troubled by tigers, he crossed the
Ganges and got into Pegu on the Irawady. He admired the Pagodas, or as
they are there called, “the Varelles of the gods,” and says that about
them are found “tyed many Apes of that kind which resemble Mountain
Cats, which were called Monkeys; they keep them very carefully, holding
them to be creatures beloved of God, because they have their hands and
feet like human creatures, and therefore the woods are full of them,
for they never take any except for their Varelles and statues.” This
regard for the Long-tailed Monkey has lasted, and probably is only now
diminishing under the influence of the rationalistic philosophy of the
wicked Europeans, who will not see anything holy in an Ape. Certain
it is that the follies of Ape-worship were carried on to a wonderful
extent, and that these creatures have been preserved to the serious
detriment of crops, comfort, and temper.

The regard of the natives for them was, and probably is still, sincere,
and their boldness--the result of immunity from persecution--was
discovered very early in the English occupation of India; for Tavernier
tells a story of an English “President,” who asked him to shoot some
Monkeys, which were amusingly audacious by the river side. He complied,
and a female fell dead with her young clinging to her. This so enraged
the Monkeys that sixty of them descended at once, and had it not
been for the serving-men, and the carriage being shut up, they would
have strangled the “President.” They followed the carriage for many
miles. Then we are told about Indian princes spending fortunes on the
marriage-feasts of Apes; and of cultivators of the soil being scared
away and subjected to all sorts of rapine by these holy creatures. All
this goes to prove that generations of Hindoos have believed in the
sacred character of the Monkey, and have placed him in their mythology.

So Fred. Cuvier, when he wanted a name, termed them Sacred Apes, or
_Semnoptheci_. They have been called Slow Apes, but this is quite a
misnomer, for when awake, and not tired, they are as full of fun,
activity, and play, but not as full of malice, as the others.

Wallace, in his charming book of travels in the great Islands of
Sumatra and Borneo, thus noticed how full of life they are:--“In
Sumatra, Monkeys are very abundant, and at Lubo Raman they used to
frequent the trees which overhang the guard-house, and gave me a fine
opportunity of observing their gambols. Two species of Semnopithecus
were most plentiful--Monkeys of a slender form, with very long tails.
Not being much shot at, they are rather bold, and remain quite
unconcerned when natives alone are present; but when I came out to look
at them, they would stare for a minute or two, and then make off. They
take tremendous leaps from the branches of one tree to those of another
a little lower. It is very amusing when one strong leader takes a bold
jump, to see the others following with more or less trepidation; and
it often happens that one or two of the last seem quite unable to make
up their minds to leap till the rest are disappearing, when, as if in
desperation at being left behind, they would leap as far as they could,
and often come crashing down into the underwood.”

The Semnopitheci may be described as Monkeys with hind limbs long, and
larger than the fore limbs, with slender bodies, usually highest at
the tail, and round heads, and with not very prominent faces, and very
long tails. They have callous pads on the haunch-bones, and in some
there are slight folds inside the cheeks, but no pouches. The hands
have thumbs, and the last tooth of the lower jaw (the third molar) has
a prominent heel to it, or cusp, besides four others. They are of all
sizes, and the largest are bigger than a Pointer Dog; but they are all
slightly made, and their long bodies, thin as a rule, are larger in the
stomach than in the chest. Their tails, which hang down and are not
curled up, distinguish them pretty readily.

The Monkey which shows the peculiarities of the genus _Semnopithecus_
more than others is, perhaps,


It was noticed and described by Sir Stamford Raffles as a native of
Sumatra, where it is frequently seen in the neighbourhood of Bencoolen.
It has a long and slender body, very long hind-legs, and the tail end
is higher than the shoulders in walking. The fore-legs are short, and
the tail is very long, and exceeds thirty inches in length, and the
head is small and wonderfully straight in the forehead and face.

The colours of this Simpai are very different to those of the great
Apes already mentioned. Here variety of colour replaces the sameness
of the tints of the large Anthropomorpha. First, there is a long crest
of black hair on the top of the head, which passes slightly round the
face close. On the cheeks there is a tuft of fawn-coloured hairs, which
graduate into white. The forehead is of a light fawn-colour, and the
face is naked, slightly wrinkled, and of a blue tint. The under parts
of the body are very white, and on the back and neck the colour is
bright yellow and red. The palms and soles are black, the thumbs are
small, and the callosities are large.


This is, as the name implies, a black Monkey. It is intensely black,
except underneath, and at the root of the tail, where there is a grey
tint. The paws are long, delicate, and silky, and become slightly
grey on the head and back with old age. Like most black things, it
leads a troubled life, being chased and hunted, not, however, in this
instance so much for amusement as for the pretty black fur. They live
in great troops, in the Javanese forests, and sometimes fifty or more
individuals associate together. They make rude nests in trees, and are
extremely timid, making off with great haste if they are disturbed. A
long series of generations has been chased and killed by the natives
of Java, and therefore the present Negro Monkeys are exceedingly shy,
and bolt from the face of man at once. And yet, although thus timid
and anxious to get out of the way, they have the reputation of being
dangerous, and really unwittingly they may be so. On the approach
of men they utter loud screams, and scamper off amongst the trees,
helter-skelter. Now in doing this, they break dead branches off, and
sometimes a large fruit or nut comes tumbling down some score or two
of feet. These are supposed to be thrown by the Monkeys, but such is
not the case. Having this bad character, the “Negroes” are cudgelled
with sticks, and killed in numbers very cruelly. Their pretty fur
is much prized, and the chiefs of the country arrange the hunting
parties, treating the Monkeys really as beasts of the field. The skins
are prepared by a simple process which the natives have learned from
Europeans; and they conduct it with great skill. It affords a fur of
a jet-black colour, covered with long silky hairs, which is used by
the natives and Europeans there in ornamenting riding saddlery and in
military decorations.

When young, they are of a brown or reddish tint, and thin grey tints
appear preceding the intense black; they then eat buds and shoots
and tender leaves, but in adult age they are fruit consumers. When
in captivity they are sullen and morose, and they will remain sulky
for many months. This the natives know, and therefore they never try
to tame them, or to have them in their houses. In their shape they
resemble the last Monkey described, and their hind limbs are very long,
their haunches being high.

[Illustration: NEGRO MONKEY.]

They are rather more than two feet long in the body, and the neck
appears short; both shoulders and chest are short and largely made. The
tail is as long as the body and head, and is often slightly tufted at
the end. A mop of hair surrounds the face, and the hairs are long and
closely pressed, and quite conceal the forehead. The nose is peculiar,
for the bones of it are ridged, as it were, and the skin is drawn tight
over the open nostril (nares), so that there is no soft nose. A very
considerable space exists between the nostrils and the mouth, and the
lips are small and thin.


Of all the remarkable oddities of Nature amongst the many-shaped
Monkeys, the Long-nosed or Proboscis-carrier stands pre-eminent. In
fact, there is nothing in human or ape nature like the face of one
particular Long-tailed Semnopithecus from Borneo. Monkeys have flat
noses as a rule, some have a ridge and a little fleshy mass in which
the nostrils end; others, like the Baboon, have dog-like noses, and
the Americans have wide noses, the nostrils opening well at the sides.
In man there is the Roman nose, the pug, the straight, the flat, the
broken, the long with a large end, and the short with a turn up, but
the Nasalis Monkey stands alone amongst the Primates with a nose of
vast proportions, which projects far in advance of the mouth, and
whose nostrils open underneath. It grows with age, and commences as a
small “turn up,” which still is more fleshy and longer than the nose
of any Monkey. The newly-born Nose Monkey is a most extraordinary
object, reminding the critical eye of many youths of weak constitution
and defective brains. Its hair is wonderfully parted down the middle,
and brushed by Dame Nature down the sides of the head and a little
backwards; the whiskers take the latter direction, and the ears stand
out just behind them. It has drooping eyelids, a longish upper lip,
with just a little sign of coming hair, and then there is the funny
nose, the upper part like a boy’s, but the end seems to have been
pulled out and turned up, so that the nostrils are quite at the tip.
The face has a tinge of blue about it, and the animal, even when old
enough to be sitting on a tree, looks sad and melancholy.

They grow to the size of a large Pointer Dog, and are powerful animals,
assembling in troops, and playing and associating probably with the
Orangs. Stuffed specimens of the Proboscis Monkey are usually simple
caricatures, and by no means good ones, for they do not give one-half
of the curious appearance of the face. In nature, and in drawings
taken shortly after death, the first thing that strikes one is the
flat top to the head, and the red hair there, starting from the top
of the crown, and radiating in all directions, and coming as a very
sharp line straight over the eyebrows, and cutting the forehead very
short. Then the prodigious nose, stuck out some inches in front of the
mouth, is, with the rest of the face, naked, and of a reddish-brown
flesh-colour. The eyes are wide apart and open, and are of a hazel
colour. The whiskers clasp the face, as it were, and are brushed back,
and join the hair of the neck, whilst the little beard sticks out like
a goat’s. The mouth is wide, and the chin recedes. It is a long-bodied
creature, and there is a great bend outwards in the back when it squats
on its haunches. There is a good-sized chest, there are long arms,
still longer legs, and a great tail. The prevailing colour of the back
and shoulders is the red or dark-red brown of the head hair, whilst the
rest of the body is of a lighter tint, the tail and limbs especially.
The thumb of the hand is small, and barely reaches as far as the first
finger-joint, but the toe-thumb is large, widely set from the foot, and
the skin-fold comes far down it, as also does a web between the toes,
the third of which is the longest.

[Illustration: LONG-NOSED MONKEY.]

The skull of this Monkey greatly resembles that of the other
Semnopitheci. The face part is smaller in comparison with that of the
great Apes, but then it is not much larger than the brain case. There
is a faint ridge at the side, and the usual one from one ear to the
other exists. The front of the face on each side of the opening for the
nose is rather larger and more prominent than in some other kinds, but
there are no evidences of the existence of the great fleshy and gristly
mass which is stuck on in front in life. This swelling of the front
of the face in the skull slightly reminds us of a greater one which
characterises the Dog-faced Baboons, and, moreover, the similarity
is increased by the fact that the upper eye (canine) tooth presses
the first tooth behind the lower eye tooth backwards. These little
peculiarities are inherited gifts, for the Nasalis and the Baboon
probably came from a common ancestor. Perhaps the great fleshy nose of
the Semnopithecus Nasalis is a relic of the long face of the ancient
Baboon. Shorten the bones of the Baboon’s nose, and leave the soft
parts, and there would be left something like the queer features of the
Monkey now under consideration.

One must be struck with the long back-bone of this Monkey, its single
backward bend, and the long way the ribs seem from the hips; making
it like the Gibbons, and very unlike the other great Apes, which have
their last ribs close to their hips. The tail is very long, and starts
well up the back, that is to say, its origin at the end of the sacrum
bone is some distance from the haunches, on which the creature sits.
These last are rounded so as to afford comfortable rest, especially as
they are covered by the callosities or pads. The feet are long from the
metatarsal bones, and the great toe-thumb is accompanied by a long,
strong, backward-projecting, and curved-up heel-bone.

The Dyaks call this Monkey the Kaha, for this is the sound which they
make when in companies in the woods by the side of the swamps and
jungles. There they live a restless life at sunrise and sunset, being
quieter in the heat of the day, and crying out at each other. They have
fine voices, thanks to their strength, and perhaps to the air sac in
their neck, which may render oral sounds more resonant. They are active
creatures, and bound from tree to tree, clearing from fifteen to twenty
feet with ease.


Being very like extremely ugly humanity, the Dyaks consider them
as degraded men, and they give an excellent reason for their human
ancestors having left their habits and dwellings. They did not like to
pay taxes, so they took to the woods!

It is said that when the ambassadors of Tippoo Saib came to Paris to
urge the French to take up his cause against the British in India,
they were immensely delighted with the Monkeys with the great noses
which were preserved and stuffed in the museum, acknowledging them as
compatriots. But as a matter of fact, specimens of this Monkey never
had been and never could have been seen by these men, for it does
not inhabit the peninsula of India. But it is a fact that when some
specimens came over to Paris, preserved in spirits, they excited a
wonderful commotion amongst the savans. Broderip was present, and saw
one drawn forth, “looking like one of those horrible female fiends
sometimes pictured in old woodcuts.

    “Not uglier follow the night hag.”

A celebrated French naturalist, who was present at the opening of the
casket which contained this zoological jewel, was in raptures, and
as the bust emerged he uttered an exclamation significatory of her
paternity. We looked in vain for the young imps, which had probably
escaped when their poor barrelled-up mother fell. It must be startling
to look round in the wilderness of Borneo and behold one of these
horrible visages peering, Zamiel-like, from behind the trunk of some
dark tree! The impression left on the mind, however, is rather of
the comical than of the terrible in its nature after seeing these
creatures; but one is obliged to admit that those who see a use in
everything may be puzzled to account for this superfluity of nose, for
this greatest of all noses does not appear to be like that of the Wolf
in Little Red Riding Hood, “all the better to smell with.”

But some philosophy may be got out of this nose, and it tends to
humiliate the pretensions of those anatomists who can restore an animal
if they can only get hold of a bone or two.

This nose is an anatomical excrescence: cut it off, and no bones are
cut through; dissect the skull, and then no one could tell that there
ever had been such a feature attached to it. The dry bones show no sign
of what was during life, and the skull resembles those of the other
Semnopitheci. So that animals with the same shaped bones may have very
different coverings, and no one could restore the nose of this creature
out of his inward consciousness any more than he could imagine, from
the back-bones of the animals, that camels and dromedaries have humps

The animal has a huge air sac, which appears to be single, and to enter
the windpipe above the larynx cartilage, and between it and the bone of
the tongue. It opens into the membrane which connects these structures
(the thyroid membrane) on the left side, and the opening can be closed
by the contraction of the muscles which reach from the tongue-bone (os
hyoides) to the larynx cartilage (thyroid cartilage--the thyro-hyoid

But the most interesting part of the internal construction of Nasalis
is the great stomach, which does not consist of a simple bag, with
an opening for the food to enter from the gullet and œsophagus or
food pipe, and with another at the opposite end to carry the digested
food to the intestines, but is complex, there being three bags united
together. The first two of these bags are for the storage and reception
of food, and the other, which ends in the canal leading to the
intestines, is for its digestion. This compound stomach is peculiar to
the Semnopitheci and the Colobi amongst the Monkeys. It exists in the
most perfect form in the animals which chew the cud or ruminate, such
as oxen. It is noticed also, more or less, in the Cetacea, or Whale
tribe, in the Sloths, in the Cony, or Hyrax, in the fruit-eating Bats
of the genus Pteropus, and finally in some Kangaroo-like animals. It is
possible that the Semnopitheci may bring back more food into the mouth
and chew it again, or the first two expansions of the stomach may be
really simple receptacles and storehouses grown in the place of the
cheek-pouches; or the condition may be a reversion, or going back, to
the condition of some remote ancestor.


The large intestine is also very bulged out here and there, and this
and the large stomach occupy much space in the cavity of the belly,
compressing the bowels within smaller bounds than in the larger Monkeys.

Bezoars are found in the sacs of the stomach of the different kinds
of Semnopitheci, and were and may be still much prized. They are
potent charms and remedies against poisons, and are supposed to
possess extraordinary virtues. The name comes from the Persian,
writes the learned author of the article “Bezoars,” in the “Penny
Cyclopædia”--_Pêd-zahr_, expelling poison, the expeller of poison.
“Pêd” is relieving and curing, and “Zahr” is poison. Bezoars are
sometimes found in various parts, but chiefly in the stomachs of land
animals. They are either natural or artificial, and as they are rare,
they are worth many times their weight in gold. Those which were most
esteemed in Europe came from the East, and were the earliest used. The
most highly prized came from the stomachs of the wild goat of Persia,
and they were called by way of eminence, _Lapis Bezoar Orientalis_,
and all such things which were supposed to be antidotes were called
_Bezoardic_. They are still esteemed in the East, but have long fallen
into disuse in Europe, the chemist and the naturalist having abolished
their value by exposing their real nature. They are the round hard
balls which are found in the stomachs of many animals, and which
consist of hair licked off and swallowed, and food of every clinging
nature cemented together by mucus. They get too large to pass out of
the stomach, either by vomiting or by going through the small canal
into the intestine, and therefore become round by being rolled about,
and often very great. Very large ones are discovered in some horses
which are found at work near flour and bran mills. The Americans got
theirs from the Llama, and they consisted principally of phosphate
of lime. Perhaps the earliest of all physics was bezoardic, and it
consisted of the heart and liver of vipers, pounded up for the benefit
of the invalid. Fortunately, bezoars disappeared from the list of
useful drugs years ago, with the crabs’-claws, oyster-shells, powdered
centipedes, and other medical delicacies with which our forefathers
were drenched in good faith and _secundum artem_.

[Illustration: SUMATRA MONKEY. (_From Temminck._)]


This is the most sacred of the sacred Monkeys of the Hindoos, and when
full-grown, measures four feet and a half in length, and the tail is
considerably longer than the body. An ashy-grey tint distinguishes the
upper part of the body, and it is darkest on the tail, which is of
equal thickness throughout. The rest of the body is of a dingy yellow
colour, or rusty brown, and the arms, hands, and feet are dusky black.
The long face is blackish; and above the eyebrows is a line of long
stiff projecting black hairs. A greyish-white beard passes round the
face, and extends upwards, and is thicker in front of the ears, which
are long and prominent and black. Finally, this face has a few hairs by
way of a beard beneath the chin, which projects.

A long-legged, active creature is the Entellus. It associates in
great troops, and they keep up a constant noise and quarrel. Those
that abound--thanks to the belief in their semi-divinity by the
Hindoos--near towns and plantations are certainly more sharp, clever,
and impudent than their less fortunate fellows. They watch and steal
with impunity and ability, and are amusing when young, but savage and
disagreeable when old. The young differ much in shape from the old
adults, and their limbs seem very disproportioned at first. They have
a staid look about them, and a tranquil eye, and the forehead is broad
and high, the muzzle only slightly prominent, and the brain-case large.
But with age this alters; the tints of the body get darker, the body
larger, the muzzle elongates, and the forehead appears to contract, and
to be no longer an object of human resemblance. The disposition changes
also, for the tame and amusing young learn a number of tricks and are
full of fun; but this is succeeded by a look and behaviour of distrust
and fierceness.

[Illustration: DOUC.]

The Entellus Monkey is not found from Cape Comorin to the Himalayan
Mountains, as is usually asserted; and Captain Hutton has shown that it
is “entirely and absolutely restricted, within narrow limits, to the
hot tropical plains of the north-western Gangetic provinces, where,
from the degree of protection which its imputed ‘odour of sanctity’
is so well calculated to cast around it, as well as from the numbers
in which it frequently occurs, it becomes a perfect nuisance in those
parts of the country where the superstitious veneration for it most
strongly prevails. In many places where the natives, from religious
motives, are in the habit of feeding and protecting them, the roofs of
the village huts are at certain hours of the day literally crowded with
them, and the depredations committed in grain shops, gardens, and among
neighbouring crops, are most miscreant-like.” The Entellus has been
purposely introduced elsewhere, but is naturally confined to the right
banks of the Ganges and Hooghly. They will not cross water of their own
accord, and there appears to be a notion in the minds of the Hindoos
that if there are males on one side and females on the other bank of
the river, and plenty of boats between, the sexes will never mix, but
that the males have great fights together. This is, however, one of the
many fictions of those races who rarely study Nature. Some of these
Monkeys were introduced to Kishunghur, in Lower Bengal, across the
rivers, by devotees, and the offspring of one pair increased to such an
extent as to become a perfect nuisance, so that in 1867 a large number
of the native community presented a petition, praying that measures
might be taken by the municipality to destroy some of the too numerous
Monkeys that infested the station, causing fearful havoc among the
fruit and grain. An order was issued, and 500 were killed. “There must
be many thousands,” wrote a correspondent of the _Delhi Gazette_. This
act was soon succeeded by another petition from a different section
of the native population for the cancelment of the order to kill what
they called their long deceased ancestors. The Entellus is not found
in Africa, nor amongst the Himalayas; neither does it migrate from
the upper to the lower districts of Bengal at special seasons. The
Himalayan Semnopitheci are the Langoor and another--the _Semnopithecus
pileatus_ and _Semnopithecus barbei_.

It was stated formerly that the Entellus could be seen on Simla all
the year through; but when the snow falls during the winter it seeks
a warmer climate in the depths of the Khuds, returning again to the
heights as it melts away. They may be seen, however, on a fine sunshiny
day, even with the snow on the ground, leaping from tree to tree up and
down a hill in Simla, which is at about an elevation of 8,115 feet.
All this is a mistake; and it is the Langoor, not the Hoonuman, or
Entellus, which does all this. It is the Langoor Monkey which Dr. Royle
saw at an elevation of 9,000 feet during the summer months, and which
Captain Hutton observed when on Hatu mountain, close to Simla, at an
elevation of 10,650 feet, and at Simla during winter with snow four or
five inches deep, and frost at night.

Whether the Entellus is found in the Deccan, and to the south,
appears to be matter of doubt but probably the long-tailed Monkeys,
seen in multitudes near houses or only in the forests, belong to a
Semnopithecus closely allied in shape and ornamentation to it. One, the
_Semnopithecus Johnii_, rarely leaves the forest lands, and is seen in

Evidently the natives do not discriminate between the species and the
varieties of it, as we may. They consider all of them possibly to be
endowed with the mind of an ancestor, and that it may be their lot to
have their soul placed within the body of some Monkey or other.

They attribute to the Hoonuman the stealing of the delicious fruit the
mango, and its introduction into Hindostan; but the legend asserts that
the hero Ape who did this, stole the fruit from the garden of a giant,
who lived in Ceylon, and that afterwards he resolved to set fire to
Ceylon, and destroy his enemies by a lighted tar-barrel tied to his
tail; but he burnt his hands and feet black, and they remain so to the
present day. Unfortunately for the truth of this legend, the Entellus
never was in Ceylon.

The Entellus is occasionally to be seen in the Zoological Gardens of
London, but it is a very delicate creature. It likes quiet play and
some solemn stillness, and therefore it is not kept with the vivacious
African Monkeys, but with the Long-tailed Americans.

One of the most striking of the Semnopitheci is wonderfully like some
of the Indians of the far west of America in their war-paint, so far as
the head is concerned. This is


Its colour is brown, becoming very dark and almost black on the back,
loins, and outsides of the thighs, and around the fore-arms and lower
leg. The muzzle is rather prominent, and there is a white patch over
the nose on the forehead. The crest of long hair sticks up like that of
a Cockatoo, and is rather brushed backwards, whilst a whisker, which is
continuous with it, comes forward and hides the cheeks.

All the proportions of the limbs are those of the genus, and the tail,
which hangs down, is long and slender. It comes from Borneo.


This is an active little Monkey, and a great tree climber; it greatly
resembles the last in shape, but it has a shorter muzzle, and the whole
body is a bright reddish-brown, the face being blue and naked, the eyes
hazel. A crest of hair sticks up on the top of the head, and the bulk
of it points backwards, whilst the front comes over the forehead like
thatch, and the whiskers are brushed outwards. It is called Kalassi in

This diversity of colouring, which must astonish every one who has
seen Temminck’s beautiful plates of the Semnopitheci, must be received
cautiously as a proof of the different colours meaning different kinds.
For in Semnopithecus chrysomeles the male is dark brown, and only
lighter in tint underneath, whilst the female is light brown, with a
splash or two of black on the front legs. They both have blue faces.
In this instance the female and the male might have been called by
different names. The same thing occurs in the Sumatran Monkey, in which
the female is light brown and the male is a most extraordinary-looking
yellow. His hair seems brushed back most violently, the blue face is
very short and straight; he has a reddish chin, a white throat, inside
of arms, and legs, and belly, and under part of tail, but all the rest
is black, with a shade of lighter tint behind the ears and on the back.

All these are very curious-looking when young, for then the head
appears too big for the body, and the stomach is always large;
moreover, the little Proboscis Monkey looks like a boy with his hair
parted down the front, and who has a blue face and a tail.


This Monkey is perhaps the most gaily clad of all this group, and in
this departs in a most marked manner from the dull sameness of the fur
of the Apes already described in the former chapters. Not only is the
long hair very different in colour in several parts of the body, but
the hairs themselves are variegated, having bands of various tints upon
them, differing thus from the whole-coloured hairs of the great Apes.

The animal has the usual shape of the Semnopitheci; but the whiskers
brushed back, as they appear to be, make the naked and orange-coloured
face look broad. These whiskers are long, and are of glossy whiteness,
and above they join the hair of the forehead, which is black in front,
gradually becoming grizzled grey. This is the tint of the head, and of
the back of the neck and back. The thighs, fingers, and toes are black,
the legs and ankles are bright red, fore-arms, throat, and underneath
the legs, the buttocks, and the tail are pure white, and the white
throat is surrounded by a more or less complete circle of bright red.
They live in the woods of Cochin China, and have been met with not far
from the coast. They assemble in troops, but appear to be good-tempered
and easily frightened, and this appears to be all that is known of
their nature. But they yielded to the researches of the anatomist the
same internal arrangement of the cavities of the stomach which has been
noticed in describing the Long-nosed Monkey.


The forests on the banks of the Me-kong, near Saigon in Cochin China,
are tenanted by a fine Douc which, instead of having the red legs of
the true Douc (_Semnopithecus nemæus_), has them of a black colour from
the root of the tail to the tips of the toes. Moreover, in this animal
the fore legs are greyish-black, dotted with white, whilst those of the
other Douc are whitish. Of course these distinctions are not sufficient
to separate these Doucs specifically, and they must be considered races
or local varieties, the black-footed one living more to the south than
the other. If this be correct, and it must be on the principle that
a negro and a white man are only races of the genus Homo, and that a
black and a white rabbit are of the same kind, colour is a point of
little importance.

The Black-legged Douc has its face almost naked, and surmounted by
a band of hairs on the forehead. These stand out, and are directed
forwards. In the other Douc these hairs, of a less black tint, are
brushed, as it were, backwards. Now, an attempt has been made by
Geoffroy St. Hilaire to arrange the kinds of Semnopitheci by the
direction and peculiarities of their head-dresses, and if this plan
were carried out the true Douc would be in one section--that of those
with the hair brushed back--and the black-legged one, which is only
a variety, and not a separate species, would have to be placed in
another. Hence, this plan is worthless.

This Douc has a very human face and a small head, a large chest, a thin
abdomen, very long hind-legs and tail, and short fore-legs.

[Illustration: CROWNED MONKEY.]

The skull of the Douc has large and open orbits, faint side crests,
and faint crests passing from the ear over the occiput. The face is
small in relation to the brain-case, and the shape of the whole differs
greatly from that of the Troglodytes in this respect. The lower jaw is
angular behind, and the portion (the ascending branch or ramus) which
leads up to the joint is very straight. The teeth in it are of the same
number as those of the Gibbons; but the last grinder is long, and has a
very distinct heel-like back, point, or cusp. The other four points, or
cusps, are placed two in front and two behind them, those in front are
united by a cross ridge, then comes a hollow across the tooth, and then
the back pairs, which are united by a ridge, and then the heel follows.
The other crushing molar teeth have four cusps, in pairs, each pair
having a common cross ridge, and the pairs are separated by a furrow.
The teeth are close together, and the first false molar is smaller than
the second. The upper jaw projects a little, and the front jaw-bone
(pre-maxillary) remains distinct. Its crushing teeth have four points,
or cusps, but the outline of the teeth is not straight at the sides,
but doubly curved, so that the entrance of the curves is between the
cusps, and it corresponds to the furrow. All this gives a very animal
look to the teeth.

It must be remembered that these teeth are used more for crushing
soft vegetable matters than for cracking nuts, and things which can
be stowed away in a cheek-pouch and devoured at leisure. Hence the
difference between the teeth of these and of the Macaques.


“When observed in their native wilds,” writes Sir James Emerson
Tennent, “a party of twenty or thirty of these creatures are generally
busily engaged in the search for berries and buds. They are seldom
to be seen on the ground, and then only when they have descended to
recover seeds or fruit that have fallen at the foot of their favourite
trees. In their alarm, when disturbed, their leaps are prodigious, but
generally speaking their progress is made not so much by leaping as by
swinging from branch to branch, using their powerful arms alternately,
and when baffled by distance, flinging themselves obliquely so as to
catch the lower boughs of an opposite tree, the momentum acquired by
their descent being sufficient to cause a rebound, that sends then
again upwards, till they can grasp a higher branch, and thus continue
their headlong flight.”

[Illustration: PRIAMUS MONKEY. (_After Tennent._)]

This Monkey is very active and intelligent, and is not very
mischievous, and, indeed, is much less so than the other Monkeys of
Ceylon. In captivity it is remarkable for the gravity of its behaviour,
and for an air of melancholy in its expression and movements, which is
completely in character with its snowy beard and venerable aspect.
Its disposition is gentle and confiding; it is in the highest degree
sensible of kindness, and eager for endearing attentions, uttering a
low plaintive cry when its sympathies are excited. It is particularly
cleanly in its habits when domesticated, and spends much of its time in
cleaning its fur, and carefully divesting it of the least particle of

The Nestor is about sixteen inches in length (the body and head), and
the tail measures twenty inches. The prevailing colour is a deep grey,
with a slight tinge of brown, becoming paler on the back of the neck
and on the tail, where the previous tinge is more marked. The hands and
lower part of the limbs are nearly black. Its lips, chin, and whiskers
are nearly pure white, the tips of the latter, which are brushed
backwards, being grey. There is a stiff ridge of black hairs over the
eyebrows, and they are about an inch and a half in length. The moderate
length of the hairs, the light colour and the white of the lower sides
of the face, are distinctive. It inhabits the southern and western
provinces of Ceylon, and is found at a higher elevation than even 1,300


This is a larger Monkey than the last, and lives in the hills higher up
the country of Ceylon than the Nestor. It is wilder and more powerful
than its lowland neighbour, and is rarely seen by Europeans. It clings
to the deep woods, and seldom approaches the few roads which have been
made through these solitudes. There is a good deal of the Bear in its
general appearance, and Major Forbes, travelling in Ceylon, noticed
this first of all. He says:--“A species of very large Monkey, that
passed some distance before me, when resting on all-fours looked so
like a Ceylon Bear that I took him for one.” Hence the name Ursinus.

Another very rare Monkey in Ceylon is, for some hidden cause, named
_Semnopithecus Thersites_. Thersites was the most ugly and the most
impudent talker of the Greeks before Troy, and probably this Monkey is
ugly and impudent in the extreme. It is deficient in the head-tuft,
which adds to the beauty of the genus; but its temper is good, and
it is grateful. One which was caught was fond of being noticed and
petted, stretching out his limbs in succession to be scratched, drawing
himself up so that his ribs might be reached by the finger, and closing
his eyes during the operation, evincing his satisfaction by grimaces
absolutely ludicrous. He was fond of fresh vegetables, plantains, and
fruit, and ate freely of boiled rice, beans, and grain.

The last Ceylonese Monkey to be noticed is the _Semnopithecus Priamus_.

It inhabits the northern and eastern provinces, and the wooded hills
which occur in those portions of the island. In appearance it differs
both in size and in colour from the common Wanderoo (_S. Nestor_),
being larger and greyer, and its habits are much less reserved. Where
the population is comparatively numerous, these Monkeys become so
familiarised with the presence of man as to exhibit the utmost daring
and indifference. A flock of them will take possession of a Palmyra
palm, and so effectually can they crowd and conceal themselves among
the leaves that, on the slightest danger, the whole party becomes
invisible on the instant. The presence of a Dog, however, excites such
an irrepressible curiosity, that, in order to watch his movements,
they never fail to betray themselves. They may be seen frequently
congregated on the roof of a native hut; and some years ago the child
of a European clergyman having been left on the ground by the nurse,
was so teased and bitten by them as to cause its death. The Ceylon
people hold the singular belief that the remains of a Monkey are never
found in the forest--a belief which they have embodied in a proverb,
that “He who has seen a white crow, the nest of the piddybird, a
straight cocoa-nut tree, or a dead Monkey, is certain to live for
ever.” “This piece of folk-lore has evidently reached Ceylon from
India,” writes Sir J. Emerson Tennent, from whose work the extract is
taken, “where it is believed that persons dwelling on the spot where a
Hoonuman Monkey (_Semnopithecus entellus_) has been killed, will die,
and that even its bones are unlucky, and that no house erected where
they are hid will prosper. Hence, when a house is to be built, one of
the employments of wise men is to ascertain by their science that none
such are concealed; and Buchanan observes that it is perhaps owing to
the fear of this ill-luck that no native will acknowledge having seen a
dead Hoonuman.”

Sir J. Emerson Tennent describes the method in which these Priamus
Monkeys attack a garden, which is quite after the fashion of modern
human military tactics. A green sward separated the garden of one of
his friends from the jungle, and across this a single Monkey would
cautiously steal about twenty paces, and halt to assure himself, by
eye and ear, that all was safe. Presently a second would venture
out from the trees, pass in front of the first, and squat himself
after making another reconnaissance. A third and a fourth would
then stealthily approach, always gaining an advance beyond the last
vedette, and finally the whole body, having ascertained the absence
of danger, advanced hastily but noiselessly to the enclosure; and
having with infinite rapidity secured a sufficient supply of fruit, the
troop dispersed simultaneously, with a rush and an exulting scamper,
conscious that caution was no longer necessary. Possibly this Monkey
becomes occasionally an albino, for white Monkeys having the general
shape of the Priamus are captured every now and then not far from
Colombo; and Spence Hardy mentions, in his work on “Eastern Monachism,”
that on the occasion of his visit to the Great Temple of Dambool
he encountered a troop of white Monkeys on the rock on which it is

In the Semnopitheci and in the species of the next genus (Colobos) the
face is long, the forehead rounded, and there is a decided angle to the
jaw, so that the facial angle is considerable.[36]


All the Monkeys of the genus Semnopithecus which have been found by
travellers and naturalists live in Asia and its islands, and thus
their geographical limit is precise. Now, there are some Monkeys which
resemble them in most points, and which are only found in the forests
of tropical Africa; that is to say, in Abyssinia on the east, and from
Gambia to Angola on the west. They are also found on the Island of
Fernando Po. These have the thumbs of the hands extremely small, and
they are but mere useless projections. They are Semnopitheci without
thumbs, and the Greek word κολοβός (“docked or stunted”) has been used
to designate them.

The kinds of Monkeys included in the genus Colobos are not very
numerous, and they are interesting more on account of their beautiful
skins, which form ornaments and articles of commerce in Africa, and for
those suggestions which must occur to the mind of every one who thinks
a little about natural history, regarding the cause of the absence of
such an important structure as the thumb in a group of animals, whose
other characters are similar to those of a genus possessing it. Very
little is known about their habits in a state of nature, and few have
ever been brought alive to Europe.

The thumb is not seen in the least in one kind of Colobos, the true
Colobos (_Colobos verus_); in others it is like a little knob, but in
none is it of any use. In the corresponding member of other Monkeys
there are three bones, one placed before the other. The first, the
metacarpal, is the nearest the wrist, and is jointed to the wrist-bone
called trapezium, and in front it is in contact with the second bone,
or the first phalanx of the thumb. This is ended by the second phalanx,
which bears the nail. These are terms used by anatomists, and the
word metacarpal means “the next in order of rank to the wrist.” These
metacarpal bones intervene between the knuckles and the wrist, and
are long and parallel with each other, there being five in the hand.
They are not usually very movable on the wrist, but that of the thumb
is, and they have a joint at the further end which unites them with
the so-called internode or phalanx-bone, No. 1. The word internode
means between joints, and the term phalanx is one of those unmeaning
applications of Greek terms which abound in anatomy. The phalanx was
an order of battle, and means rows placed in parallel order: the
internodes of the fingers, when in place, are one before the other and
side by side, like the soldiers in the Greek order of battle. Each
phalanx represents a bone: there are two in the thumb, and three in the
other fingers. In the Colobos there is a joint on the wrist-bone for
a thumb, but no thumb exists, but there is just a little vestige of a
bone, and it is probably the first phalanx, or internode, and not the

The thumb is therefore “rudimentary” in the genus Colobos, and why? The
animals are tree-climbers and active jumpers, and can run very well on
all-fours; in fact, their method of life and of motion is that of the
Monkeys which have well-formed thumbs. The notion of a useless organ
is at first repulsive to our ideas of the benevolent scheme of Nature.
Mr. Darwin writes, “In reflecting on them every one must be struck with
astonishment; for the same reasoning power which tells us plainly that
most parts and organs are exquisitely adapted for certain purposes
tells us with equal plainness that these rudimentary or atrophied
organs are imperfect or useless.” Let us take a well-known instance of
such a structure: the Calf when born has cutting teeth in its upper
jaw hidden in the gum; they are not in sockets, and even if they were,
they would be of no use in biting. The Ox has no cutting or incisor
teeth in its upper jaw, as every one knows, and the tongue touches a
hard and moist gum there. The incisor teeth of the Calf are never cut,
but they are gradually absorbed in the gum with age. Now what is their
meaning? They are of no use in sucking, or in anything which occurs in
the early life of the animal: they are clearly useless and rudimentary
or atrophied structures. Take another example: the little Kiwi bird of
New Zealand has no wings with which to fly, yet the bones are there
in a dwarfed and rudimentary condition; many insects have no wings,
or have them so reduced in size that they are of no use in flight,
and sometimes the males have them in perfection, and the females have
none. In explaining this subject two courses are open, first, to beg
the question, and to say that the design of the Creator was thus; or
to account for it on the principle that the Creator acts by law, and
that creatures become modified and altered by inherent power, and by
having to obey the force of surrounding circumstances generation after

[Illustration: COLOBOS VERUS. (_After Van Beneden._)]

In the instance of the male and female insect just noticed, the male
is active, and has to search for his partner, and the female is a
stay-at-home, and expects to be courted, and when mated to do nothing
more than lay eggs. Her wings would be of doubtful value. We may
believe, then, that _disuse_, generation after generation, gradually
weakened the wing, and finally Nature, ever economical in not-used
organs, did not perpetuate it. Disuse may be therefore considered as
the principal cause of the atrophy, rudimentary condition, and of the
final deficiency of structures. But disuse will not produce this in
one generation, but in many, so it is necessary to look farther back
into the ancestry of the creatures which have rudimentary organs. The
four-legged ruminating or cud-chewing animals have bones and feet of
peculiar arrangement, and there is no difficulty in at once knowing
a ruminant by its bones. Now, in former ages, and before there was a
trace of man on the globe, there were ruminants, as known by their
bones found in strata or deposits, and they had incisor teeth in their
upper jaws when full grown, and not only when in the calf condition.
The inference to be drawn is, that the modern Oxen are the descendants
of those ancient forms with incisor teeth, and that disuse, probably
produced by the introduction of grass-feeding on a grand scale, instead
of leaf-and bud-nibbling, gradually diminished the strength and
permanence of the front upper teeth, and finally only left the simple
traces of them which we have mentioned. Disuse by ancestral forms, by
the forefathers, and the carrying down the weakened and atrophied state
of the structure or organs, are the most important considerations in
any attempt at the explanation of the seeming paradox. In endeavouring
to apply this style of reasoning to the Colobos group--the Semnopitheci
without thumbs--it must be asked, is there any evidence of the great
antiquity of these Monkeys, and are there any evidences of anything
wrong about the thumbs of their Asiatic allies?

[Illustration: GUEREZA.]

It is remarkable, and bears strongly upon this point, that some of
the fossil remains of animals found in India, on the flanks of the
Himalayan Mountains, have a closer resemblance to a large Semnopithecus
Monkey than to any other, and to one belonging to a kind much like
the Entellus. The bony remains were found in collections of shingle,
clay, and sand of great depth, and which included also the remains
of the bones of Elephants, Giraffes, Hippopotamidæ, Crocodiles, and
fresh-water Tortoises, and other land and fresh-water creatures. The
deposits had accumulated in lakes and swamps in the plain near the
distant flanks of a low range of hills, the ancient foundations of
the present great snowy range, and then upheaval took place, which
gave the very home of snow (Himalaya) its present vast altitude. The
plains, lakes, and swamps were lifted up and tilted, and their relics
are now found resting at a considerable angle on the main chain, and
covered and folded over by the pressure exercised during the marvellous
change in the physical geography of the district. Semnopitheci lived in
India, then, before the Himalayas were a great chain of mountains, and
they lived with animals which were African as well as Asiatic in their
character. The vast age of the groups of Monkeys must be admitted, for
the Himalayas are as old as the Alps, and as both have been worn down
into their present condition of peak, pass, and valley since they were
uplifted, their age is incalculable by years. The former connection
of Africa and Asia by means of intermediate land, which is now the
floor of the Indian Ocean, to the west of Hindostan, may be reasonably
asserted to have been severed at the same time when the mountains far
away to the north-east received their breadth and height. So that
before these great terrestrial changes occurred, Semnopitheci could
have either an Indian or an African home. Disuse of the fore-thumbs
in branch-crawling or swinging may then have commenced before that
geological age in which these things happened, and it may have
progressed very decidedly in Africa, and not so much in Asia. Hence the
Semnopitheci here have rather small thumbs, and the African groups,
separated by the physico-geographical change, and disusing generation
after generation, have gradually lost the structure.

The Colobi resemble the Semnopitheci in the construction of their
compound-looking stomach.


There is something very un-monkey-like in the shape of this Abyssinian
animal, for it has long white hair, resembling the edge of a cloak,
along its sides, and a long tail with a tuft to it. The natives chase
it, and are fond of having some of their long hairy skins to cover
their shields with. Assembling in little troops, the Guereza keeps
well up in the tallest trees, in the neighbourhood of running water.
They feed on fruit, grain, and insects, and are inoffensive and wild.
The fur is certainly very prettily arranged, and the black and white
truly oppose each other well. The colour of the fur of the head and
of the greater part of the body is black, but the forehead is white,
so are the sides of the face, the throat, and the sides of the neck.
There is a mantle-like mop of long hairs starting from the region near
the ribs, and the lower part of the back, and covering the flanks in
a train behind. It is of a white colour, and exists in both sexes;
nevertheless, it is longest in the females and adults. The tail is
white, hairy, and tufted.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another of the Colobi has a very dignified look given to it by a large
mass of hair which covers its neck and shoulders like a little cloak.
It has slim legs and a long tail. For some reason or other the natives
in the neighbourhood of Sierra Leone call it the King of the Monkeys.
The face and limbs and body are black, and a great mass of hair
starting from the forehead and brushed back from the sides of the face
and chin, the neck and shoulders all round, falls down on all sides.
This is of a dusky yellow colour. The tail is white. It is called the
Cloaked or Many-haired Colobos (_Colobos polycomos_).

As if to contrast kinds of the genus Colobos, which have great
general resemblances, Nature has provided some with red-coloured fur,
instead of black and white; for instance, the Bay Monkey (_Colobos
ferrugineus_); and finally, one very interesting species which, like
all those mentioned, except the Guereza, comes from West Africa; it has
a short fur of an olive colour, with a grey tint beneath and on the
limbs. It has no long hairs on the body, and its tail is long and thin.
This _Colobos verus_ has not a vestige of a thumb. There are eleven
species of this genus.

Besides the fossil Semnopithecus found in the Himalayas others have
been discovered in Greece, Würtemberg, and at Montpellier, and in
strata of Mid-Tertiary and of Pliocene Age.



    THE GUENONS--Where they are Found--Early Notices of
    them--Resemblance to the Colobi and Macaques--Distinctive
    Peculiarity of the Group--Often seen in Menageries--Their Terror
    of Snakes--Peculiar Expression of the Face--Beauty of their
    Skins--Minor Divisions of the Guenons--THE DIANA MONKEY--Origin of
    the Name--Anecdotes of their Mischief--THE MONA MONKEY--Description
    of one at Paris--THE WHITE-NOSED MONKEY--Origin of the Name--THE
    TALAPOIN--Anatomical Peculiarities--THE GREEN MONKEY--Found
    in Senegal in abundance--THE RED-BELLIED MONKEY--THE RED
    MONKEY--Observed by Bruce--THE MANGABEY--Singularity of its
    Appearance--Special Structural Peculiarities.

There are vast numbers of Monkeys living in the African forests which
resemble, to a certain extent, those described in the last chapter,
but which have such important differences in their construction that
they are separated from them, and collected in another genus. They are
said only to range in Abyssinia to the Zambesi and from the Gambia to
the Congo, but probably all the equatorial parts of the Continent are
frequented by them, and they extend far south. They are not found in
Madagascar, and, of course, they do not frequent desert places or rocky
treeless districts.

Being very numerous, and extremely impudent, as a rule, and full
of grimace and mischief, they soon attracted the attention of the
ancients, and the beauty of the fur of some made them all the more
prized. Hence they were caught, figured, and sent as presents to
distant kingdoms. The ancient Egyptians knew of one, which at the
present time is found in Nubia, and which is often brought to Europe,
being called the Grivet. They engraved it in the catacombs of Ghizeh,
whence the figure was described by Denon, and Ehrenberg and De
Blainville have drawn it as represented mounted on the long neck of a
Camelopard. Many coloured drawings of Egyptian origin also represent
a Monkey on all-fours, with a tail curved over its back, and this is
probably one of those about to be considered.

They are still called _Keb_ or _Kep_ in the East of Africa, and they
are doubtless the κῆβος of the Greeks. Aristotle says for certain that
the Cebus, as it was translated by the Latins, is an Ape with a tail.

Modern naturalists, having become acquainted with many of these species
closely resembling each other in some important particulars, have
arranged them all under the term Cercopithecus from κέρκος (a tail),
and πίθηκος (an ape). The grimaces and odd gestures of these Monkeys
have given to them the name of Guenons, and this term is now used

At first sight they resemble the Colobi, inasmuch as they have long
bodies, long hind legs, and long tails, but the fore limbs are short in
the Guenons, and the tail, which is as long or longer than the body, is
stout and not slender. Moreover, they have well-made and exceedingly
useful cheek-pouches, besides the callosities behind. The face of the
Guenons is long, and rounded, and the eyes are somewhat prominent. On
examining the inside of one of these particularly African species the
stomach is found to be single, and not to resemble that of the genera
last described, and on looking at the lower jaw it will be found that
the last crushing teeth on each side have only four points, or cusps,
and not five, as in Semnopitheci. The wearing of the first premolar
tooth next to the lower dog tooth, and behind it, resembles somewhat
that noticed before, and which will be described in treating of the
Inui, or Macaques, in the next chapter. The hands and feet are well
grown, and the thumbs are long and useful.

So that the distinctive peculiarity, or what is called the _diagnosis_
of the group, or genus Cercopithecus is--Monkeys with long hind and
short fore limbs, and with long tails, cheek-pouches, single stomachs,
and callosities, there being only four cusps on the last lower molar

[Illustration: DIANA MONKEY.]

Many of the Guenons are often seen in menageries and zoological
gardens, or as the more or less unwilling companions of organ-grinders;
and their trick of crowding everything into their mouth, and allowing
it to distend the cheeks, is sure to be noticed. The quantity of nuts
which can be stored away is enough for a good meal; and hence these
Monkeys are not only good purveyors for themselves, but great robbers
of the riches of cultivators. In the wild state they assemble in troops
in the forest, for they are essentially tree dwellers, and make raids
on all sides of their favourite home, moving with such rapidity under
the shadow of leaves and boughs that they are rarely seen by men. In
their own little tract of forest they are very noisy and restless;
they chase away in a body all intruding Monkeys, and whilst the more
aged spend their time in more or less restless movement, in occasional
family jars, and in picking the insects from their young and from each
other, the juvenile part of the troop are full of play, mischief,
and wanton aggression upon the quietude of their elders. A Snake may
appear, and there is a terrible noise made, and a general rush off out
of danger, the little ones clinging to the fur of the mother, and being
carried off safely in spite of her bounds and jumps from tree to tree.
Or a Leopard may make a spring, and not always fruitlessly, and great
is the surrounding howling and grimacing at it. The hatred of Snakes
is carried into their captivity; and Mr. Darwin having read Brehm’s
account of the instinctive fear which his Monkeys had of Serpents, and
also of their great curiosity regarding snake-like things and their
doings, took a stuffed Snake to the Monkey-house of the Zoological
Gardens. The excitement which was produced, he writes, was one of the
most curious spectacles ever beheld. Three species of Cercopithecus
were the most alarmed. They darted about their cages, and uttered sharp
cries of danger, which were understood by the other Monkeys. A few
young Monkeys and an old Anubis Baboon alone took no notice of the
Snake. He then placed the stuffed specimen on the ground in one of the
larger compartments. After a time all the Monkeys collected round it
in a large circle, and staring intently, presented a most ludicrous
appearance. They became extremely nervous, so that when a wooden ball
with which they were familiar as a plaything was accidentally moved
in the straw under which it was partly hidden, they all instantly
started away. These monkeys behaved very differently when a fish,
a mouse, and some other new objects were placed in the cage; for
though at first frightened they soon approached, handled and examined
them. He then placed a living Snake in a paper bag, with the mouth
closed loosely, in one of the larger compartments. One of the Monkeys
immediately approached, cautiously opened the bag a little, peeped in,
and instantly dashed away. Then he witnessed what Brehm has described,
for Monkey after Monkey with head raised high, and turned on one side,
could not resist taking momentary peeps into the upright bag at the
dreadful creature lying at the bottom.

It would appear as if Monkeys had some notion of zoological affinities,
for those kept by Brehm exhibited a strange though mistaken instinctive
dread of innocent Lizards and Frogs.


Birds of prey attack them, and not always with a successful result;
and there is a story of a little Guenon being darted at by an Eagle,
who swooped down and struck it, but it did not get off, for a rush was
made against the bird by several of the active elders, and they not
only held it, but nearly plucked off all its feathers, so that when it
got away it remembered for ever after the treatment it received. The
Guenons are very choleric, and the expression of the face and of the
mouth, and the shrill sounds which are emitted when they are angered,
would probably be accompanied by extremely bad language were they men;
but their rage is soon over, and some mutual tail-pulling and biting
are the worst part of it. There is a curious defiant look about the
eyes of some, with or without extreme restlessness of them; they seem
to be the very embodiment of cunning and sharpness, and this look
is really very peculiar to the group. By way of additional force of
expression, those which are very fond of fighting with their teeth have
the power of drawing back their ears like angry Dogs; and this is done
by the action of a muscle which springs from the ear-bone behind the
ear, and is attached to it behind. There is just a rudiment of this
muscle in man. Usually very good-tempered when young, like all the
Quadrumana, they grow cross, savage, and uncertain in temper when old;
there are some exceptions to this, but, on the other hand, so savage do
some of them become, that breaking or removing their great upper canine
teeth appears to be the only way of making them behave at all properly.
The loss of these fine weapons of offence has a most humiliating effect
on the most insolent and petulant of them. Many are very pretty, and
are as elaborately coloured as the Douc, that prince of beautiful
Semnopitheci; and this leads to their destruction, for every now
and then, besides the native desire to have some fine Monkey skins,
European ladies desire Monkey muffs, and many an irascible chatterer
out of the woods of Western Africa has its skin paraded by the fashion.
Bright red, green, fawn, yellow, and white colours are constantly mixed
up with black shades, and every tint of grey is clotted here and there.
The hair is longer in some parts than in others, especially about the
cheeks and chin; one has a white spot on its nose, another has white
moustaches, and a third a white band across the forehead. And these
tints, and the disproportion of the long hairs, have served to identify
the different kinds.

The Guenons occasionally breed in menageries, and thus opportunities
have been afforded of watching their treatment of, and method of
educating, their little ones. One in Paris had three baby Monkeys, one
after the other, and succeeded in rearing one, the others dying. She
constantly carried it, holding it close to her, so that its little
mouth was always close to the breast; but after a while, as it became
stronger, it clung on by itself, holding on fast with its hands to
the mother’s fur, and helped itself whenever it thought fit. Then the
mother appeared to pay no especial attention to the little one, and
jumped and rushed about as if it had not the little burden. The father
was anything but paternal, and boldly neglected the education of his
child; in fact, he was quite indifferent to the mother as well, and
even behaved brutally by seeking to quarrel with her. Once or twice he
maltreated her, and pinched the baby, so he was locked up by himself.

This careless treatment doubtless accounts for the rapid independence
of the young of the Guenons, who soon retaliate on their fathers and
mothers for all the enjoyments they did not have at their hands, by
endless teasings and scoldings. But all Monkeys are not thus unpaternal
and unnatural, and the Baboon is singularly affectionate. At the time
that the Grivet--the above-mentioned Guenon--was seen in one cage
outraging all good feeling, two Chacma Baboons were in another, and the
difference in their behaviour was most edifying. In the one cage sat
the solitary mother and its offspring, the father having been removed
for his bad temper and brutal conduct; and in the other were several
male Baboons surrounding two Baboon mothers and their two little ones,
caressing the mothers with the most pronounced evidence of tenderness
of feeling, taking them in their arms and pressing them to their
hearts, and embracing them in a manner quite human. They squabbled
about who was to have the pleasure of carrying the Baboon babies, and
after having passed them from one to the other, returned each one to
its own mother.

As these Guenons walk on all-fours and but rarely take on the erect
posture, which, moreover, they cannot maintain, their muscles are
not exactly the same as in the Troglodytes and Orangs, but they
resemble those of the Semnopitheci. The Guenons, like the Macaques and
Baboons--those great runners on all-fours--have a special muscle to
assist in pulling the shoulder-blade forward, and thus to assist the
forward motion of the body. Then, in order to drag the elbow backwards
in moving on all-fours, and to assist also in climbing, one of the
large muscles of the back sends a slip to the back of the elbow.
Climbing is also assisted by an addition to the gluteal or buttock
muscles, which is called the scansorius or climbing muscle. And in the
foot the front muscle of the leg has two masses; one sends a tendon
which goes to the inner and front bone of the ankle, and the other
right under the foot to the inner side of the long bone (metatarsal),
which supports the toe-thumb.

The result of its action is to turn in the foot with a view to holding
on. Finally, the two long muscles which flex or bend down the toe-thumb
and the other toes are not separate, but are connected by their
tendons. So that there is not great independence of the toe-thumb,
but all the toes act more or less simultaneously very readily. But
the other muscles of it give it more mobility than in man. Their
muscular energy is immense, and their power of using the thumb is very
considerable, and they pick out each other’s vermin with well-known

In separating the numerous kinds of Guenons into kinds or species,
paying a good amount of attention to their internal as well as external
structures, that is to say, to their teeth and skull, as well as to
their form, it becomes evident that some large ones form a group
which closely resemble the others, but which still have more general
likeness to the Monkeys which form the subject of the next chapter--the
Macaques. These have been placed in a separate genus, but the necessity
for doing so is not apparent, especially when the principles of the
true nature of classification have been thoroughly comprehended. So the
so-called genus Cercocebus (κέρκος, tail; κῆβας, monkey) is omitted,
and the Monkeys included in it by some authors are to be considered
as the kinds which link on the Baboons and Macaques to the Guenons.
Besides these, some Guenons are stronger and stouter than others, their
skins being green, or tinted more or less with that colour, and another
is of a bright red colour. So that several sets of the Guenons may be
established for the sake of convenience--1. The smaller kinds usually
with prominent white markings. 2. One having a green skin and a black
nose, and only three points or cusps on its hind lower molars. 3. The
larger kinds with decidedly green tints, one being bright red. 4. And
the group often called Cercocebus, which resemble the others, but have
a fifth cusp on the last lower grinder on each side.

Amongst the first kind the Diana Monkey is very well known, and
visitors to the Monkey-house in the Zoological Gardens in the Regent’s
Park usually pay much attention to this most determined and pretty romp.


This native of Western Africa inhabits the woods of the Guinea Coast,
and of the banks of the Congo, and it is found in the island of
Fernando Po. It was known to European naturalists before the year 1700,
and it has always been prized for its pretty fur and gay temper.

The goddess Diana has been honoured by being associated with
this Monkey on account of a crescent-shaped white band of long
hair stretching across the forehead (she being goddess of the
crescent-shaped moon). It is about eighteen inches long when full
grown, and the tail is longer than the body, and the fur is very
pretty. The crescent of white hairs has dark edges, and the top of the
head is broad and dull grey, spotted with green; the ears are dark and
the face also; and the beard and whiskers are white, and the first of
these projects like a goat’s. The broad and upper chest is white, and
this colour is continued under the arms, which at their termination
are black-grey. The middle of the back is a dark red-brown, and the
belly is white with orange tints, and these colours are continued down
the inside of the thighs. Outside these and the flanks are ash-grey
and greenish. As another Monkey from the same region has a white band
across the forehead, the Diana has been confounded with it, and hence
very different descriptions of the colouring will be obtained by
reading different authors, and even F. Cuvier jumbled the Diana and
this Diadem Monkey together. Very little is known about them in their
wild state, and in captivity they show very adverse dispositions;
sometimes they are gay and full of fun, and at others morose and
snappish. We once saw one of them in its cage in the Zoological Gardens
pull its mate, a small Sykes’ Monkey, from the top to the bottom by a
well-directed pull of the tail, and the proceeding reminded one of a
very energetic mistress, whose servants were inattentive, tugging at
a bell-rope. The puller was chattering and grimacing at his visitors
all the time that the pulled was hanging on to everything that came in
its way during its forced descent; and when it came to the bottom it
scrambled about and rushed up to its little house again as if it were a
frequent and unwilling exercise. The Diana also stole its companion’s
food, such as a piece of apple, by putting her arms around its neck,
and squeezing the morsel against its nose, so that it was obliged to
drop it.

Mrs. Bowditch, in describing her voyage home from Western Africa, gives
an interesting account of a Diana Monkey which was on board. “We made
acquaintance,” she says, “very suddenly, and, to me, disagreeably, for
I had not till then conquered the foolish aversion with which these
animals always inspired me. It was a dead calm, the wheel was lashed,
and all, save myself, below--nothing round us but sea and sky, and
I had sheltered myself with a book in a corner protected from the
equatorial sun. Suddenly, and without noise, something leaped upon my
shoulders, and the tail which encircled my throat convinced me that Mr.
Jack was my assailant. My first impulse was to beat him off, in which
case I should probably have received some injury; but fortunately I
sat perfectly still, and twisting himself round he brought his face
opposite to mine and stared at me. I endeavoured to speak kindly to
him, upon which he grinned and chattered, seated himself on my knees,
and carefully examined my hands. He then tried to pull off my rings,
and was proceeding to a bite for this purpose when I gave him some
biscuit which happened to lie beside me, and making a bed for him with
a handkerchief he settled himself comfortably to sleep, and from that
moment we were sworn allies. The amusement afforded to me and others
by Jack made him tolerated when his mischievous propensities would
otherwise have condemned him to perpetual confinement. He was often
banished to an empty hen-coop, but as this made no impression upon him
I always tried to prevent it, which he knew so well that when he had
done wrong he either hid himself or sought refuge near me. Much more
effect was produced by taking him within sight of the Panther, who
always seemed most willing to devour him. On these occasions I held him
by the tail in front of the cage, but long before I reached it, knowing
where he was going, he pretended to be dead--his eyes were closed quite
fast, and every limb was as stiff as if there were no life in him. When
taken away he would open one eye a little to see whereabouts he might
be, but if he caught a glimpse of the cage it was instantly closed, and
he became as stiff as before. He clambered into the hammocks, stole
the men’s knives, tools, handkerchiefs, and even the nightcaps off
their heads, all of which went into the sea. When biscuit was toasting
between the bars of the caboose, and the dried herbs boiling in the
tin mugs, he would take the former out and carry it away, and take out
the latter and trail them along the planks; if he burnt his hands he
desisted for a day or two; and he often regaled the Parrots with the
biscuit, biting it in small pieces, and feeding them with the utmost
gravity. At other times he would knock their cages over, lick up the
water thus spilled, eat the lumps of sugar, and pull the birds’ tails:
and in this manner he killed a beautiful green Pigeon belonging to the
steward, a specimen of which I never saw in any collection. For this he
was flogged and imprisoned three days; and half an hour after he was
let out I met him scampering round the deck with two blue-faced Monkeys
on his back, which he often carried about in this manner. When he
thought fit to ride, he would watch behind a cask on the days the Pigs
were let loose, dart on to their backs as they passed, dig his nails
into them to keep himself on, and the faster they ran and the more they
squealed the happier he seemed to be. His most important misdemeanours,
however, were performed to the injury of his fellow Monkeys, of whom
he was very jealous. The smaller ones were very obsequious to him,
and when he called them by a peculiar noise, they came, hanging their
heads and looking very submissive, and in one week two were drowned
out of sheer malice. I saw him throw the first overboard, and the poor
little thing swam after us some time, but the ship was going too fast
for even a rope to be effectually thrown out in the hope he would cling
to it. During one of the calms we so often met with, the men had been
painting the outside of the ship, and leaving their pots and brushes
on the deck, went down to dinner. No one was above but myself, the
helmsman, and Jack. The latter beckoned and coaxed a black Monkey to
him; then seizing him by the neck, took a brushful of white paint, and
deliberately covered him with it in every direction. The helmsman and I
burst into a laugh, upon which Jack, dropping his victim, flew up the
rigging into the maintop, where he stood with his black nose between
the bars peeping at what was going on below. The little metamorphosed
beast began licking himself, but the steward being summoned, he washed
him with turpentine, and no harm was sustained. Many attempts were
made to catch the rogue aloft, but he eluded all, and when he was
driven down by hunger, he watched his opportunity and sprang from one
of the ropes on to my lap, where he knew he should be safe. I fed
and interceded for him, so he escaped with only a scolding, which he
received with an appearance of shame which in him was rather ludicrous.”


The term Mona means tailed Apes or Monkeys, and it has been especially
given to one from Senegal, which has some resemblance to the Diana,
and it is mentioned here with a view of illustrating its mental
peculiarities. They are more beautiful in colour and more elegant in
form than the Diana, and they are sometimes more gentle, sagacious, and
sharp than any other kind. F. Cuvier describes one which was a great
favourite in the collection at Paris. Upon his arrival he was extremely
young, and his gentleness and total want of malice and petulance gained
him the free range of the apartment. Age did not alter the excellence
of his disposition; and as he increased in age and strength, his
address and agility became unparalleled. Yet all his motions were
gentle, and his actions circumspect; he was persevering in his wants
and wishes, but never violent in the attempt to enforce them. When
after much solicitation his requests were refused, he would go off in
a gambol, and find entertainment in some new object. He had no idea of
property, but took every thing that pleased him, even such articles
as had previously caused him punishment, and he committed his thefts
with dexterity and silence. He would open locks wherein the key had
been left, untie knots, open the links of a chain, and search pockets
with so much address that you did not feel his hand there, although
conscious of the fact that he was thieving. The examination of pockets
was his favourite occupation, doubtless from expecting to find food.
He was not very affectionate, but when tranquil, and not engaged, he
received caresses with pleasure. When tempted to play he signified his
assent by many graceful motions; he would throw himself into all sorts
of graceful attitudes, bite gently, press himself against you, and
give out a gentle cry. He never made grimaces, but, on the contrary,
his countenance was always calm, and frequently serious. He looked a
perfect angel of a Monkey in his beautiful fur; his hair was of a
brilliant golden green, the back and sides were rich brown, variegated
with black, the outer part of the limbs and tail were slate-coloured
grey, while the neck, chest, and underneath were pure shining white.
He had ears and hands of a flesh-colour, and there was a black band
stretched across the forehead, surmounted by a crescent-shaped stripe
of grey.

[Illustration: WHITE-NOSED MONKEY.]

Probably its French education may have had something to do with its
politeness and gentleness, for one of these pretty creatures which was
kept in the Zoological Gardens was one of the most ill-conditioned
savage beasts ever seen--quite a diabolical Monkey. This Monkey does
not appear to have the air sac in the neck which is common to the
Guenons, as well as to the other Monkeys already noticed.


The word “petaurista” is the Latin for “one that showeth tricks of
activity, from a machine suspended,” according to old dictionaries, so
this Monkey with a white nose has its abilities properly designated.
Some call it the Vaulting Monkey, but in the Zoological Gardens its
wonderful agility is shown by its scampering up the side, over the
top, and down the opposite side of its cage in a kind of continuous
somersault. Coming down on all-fours with a bang, it does the same
thing over and over again to attract attention, and it seems as if
it were moving in the inside of a wheel. The dab of white on the nose
distinguishes it, and it comes from that paradise of Monkeys the Guinea
Coast and the adjoining districts.

The only one of the second group to be mentioned is


This is a rather rare animal, and comes from the west coast of Africa,
having been sent to Europe from the Gaboon. It is a pretty little
creature (probably the smallest of these Monkeys), and is extremely
gentle and intelligent. The skin is green, and the lower part of the
body and the under part of the limbs are white. It has large ears, a
black nose, and it has a kind of broad “brutus” on the forehead.

There are some very interesting points about this little thing, which,
in nearly all its construction, is like the rest of the Cercopitheci,
or Guenons, but it has a large brain, a short muzzle, a thick, long
partition in its nose, and only three points, or cusps, instead of
four, on its last lower hind grinders.


So far as is known, there are no differences between the habits of
this little Monkey and the others from the west coast of Africa,
and therefore its intelligence and deficiencies are sufficiently
incomprehensible; but they exhibit a fact of great importance, of
which a hint was given in the conclusion of the description of the
Mona Monkey. In the Talapoin, the last lower grinder differs from
that of all Monkeys by the absence of an important part of its usual
structure, and in the Mona the great air sac, which is in communication
with the windpipe in most other Monkeys, is absent. This fact may be
stated as follows:--That in animals closely resembling others of their
group or genus material deficiencies in construction suddenly appear.
Corresponding to these deficiencies are the absence of all or a great
part of tail in genera the majority of whose species have a tail, and
the inference to be drawn is that, notwithstanding all the members or
species of a genus are related by a common ancestry, the descendants
of a well-marked stock may exhibit peculiarities of structure which
are not produced by alterations in the habits or surroundings of the

Such peculiar structures often relate to a remote ancestor, and it is
remarkable that in the case of this Talapoin they give it a very faint
resemblance to the American Monkeys.

Some naturalists separate the Talapoin from the genus, and classify it
in one of its own under the title Myiopithecus.

The third group of the Guenons is represented by the well-known Monkey


It has its classical name from two words which mean beauty and hair
(κάλλος and θρίξ-τρίχος), and it must not be confounded with the
Callitricha of Buffon, which is the same as the Grivet Monkey whose
figure was drawn by the Egyptians.

[Illustration: GORILLA. (_See pp. 6–30._)

(_From the Living Specimen in the Zoological Gardens, London._)]

The Green Monkeys live in Senegal, and extend as far south as the
River Niger, for it was on the borders of that river that Adanson,
a French naturalist, noticed their collecting in great troops. The
little Monkeys were astonished at his appearance, and as they rushed
off into the forest they broke off, either purposely or by accident,
little branches from the tops of the trees, whose falling relieved the
stillness of the woods. He indulged in some very cruel sport at their
expense, for although they had been so silent and noiseless in their
gambols, he shot one or two without the others being frightened. But
when the greater part were more or less wounded, they began to get
under cover from the shot, some to swing behind large branches, some
coming to the ground, and the majority jumping from the top of one
tree to another. Whilst this little scene (_petite manège_) was going
on, this scientific brute still continued to fire on them, and finally
he killed twenty-three in less than half an hour. This he did in the
space of about one hundred and thirty feet, and yet not one screamed,
although they often assembled together, knitting their brows and
grinding their teeth, as if they intended to attack him. Broderip, in
noticing this, writes, “I wish they had, with all my heart.”

They have in common with the other Guenons a fondness for particular
parts of their forests, and one band will prevent another from entering
its favourite haunts and this regard for companionship and locality
is even seen when they are in captivity. Restless, irritable, and
irascible they are ever at play, and fighting among themselves, but
they will turn to expel a stranger.

It is said that this Monkey has obtained an American home, and that it
was introduced with slaves into the Island of St. Kitts. Many escaped
into the woods, and have increased considerably in number, so as often
to pillage the plantations.

We introduce a kind here whose elegance of colour is great, principally
to give a good notion of the general aspects of the Guenons, when not
on all-fours, and also of the furtive look in the eyes of tamed kinds.


When living at the Zoological Gardens, in the Regent’s Park, this
pretty Monkey, with a red chest and belly, and slim tail, was very
timid, but it liked to be petted by the keeper, being somewhat
distrustful of its more romping companions. It would take food out of
his hand, and seemed pleased, and generally played with, his fingers,
without attempting to bite. The canine teeth were very moderately grown.

This Monkey inhabits western Africa, and is at once known by the red
belly and chest, the white beard and whiskers, and the black band
across the forehead. It has, moreover, a yellow crown.


The delicate red ground-colour of this Monkey readily distinguishes
it from its more favoured allies. One in the Zoological Gardens
is wonderfully human in the expression of its face and beautiful
sad-looking large eyes. Its pale lips, eyelids, and cheeks, and the
broadish pale forehead, with a slightly ridged nose, add to its
appearance of suffering. It has a moustache, a few hairs on its nose,
and whiskers, which are very cleanly kept in the proper whisker-line.
The hair of the forehead forms a counter-curve, whose peak is just in
the centre. Altogether it is a very pretty animal.

Bruce, the African traveller, when in Western Africa, took that trouble
which is very rarely done by distinguished travellers in Africa, and
observed Monkeys in a state of nature--the Red Monkey in particular.
It is strange, considering the omnipresence of the Monkey element,
that one may look over volume after volume of African travels, and
very rarely meet with a note or word about them; but such is the
case. So our obligation to Bruce is great. He says they descended in
troops from the tops of the trees to the extremities of the branches,
earnestly noticing, and apparently much amused by, the boats, as they
passed along the river. They then began to take courage, and pelt the
passengers with pieces of wood, this provoking a most unequal combat.
When fired upon, they uttered the most frightful cries, and although
many fell, the survivors seemed by no means willing to relinquish the
contest; on the contrary, they redoubled their efforts. Some flung
stones at their adversaries, while others collected something very
nasty as a missile; all, in short, displayed a determination of spirit
which must at all times render them formidable to opponents of weaker
powers than themselves.

The last group of the Guenons are often called the Mangabeys, from
a mistaken notion that they come from Madagascar. But there are no
Monkeys in that great island, whose forests are peopled by Lemurs

[Illustration: RED-BELLIED MONKEY. (_From the Proceedings of the
Zoological Society._)]


The general colour of this Monkey is a reddish-brown, which becomes
decidedly red on the top of the head. There is a white band between the
eyes, which is continued to each side of the back of the neck. A second
kind has grey slaty-brown tints, without the white spot.

One thing strikes the observer at once, and that is the very affected
way in which the Monkey sits, with its eyelids half closed; and as the
upper ones are dead-white, they look almost like doll’s eyelids, and as
if they did not belong to it.

They are extremely restless, and are fond of placing themselves in
curious attitudes, and so full of antics are they that it has been
erroneously imagined that they really have more joints and muscles
than the most agile of their allies. They are fond of carrying their
tails reversed, so as to be on a line parallel with the top of
the back, and their common expression of disgust is to show their
teeth by raising the upper lip. It is always droll, frolicsome, and
good-natured. Sir William Jardine mentions a female in Mr. Wombwell’s
Menagerie that was most lively, and Broderip says:--“She performed many
of the attitudes of the most experienced harlequins, and was remarkably
cleanly and careful not to soil her person. When feeding, she seldom
put her head to the food or dish, but lifted and conveyed it to her
mouth. She was very fond of bread, milk, and vegetables, and of carrots
especially.” He gives a figure of her--no easy task, for she was
never at rest for one moment, and her celerity was increased when she
perceived she was noticed.

[Illustration: MANGABEY.]

The Mangabeys are all African, and are peculiarised by having a fifth
cusp, or point, to the last crushing tooth on each side of the lower
jaw, as in Semnopithecus. Now, they have no other resemblance to
Semnopithecus, and all their structural peculiarities are those of the
Guenons. They have, however, the web between the fingers carried as far
forward as the first joint, and the hair comes close to the knuckles
and the beginning of the short thumb. In the foot the toe-thumb is
large, and, as usual, widely separate from the toes, the second and
third of which are united by a web, which reaches almost to the last
joint near the tips, and the third, fourth, and fifth are united by
smaller webs, Evidently the peculiar crushing teeth of the Mangabey
are a relic of an ancestral character, and we must look in some lower
tribes for a corresponding arrangement, and in this we are assisted by
the nature of the face, for the muzzle is rather projecting. In fact,
they somewhat, resemble the Macaques, or Inui, which will be considered


It is extremely interesting to find in Africa, and in the same parts
of it, Monkeys living in the same forests, on the same kind of food,
and exposed to the same climate and dangers, differing so wonderfully
in their colour and disposition. The difference has been caused by
something more than adaptation to ends. Again, it is curious to note
the different arrangements of the dental structure in the group amongst
animals eating the same food and stowing it away in pouches.[48]



    Their Description and Anatomy, and its reference to that
    of the Semnopitheci and Guenons--THE COMMON MACAQUE--Its
    Character--Appropriateness of the Name--Occasionally an Albino--THE
    ROUND-FACED MACAQUE--Found in China--Ideas of the Chinese about
    Cuvier--Their Thieving Propensities--Hindoo Tales of their
    MACAQUE--THE MAGOT--One of the Commonest Monkeys--Described
    by Galen--Early Notices of--Predatory Habits--Abundant at
    Gibraltar--Probably came over from Africa--Similarity to the
    Baboons--THE WANDEROO--Account of one in the Zoological Society’s
    Collection--Geographical range of the Macaques.

The next group of Monkeys differs much from the lively dwellers amongst
the woods and trees, which have been described, and the kinds contained
in it are evidently suited for running quickly on all-fours, and more
on the ground than amongst the branches. They are not so much like the
Dog in shape as are the Baboons, which will be described next, but
still they are, as it were, between these and the Guenons in their
habits and construction. They have longer muzzles than the Guenons,
but not so long as the Baboons, and the nostrils open high up and
obliquely. Their eyes are overshadowed by a prominent brow-ridge, which
gives an air of cunning not seen in the playful Guenons, and also a
look of fierceness and of mistrust; and, in fact, the old ones look
anything but amiable. Their limbs are stout and compactly made, and
they display great strength and width in the shoulders. The hind limbs
are, however, longer than the front ones, and the hands and feet are
well made, the latter being long and having a large heel. But what
strikes the observer, when he sees drawings or stuffed specimens of the
whole group before him, is the difference in the length of the tail in
different species. Some have long tails, others have very small ones,
and one in particular has not one at all. Those with tails used to be
placed in one genus, and those without them in another; and the first
were called Macaques (_Macacus_), the others being Inui[50] (_Inuus_).
But the close agreement of the other parts of the body, notwithstanding
the length or absence of the tail, coupled with the fact that it is not
used in climbing or in balancing, determined naturalists to rely but
little upon that member in this group, and to join those with tails and
without tails in one genus, called _Macacus_.

Those with long tails, the _Macacus cynomolgus_, for instance, cause
the group to resemble the Guenons; or, in other words, link and ally
the two genera, it being difficult in the case of this Monkey to say to
which one it should belong. On the other hand, the Barbary Ape, which
managed to get to Gibraltar and live there in some numbers, and which
has but the very stump of a tail, connects the whole group, or genus,
with the Baboons without tails. Then there is one with a fine head of
hair, and a long snout (_Macacus Silenus_), which lives in Malabar, and
which has a longish tufted tail; and it links some Baboons with long
tails to the group now being described.

The Macaques live in India, Tibet, North and South China, Japan, and
southwards, and in some of the great islands of the Archipelago,
Formosa, in Africa, in Barbary, but not south of the Atlas range, and
in Europe, on the Rock of Gibraltar.

They all have cheek-pouches and callous pads, or callosities, on their
seat, and thus resemble the Guenons; moreover, most of them have
throat or laryngeal sacs, which open into the membrane above the vocal
organ and below the base of the tongue (in the thyroid membrane).

On examining their jaws it will be noticed that there is the same
number of teeth as in the other Monkeys already described, and that the
upper eye or canine tooth on each side is very strong and long. Now,
these teeth are not for killing or stopping living prey, although their
possessors do not hesitate to snap up a good-sized Beetle, a small
Lizard, or even a Frog, but they make, with the first false grinder
of the lower jaw, a capital nut-opener. The canine, when the mouth is
shut, fits just in front of this tooth, which is usually called the
first pre-molar, and which is pressed back and made to slant in the jaw
by the constant pressure and movements of the canine. The back of the
canine is sharp, and comes in contact with the equally sharp edge of
the slanted pre-molar below, so that when a nut comes between the two
it is cut and crushed at the same time. The canine does not thus fit
into a diastema, or vacant space, but is of great use to the animal.
This arrangement is interesting, because it produces a distortion
of the front back teeth of the lower jaw for a definite and useful
purpose: it is noticed in some of the Guenons, and is particularly seen
in mouths of the great Baboons, which will be noticed further on.

The other back teeth resemble somewhat those of the Guenons, but the
last one of the lower jaw has five cusps, or prominences, on it.

All these Monkeys going very readily on all-fours have several
interesting modifications of the structures observed in the climbing
Monkeys, but of course their general construction is the same. They
have not, however, the pouched stomachs of the Semnopithecus, and their
nearest resemblance is to the African Guenons.

Like all the Monkeys which are lower in the animal scale than the
great man-shaped Apes, the Macaques have narrow wrists, long linger
bones, and a short and backwardly-placed thumb. There are nine bones
in the wrist. The hip-and haunch-bones are long, and the first are
hollowed out, and their direction refers to the method of progression
on all-fours, and their general appearance is rather that noticed in
the regular four-footed beast of prey, and they differ much in breadth
relatively to those of man.

The length of the tail depends upon the number of the tail-pieces, or
vertebra, and upon their size. In the Gibraltar Ape there are only
three of these caudal vertebræ, but in the Bhunder there are fifteen
and sometimes eighteen in the tail, which measures nine inches, whilst
in the Pig-tailed Inuus there are seventeen. It appears that some
of the long-tailed kinds have no more vertebræ than the others, but
that the diminished length is due to their shortening. The long and
middle-sized tailed kinds have chevron-or Y-shaped bones under the
tail, and the nature of these has been explained already.

Living upon a great variety of food, and using their jaws with
rapidity, these Monkeys are furnished with a curious modification of a
muscle, which exists in man and the higher Apes. There is in these a
muscle on each side of the throat, which draws the chin down, or, in
other words, helps to open the mouth. It is called the two-bellied, or
digastricus muscle, as it has two muscular masses--one attached to the
lower jaw, and the other to the lump of bone behind the ear--and they
are united by a thin tendon. This tendon is attached to the side of the
bone at the base of the tongue, or os hyoides, and it passes through
a loop of a muscle which passes from the ear-bone (_styloid process_)
to the os hyoides. The muscle acts as follows:--When the mouth is to
be opened after swallowing, the base of the tongue-bone is pulled down
by a muscle which comes from the breast-bone to it, and then the front
belly, or muscle of the digastricus, pulls from the base of the tongue
against the lower jaw and drags it open. But when the muscle relaxes,
and the jaw is shut preparatory to swallowing, the digastricus begins
to assist in this operation. In swallowing, the base of the tongue is
drawn upwards towards the roof of the mouth, and the back and front
bellies of the muscle now under consideration drag on their fixed
tendon, and straighten, so as to assist in this.

In the Macaques, this tendon is replaced by muscular bands, and greater
vigour is given to the muscle, so that the jaw is pulled at more
rapidly, and the tongue is elevated with energy.

As there is a greater power given in drawing up the tongue in the
first stage of swallowing, there must be something extra to pull it
down again in the second stage, for in this the back of the throat,
the gullet, and the back of the tongue are all brought from above to
a lower level. This is arranged by a modification of a muscle, which
in man and the Chimpanzee, for instance, stretches from the top of
the bladebone, across the lower part of the neck, to the bone at the
base of the tongue (the _omo-hyoid_ muscle). It has also two bellies
in man, or, in other words, the muscular fibres are attached to the
bladebone and to the hyoid bone, and there is an intermediate tendon;
moreover, this passes through a pulley, so that the obliquely-placed
muscle in the lower part of the neck acts straight upon the tongue,
and pulls it down in a right line. In the Macaques, this muscle has no
central tendon, and the muscular fibres pass all the distance from the
bladebone to the os hyoides at the base of the tongue.

[Illustration: COMMON MACAQUE.]

In addition to these modifications where muscle replaces tendon, there
are those of several other muscles which act on the tongue, the larynx,
and on the upper and lower parts of the windpipe, their conjoined
action being to approximate all these parts. These muscles, which are
separate in man, are united in one in the Macaques.

The head of these Monkeys, hanging as it does when they go on
all-fours, requires extra support, and one of the muscles of the back,
which from its square shape is called the rhomb-shaped muscle, is
especially attached to the occiput, and helps to hold the head up.
Another assistant in the movement on all-fours is a muscle which pulls
the bladebone forwards when the animal is walking. It springs from the
outer processes of the upper bones of the neck (transverse process
of the upper cervical vertebræ), and is attached to the spine of the
bladebone. This muscle is seen in the great beasts of prey also, and
in the Semnopitheci and Guenons. A similar “wild-beast” peculiarity
exists in the arrangement of the muscles of the hand; the muscle which
extends the little finger and opens it is divided, and has greater
connections with the fourth finger than in man. The long muscle which
extends the thumb, and the short one which draws it from the fingers,
are not separate in the Macaques, but the muscle has two tendons, and
thus foreshadows the arrangement which in man and the higher Apes gives
such perfection of movement to the thumb.

The Macaques have their ears rather pointed at the tip, and not
rounded, and the general shape of their bodies is not lanky like that
of the active long-legged Guenons and Semnopitheci. They are less
gracefully made, and the dog-like appearance, so palpable in the
Baboon, is recognised in their fore parts and head. Moreover, the
colours are not usually pretty and variegated, as in many of the kinds
of the genera already described, but are dun and sad in tint. Their
tail varies according to the species in length, and a rough method of
classification may be made which divides them into those with long,
those with moderate, and those with short and almost no tails.

[Illustration: TOQUE.]

The large Common Macaque (_M. cynomolgus_), and the Round-faced, or
Formosan Monkeys (_M. cyclopis_), and the Bonnet Monkey, represent the
long-tailed kinds; the Bhunder (_M. rhesus_), has a tail of middle
length; and the short-tailed group about to be mentioned consists
of the Moor, the Pig-tailed, and the Belanger Monkey. The tail-less
one includes the Magot. Finally, the Silenus Ape, usually miscalled
Wanderoo, is so baboonish that, although it has a long tail, it cannot
be placed with the Common Macaque in the beginning of the chapter, but
must come at the end, so as to lead to the true Dog-headed Apes, or
Baboons, which will be described further on.

If the remarks in page 106 about the fourth division of the
Cercopitheci are now read carefully, it will be understood how these
Monkeys, the Macaques and the Baboons, form a group of creatures which
is only really separable into kinds or species, but that the genera are
very artificial.


The so-called Common Macaque, or _Macacus cynomolgus_, represents the
long-tailed section of the genus, and grows to be a powerful animal
amongst the other small Monkeys, over a very wide extent of country. It
lives in Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes, Batchian, in the islands from
Lombok to Timor, and in the Philippines. It is a quiet and tolerably
amiable Monkey when young, but with years, it becomes a wild, savage,
and very brutal creature. Even in menageries it is often nasty in its
habits, and savage. So bad a character has it, that when the proper
name to give it came under the criticism of Fred. Cuvier, he sought out
those of all the wickedest and naughtiest men in Lempriere’s Classical
Dictionary, and finally considering that _Irus_, who disturbed the
domestic peace of the sublimely virtuous, industrious, and persevering
Penelope, was the worst of the worst, he fixed his name to that of
this Monkey. But Buffon had, not from his bad qualities, or from any
resemblance to the Monkey in disposition, his name attached to it long
before; so it was called Buffon’s Monkey, as well as the Hare-lipped,
although one fails to recognise this condition in its face. To
complicate matters, an English zoologist, who knew little of Penelope’s
feelings or trials, mistook the word Irus, and wrote it Iris! The word
Cynomolgus may be translated “a pilfering or a lewd dog,” so that it
and Irus are very appropriate.

The huge shoulders of the full-grown adult strike one, and its general
clumsiness also. There is a large body, and the limbs are short for
it, although the tail is long. The fur is rather short, and is of an
olive-brown, spotted with black on the head and body, but it is grey
on the limbs, and blackish on the tail. There is no “hare-lip” in this
Monkey, but there is no hollow going from the nose to the upper lip as
in man, and only a raised line.

This Monkey is sometimes found perfectly white, with red eyes, or as an
albino; its skin is then of a pinkish colour, and the long tail looks
very curious, as there is not much hair on it. A male and female of
this kind are very interesting in the Zoological Gardens; they dislike
the glare of day, and are very lively and full of fun and malice. The
female has the whiskers and all the beauty of hair, and the male is a
quieter animal, but a great grimace-maker. He tries to look fierce when
the sun is on his face, and looks most odd. He draws back his ears, so
that they cling to the back of his head, and wobbles his eyes about in
a most laughable manner. The female does not like to be disturbed in
her nap after breakfast, and comes out to see what is the matter. If
anything noisy is going by, she scolds violently, and if she can catch
hold of her drinking-tin, she will bang it about in a very amusing
manner. Sitting in her wooden house, she bangs the outside with the
tin, and then dropping it, rushes out and fixes her teeth on the wooden
branches in the cage. The deficiency of colouring matter in the iris
of the eye allows so much light to enter that organ, that there is the
same scowling or shading eye look in them as there is in human albinos.

The second example of a long-tailed genus is


These are very interesting Monkeys, with a human-like expression,
which suffer considerably at the hands of the Chinese, for should one
be captured, its tail is immediately cut off, the Chinese having a
fanciful idea that the tail of the Monkey is a caricature of the Tartar
pendant into which they twist their long back hair. They therefore cut
off the tail of every Macaque that comes into their possession.

They live in Formosa about the declivities and caverns which overhang
the sea, miles away from any woods. It seems to be quite a rock-loving
animal, seeking the shelter of the caves during the greater part of the
day, and assembling in parties in the twilight and feeding on berries,
the tender shoots of plants and grasshoppers, &c. In the summer it
collects in bands during the night, and commits depredations among
the fields of sugar-cane and fruit-trees. They nurse their solitary
young ones up in the hills, and betray much uneasiness--no wonder--at
the approach of man. They seem, however, to possess abundance of self

The Chinese have some very curious notions about them, and about some
other Monkeys which are either identical or are found with them.
They say that in the Yaoukwang hills are animals whose exterior
appearance is like a Mehow with human face and Hogs’ bristles. During
the summer they dwell in caves. They are called Hwatso, their cry is
like cut water (noise of a mill), and when seen they are “ominous of a
conscription” (_i.e._, of being forced to work). The Yew are like the
Mehow and of a deep black colour; their tails are long like the others,
but have no tufts. When they scent the dew ascending to form rain,
they then suspend themselves by means of their tails to fill their
nostrils with it, or else by both feet. The Gaou are said to inhabit
the Lunseen hills, to be like an Ape with long arms, and to be good
for killing. When their arms are cut through at the thick part, they
can be made into flutes rounder than reeds. They are of the Monkey
tribe, having long legs, and are good whistlers, and given to drag
things about. The Yew are like the common Monkey, with green body and
dark paws; they have black whiskers and black paws. They are naturally
very fond of their whiskers, and doat on their species, living and
dying together; on which account, if one can be got at, a hundred will
be killed. Men shoot them with poisoned arrows; the shot animal’s
companions draw out the arrow in order to wound themselves and die with
one another.

These round-faced Monkeys have, of course, callosities on the buttocks,
and these at certain times become gorged with blood, so as to swell out
and become greatly distended, being horrible to look at.

They resemble the common Rhesus Monkey, about to be described, in many
points, and indeed the skulls present so many things in common that
no satisfactory distinction can be made; but the bones of the pelvis,
which are much curved, and the shorter limb-bones of the round-faced
species, are distinctive.

The fur of this Monkey is thick and woolly, and is very slate-coloured.
The tail is about a foot in length, is hairy, and has a black line
along the top. The head is round, the ears are small and feathered,
and the face is flat. The forehead is naked and the cheeks are
dark-whiskered, and there is a strong ruffle-like beard.


This is a very common Monkey in menageries and zoological gardens,
and is always an object of attention, as it is amusing, very active,
full of tricks and malice, and a great stower away of nuts in its
cheek-pouches. It is known amongst the other Macaques by its cap of
long hair radiating from the crown, on which it rests flat, but it is
often parted down the middle. It has a long tail, rather a long muzzle,
and prominent ridges over the eyes, and the forehead is flat. Its fur
is olive-grey, and sometimes greenish or brown in tint, whilst the
under surface is ashy-white. It has large and often flesh-coloured ears.

The young often have their head of hair parted down the middle, and, as
their face and forehead are pale and not hairy, they have a very human

Very good-tempered when pleased, this Macaque enjoys a bit of mischief,
and if it can steal anything from a visitor it is intensely delighted.
But when food is offered and then not given, the Bonnet Monkey shows
that it considers itself wronged, and scolds and screams in a great
rage. It has much capacity for accepting and stowing away food,
and there are often fierce fights if one intrudes upon the store
of another. Very fond of hugging and nursing others, it is equally
delighted in searching the bodies of its companions for insect life;
but, although thus amiable, it resents unkindness very decidedly and at

Another common Macaque is called the Toque, but it only differs from
the Bonnet in the parting of its hair.


This is a Monkey with a medium-sized tail, which is well known to those
Europeans who have lived in out-of-the-way places in British India.

It is a strong-looking creature when full grown, and has powerful
shoulders and limbs; the tail is about one-third of the length of the
body, which often attains the length of from one foot-and a-half to two
feet. The prevailing colour of the hair is olive-green and brown on the
back, and the naked face is of a pale flesh-colour. There is no ruff
of hair around the neck, and the ears are very visible, and there is a
singular looseness or folding of the skin of the throat and belly. The
callosities are often very red, and the insides of the legs also.


F. Cuvier observed the early days of one born in France, and noticed
that immediately after birth it clung fast to its mother’s stomach,
holding on with its fore hands stuck in her fur, and that it did not
quit the breast, even during its sleep, for fifteen days. In the first
day of its existence it appeared to distinguish things, and to look
at them carefully, and the mother was devoted to it, giving it the
tenderest attention of a constant and patient nurse. Not a movement or
noise on its part escaped her, and her maternal solicitude was quite
astonishing. The weight of the little thing did not interfere with
her moving about, and all her exertions were managed with a view of
not incommoding her young charge. She never shook it, or struck it
accidentally against the edges and corners of her house. At the end
of a fortnight the little one began to detach itself, and from the
beginning of its moving by itself it showed a great amount of vigour,
power, and ability to run and jump, which human children of a year or
two might well envy. It held on to the wires of its cage and crawled
up and down at will, but the careful mother never took her eyes off
it, and followed it wherever it went, and even held out her hands
to prevent it tumbling when it became too venturesome. Indeed, she
admonished the little one by a gentle touch that it had been away long
enough, and must come in. At other times it walked on all-fours over
the straw, and often let itself drop down from the top of its cage on
to the soft bottom, so as to accustom itself to fall on all-fours; then
it would jump up the net-work and lay hold and scramble with great
precision. After a while, the mother began to teach the young one not
to be so troublesome to her, and to manage without her, but still she
took care of it, following it if it was doing anything out of the way
and in danger. With strength the agility of the creature increased,
and its jumps and bounds were wonderful, and it never miscalculated
its distance, or made a false step. After six weeks a more substantial
nourishment than milk was required, and then a very curious spectacle
was seen. This attentive mother would not let the little one have a bit
of all the nice things, but drove it away and scolded it, although it
was hungry. The old one took possession of the fruit and bread which
were for both, and boxed the little one’s ears if it came close and hid
up the food. She had hardly any more milk, and the young one was in
daily want of food, but the old one did not appear to act from cruelty
or gluttony, but wished to train up the youth, like the young Cyrus, to
feats of daring and of skill. As hunger pressed, the young one became
bold, and stole by art what he could not get otherwise. If he was very
adroit, all the better, and he was commended by being allowed to carry
off his own. He used to get to the further end of the cage, and turning
his back on his mother would begin to gormandise. But even the maternal
solicitude was not wanting, for she often used to go up to him and
snatch a nice titbit out of his jaws. Perhaps this was a mistaken idea,
for after a while a larger quantity of food was placed in the cage, and
the little one had its quantity without any stealing.

[Illustration: MOOR MACAQUE.]

The Bhunders are sacred in some parts of India, and are left very much
to themselves; so they assemble in troops, and steal from among the
natives in a very troublesome manner.

As they are very bold, their habits in the wild state are often
observable, their slyness and thieving propensities being most amusing.
They gather on the roofs of the low houses in the bazaars, and look out
for occasion to steal. One was observed on a roof fronting a sweetmeat
shop, and feigning to be asleep; but every now and then he looked
wistfully at the luscious prizes below. It was, however, of no use,
for sitting beside his stores was the seller, smoking his pipe, and
looking decidedly wide awake. This went on for half an hour, when the
Monkey got up, yawned, and stretched himself artfully, as if he had
only just awoke. He began to play with his tail, and even made believe
he was tying knots in it, as if he were wholly intent on it; but ever
and anon he gave a sharp, sly look over his shoulder at the sweetmeats,
but only to see the seller still there smoking away to his heart’s
content, and ruminating concerning prospective customers and profits.
The Monkey still had patience, and amused himself with his fleas, and
had a good and general scratch; and he was rewarded, for suddenly the
confectioner arose from his seat, took his pipe, and turned towards the
back door for a fresh supply of tobacco. Instantly the Bhunder was on
all-fours, and the sweetmeats were before him and behind their owner.
In another moment he had jumped off the roof, cleared the street, and
was on the board which was crowded with sugar-plums. He of course began
to cram as many as possible into his cheek-pouches. But, alas for the
spoiler, there were other pilferers there in the shape of hornets; his
sudden descent frightened them, and they flew off, but returned on the
instant, and to take vengeance. Before he could regain his roof they
were all round him, stinging here and stinging there with great zeal
and passion. His efforts at getting away from them were frantic, and he
scrambled over the rotten roof, displacing the tiles, which came down
with a crash; and at last, when he jumped clear of the enraged insects,
he came on to a sharp, thorny bush, from which he could not extricate
himself. He had to spit all the nice things out of his pouches, and,
screaming with pain--for the thorns were more like fish-hooks than
anything else--he sat a picture of misery, barking hoarsely now and
then. The fall of the tiles brought out a crowd of natives, and they
were speedily joined by the confectioner, full of revenge. But the
culprit was a Monkey, and, therefore, an object of veneration; so a
couple of Hindoos managed to rescue him, and he limped off as well as
he could to a neighbouring grove.

The Hindoos tell many tales of the sagacity of this Monkey; and there
is one which may be taken as a specimen, although it has been filtered
through Mahomedan pages. A fakir had a Monkey which he had brought up
from birth. He loved it, and travelled here and there, taking much
care of it. In return the Monkey behaved like a watch-dog, and was
most faithful and watchful. It amused the fakir by its endless tricks
and mimicry. One day, the fakir placed his carpet in a square before
the palace of some great shah who had nothing to do, and who looked at
the fakir and the Monkey with great delight. The fakir had made a pie;
there were some pieces of birds’ flesh in it, and it was placed on some
lighted charcoal to be cooked. The Monkey sat watching, and the fakir
thought he would like a stroll until dinner was ready, knowing that his
faithful follower would look after the cooking. But the shah saw more
than the fakir; for, after a while, the smell of the meat came strongly
into the Monkey’s nostrils, and he began to feel hungry. Soon he was
very hungry, and then he just lifted up the edge of the crust, and
could not refrain from taking a tiny bit--just a little leg. This was
so nice that he took a little more, and finally eat all. The crust was
left on the grass, and then the sinner suddenly remembered his master.
The shah was in ecstasies, wondering what would come next. After due
consideration, the Monkey remembered that he usually sat on a very
beautiful flesh-coloured “callosity,” and he had noticed that several
Crows and other birds had been hovering about whilst he consumed his
master’s dinner. He instantly feigned to be dead, and hiding his head,
gave the birds the benefit of the scarlet appearance. One came down
instantly with a swoop; but the Monkey was too quick, and the bird was
seized and strangled in an instant. Rapidly plucking off the feathers,
the Monkey pulled it to pieces, and put it in the pie, and sat looking
happy, contented, and extremely virtuous. The shah was struck with this
wonderful display of instinct, and the story goes on to say that he
promoted the fakir to an important post under government.

There is a Macaque which, instead of having the quiet brown and olive
tints of the others, with short tails, is of a dark oily black colour.
It is called


It lives in Borneo, and is about eighteen inches in length. It has a
flat nose, with nostrils opening well outwards, and the eyes are hazel,
the pupils being very large. The length of the bones of the tail is not
enough to carry it beyond the callosities, which are of a roseate hue.

When young the skull is short, and there is no great projection over
the eye; but with age the upper part of the face becomes very square,
and the eyebrow ridges grow. Now; this gloomy-looking Monkey offers
some points of interest, for there is another one, called the Booted
Monkey (_Macacus ocreatus_), which cannot be distinguished from it
when both are young. With age, however, the last-named one becomes
oily black, has a longer tail, and the hair on the head has a bushier
appearance. But can these distinctions be accepted as showing a
difference in the species? Probably not; and it will be for the student
to consider that Monkeys may have races and varieties which really
pertain but to one species, and yet are separated by the naturalist.

There are other short-tailed species of the Macaques, of which one,
called the Handsome Monkey (_Macacus speciosus_), has a red face. It is
from Japan, and is educated by the showmen there to do tricks like the
Rhesus Monkey of India.

Another kind is interesting, because it gives a hint how a tail may be
gradually lost from being in the way.


This is found in Cochin-China, Singapore, Burmah, and up in the hills
of Upper Burmah, Cochin, and Assam.

Its tail is more than a stump, yet is not half a middle-sized one,
as it does not come lower than the haunch-bones. The Monkey is much
troubled with it. Sometimes it is stuck up erect, but usually it is
curled inwards, as if the animal were ashamed of it, and had done
something wrong. When this is the case, the end quarter of it is
doubled up, and thus the space between the haunch-bones is filled,
as it were. The animal then sits on its tail and on its callosities,
which are on the haunch-bones, and the consequence is that the surface
of the tail, thus compressed, becomes hard and callous. Here, writes
Dr. Anderson, the Indian zoologist, is an instance of a Monkey sitting
on its tail; and the habit appears to be peculiar to the species. The
tail is very degenerated, so far as its bones are concerned, and the
curvature of it appears to be caused by the animal desiring to curve
it out of the way of pressure. Perhaps, according to Lord Monboddo,
this is the first symptom of the loss of tail. With regard to the other
peculiarities of this species, it may be mentioned that it has pretty
eyes, and is exceedingly easily domesticated.


This is a short, thin-tailed kind, comes from Sumatra, Borneo, and the
Malay Peninsula, and is called by the natives the Bruh--climber of the
palms. It is said to be used by the natives to collect cocoa-nuts, and
is domesticated by them, being often found in their houses.


This is a very celebrated kind, and it has made its mark in the history
of science and of the world. It was dissected by Galen; it took part
in the great siege of Gibraltar, and is one of the most popular of the
companions of the organ-grinder. Moreover, as will be noticed further
on, it is an animal which may be classified with the _Cynocephali_, or
true Baboons, to be described in the next chapter, without doing much
violence to science.

It is called Magot by the French, and it is the Pithecus of that
great old physician, Galen, who, when he could not learn anatomy by
dissecting the human body, which was not allowed, investigated that of
the Tail-less Ape. Born at Pergamo, about the year A.D. 131,
Galen studied literature and then anatomy when young; and visiting
Alexandria, was greatly delighted with being permitted to examine a
human skeleton there, and subsequently to dissect a robber, who had
remained without burial. Seeing that anatomy and physiology were the
very foundations of medical practice, and noticing the resemblances
of man and the Ape, he set to work and wrote largely on anatomy, but
made the Ape his model. He was far before his age, and, therefore,
abominable in the eyes of the antiquated practitioners; so his career
as a physician in Rome was short. Nevertheless, his voluminous works
lasted longer than his critics, and influenced the rise of medical
science and the comfort and lives of mankind for many centuries.
His anatomy was wrong, because it was that of the Ape and not of
man; but, nevertheless, so strongly were the medical anatomists--who
never dissected but only read--impressed with the correctness of
his so-called human anatomy, that when Vesalius did dissect men and
describe them, he was pooh-poohed by the faculty as of no authority
whatever. Just as Oxford opposed the learning of Greek, so the first
physician of Henry IV. of France decided against human anatomy and
Vesalius; but Greek and Vesalius triumphed after a while.

Nevertheless, humanity for many centuries was under a deep obligation
to the Magot, inasmuch as surgery, as applied to man, was founded upon
observations on the construction of the Ape.

Strabo knew that North Africa was peopled by the Tail-less Ape, or
Pithecus; and he asserts that Posidonius, on going from Cadiz to Italy
by sea, stopped in Lybia (the present Barbary), and saw large numbers
of these Apes in the forests, which came down close to the water side.

[Illustration: PIG-TAILED MACAQUE.]

The Magot is about the size of a middle-sized Dog, and measures from
two to two and a half feet in length. The upper parts of the body
and outsides of the limbs are of a light yellowish-brown colour,
which is deeper on the head and round the cheeks; the under parts
are whitish; and the face, ears, and other naked and hairless parts
are flesh-coloured. The bald face, rather pale in tint, is long and
wrinkled, and it is this which gives an old look to them, even when
they are young. It is a robust animal when full grown, and has then
deeply-set eyes, which are rather close together, and a projecting
brow. The erect posture can be maintained for a short time, but it is
not natural to it; on the contrary, it moves on all-fours quickly,
jumps and climbs with great agility, scampering over broken ground or
getting into the trees equally well. It squats on its haunches, and
often sleeps with the head hanging down over the chest. Always alert
and full of mischief, they assemble in troops, especially on the flanks
of the Atlas range, place their scouts on trees, like so many Crows,
and despoil the fruit plantations and gardens. In this they resemble
the Baboons, whose marauding expeditions will be noticed further on.

This is the Monkey which is tolerably common on the Rock of Gibraltar;
and they were there before the sea wore away the land and formed the
Strait. They are essentially Rock Apes, and like trees near rocks,
and, therefore, they are not found in desert tracts or in deep woods.
Formerly the Rock of Gibraltar was no doubt continuous with the range
of hills far over the sea to the south, and there the Magot plundered
(or, rather, took what Nature let him take; for man had not then come
to disturb him) the fruit of Kabylia, Algiers, and Morocco. People have
invented many methods by which the Magots could come from Barbary on to
the Rock of Gibraltar: some believe in a subterranean passage, which
is said still to enable the occasional visits of African relations
to their European kindred; and others, more practically inclined,
believe that the Apes came over on board ship by stealth. Certain it
is that the strong current through the Straits prevents anything from
drifting from one side of them to the other. Some years since, some
caves were opened and carefully examined in the Rock of Gibraltar, and
bones were found of kinds of Hyænas, of Rhinoceros, and of Elephants,
all comparable with those still living on the African Continent. Now,
such animals could not at the present time live on the Rock, but they
might have done so when it was part of a country extending right away
to Africa. Their bones were washed into valleys amongst the hills, and
then they fell into deep fissures and became preserved; and this could
only have taken place when there was much water in the neighbourhood;
and for there to be much water, the whole aspect of the country would
have to be changed--to be extended far and wide where the sea now is.

[Illustration: MAGOT.]

No Monkey bones were found; but this is to be explained by noticing
what occurs in India. There a dead Monkey is rarer than a dead Donkey
in England--so rare, indeed, that the natives believe that their fellow
Monkeys bury them; but the fact is there are plenty of beasts of prey
ready to devour them, sick or dead, and therefore Monkey bones are very
seldom found.

It is probable, then, that the Magot, and many African and some
European animals, lived in the south of Spain when the Peninsula
was united to North Africa. It has lasted longer than its great
fellow-beasts, and still lingers there, but in greatly diminishing

What they live upon on the Rock is rather a mystery, for there are no
groves of fruit-trees or plantations to be robbed, but only roots and
bulbs to be dug up. Perhaps it is this spare diet which restricts their
numbers and causes them to be very watchful. It is notorious that they
are rarely approached, but sometimes they are trapped, or seduced into
mischief, which ends in captivity. All kinds of stories are told at
Gibraltar, and by most of those who have resided there, of the acts
and deeds of the Rock Monkeys. Once upon a time, a strong party of
these Apes, headed by an old male, who had grown grey in audacity and
mischief, were always stealing and ruining the belongings of a certain
regiment in garrison, and at last the annoyance became so great that
it was determined to catch the ringleader, if possible. The men caught
him, and shaved his head and face, and then they let him go. Away he
scampered to his party, who had been watching for him at a distance,
eager, no doubt, to place himself at their head again and lead them to
vengeance. He was received with a volley of sticks and stones by his
own troops, who treated him so roughly that he had to fly for his life.
In this deplorable and degraded state, he was fain to sneak back to
his old enemies, the ----th regiment, and presented himself at their
quarters, so woe-begone and with such a rueful visage, “all shaven
and shorn,” that there was no resisting the appeal. Broderip says:
“He was admitted, and remained with his new allies, whom he served
with fidelity, upon the principle that secures the faith of other
allies--because he couldn’t help it.” It is said in one of the stories
of the great siege that the Monkeys saved Gibraltar as the Geese saved
Rome, for the Spaniards attempted to surprise the place a few weeks
before the regular siege commenced; but, fortunately for the British,
the attacking party had to pass where a number of these Magots had
collected. Both parties were startled at the noise, but the British
were put on their guard, and the old fort was thoroughly ready for
the enemy. General Elliot, afterwards Lord Heathfield, never suffered
the Apes to be molested or taken; but one had been made prisoner
previously to the time of his being made Governor of Gibraltar, and was
kept chained in his yard. Another Monkey, who had apparently fallen
from a rock, had been picked up by one of the General’s aides-de-camp
and conducted to the same place. Nothing could be more striking than
the meeting of the pair. It was evidently the recognition of two old
friends or relatives. After contemplating each other for a few seconds,
they rushed into each other’s arms, then pushed each other a little
back, as if to make sure of the recognition, and, after a second mutual
examination, again clasped each other to their breasts.


The Magots, like all other Monkeys, are playful, affectionate, and
gentle, when young, to those whom they know, but they become cross
and vicious with age, and are generally greatly brutalised by their
masters--in fact, brought to the same level.

The absence of a tail makes the Magot look very baboonish, and this
appearance is not lost when the animal is dissected, and the skull is
examined. This is much less animal-looking than that of any one of the
Baboons, for it has not so much face, and the front of it is not so
disfigured with ridges and swellings. But the forehead is “villainous
low,” and there are well-marked ridges over the orbits, the skull not
rising behind them; and, as a matter of course, the brain case is flat,
the brain itself being low in height. The palate is narrow and long,
the face is flat, and the chin recedes. There is a capital set of
teeth, and the last grinders of the lower jaw (third molars) have their
fifth cusp, or tubercle, subdivided by two side-slits. In this, and in
the tail, which is excessively rudimentary, and only has three bones,
or vertebræ, the Magot departs from the usual form of the Macaques as a
genus. The sutures of the face and skull--that is to say, the joinings
between the bones--are soon obliterated in this animal; and it appears
to have the nose (nasal) bones joined in one at an early age, thus
resembling the Baboon and the carnivorous animals.

So many tricks are taught these clever Magots, and with such ease, that
one would expect to find a fairly-developed brain; but an examination
of one shows that it is hollowed beneath and narrow in front, whilst it
is broad behind, and extending well back, and covering the cerebellum.

Their special muscular structures resemble those of the other Inui, and
even their stump of a tail has the muscles which are common to those of
all Monkeys, but which in this instance are useless.

It will be noticed in the engraving of the wrist-bones that one
projects behind. This is the pea-shaped, or pisiform bone. It is small
and at the side of the wrist in man, but here it acts like it front
_heel_ bone. The length of the three middle long bones of the palm, or
metacarpals, is nearly equal; and this is an interesting point, as it
prevents the third finger from being so much the longest, and gives the
hand more or less a foot-like appearance.


Wanderoo is the English way of spelling and pronouncing the word by
which the native inhabitants of Ceylon call all Monkeys; and it is
certainly misapplied in this instance, for the animal is not truly one
of the Cingalese Monkeys, although it has been brought into the island.
It lives in the neighbouring part of the south of the peninsula of
Hindostan, especially in the country bordering the Malabar coast. It
is a small animal, probably never reaching two feet in length, and the
tail may be that of ten or twelve inches; but, from the stories which
have been told and invented, one would conceive the Wanderoo to be a
giant in wickedness as well as in physical power.

They have slim bodies, which are covered with deep black hair, and
there is a longish tail of the same colour, ended by a little tuft.
Their head looks very large, because of a mane, or ruff, and beard
which surrounds the face, sticking out in a wild kind of way. This mass
of long hair is either grey or white in colour, and adds to the sly
look of the broad face, soft dull eyes, and rather long black muzzle.

[Illustration: FACE OF THE WANDEROO.]

A former dignitary of the Roman Catholic Church, the Procurator-General
of the Barefooted Carmelites, Father Vincent Maria, writes that there
are four kinds of Monkeys on the coast of Malabar, and then proceeds
to describe the Wanderoo. He says that this is perfectly black, is
clothed with glossy hair, and has a white beard round his head and
chin, measuring rather more than a palm in length. To him all the
other Monkeys show such deep respect, that in his presence they
are submissive, and humble themselves as if they were aware of his
pre-eminence. The princes and great lords esteem him highly, for that
he is, above every other, gifted with gravity, capacity, and a wise
appearance. Easily is he taught to perform a variety of ceremonies
and courtesies, and all these in so serious and perfect a style as to
make it a great wonder that they should so exactly be enacted by an
irrational animal. This excellent character does not appear to have
been peculiar to all the Wanderoos; for some have been described as
savage and disgusting in the extreme, and as most vicious and malignant
in captivity. But it is probable that the gentleness of disposition
which has been so noticed by those who have kept them kindly was
spoiled by teasing and maltreatment.

The showmen call this Monkey the “Child of the Sun;” and Broderip
suggests that it is the ruff, with the head peeping through, which
gives a faint likeness to old Sol over a public-house door; and that
probably the dark colour of the animal impressed his exhibitors with
the great heat he enjoyed in his Indian home.

Certainly they like the sun; and we have often seen a pair at the
Zoological Gardens sunning themselves after their breakfast with great
delight. They sit on a bar, close to the wires of the cage, and climb
four or five feet up it, clinging close to their iron prison, just in
the range of a sunbeam. They spread out their black hands, and enjoy
the glare, becoming sleepy and disinclined to pay any attention to
nuts, cakes, and other temptations. They peer down at you with their
expressive eyes, and give an occasional twist to their tail, to pull
it close to them, probably after a long experience of the habits of
the other Monkeys in the cage, who certainly have not an overwhelming
respect for them. It is curious to see them climbing slowly, and
without the great exertion and bounds of some of the Guenons, and to
notice their marching, head and back downwards, whilst they crawl along
the under-side of the roof of their house, looking down every now and
then in a cunning sort of manner.

[Illustration: WANDEROO.]

Broderip used to watch one, when the Zoological Society’s collection
was in its infancy in Bruton Street, and a right merry fellow was he.
“He would run up his pole and throw himself over the cross-bar, so
as to swing backwards and forwards as he hung suspended by the chain
which held the leathern strap that girt his loins. The expression of
his countenance was peculiarly innocent; but he was sly--very sly--and
not to be approached with impunity by those who valued their head-gear.
He would sit demurely on his cross perch, pretending to look another
way, or to examine a nut-shell for some remnant of kernel, till a
proper victim came within his reach; when down the pole he rushed, and
up he was again in the twinkling of an eye, leaving the bare-headed
surprised one, minus his hat, at least, which he had the satisfaction
of seeing undergoing a variety of transformations, under the plastic
hands of the grinning monster, not at all calculated to improve a shape
which the taste of a Moore [the hat maker of the day], perhaps, had
designed and executed. It was whispered--_horrescimus referentes_--that
he once scalped a bishop, who ventured too near, notwithstanding the
caution given to his lordship by another dignitary of the Church, and
that it was some time before he could be made to give up, with much
grinning and chattering, the well-powdered wig which he had profanely
transferred from that sacred poll to his own. The lords spiritual
of the present day, with one or two exceptions, are safe from such
sacrilege. Now it would be nearly as difficult to take a wig off a
bishop as it once was to take the breeches off a Highlandman. But
another Wanderoo, confined in the open part of the gardens in the
Regent’s Park, was of a different temperament. There was a melancholy
about this creature. He would climb his pole, ascend to his elevated
house-top, and there sit for half an hour together, gazing wistfully
at the distant portion of the park--which presented, when viewed from
his position, the appearance of a thick wood--every now and then
looking down, as if he was contrasting the smooth, sharp-pointed pole,
to which they fettered him, with the rugged, ‘living columns of the
evergreen palaces’ of his fathers.” The Wanderoo often loses some of
his tail in captivity; but it should be, when full-grown, terminated by
a tuft, which, in the imagination of some, has been considered quite
lion-like. Having large cheek-pouches, this Monkey, very un-lion-like
in disposition, feeds rather rapidly, and stores away much for future
occasion. In doing this it either carries the food to the mouth with
the hand or places its mouth to the object. It moves on all-fours, and
has callosities; and these, and the tail, give it a very baboon-like
appearance. Nothing is known of their habits in their wild state.

The geographical range of the Inui, or Macaques, is very great, and
some of the twenty-seven species of which the genus is composed have
very restricted wandering grounds, whilst others are found over a wide
extent of country. As a group, they are found from North Africa to
China, and species are met with at Gibraltar and Eastern Tibet, and
within range of the everlasting snow. They are found in the peninsulas
of India, and in the great islands as far south-west as Timor and in
the Philippines, but not in Celebes or in New Guinea.



    Early Accounts of the Baboon--Origin of the Name--Held as Sacred
    by the Egyptians--Used as the Emblem of Thoth--Brought into Europe
    in the Middle Ages--Their Literature--General Description of the
    Family--Structural Peculiarities--Brain--Skull--Geographical
    Distribution--THE SACRED BABOON--Found in great numbers in
    Abyssinia--Formidable Antagonists--Size and Colour of the Male
    and Female--Anecdotes--Propensity for Spirituous Liquors and
    called Chacma--Description of it--Its Ferocity in Captivity--Le
    Vaillant’s Monkey--THE SPHINX BABOON--Its Dexterity of Aim--THE
    ANUBIS BABOON--Its Locality and Food--Method of Running--THE
    COMMON BABOON--Often Found in Captivity--Anecdotes--Anatomical

John Leo, an ancient traveller, who wrote about his perils and
adventures in “his nine bookes,” says, regarding his experience of
Africa, that “of Apes there are divers and sundry kinds, those which
have tayles being called in the African tongue _Manne_, and those which
have none _Babuini_. They are found in the woods of Mauritania, and
upon the mountains of Bugia and Constantia. They live upon grasse, and
come and goe in great companies to feed in the cornfields; and one of
their companie, which standeth centinelle or keepeth watch and ward
upon the borders, when he espyeth the husbandmen comming he cryeth out,
and giveth, as it were, an alarm to his fellows, who every one of them
flee immediately into the next woods, and betake themselves to the
trees. The shee Apes carry their whelpes upon their shoulders, and will
leape with them in that sort from one tree to another.”

This author, although he probably mixed up other Monkeys with his
_Babuini_, gives the key to the derivation of the word baboon, which
has been the subject of keen controversy amongst those who are curious
in such matters. _Papio_ is the common term applied to these animals
by the writers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries: it is “dog
latin” for _Babbo_, which in modern language would be rendered _Papa_,
and _Babuino_ is the diminutive of _Babbo_. Doubtless these terms bear
some important and hidden reference to the opinions of the African
races upon their relationship and connection with the clever Apes, and
upon their appreciation of the paternal habits of the patriarchs of
the great companies who not only stand “centinelle,” but instil good
discipline into the younger members of the family.

But long before John Leo lived, these _Babuini_ had been noticed and
critically observed by Greek and Roman naturalists, and had received,
on account of their especial character--their dog-shaped muzzle and
head--the name Cynocephali, or Dog-headed Apes. The word comes from
the Greek, and was frequently applied to Dog-headed people as well as
Apes, and it is very applicable, for the whole aspect of the head,
and especially of the prolonged snout, cut short at the end in the
Ape, greatly resembles that of some Dogs. Earlier still, the ancient
Egyptians engraved its figure in stone, made metal images of it, drew
it on papyrus, and even made mummies of their dead bodies. Hermopolis
was especially the city devoted to the worship of the Dog-headed, for
in those early days such was their grandeur in Egyptian eyes, and
such the folly of mankind. Symbolism was carried to an excess, its
foundations being as mysterious as meaningless, and it therefore came
to pass that the Dog-headed were mixed up with literature and astronomy.

That admirable investigator and popular exponent of the sculptures and
hieroglyphics of the ancient Egyptians, Sir Gardner Wilkinson, writes
that “The Cynocephalus Ape, which was particularly sacred to Thoth,
held a conspicuous place among the sacred animals of Egypt, being
worshipped as the type of the god of letters, and of the moon, which
was one of the characters of Thoth. It was even introduced into the
sculptures as the god himself, with ‘Thoth, Lord of Letters,’ and other
legends inscribed over it; and in astronomical subjects two Cynocephali
are frequently represented standing in a boat before the sun, in an
attitude of prayer, as emblems of the moon. Their presence in a similar
boat with a Pig probably refers to them as types of the divinity,
in whose honour that animal was sacrificed; the moon and Bacchus,
according to Herodotus, being the sole deities to whom it was lawful
to immolate Swine, and that only at the full moon. But the presence
of Cynocephali was not confined to Thoth or the moon. On two sides of
the pedestals of the obelisks of Luxor four Cynocephali stand in the
same attitude, as if in adoration of the deity to whom those monuments
were dedicated; a balustrade over the centre doorway of the temple
of _Amun_ at Medinet-Aboo is ornamented with the figures of these
animals; and a row of them forms the cornice of the exterior of the
great temple dedicated to _Ra_ at Aboomubel. Sometimes a Cynocephalus
placed on a throne as a god holds a sacred Ibis in its hand; and in
the judgment-scenes of the dead it frequently occurs seated on the
summit of the balance as the emblem of Thoth, who had an important
office on that occasion, and registered the account of the actions of
the deceased. The place where this animal was particularly sacred was
Hermopolis, the city of Thoth. Thebes and the other towns also treated
it with the respect due to the representative of the Egyptian Hermes,
and in the necropolis of the capital of Upper Egypt, a particular
spot was set apart as the cemetery of the sacred Apes. Mummies of
the Cynocephalus were put up in a sitting posture, which is usually
that given to the animals in the sculptures when representing the god
Thoth; and its head forms one of the covers of the four sepulchral
vases deposited in the tombs of the dead. It was then the type of the
god _Hopi_, one of the four genii of _Amenti_, who was always figured
with the head of a Cynocephalus. Many of this species of Ape were tamed
and kept by the Egyptians, and the paintings show that they were even
housed for useful purposes.”

Elsewhere the same author informs us that “the Cynocephalus is
synonymous with the hieroglyphic of letters; and we even find it
holding the titles and fulfilling the office of Thoth, which shows
that it was not only the emblem, but also the representative of the
deity.” “Thoth in one of his characters corresponded to the moon, and
in the other to Mercury. In the former he was the beneficent property
of that luminary, the regulator and supervisor of time, who presided
over the fate of man and the events of his life; in the latter the god
of letters and the patron of learning, and its way of communication
between gods and men. It was through him that all mental gifts were
imparted to man. He was, in short, a deification of the abstract idea
of the intellect, or a personification of the intellect of the deity.”

The judgment-scenes found in the tombs and on the papyri show that the
good actions of the deceased are placed in a row on one side of the
balance, and the figure or emblem of Truth on the other. Anubis, the
director of the weight, proceeds to ascertain the claims for admission
into the region of Amenti, and if on being weighed he is found wanting,
he is rejected, and Osiris, the judge of the dead, inclining his
sceptre in token of condemnation, pronounces judgment upon him, and
condemns his soul to return to earth, under the form of a Pig, or some
other unclean animal. Placed in a boat, it is removed under the charge
of two Monkeys, who open out to it a new term of life. The Monkeys
drawn have tails, and are evidently Dog-headed.

[Illustration: CYNOCEPHALUS. (_Egyptian Monuments._)]

Baboons were brought from Africa, and sold in all directions in
Europe by the merchants of the Middle Ages, and it was thought to be
out of the fashion not to have an Ape in one’s establishment. They
were dressed up, and sometimes admitted to feasts, and taught manly
kinds of tricks and good behaviour. Broderip hunted up an odd story,
which refers to an Ape in the sixteenth century, which did a vast
deal of mischief very unintentionally. In the play of _Much Ado About
Nothing_, as readers of Shakspere will doubtless remember, Benedick
is said by the lively-spirited Beatrice to have stated that she got
her wit out of the Hundred Merry Tales--“And that I had my good wit
out of the ‘Hundred Merry Tales.’” What this book was could hardly
be decided; some thought that it was Boccaccio’s “Decamerone,” but
they appear to have been printed by John Restell, the title being,
“A C. Mery Talys.” The wit is well enough in these “tayles” to make
Benedick wince under Beatrice’s imputation. One story is headed, “Of
the Welcheman that delyvered the letter to the Ape.” The first lines
are wanting, but there is enough to make it appear that a master sends
his Welsh retainer with a letter to the chief justice, in order to
obtain a favour for a criminal who had been in the writer’s service,
with directions to the said Welshman to return with an answer. “This
Welcheman came to the chefe justyce place, and at the gate saw an
Ape syttynge there in a cote made for hym, as they use to apparell
Apes for disporte. This Welcheman dyd of his cappe, and made cortsye
to the Ape, and said, ‘My master recommendeth him to the lord your
father, and sendyth him here a letter.’ This Ape toke this letter and
opened it and lokyd upon the man, makynge many mockes and noyes as
the propertyes of Apes is to do. This Welcheman because he understood
him not, came agayne to his master, accordynge to his commandes, and
told hym he delyvered the letter unto the lorde chief justice sonne,
who was at the gate in a furred cote. Anone hys master asked him what
answer he brought. The man sayd he gave him an answer, but it was
French or Laten, for lie understode him not. ‘But syr,’ quote he, ‘ye
nede not to fere, for I saw in his countenance so muche that I warrant
you he wyll do your errand to my lorde his father.’ This gentleman
in truste thereof made not any further suite, for lacke thereof his
servaunt that had done the felonye within a month after was rayned at
the king’s benche and corte, and afterwards hanged.” In the punishment
for matricide the criminal was placed in a case with an Ape, Cock, and
Serpent, and either buried alive or drowned and the dislike of the
first two creatures was much enlarged upon in some ancient authors.

In the _Merchant of Venice_ there is allusion made to the fanciful
notion of Monkey--and probably it was Ape--keeping. Shylock has lost
his daughter, and Tubal comes to give him news of her fast living, and
of Antonio.

    _Tubal._ One of them showed me a ring, that he had of your daughter
    for a Monkey.

    _Shylock._ Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal: it was my
    turquoise; I had it of Leah, when I was a bachelor: I would not
    have given it for a wilderness of Monkeys.


In a “New History of Ethiopia, being a full and accurate description
of the Kingdom of Abyssinia, vulgarly” (writes Broderip), “though
erroneously, called the Empire of Prester John, by the learned Job
Ludolphus” (1682), there is a grand engraving of Apes, with this

    “1. Scrambling about the mountains.

    2. Remoeving great huge stones to come at the wormes.

    3. Sitting upon Ant-hills and devouring the little creatures.

    4. Throwing sand or dust in the eyes of wild beastes that came to
       sett upon them.”

The following is illustrated by the above:--

“Of Apes there are infinite flocks up and down in the mountains
thereabout, a thousand and more together: there they leave no stone
unturned. If they meet with one that two or three cannot lift, they
call for more, and all for the sake of the wormes that lye under: a
sort of dyet which they relish exceedingly. They are very greedy after
Emmets; so that having found an Emmet-hill, they presently surround it,
and laying their fore paws with the hollow downward upon the Ant-heap,
as fast as the Emmets creep into their trecherous palmes, they lick
them off with great comfort into their stomachs; and there they will
lye til there is not an Emmet left. They are also pernicious to fruit
and apples, and will destroy whole fields and gardens unless they be
carefully looked after. For they are very cunning, and will never
venture in till the return of their spies, which they send always
before, and who, giving information that all things are safe, in they
rush with their whole body, and make a quick dispatch. Therefore
they go very quiet and silent to their prey, and if their young ones
chance make a noise, they chastise them with their fists, but if
they find the coast clear, then every one has a different noise to
express his joy. Nor could there he any way to hinder them from further
multiplying, but that they fall sometimes into the ruder hands of the
wild beasts, which they have no other way to avoid but by a timely
flight, or creeping into the clefts of the rocks. If they find no
safety in flight, they make a virtue of necessity, stand their ground,
and filling their paws full of dust or sand, fling it full in the eyes
of their assailant, and take to their heels again.”

It will be seen that there is much truth and a great deal of romance in
this narrative.

[Illustration: BABOONS UPON AN ANT-HILL. (_From Job Ludolphus, 1682._)]

The Baboons have had their name given by the Dutch to a plant. The
“_Babianer_,” which botanists have turned into the genus _Babiana_, is
a common group of plants which is found in South Africa.

One kind, the _Babiana sulphurea_, greatly resembles in its flower the
common Gladiolus of our gardens, but it has round, stiff-coated seeds.
The sword-shaped leaves arise from an underground bulb-like root, which
buds near its point so as to rise in the ground to the surface, and the
flowers are very handsome. The plants flourish in the soil of the great
plains of the Cape of Good Hope, where they are exposed for two or
three months to rain, but where afterwards and for the rest of the year
the earth becomes so dry that hardly a vestige of vegetation remains.
The Baboons, when they roamed over these plains formerly, used to dig
up the root and eat it voraciously.

The Baboons are more brute-like than the rest of the Monkeys in
appearance, and therefore have not that singular resemblance to
man which many of the others possess either generally or in their
faces. Their dog-shaped head, a long muzzle, and a curious fulness on
each side of the long nose, distinguish them at once from any other
Quadrumana. With one or two exceptions the nostrils are quite at the
end of the muzzle, and are separated by a narrow piece of gristle;
they rather project beyond the nostril, and can be placed close to the
ground as the Baboon runs along to follow or track a scent. Their
eyes are close together, and are deeply set, their ears are moderately
large, and their neck is rather long, and as their common position is
squatting on the hinder quarters like a Dog, the long muzzle is kept
straight out, or occasionally is hung down over the chest. They have
a short body, which seems compressed at the sides, and the shoulders
are wide, the chest being capacious. As they run very much like Dogs,
the hind-quarters are strong, and the hinder limbs longer than the
front ones, and have a decided heel and strong muscles. They trot and
canter, but rarely bound or jump over the ground, and they scramble
and climb up rocks with the aid of the power of prehension, which is
great even in the hinder extremities, the thumb being strong but short.
When standing on all-fours, the shoulders are high, and the body slopes
slightly to the tail, which is stuck high up, and some have short and
others long tails.

They have the cheek-pouches, and the curious callosities on their
stern, which sometimes are very large and vividly coloured; and their
hair is many-coloured, being long or short according to the species.
The tail is curved upwards close to its origin, and then it droops
downwards when the Baboon is quiet in mind and body; but when excited,
it sticks out and is flourished about with great vigour. Sometimes
ended with a tuft, in some kinds it is not, and in one or two of the
great Dog-headed there is no tail, or only a miserable rudiment of
it. In spite of their brutal looks--for the faces of some are swollen
out, or rather the side of the nose, and coloured and ridged in a
marvellously ugly manner--they are very interesting, on account of
their habits, cleverness, sociability amongst themselves, and their
courage. Usually very amiable and full of fun when young, they afford
much amusement when kept well and treated with kindness. They like to
be petted, and will present their backs to be scratched, and may be
taught to beg for food, to hold things, and to play endless tricks.
This “jolly” disposition is seen amongst the wild youngsters, who are
ever on the watch for an occurrence of mischief and practical joking,
the sedate behaviour of their elders affording opportunities for
endless mummeries and impudences. What can be more tempting to a young
and light-hearted Cynocephalus than to disturb the solemn thoughts
of the patriarch of the troop? There sits the elder of elders on his
haunches, his tail outspread behind, the long nose slightly stuck up,
and the fine long mane, lion-like, encircling the throat and covering
the shoulders. Perched upon a block of stone, higher than the rest,
he is an object of reverential awe to the elders of the band. But
often enough some restless little Ape, after squatting on a stone and
mimicking the Nestor of the tribe, forgets himself, and after much
dodging here and there, and running to and fro, ventures to pull that
sacred tail as only Monkeys pull. All the rage of Thoth is, however,
slumbering in that quiet old male. His cares and watchings have
triumphed over any gaiety he ever had. Making no allowances for the
follies of youth, he pounces without wavering on the offender. Squeals,
squeaks, and howls follow the cuffs, pinches, and bites, and the little
wretch makes off to the bosom of his mother, who snarls, grins, and
shows her teeth, using language awful in monkeydom, and mutterings not
loud but deep. The mothers in the immediate neighbourhood sympathise
and proclaim their indignation with low grunts and much pantomime
suggestive of reprisals, but they all know better than to do anything
of the sort, as they have experienced the weight of the paternal arm
themselves so often.

With age, any amiability of disposition is replaced by ferocity and
greedy brutality, and is particularly increased in captivity, as the
temper is usually severely tried by the tricks and teasings of the

The Cynocephali, although they are placed after the different genera
already described in the scheme of classification, have some very
singular structural resemblances with the higher Apes and with man,
besides those which render them more like the quadrupeds, such as
the flesh-eaters or Carnivora. Several of these will be noticed in
describing some of the kinds of Baboons; but it may be stated here
that the bend in the back observed in the Chimpanzee and other Apes,
which resembles that of a very young child more than that of a man,
does not exist in these Dog-headed Apes. Their bones bend in and the
upper part of the back bends out, as in man, so that there is a more
or less graceful double curve. This is evident when any Baboon places
himself up against the wires of his cage to be scratched--a treat under
all circumstances. Moreover, the Baboon has another human resemblance,
which is also observable in the Orangs, but not in the Troglodytes.
In man, if a line be drawn down the spine and another drawn down the
sacrum bone (that which unites the haunch-bones together behind), they
will not meet and form a straight line, but will cut each other, so as
to produce a decided angle. This is slightly seen in the Orangs, but
it is very evident indeed in the Baboons. On the contrary, there is no
angle formed in the Gorilla and Chimpanzee. Again, in man, the sacrum
bone is curved, the hollow of the bend looking forwards. This is the
case in the Baboon and also in the Siamang; but the curvature is much
less in the great Apes or Troglodytes; furthermore, this sacrum bone is
relatively very broad in the Baboon.

Now, these are not simply anatomical curiosities, and they are really
of some interest to the youngest naturalist who cares to try and puzzle
out what these things really mean. Either they have a meaning or they
have not. If they are freaks of Nature or the results of chance, then
there is nothing more to be said; or if they are deeply connected with
the method of life or the habits of the creatures, they may be said to
have been given for a purpose. But the notions about chance and freaks
belong to a bygone age, for Nature works neither by accident nor by
impulses, but by law. So there must be some meaning in these things,
and the key to their comprehension is the gradual change of form and
of structure which has been undergone in the long ages during which
one animal has become altered so as to depart greatly from the parent
stock, and to assume what is called a new specific shape--to become a
new kind. And in the new kind there are relics of the old form--pieces
of bone here and there; muscles, tendons, or useless teeth, and such
things, which are, as it were, part of the coat-of-arms to enable the
genealogist to trace the history of the family.

In the Baboons there is a curious condition of the first bone of
the neck (the atlas, or first vertebra, on which the head rests).
It is a massive ring of bone, down the centre of which the great
nerve (spinal cord) of the spine passes, and it becomes stouter with
age, and the central hole is all the smaller. It has a small spinous
process, to which there is a muscular attachment, which tends to
keep up the heavy skull and long nose. A good short back-bone, not
over pliant, is necessary to the Baboon, and a provision is made in
order to produce this; for the bodies of the vertebræ are found to be
larger and longer as they are further down the spine. This is what
occurs in man and in the Gibbons, but it is only slightly noticed in
the higher Apes--the Troglodytes and Orangs. The Baboon may be said
to have sometimes only eighteen back and loin vertebræ, and twelve or
thirteen are rib-bearing, and the spines of these bones are strong and
often expanded or flattened at their ends; moreover, the last spines
project forwards and the others backwards. All this arrangement is
especially ape-and animal-like, and refers to the strengthening of the
muscles used in moving on all-fours. There is of course a tail to be
considered, and in the shortest there are from five to eight bones, or
modified vertebræ, and whether short or long, the muscles of the tail
are all to be met with at its root.

Such clever animals ought to have well-formed brains, and yet not so
elaborately constructed as those of the Anthropomorpha, whose movements
are more varied, and who can walk erect for a longer or shorter time.
It is found that the brain of the Baboon, although less complicated,
or rather less perfectly formed, than that of the Chimpanzee and
Orang, is singularly like those of the Guenons and Macaques in the
surface markings and convolutions, and, in fact, the brains of these
animals agree in all essential points. The principal convolutions and
fissures which are noticed in the Troglodytes exist, but the external
perpendicular fissure is strongly marked, and all the little brain is
covered by the cerebrum, or brain proper.

There is no mistaking a Baboon’s skull; it is large for a Monkey, and
the face part is always one-half of the whole, the brain-case being
cast in the shade, as it were, by the huge upper and lower jaws, and
their fine armament of teeth. In old males the length of face is much
greater than one-half, and the front of the upper jaw is stuck out
considerably. But in all there is a swelling of the upper jaw-bone,
just in front of the orbit and on each side of the nose-bones, which
sometimes is vast and at others turned into a ridge. It is this which
is covered by the curious tints and colours in some. The jaws seem
pinched in, just above the upper grinding teeth, and then comes this
swelling. Strong teeth exist in the upper jaw, and the canine, or eye
teeth, more than an inch in length, are long, slender, curved, and
sharp. The front or incisor teeth are large, the middle ones being
the largest, and the three grinders have sharp projections on them
which are not readily worn. As the eyes are close together, the orbits
are only separated by the forehead (frontal) bone and the united
nose-bones (nasals). These cavities are, moreover, broad, and look a
little outwards, and they open into the strange swollen muzzle. The
ridges over the orbits are great, and the opening for the nose is
triangular; the forehead recedes, and is rounded, and the side-bones of
the brain-case are bulged out. Underneath, the skull looks very long;
the hinder nostril opening is small, and the palate is arched. As the
animal eats a variety of food, and fights often, his lower jaw is very
strong. It is large and wide behind, and compressed in front. The chin
is deep, and so is the side of the jaw close to it, but further back
it is less so; and the joint process (condyle) is wide and very flat
usually. The lower canines are not as large as the upper, and they fit
into a space (diastema) in front of the great canines of the upper jaw.
The back teeth are remarkable for their size, the last in the lower jaw
having five points, and the others four. The tooth (pre-molar) next to
the canine is pushed backwards and sharpened in a curious manner by the
action of the great upper canine, which comes down in front of it when
the jaw is closed.

The Baboons are found widely dispersed about Africa, and those which
have been best observed live on the west coast, on the east in
Abyssinia, and extending downwards to the neighbourhood of the Cape of
Good Hope. Frequenting mountains and woody places, and rather avoiding
forest land, they come within range of the great Carnivora of the
plains and uplands, and suffer in consequence, the Leopard especially
making the young its prey whenever it has an opportunity. They extend
into Arabia. A little black one, differing in its kind from its African
congeners, lives in the Island of Celebes, in the Philippines, and in
the Islet of Batchian, close by. Some kinds differ but slightly from
one another, and those of one part of the African continent appear to
resemble those of other portions in their several shapes and habits,
and yet to have different-coloured hair, hence much confusion has
arisen regarding the races of the species of the genus. This has been
increased by the fact that the females differ much from the males, and
hence more species have been formed by naturalists than is correct.
Probably there are twelve species.

[Illustration: BRAIN OF THE BABOON.]

The possession of a good tail constitutes a very good characteristic,
and by the presence or comparative absence of this member the group or
genus may be divided into two.

In the division which possess a tail, which is never very long, often
rather short, and sometimes tufted and sometimes not, are the most
numerous species, and such kinds as the Hamadryas, Gelada, Sphinx, and
Pig-tailed Baboons are well known. In the nearly tail-less division are
the great Mandrill, the Drill, and the Black Baboon.


During the march against Magdala and Theodore, in the Abyssinian
campaign, this great Dog-faced Baboon was frequently seen, and its
habits were noticed by Blanford, the naturalist to the Expedition. Like
most, if not all, of its fellow Baboons, this interesting creature
prefers sandy ground to the dense forest land. They very rarely are
seen on trees, they avoid woods, and keep mainly in the open country,
preferring rocky precipices. This was the kind of country principally
traversed by the army, and hence the Baboons afforded some amusement
during the hot marches, and they were met with everywhere from the
plains around Annesley Bay, where the disembarkation took place, to the
top of the Dalanta plateau, although most abundantly in the tropical
and sub-tropical portions of the district. On rising one morning
after a march of some sixteen miles from Annesley Bay, Blanford saw a
singular spectacle. A large troop of Baboons, at least two hundred in
number, were hunting for any corn dropped upon the ground the place
where the horses had been picketed. They were the first of the great
Dog-faced Apes which had been seen, although they became familiar
enough afterwards. There was no mistaking them, for their likeness
to the engravings of the Sacred Ape (Thoth) on Egyptian monuments
was exact. The uncouth-looking male is, indeed, a formidable animal,
something between a Lion and a French Poodle in appearance, with long
hair over his shoulders and fore-parts. Their impudence was excessive,
and the day before they had come into the commissariat enclosure and
commenced pilfering the grain.

[Illustration: CHIMPANZEE. (_See pp. 49–58._)

(_From the Living Specimen in the Zoological Gardens, London._)]

Subsequently the Baboons were found up the country, at an elevation
of 9,000 feet, and wherever there were passes leading from the coast
to the table-lands, there they abounded, and it was evident that they
kept close to the sides of the rocky ravines. The herds vary in number;
some cannot include less than 250 to 300 Monkeys of all ages. The old
males are always most conspicuous animals, all the fore-part of their
body being covered with long hair. They usually take the lead when the
troop is moving, some of them also bringing up the rear; others placing
themselves on high rocks or bushes, and keeping a sharp look-out after
enemies. A troop collected on a rocky crag presents a most singular
appearance. Sometimes large numbers were seen assembled round springs
in the evening near Senafé, where the want of water was great. On such
occasions, every jutting rock and every little stone more prominent
than the rest was occupied by a patriarch of the herd, who sat with the
gravity and watchfulness befitting his grizzled hair, waiting patiently
till the last of his human rivals had slaked his thirst and that of his
cattle. Around, the females were mainly occupied in taking care of the
young, the smaller Monkeys amusing themselves by gambolling around.
Occasionally, if a young Monkey became too noisy, or interfered with
the repose of one of his seniors, he “caught it” in most unmistakable
style, and was dismissed with many cuffs, a wiser if not a better

[Illustration: VIEW IN ABYSSINIA.]

The Baboon feeds on wild fruits, berries, and seeds, and often on the
buds of trees and on young shoots. On the highlands, troops of them
were frequently seen in the fields, engaged in searching for a small
tuber, the root of the edible _Cyperus_, which was also the resource of
the half-starved men and women in the country of the Tigré.

These Baboons climb heavily and clumsily, but run, or rather gallop,
well and steadily, without bounding movements, and hence their
locomotion differs much from that of many kinds of Monkeys. Doubtless
they unite in such large troops in order to defend themselves against
their enemies, and the old males are combative and grave. From their
size and great power of jaw they are most formidable antagonists, and
their boldness in resenting injury is said to be in proportion to
their power. There are many stories of their attacking men. During the
time before the Abyssinian Expedition sailed, a well-known German and
two companions were surrounded by a large herd, which barred their
path, and were so threatening that he was obliged to shoot one in
self-defence. Even then, although they fell back, they did not run
away. On the other hand, there were no instances known of these Baboons
attacking any other of the expeditionary force. Near the passes the
Baboons became very wary, for they were often fired at.

The Hamadryas Baboons are not entirely vegetable feeders, although
they usually live on fruits and grain, or on buds and succulent stems;
yet it appears to be true that they like insects now and then, and
share them as delicacies. The old ones march about gravely, turning
over stone after stone, but if there is a large stone which one cannot
turn over, as many as can stand round it turn it with a will together,
capsize it, and share the booty. The old males, who act as sentinels,
are extremely watchful, and cry out with a peculiar note when there is
danger; but this is only done when absolutely requisite, for silence
is insisted on during their expeditions. Thus, when they plunder a
garden in Abyssinia, they follow their leader without noise, and if an
impudent young one makes a noise he receives a slap from the others to
teach him silence and obedience. But as soon as they are aware that
there is no danger, all show their joy by making as much noise as

The Hamadryas grows to the size of a large Pointer Dog, and measures
rather more than four feet when standing erect, and about two feet
and a half when sitting. The face is very long, naked, and of a dirty
flesh-colour, with a ring of lighter tint round the eyes. The nostrils,
as in the Dog, are separated by a slight furrow, and they open quite
at the end of the snout, which projects slightly beyond the lip. The
head, neck, shoulders, and all the fore parts of the body as far as the
loins are covered with long shaggy hair; that on the hips, thighs, and
legs is short, and contrasted with the former has the appearance of
having been clipped, so that the whole animal bears some resemblance to
a French Poodle. The hair of the back of the head and neck is upwards
of a foot in length, and forms a long mane which falls back over the
shoulders, and at a distance looks something like a full short cloak.
The whiskers are broad and directed downwards so as to conceal the
ears; their colour, as well as that of the fore part of the body, head,
and mane, is a mixture of light grey and dusky colour, each hair being
marked with numerous delicate rings of the colours. The short hair of
the thighs and extremities is of a uniform colour of dusky brown, and a
dark brown line passes down the middle of the back. The feet are rusty
brown, and the hands are jet black. The tail is about one-half of the
length of the body, and is carried drooping as in other Baboons; it is
terminated by a tuft of long brown hair.

The female equals the male in point of size, but has no mane, being
uniformly covered with short hair of deep olive-brown slightly mixed
with green. She has a bearish look, and it is evident that the colours
of both sexes are admirably adapted to hide them when crawling amongst
rocks, or hiding away in holes and under ledges of stone. All have
a wild, grunting bark, almost approaching a roar; and they possess
laryngeal pouches or air sacs, which pass amongst the muscles of the
neck and reach even into the armpits. The pouch communicates by one
opening into the membrane above the larynx, and between its cartilage
and the so called hyoid bone at the base of the tongue, and they,
therefore, resemble those of the Semnopitheci.

Mansfield Parkyns gives some very interesting and explicit statements
about the intelligence and discipline of the Baboons. He says--“The
Monkeys, especially the Cynocephali, who are astonishingly clever
fellows, have their chiefs, whom they obey implicitly, and a regular
system of tactics in war, pillaging expeditions, robbing cornfields,
&c. These Monkey forays are managed with the utmost regularity and
precaution. A tribe coming down to feed from their village on the
mountain (usually a cleft in the face of some cliff) brings with it
all its members, male and female, old and young. Some--the elders of
the tribe distinguishable by the quantity of mane which covers their
shoulders, like a Lion’s--take the lead, peering cautiously over each
precipice before they descend, and climbing to the top of every rock
which may afford a better view of the road before them. Others have
their posts as scouts on the flanks or rear, and all fulfil their
duties with the utmost vigilance, calling out at times, apparently to
keep order among the motley pack, which forms the main body, or to give
notice of the approach of any real or imagined danger. Their tones of
voice on these occasions are so distinctly raised, that a person much
accustomed to watch their movements will at length fancy--and perhaps
with some truth--that he can understand their signals.

“The main body is composed of females, inexperienced males, and the
young of the tribe. Those of the females who have small children carry
them on their back. Unlike the dignified march of the leaders, the
rabble go along in a most disorderly manner, trotting on and chattering
without taking the least heed of anything, apparently confiding in the
vigilance of their scouts. Here a few of the youth linger behind to
pick the berries off some tree, but not for long, for the rear-guard
coming up forces them to regain their places. Then a matron pauses for
a moment to suckle her offspring, and not to lose time dresses its hair
whilst it is taking its meal. Another younger lady, probably excited
by jealousy, or by some sneering look or word, pulls an ugly mouth at
her neighbour, and then, uttering a shrill squeal highly expressive
of rage, vindictively snatches at her rival’s leg or tail with her
hand, and gives her, perhaps, a sharp bite in the hind-quarters. This
provokes a retort, and a most unladylike quarrel ensues, till a loud
bark of command from one of the chiefs calls them to order. A single
cry of alarm makes them all halt and remain on the _qui vive_ till
another bark in a different tone reassures them, and they then proceed
on their march.

“Arrived at the cornfields, the scouts take their position on the
eminences all around, while the remainder of the tribe collect
provision, with the utmost expedition, filling their cheek-pouches as
full as they can hold, and then tucking the seeds of corn under their
armpits. Now, unless there be a partition of the collected spoil, how
do the scouts feed?, for I have watched them several times, and never
observed them quit for a moment their post of duty till it was time for
the tribe to return, or till some indication of danger induced them
to take to flight. They show also the same sagacity in searching for
water, discovering at once the places where it is most readily found
in the sand, and then digging for it with their hands just as men
would, relieving one another in the work, if the quantity of sand to be
removed be considerable. Their dwellings are usually chosen in clefts
of rocks, and are always placed so high that they are inaccessible
to most other animals, and sufficiently sheltered from the rain. The
Leopard is their worst enemy, for being nearly as good a climber as
they, he sometimes attacks them, and then there is a tremendous uproar.
I remember one night, when outlying on the frontier, being disturbed
in my sleep by the most awful noises I ever heard, at least they
appeared as such, exaggerated by my dreams. I started up thinking it
was an attack of negroes, but soon recognised the voices of my Baboon
friends from the mountain above. On my return home I related the fact
to the natives, who told me that a Leopard was probably the cause of
all this panic. I am not aware how he succeeds amongst them. The people
say that he sometimes manages to steal a young one and make off, but
that he seldom ventures to attack a full-grown Ape. He would doubtless
find such an one an awkward customer; for the Ape’s great strength and
activity, and the powerful canine teeth with which he is furnished,
would render him a formidable enemy, were he, from desperation, forced
to stand and defend his life. It is most fortunate that their courage
is only sufficiently great to induce them to act on the defensive. This
indeed they only do against a man when driven to it by fear, otherwise
they generally prefer prudence to valour. Had their combativeness been
proportioned to their physical powers, coming as they do in hordes of
two or three hundred, it would have been impossible for the natives to
go out of the village, except in parties, armed, and instead of little
boys, regiments of armed men would be required to guard the cornfields.”

A traveller, relating his experience with these Baboons, writes as

“The first band I saw was just resting after their morning ramble. I
had seen the tall forms of the males from some distance, but had taken
them for rocks, as these Apes resemble them when they are still. I
was first undeceived by a repeated cry, which sounded like a shrill
cry of ‘Kuck.’ All heads were turned our way, and only the young ones
went on with their games. Probably the whole herd would have stopped
in this attitude had not we had two Dogs with us that we kept to keep
off hyænas from the house. These answered the cries of the Apes, and
we immediately noticed a commotion among the herd. They started off
and disappeared. Much to our astonishment, at the next bend of the
road, we saw the whole band in a long row clinging on to what seemed
a perpendicular rock. This was too much for us, and we determined to
have a shot at them. Unfortunately, the rock was too high for a sure
aim. Anyhow, we hoped to disturb them. The first shot had a wonderful
effect. A tremendous barking and shrieking was the answer. Then the
whole band moved on, climbing over the rocks in a most astonishing
manner, where it seemed almost impossible to find a footing. We fired
about six shots, though it was impossible to be sure of hitting. It
was most comical to see the whole band, at every shot, cling on to the
rock as if they thought the earth would give way under them. The next
turn we found them no longer on high ground, but in a valley where
they were going through to get to the hills beyond. Part of the band
had crossed, but most were still behind. Our Dogs stopped a minute,
and then rushed in among the herd. So soon as they got there all the
old males rushed from the rocks, formed a circle round the Dogs, and
opened their mouths, beat the earth, and looked so fierce, that the
Dogs retreated with all speed. Of course, we encouraged them to return
to the fight, and in the meanwhile the Apes had got across the valley.
As the Dogs returned to the attack there were only a few in the valley,
and among them a young one of about six months old. As it saw the Dogs
it cried out, and fled to the rocks, where our Dogs brought it to
bay, and we flattered ourselves that we should catch it. Proudly and
quietly, without troubling himself about us, came an old male back from
the other side, walked fearlessly between the Dogs, climbed slowly up
the rock, and took off the young one in triumph.”

[Illustration: SACRED BABOON.]

Their regard for their mutual safety is even seen in captivity, for
it has happened that when a Baboon, who has been extremely savage,
unbearable, and mischievous in his comportment, had to be chained to be
punished, the others tried to protect him.

“Many kinds of Monkeys,” writes Mr. Darwin, “have a strong taste for
tea, coffee, and spirituous liquors; they will also, as I have myself
seen, smoke tobacco with pleasure.” The wild Baboons of North-eastern
Africa are often caught in consequence of their naughty propensity
and love of a “drop.” The natives fill some vessels with strong beer,
and put them out in places where they look particularly tempting to
the thirsty. The Baboons, ever on the watch for something new and
to steal, see the pitchers and pans, and of course just taste their
contents. Feeling happy and enlivened, after a while they try again,
and finally drink long and deeply, becoming in a short time decidedly
tipsy, and unable to take care of themselves. Drunk and incapable
would be the accusation against them by native police. Unfortunately
for the tipplers their punishment is greater than the crime; and not
only do they suffer all the miseries of headache, thirst, and bodily
depression, but they lose their liberty also, and not for a time only.
The natives, knowing that after a few hours they may expect to find
the Baboons incapable of biting, fighting, or running away, go out and
search for their victims, and bring them home and place them in durance
vile. The next morning they awake to a sense of their condition. They
hold their aching heads with both hands, and look with a most pitiable
expression. Brehm saw some of them in this plight, and gives a most
amusing description of their grimaces and laughable conduct. A little
wine or beer was offered to some who had recovered from their debauch,
but they would have nothing to do with it at the time. They turned away
with disgust, but they relished the juice of some lemons which was
given to them.

[Illustration: YOUNG HAMADRYAS. (_From the Zoological Gardens._)]

The Baboons, symbolical of learning, the observers of the moon in
eclipse, and the companions of the bacchanalian jug, once so esteemed,
worshipped, and mummified by the ancient Egyptians, have terribly
fallen in social and religious reputation on the very spot of their
former glories. In modern Egypt they may be seen in some houses where,
at a fanciful kind of banquet, they have to sit around the room holding
torches. And right bad torch-bearers they are, for every now and then
some Baboon becomes aggressive, or some guest has a nice piece on his
plate for which the Baboon longs, and the consequences are a departure
of the light from its perpendicular, a slight motion amongst the row
of curious candelabra, and oftentimes such disorder as can only be
remedied by the timely application of the discipline of the stick. They
are carried about to do tricks, and brutalised in every way.

[Illustration: VILLAGE IN NUBIA.]

Mansfield Parkyns asserts that the cleverness of these Baboons depends
in some measure upon their power of reason, and not entirely on that
instinct with which all animals are endowed, and which serves them
only to procure the necessaries of life and to defend themselves
against their enemies. In proof he relates an incident, of which he
was an eye-witness. “At Khartûm, the capital of the provinces of
Upper Nubia, I saw a man showing a large male and two females of this
breed, who performed several clever tricks at his command. I entered
into conversation with him as to their sagacity, the mode of teaching
them, and various other topics relating to them. Speaking of his male
Monkey, he said that he was the most dexterous thief imaginable, and
that every time he was exhibited he stole dates and other provisions
sufficient for his food for the day. In proof of this he begged me to
watch him for a few minutes. I did so, and presently the keeper led
him to a spot where a date-seller was sitting on the ground with his
basket beside him. Here his master put him through his evolutions, and
although I could perceive that the Monkey had an eye to the fruit,
yet so completely did he disguise his intentions, that no careless
observer would have noticed it. He did not at first appear to care
about approaching the basket, but gradually brought himself nearer and
nearer, till at last he got quite close to the owner. In the middle
of one of his feats he suddenly started up from the ground on which
he was lying stretched out like a corpse, and uttering a cry as if in
pain or rage, fixed his eyes full on the face of the date-seller, and
then, without moving the rest of his body, stole as many dates as he
could hold in one of his hind hands. The date man, being stared out of
countenance, and his attention diverted by this extraordinary movement,
knew nothing about the theft till a bystander told him of it, and then
he joined heartily in the laugh that was raised against him. The Monkey
having very adroitly popped the fruit into his cheek-pouches, had
moved off a few yards, when a boy in the crowd round him pulled him
sharply by the tail. Conscience-stricken, he fancied that it had been
done in revenge by the date-seller whom he had robbed; and so, passing
close by the true offender and behind the legs of two or three others,
he fell on the unfortunate fruiterer, and would no doubt have bitten
him severely, but for the interference of his master, who came to the

Although so clever, the Hamadryas is much more deficient in brain than
the higher Apes, the Orang for instance. It is not so much developed in
front, and the whole mass is not so high, but still it projects well
over the little brain, or cerebellum. The convolutions are simpler, and
although all the principal markings noticed even in man are present,
still the smaller ones, and those which belong to structures which add
to the superficial extent of the organ, are wanting. The ventricles
and the posterior horn and its eminences are present, as is also that
particularly monkey development, the fissure, which is called the
external perpendicular.

Evidently the compressed form of the skull, which seems as if it had
been pressed far above over the forehead, has much to do with the small
bulk of the front of the brain, and this is also diminished by the
projection of the orbits into the brain-case. The skull is certainly an
ugly thing to look at, and is only surpassed by that of the full-grown
Mandrill in want of elegance, of outline, and smooth configuration.
The forehead and top of the skull are broad and flat, and the whole
brain-case appears to slope off at the sides of the orbits, and then
projects but little there, the broadest part of the skull being at the
cheek-bone. The orbits are oblique, that is to say, they look forwards
and outwards, and they are tolerably widely open. There is a great
roundness and swelling of the upper jaw-bone from the cheek-bone to the
long nasal bones, and the front jaw-bone (the pre-maxillary) is short
and projecting. The shape of the skull resembles that of the Sphinx

Their name, given to them by the naturalist, is as great a puzzle as
are many others devoted to animals, for what possible connection can
there be between the Hamadryads, the nymphs whose birth, life, and
death were mysteriously united with the corresponding epochs in the
growth of the oak-tree, and a most un-nymphlike creature which likes
rocks, holes, and dens, but who neither cares for oaks nor acorns?


These Baboons are quite as clever as the great Dog-faced kind, which
has been immortalised by the ancient Egyptians, and every now and
then troops of both come in contact and have great fights. The Gelada
Baboon, with its long tail tufted at the end, and black limbs, has very
long hair on its upper parts of a pale brown colour. This covers the
head where there is a dark line from the forehead backwards, and also
the shoulders and rump. This Baboon, moreover, has the nostrils opening
high up in the face, and not close to the end of the upper jaw, as in
the Hamadryas. Differing thus from the Hamadryas Baboons, each troop
soon knows its comrades. Occasionally, when the fields are ripe with
grain, the Geladas, perched upon their mountain homes, see the glowing
and varied colours of the vegetation, and long for the luxuries of the
plains. They descend and sometimes rob the farmers with impunity, and
return after having committed a vast amount of mischief. But it happens
that the great Dog-faced troops are out on the same errand, and the two
sets of thieves speedily disagree. A fight ensues, and the Geladas roll
down large stones, which the others try to avoid, and then they all
rush together to close quarters, making a great uproar, and fighting
with great fury. Some of these gallant Geladas had the audacity to stop
a Serene Highness in his travels in Abyssinia, and very effectually,
for some hours. A Duke of Coburg-Gotha was in a caravan which had to
traverse the pass of Mensa, in Abyssinia, and as there were some of the
Baboons perched in numbers on the sides of the high rocky ravine, some
of the Europeans, who of course must try and kill something as often as
possible, fired upon them. The Baboons retaliated in a most military
manner, by rolling down stones in such quantity and of such a size that
not only had the firing party to retire, but the passage of the caravan
was stopped. They positively closed the pass against all comers for
some time.

Darwin tells a laughable anecdote of a Baboon, but does not mention
the kind. He saw in the Zoological Gardens a Baboon who always got in
a furious rage when his keeper took out a letter or book and read
it aloud to him; and his rage was so violent that, as Mr. Darwin
witnessed, on one occasion he bit his own leg till the blood flowed.


The Hottentots are familiar with one of the largest kinds of the
Baboons, which reaches the size of an English Mastiff, and has superior
strength, and they call it the T’chackamma, which has been reduced
by Europeans to the “Chacma.” The colonists of the Cape of Good Hope
districts called it the Black Ape, and then, from some fanciful
resemblance of its tail to that of a Pig, the creature was dignified
with the name _porcarius_.

The Chacmas are found in great troops, and they behave very much
after the manner of the other large Baboons, their strength rendering
them a terror to the Dogs of the colonists. In ascending the kloofs,
or passes, in the mountains of South Africa, which are frequently
steep, narrow, and dangerous, travellers often disturb great troops
of these animals, which have been sunning themselves on the rocks. If
not attacked they scamper up the sides of the mountains yelling and
screaming. They resent being fired upon by rolling down stones.

The Chacma has a fine black tail, which is rather more than half the
length of the body, and it has a tuft of long black hair at its tip.
It is carried like that of the other long-tailed Baboons, being curved
upwards at first, and then falling down straight. Nearly all the fur
of the body is a uniform dark brown, almost black, mixed throughout
with a dark green shade. It is long and shaggy, particularly on the
neck and shoulders of the males. If a solitary hair be pulled out, it
will be found to be very curiously ornamented. It has a root, like all
hairs, springing from a little pimple under the scarf-skin, and its
colour is at first of a light grey colour. Then it is marked with wide
rings of colour, which are perfectly distinct, and they are alternately
black and dark green, but sometimes they are intermixed with a few of
a lighter or yellowish shade. The face and ears are naked, as are also
the palms and soles, and there are small whiskers, grey in colour and
brushed backwards. Naked as are the face, ears, and hands, the skin is
of a very dark violet-blue colour, with a pale ring surrounding each
eye. Strange to say, the upper eyelids are white.

In the adult the muzzle is very long in comparison with the skull,
which is greatly flattened and contracted; but in the young, the size
of the nose is not so apparent, and the head is rounder, and the
brain case is larger in proportion. As age comes on, the brain is not
increased in size correspondingly with the face.

There is no doubt that the old Baboons have a very fine sense of
smelling, their noses are large, and the sentient surface is great;
moreover, this gift has been tested and used to the advantage of many
a wanderer and settler in the districts where water is scarce at the
surface, but plentiful here and there, resting on rocks which are
covered with sand or soil. The Baboon can find out water when even
the Bushmen are quite at fault, and when other animals are dying of
thirst. When a manageable Baboon is at hand, and people are in a dreary
district searching for water, they lead him in the required direction
suffering from thirst, and give him his liberty. He moves over the
ground quickly, smelling here and there, or gallops with extended
nostrils, now turning in one direction and now in another, quartering
out his ground like a Dog. Sooner or later he stops and begins to dig
with his hands, and then the people come up, and water is almost always
found, and in quantity.

[Illustration: PIG-TAILED BABOON.]

Although the young Chacmas are playful enough, and are full of nonsense
and fun in captivity, they, like all their kindred Baboons, become
surly, ferocious, and unsafe as they grow old and have their bodies
perfectly developed to the perfection of baboonism. That is to say,
when the face, jaws, and teeth become as large as they ever will be,
and the body becomes as short and as muscular as possible. They then
scowl at the visitor, and grind and show their great teeth at the
slightest provocation, grumbling and growling also, and in fact, to
quote the words of a very precise naturalist, “the fierceness and
brutality of their character and manners correspond with the expression
of their physiognomy.” Nevertheless, they are amenable to soft
influences. In spite of their savage and untamable disposition, they
are influenced by that most potent of all attractions. They are, in the
language of the writer just quoted, “agitated by the passion of love
or jealousy. In captivity they are thrown into the greatest agitation
at the appearance of young females”--not females of the Baboon tribe,
but those who, under all circumstances, are now called ladies. “It is
a common practice,” continues the writer, “among itinerant showmen, to
excite the natural jealousy of these Baboons by caressing or offering
to kiss the young females who resort to their exhibitions, and the
sight never fails to excite in these animals a degree of rage bordering
on frenzy. On one occasion a large Baboon of this species escaped from
his place of confinement in the Jardin des Plantes at Paris, and far
from showing any disposition to return to his cage, severely wounded
two or three of his keepers who attempted to recapture him. After many
ineffectual attempts to induce him to return quietly, they at length
hit upon a plan which was successful. There was a small grated window
at the back part of the den, at which one of the keepers appeared,
in company with the daughter of the superintendent, whom he appeared
to kiss and caress within view of the animal. No sooner did the
Baboon witness this familiarity, than he flew into the cage with the
greatest fury, and endeavoured to unfasten the grating of the window
which separated him from the object of his jealousy. Whilst employed
in this vain attempt, the keepers took the opportunity of fastening
the door, and securing him once more in his place of confinement. Nor
is this a solitary instance of the influence which women can exert
over the passions of these savage animals. It is said that, generally
untractable and incorrigible whilst under the management of men, it
usually happens that Baboons are most effectually tamed and led to even
more than ordinary obedience in the hands of women, whose attentions
they often repay with gratitude and affection.”

There is another side to the picture, however, and probably about as
true. “Travellers sometimes speak of the danger which women run who
reside in the vicinity of the situation which these animals inhabit,
and affirm that the negresses on the coast of Guinea are occasionally
kidnapped by the Baboons; we are even assured that certain of those
women have lived among the Baboons for many years, and that they were
prevented from escaping by being shut up in caves in the mountains,
where, however, they were plentifully fed, and in other respects
treated with great kindness! It is to be observed, however,” writes
this author, “that these accounts rest upon authority which is by no
means unexceptionable; credible and well-informed modern travellers do
not relate them, and even their older and more credulous predecessors
give them only from hearsay.”

There is a curious connection between the growth of the hair on some
parts of Monkeys and their combative habits. Thus these Baboons
have a long mane, and that of the male is, of course, the longer;
and these are perhaps the only Apes which seize each other by the
nape of the neck with their long canine teeth, the males being the
fighters. The mane, then, is clearly of advantage. On one occasion
this propensity displayed itself on one of the higher animals who was
not thus protected, in an attack by a Baboon on one of the keepers at
the Zoological Gardens, the keeper unfortunately having no clothes
on the back of his neck to act as a mane. The man was stooping down,
when the Baboon suddenly pounced on him, and bit him most severely and
dangerously in this exposed spot. During this savage and unexpected
attack, the affectionate impulses of a little Monkey were of great use
and service, for, seeing its keeper in danger, it bit the brute, and
screamed in such a manner as to distract its attention, and to allow
the man to escape.

All the Chacmas, however, are not furiously jealous, or fighters, or
kidnappers of women, for many have excellent memories of kindnesses,
and do not fail to express their gratitude. Thus Sir Andrew Smith was
recognised by a Baboon at the Cape of Good Hope, with much evidence of
satisfaction, after he had been absent for nine months. The females
are also often very tender and affectionate. One of them, an old
female, adopted a little Rhesus Monkey, and took all sorts of care of
it; but when a young Drill and Mandrill were placed in the cage she
seemed to perceive that those Monkeys, though distinct species, were
her nearer relations, for she at once rejected the Rhesus, and adopted
both of them. The young Rhesus was greatly discontented at being thus
rejected, and it would, like a naughty child, annoy and attack the
young Drill and Mandrill wherever it could do so safely; this conduct
exciting great indignation in the old Baboon. Another female Baboon
had so capacious a heart that she not only adopted young Monkeys of
other species, but stole young Dogs and Cats, which she continually
carried about. Her kindness, however, did not go so far as to share
her food with her adopted offspring. An adopted kitten scratched this
affectionate and selfish old thing, who certainly had a fine intellect,
for she was much astonished at being scratched, and immediately
examined the kitten’s feet, and without more ado bit off the claws!

[Illustration: SKULL OF THE CHACMA.]

Le Vaillant in his African travels was accompanied by a Monkey, which
was probably one of these Chacmas. It lived on very good terms with
cocks and hens, thus disproving the antipathy which tradition has
handed down as existing between these very different creatures. He was
amused at the one, and stole the eggs of the other. In fact, he not
only tasted the eggs of his own accord, but was made to taste all sorts
of fowls and nuts for the benefit of the travellers, who feared being
poisoned. If this creature, which was called “Kees,” refused them, they
were left untouched by those who had a very sensible opinion of his
instinct. Besides being taster he was watch-dog. “By his cries,” writes
the traveller, “and other expressions of fear, we were always informed
of the approach of an enemy before my Dogs could discover it. They were
so accustomed to his voice, that they slept in perfect security, and
never went the rounds, on which account I was very angry, fearing that
I should no longer find that indispensable assistance which I had a
right to expect if any disorder or fatal accident should deprive me of
my faithful guardians. However, when he had once given the alarm, they
all stopped to watch the signal, and on the least motion of his eyes,
or the shaking of his head, I have seen them all rush forward, and run
far away in the quarter to which they observed his looks directed.
I often carried him along with me in my hunting excursions, during
which he would amuse himself climbing up the trees in order to search
for game, of which he was remarkably fond. Sometimes he discovered
honey in the crevices of rocks, or in hollow trees, but when he found
nothing, when fatigue and exercise had whetted his appetite, and when
he began to be seriously oppressed with hunger, a scene took place
which appeared to me exceedingly comic. When he could not find game or
honey, he searched for roots, and ate them with relish, especially one
of a particular species, which, unfortunately for me, I found excellent
and very refreshing, and which I wanted greatly to partake of. But
Kees was very cunning. When he found any of this root, if I was not
near him to claim my part, he made great haste to devour it, having
his eyes directed all the time towards me. By the distance I had to go
before I could approach him he judged of the time that he had to eat it
alone, and I indeed arrived too late. Sometimes, however, when he was
deceived in his calculation, and when I came upon him sooner than he
expected, he instantly endeavoured to conceal the morsels from me; but
by means of a blow well applied I compelled him to restore the theft;
and in my turn becoming master of the envied prey, he was obliged to
receive laws from the offended party. Kees entertained no rancour or
hatred, and I easily made him comprehend how detestable was that base
selfishness of which he had set me an example. To tear up these roots
Kees employed an ingenious method, which afforded me much amusement.
He laid hold of the tuft of leaves with his teeth, and pressing his
four paws firmly against the earth, and drawing his head backwards, the
root generally followed. When this method did not succeed, he seized
the tuft as before, as close to the earth as he could, then throwing
his heels over his head, the root always yielded to the jerk he gave
it. In our marches, when he found himself tired, he got upon the back
of one of my Dogs, which had the complaisance to carry him for whole
hours together. One only, which was larger and stronger than the rest,
ought to have served him for this purpose; but the cunning animal well
knew how to avoid this drudgery. The moment he perceived Kees on his
shoulders, he remained motionless, and suffered the caravan to pass on,
without ever stirring from the spot. The timorous Kees still persisted;
but as soon as he began to lose sight of us he was obliged to dismount,
and both he and the Dog ran with all their might to overtake us. For
fear of being surprised, the Dog dexterously suffered him to get before
him, and watched him with great attention. In short, he had acquired an
ascendency over my whole pack, for which he was perhaps indebted to the
superiority of his instinct; for among animals, as among men, address
often gets the better of strength. While at his meals Kees could not
endure guests; if any of the Dogs approached too near him at that time,
he gave them a hearty blow, which these poltroons never returned, but
scampered away as fast as they could. It appeared to me extremely
singular, and I could not account for it, that next to the Serpent,
the animal which he most dreaded was one of his own species; whether
it was that he was sensible that his being tamed had deprived him of
great part of his faculties, and that fear had got possession of his
senses, or that he was jealous and dreaded a rivalry in my friendship.
Sometimes he heard others of the same species making a noise in the
mountains; and notwithstanding his terror, he thought proper, I know
not for what reason, to reply to them. When they heard his voice they
approached; but as soon as he perceived any of them he fled with
horrible cries; and running between our legs, implored the protection
of everybody, while his limbs quivered through fear. We found it no
easy matter to calm him; but he gradually resumed after some time his
natural tranquillity. He was very much addicted to thieving, a fault
common to almost all domestic animals; but in Kees it became a talent,
the ingenious efforts of which I admired, and notwithstanding all the
correction bestowed on him by my people who took the matter seriously,
he was never amended. He knew perfectly well how to untie the ropes of
a basket to take provisions from it; and, above all, milk, of which
he was remarkably fond; more than once he has made me go without any.
I often beat him pretty severely myself; but when he escaped from me,
he did not appear at my tent till towards night.” “Milk in baskets!”
why truly the term “basket,” as applied to a vessel for holding milk,
appears to require some explanation; but it was really carried in
baskets woven by the Yonaquas, of reeds so delicate and so close in
texture that they might be employed in carrying water or any liquid.
The abstraction of the milk may be considered as a kind of set-off
against the appropriation of Kees’s favourite root by his master. The
pertinacious way in which Kees bestrode Le Vaillant’s Dogs will recall
to the remembrance of some a Monkey that was, and perhaps still is,
riding about London in hat and feather, with garments to match, upon a
great Dog, with the usual accompaniment of hand-organ and Pan’s pipe.
Upon these occasions the Monkey evidently feels proud of his commanding
position; but ever and anon we have seen him suffer from one of those
sad reverses of fortune to which the greatest among us are subject. In
the midst of the performance, while the organ and pipe are playing,
and the Monkey has it all his own way, and, elevated with the grandeur
that surrounds him, is looking in a supercilious manner at the admiring
crowd, some good-natured but unlucky boy throws the Dog a bit of cake,
in his zeal to pick up which the latter lowers his head and shoulders
so suddenly as infallibly to pitch his rider over his head. We have
thought more than once that there was a sly look about the Dog as he
regarded the unseated Monkey, utterly confounded by his downfall, and
the accompanying shouts of laughter from the bystanders.

The Pig-tailed Baboon being very clever, very agile, and able to use
his jaws admirably in digging, eating, and fighting, should have a good
skull, and certainly that of an adult, although useful is extremely
ugly. The brain-case is even for a Baboon small in comparison with the
rest of the skull, and it is hidden in front by the large prominences
over the orbits; it swells out behind, and is marked by a side crest,
which passes backwards to meet that of the other side from above
each ear. The orbits are separated by a straight (vertical) ridge of
bone, which gives a curious look to the face, and makes the eyes look
straight to the front along the swollen nose. The openings for the
nostrils in the skull (anterior nares) are large and rather oval, and
the upper jaw is as it were nipped in above the grinders, and then
swollen out above. The long nose bones (nasals) are separated by a
slight depression from the great ridges of the upper jaw. The huge
upper canine teeth are most extraordinary. They are slim, slightly
curved, long (1½ inch), and sharp at the tip; when examined they
are almost rapier-shaped or triangular in outline, the front of the
triangle is grooved, and the back is a sharp cutting edge. The groove
is for the top of the lower canine which works into it, and the sharp
edge behind cuts upon the tooth in the lower jaw behind the lower
canine (the first pre-molar), pushing it backwards and displacing it.
These fangs are very terrible to look at, and yet it appears that their
principal work is done with the back edge of the upper one grinding
and cutting on the curiously-started tooth of the lower jaw. They are
capital holders, root-cutters, and nut-crackers.


There is nothing much more amusing than to see a young Sphinx Baboon
just a little irritated by some one who knows him. They are fine
large creatures even when young, and have then an amiable expression
of countenance, which they lose with the cares of old age. Greatly
resembling the young of the Chacma, they have much the same disposition
for play, and can be made a little jealous and fierce. Their colour
differs, for their black face is encircled by a dark hair with a
decided greenish tint, which is very universal, and upon this they
appear to be arranged as different in kind. One in the Zoological
Gardens was very active, running on all-fours well, and climbing up
the wires of his cage to look at his neighbours. He would come to
the side, and on being asked whether he would have a scratch, turned
round and placed his back at the disposal of the scratcher, whose
operations he much enjoyed; moreover, he put out his hands and feet
for examination, and was very quiet. But he had a trick which was not
only curious but instructive, as it explained how these Baboons can
throw stones, and with good aim. Somebody who knew him came to see
him with a lady and offered him a greengage, and when he was about to
take it, pretended to give it to her. This excited the indignation of
the Sphinx, who trotted off to the further end of his cage and seized
a tin pot, which sometimes contained food or water. Taking it in both
hands he ran towards the lady and threw it forcibly, and in a good
line, at her. He followed his pot, and as it came back by rebounding
from the wires he escaped it by straddling his legs. Then he came to
the side and scolded much, and looked much put out. He soon forgave the
injury, and submitted to having his back scratched with pleasure. Then
the greengage was offered again, and before he could take it the fruit
was presented to a Baboon in the next compartment. This led to the
same result--a rush off to the end of the cage, a rummage for the pot,
and a very good throw with both the hands. At length, when he had the
fruit given to him he was perfectly content. His looks at the lady were
certainly cross and angry enough. Evidently there is a good power of
aiming, and as the object is thrown as the Baboon is moving it receives
a considerable impetus.

The Sphinx Baboon, or _Cynocephalus sphinx_, inhabits Guinea, and is
commonly seen in menageries, and stuffed in museums. As old age comes
on its character alters as well as its aspect of countenance; it ceases
to be familiar and becomes morose and ferocious. The skull of the
Sphinx Baboon resembles, to a certain degree, that of the Hamadryas
Baboon, but the orbits are decidedly oblique. There is the same filling
up of the upper jaw-bones, and the cheek-bones do not project very much.


These Baboons live a very peculiar life in the neighbourhood of Angola,
a Portuguese settlement on the western coast of Africa. Instead of
delighting in the dense woods and glades of the tropical country close
by, where fruit, nuts, and roots exist in vast abundance, and where
water is most plentiful, they prefer to inhabit a hilly district which
is much cut up in all directions by deep dry gullies, and grand rocky
ravines. The country is badly supplied with vegetation, and water is
very scarce. There are a few prickly shrubs, a few roots of grass, and
certain kinds of thick club-stemmed dwarf shrubs all bearing a few
leaves, only during the few months of the year in which rain falls.
During the rest of the year nothing is seen but bare rock and scorched
leafless firewood. At distances far apart, water only exists in deep
dry gullies under the sand. In the neighbourhood of the rivers on that
part of the coast vegetation is most luxuriant, but the Monkeys prefer
the arid country, living principally on the root and stem of one of the
most extraordinary plants in the world--the Welwitschia.


The dog-like jaws of these Apes are very useful in gnawing the exposed
roots of these plants, and they manage to nibble them just as a Sheep
does a turnip. When thirsty they seek for water, and in company with
Zebras and other animals excavate or scrape holes in the sand until it
is found over the hard sub-rock.

They are very wary, and usually assemble in troops of fifteen or more,
and when they move about they send forward one or two who act as
scouts, and give signals to the main body about what is going on in
front. Some time since a man opened a well at some copper-mines on the
hills, and he soon found that the Baboons knew what he had done, for
they came down to drink in bodies of thirty or forty.

They run very fast and on all-fours in a kind of sideway gallop, and
the little ones ride on the backs of their dams, holding very tight and
safely. It appears that there is some discipline going on amongst them
when they are in bodies, for if a scout should happen not to signal
danger or whatever is interesting to the whole band, the rest set upon
him, and give him a good thrashing.

Some similar or perhaps the same kind of Baboon lives a more pleasant
life than these in another district in the neighbourhood of Angola.
There are some most extraordinary rocks which are situated some two
hundred or more miles in the interior, and were mentioned more than
two centuries ago in the books of missionaries and other travellers as
great wonders of nature. They are the Black Rocks of Pungo Andongo.
These rocks, rising on the outskirts of a district celebrated for its
marvellous fertility and richness of vegetation, are arid-looking on
the top, and dark, partly from the natural tint of the stone which is
composed of gneiss. They encircle a valley, and extend over about ten
square miles, being rugged, or in the form of gigantic pillars. Sloping
away from the valley region with its great forests, they present
precipitous sides towards it, and are broken up by ravines.

At first sight the stone of the precipices appears to be sterile or
poor in vegetation, but the nearer the margin of the high land is
approached the more luxuriant it becomes, the more flowery the open
fields, and the more numerous the crystal brooks. Cultivation goes on
here, and grain is carefully sewn, maize especially. In other parts
of the valley a dense dark-green primeval forest reaches close to
the precipitous and partly sterile walls of rock. The upper part of
the precipices and rocks is, however, bare of any shrub or tree-like
vegetation, and looks arid enough during the greater part of the year.
Now all this is of great importance to the Baboon. He lives on the top
of the rocks in hollows and under ledges of stone, and safely placed
there in inaccessible places, he surveys the fertile scene below him,
and selects the choicest of the fields for the supply of his food.
Probably there would be no such oasis in the country were it not for a
very curious plant which really gives the name to the “Black Rocks,”
and which clothes the hills during the wet season. And if there were
no fertile valley the Baboon would certainly not be found in this
district. As the wet season progresses, the hills look blacker and
blacker, their ruggedness disappears, and even the sterile faces of
the precipices grow dark, and the vegetation of the valley appears to
crowd up their slope. All this alteration is produced by the vigorous
and indeed enormous growth of a singular plant called Scytonema. It
retains much moisture within its tangles, and long after the rains
have ceased to be felt and to influence the vegetation of the valley,
the aridity of the district is antagonised or put off for a while
by this interesting property. The Scytonema selects the bare rocks
for its favourite locality, and these surround the valley with its
teeming vegetation as with a great sponge, whose moisture prolongs
the weeks of plant life and of active growth, and adds to a wonderful
fertility. With plenty of running water, abundance of food, and a very
safe shelter, the Baboons have great cause to thank the Scytonema.
They flourish amongst the rocks, and are a terrible scourge to the
inhabitants of the valley. Their cunning and boldness are remarkable,
and are increased by their numbers. After surveying the growth of
the choicest fields of Indian corn they assemble in great troops and
destroy entire plantations in a single night.


There is a Baboon which is much more commonly seen in menageries on the
Continent than any other, and which is kept by the Arabian and Egyptian
jugglers; yet it is by no means satisfactorily made out whether it is a
particular species or only the young or even adult form of some one of
those already described. It has a name, however, which ought to leave
the identity of the creature in no doubt--it is the Common Baboon, or
_Cynocephalus papio_. If it really comes from all the places whence
it is said to be derived it lives over a vast district, and is to be
found on the west or Guinea Coast inland, in Abyssinia, and on the
Nile further north. Sir John Kirk found them in Zambesia in Eastern
Equatorial Africa, and was told that the natives held them as sacred,
and preserved them, calling them “Nyam” and “Manganja.” But probably
the specimens from Guinea are these of the Sphinx Baboon, those from
Abyssinia are the females of the Hamadryas or of Geladas and possibly
there may be some in this district which really are true Papio Baboons.

They are very common in the half wild and tame condition; and as they
often have to take care themselves in the midst of a very restless and
half-starving set of men, their senses become sharpened, and their
intelligence becomes exalted in a most curious manner. But nothing is
known of them in the wild state.

They are large animals, and their hair is of a uniform yellowish-brown
colour, slightly shaded with sandy or light red tints. The whiskers are
of a light fawn colour, and the face, ears, and hands and naked and
black; the upper eyelids are white and naked, and the tail is about
one-half the length of the body, but it has no tuft. They have no
mane, and the muzzle is not so prolonged as in the Hamadryas and Chacma
Baboons; nevertheless, the cheeks are rather swollen, and in this there
is a faint resemblance to the Mandrill, but they are not coloured, and
the muzzle is thin beyond them, and as it were truncated. The ears are
visible, and are black and hairless, but are somewhat pointed. All the
underneath of the body and the under part of the limbs are covered with
hairs of a brown colour. Some are of a greenish hue, and the hairs are
not of one colour.

Buffon had one that was full grown, and it was as savage as well could
be. It exhibited all the ferocity of disposition and intractability of
nature common to the rest of its kind when full grown “It was not,”
says he, “altogether hideous, and yet it excited horror. It appeared
to be continually in a state of savage ferocity, grinding its teeth,
perpetually restless, agitated by unprovoked fury. It was obliged to
be shut up in an iron cage, of which it shook the bars so powerfully
with its hands as to inspire the spectators with apprehension. It was a
stout-built animal, whose nervous limbs and compressed form indicated
great force and agility; and although the length and thickness of its
shaggy coat made it appear to be much larger than it was in reality,
it was nevertheless so strong and active that it might have readily
resisted the attacks of several unarmed men.”

But although thus ferocious in old age, they are amusing, tractable,
teachable, and even affectionate when young; they know and like their
master, are orderly when with him, can be taught all sorts of tricks,
and they even like the young of other animals as pets. There are of
course all sorts of stories told about them, some of which are true,
for they were told by reliable naturalists from the results of their
own experience, but the majority have too much of the wonderful
in them, and are clearly the results of Eastern imaginations. A
distinguished naturalist and traveller took much pains with some
Baboons, and learned much of their habits and curious tricks, and
his first pupil was amusing enough. Of course Baboons differ like
higher animals in their temper and lightness of disposition; some are
grumpy and stupid, and others are as friendly and frolicsome as a
genially-disposed Dog. One of these last came into his hands, and was,
for a Baboon, quite amiable-looking, full of vivacity, and possessed of
a vast amount of animal spirits and talent for the mischievous. He had
a place set apart for him near one of the gates of the establishment in
Egypt, where he acted as a sort of watch-dog. This duty he performed to
perfection, and no one dared to attempt to enter without his leave. To
those whom he knew he was polite, but to all others he was quite the
reverse. Walking backwards and forwards in great ire when disturbed by
anybody unknown to him, he finally stood stiffly on three of his legs,
and hammered away at the floor with the knuckles of the other, just as
a man raps a table when in a pet. His eyes glared, and he gave tongue
in a fierce growling bark.

Sometimes he would put on a most enticing look, and seem most kindly
disposed, seeking as it were the friendly notice of people; then out
would come his hand for something nice to be given him, and if refused
all his good looks departed, and he behaved more like a devil than a
watch-dog, rushing at his enemy, and endeavouring to bite and scratch.
He was on good terms with all the animals of the neighbourhood, but
took a great dislike to some Ostriches which wandered about, and
often came close to him, not apparently that they were necessarily
unbeloved by Apes, but because they did him some very evil services
most unintentionally. He liked to get on a wall under a quantity of
straw, which protected him from the sun, and there he dozed away.
Now the Ostrich had a very bad habit of trying to swallow or peck
at everything; nothing comes amiss so that it can be swallowed; and
they one and all are constantly poking here and poking there for most
curious titbits. This was the case with the Ostriches in the Baboon’s
neighbourhood, and it now and then happened that as they were on the
search for a novelty they noticed his fine stout tail hanging from the
top of the wall. Of course the first Ostrich which was near gave it a
good peck with his strong beak, and doubtless a good pull also. This
was a most uncalled-for liberty, and not only woke up the sleeper,
and hurt him, but also offended his dignity. He awoke full of rage,
and before the Ostrich could give a second peck at the gristly morsel
the furious Baboon rushed from under the straw, seized his enemy by
the neck, and cuffed his head most soundly. He hated Ostriches ever
after. The same Baboon was taken on board a boat with the travellers,
and exhibited a great fear of the water. After a while he got a little
accustomed to it, and gradually was tempted to touch it. He used to
go the whole length of his cord, which kept him safe and sound, and,
clinging on, would just let one of his feet touch the glistening
surface, and drag through the water. This trick he used to do when he
was thirsty, for he sucked the water from off his foot.

He was very fond of young animals, and took upon himself the occupation
of nurse, whether the mothers liked it, or the little ones cared for it
or not. Thus, on once going through the streets of a town seated on the
baggage-wagon, the Baboon was tied fast by a good long cord, which gave
him much liberty. He saw by the side of the road a Dog with a litter
of puppies, and immediately darted off, caught up one of them, and
was returning before the mother had recovered from the shock produced
by his audacity. She rushed after him as he retreated with the little
puppy clasped to his bosom with one of his arms, and so vigorously
did she pursue that the Baboon was placed in difficulty, and had to
exercise all his resources to get out of her way with his charge. The
wagon was on the move, and the rope was at its fullest length, when
he suddenly took hold of it with the spare hand, and running himself
clear, and alighting on his hind legs, met the attack of the furious
Dog most bravely. So stoutly did he persist, that the natives rather
took his part, and he retained the little Dog. Afterwards his master
took it from him, and restored it, to his great disgust; and, indeed,
he was extremely offended, and was sulky and out of temper for long
afterwards. Doubtless, if some intelligent men, who were accustomed to
treat animals properly, would undertake the education of Baboons, they
would be successful to a considerable degree; and there is no reason
why they should not be as useful to man as the Dog. But they are teased
and worried into a premature and senile savageness when in captivity.

[Illustration: ANUBIS BABOON.]

One of the plans of teaching a Baboon to like his master is to keep
him constantly in the house where he is; the master feeds him, and is
kind and never teasing to him, giving him, however, friendly scratches
on the back, and having romps with him. Then, when he will answer
to some name or call, and has become familiarised with all around,
some one comes in with a whip and begins to talk loudly, and to
order the Baboon out of the place. The creature is frightened, and is
rather disposed to resist; whereupon the master makes his appearance,
and pretends to take his part by opposing the intruder with violent
gestures and threats, and making much of the poor brute. This has
usually an excellent effect, and produces satisfactory results, the
Baboon clinging henceforth to his friend. They are taught to help their
masters in conjuring and juggling, and do some tricks well.

[Illustration: COMMON BABOON.]

The skull of this Baboon has a face occupying about half of it, and the
brain case is much contracted behind and at the sides of the brows, and
is flattened behind and above, so that the top of the head and eyes
look pressed down. There is a ridge at the back of the skull extending
from each ear-bone to a little knot at the back part of the occiput.
All the back of the head is marked by the impression of the muscles
of the back and neck, and the space for the jaw muscles is large on
the side. Underneath, the skull is very long, there is the usual small
space for the opening of the nostrils into the throat, and the palate
is long and arched. In a specimen in the British Museum there is a
little hook of bone on one of the small hones at the base of the skull
(internal pterygoid bone), which is seen also in man, and it is for
a tendon of a muscle to pass around, the use of the muscle being to
render the soft palate tense. Why this should be so well grown in this
Baboon, whose voice is no better than others, is certainly strange. The
face is made broad near the eyes by the projecting cheek-bones, and
the orbits are broad, not widely open, and they are separated, as in
some of the other Baboons, by a part of the forehead bone (frontal),
and the upper part of the nose bones (nasals). The nostril opening is
very triangular, and on either side is the broad smaller surface of the
upper jaw-bone. The front bone of the upper jaw is very projecting. One
is struck with the huge chin of the lower jaw, and how slanting and
comparatively small are the jowl ends of it. Evidently from the great
breadth of the back of the lower jaw, and its roughness for muscular
attachments, it is a very strong one, the narrow part in front which
holds the teeth being well moved up and down, and side to side, in
biting and masticating.

Their hands are rather short, the fingers are black, and the third
and fourth are of the same length; they are strong and hold well, the
thumb, however, being of no very great assistance.



    The Second Division of the Baboons--THE MANDRILL--Easily
    Distinguished from the rest--Peculiar Appearance and Colour of
    the Face--The Cheek-ridges--Noticed by the Ancients--Brutality
    of its Disposition--“Jerry” at the Surrey Gardens--Their Wild
    State--Anatomical Peculiarities--The Back-bone and Liver--THE
    DRILL--Distinguished from the Mandrill--Probable Antiquity
    of these Baboons--Theories of their Relationship to other
    Animals--THE BLACK BABOON--Its Locality and Description--Probably
    a Forest Ape--General Summary of the Dog-shaped Quadrumana and
    Classification of the Group.


This large Baboon is the principal one with a very short stump of a
tail, and may be distinguished from all others, with and without long
tails, by the enormous swellings of its cheeks on each side of its
nose, and their odd colouring. In general shape it resembles the rest
of the genus, but perhaps its head and chest may be more bulky, and
its limbs shorter and stouter than the others, when it has attained
its full growth. A full-grown male measures five feet when standing
upright, and the colour of the hair is a light olive-brown above and
silvery-grey beneath, and the chin is decorated with a small pointed
yellow beard. It has a “brutus” in the form of a great tuft of hair on
the top of the head, Nature having brushed up the hair off the temples
and forehead upwards, in a peak-shaped ridge on the crown, giving a
triangular appearance to the whole. The ears are naked and pointed near
their tips, and their colour is bluish-black. The muzzle and the lips
are large, and as it were swollen and projecting, and the former is not
only long, but is surrounded above with an elevated rim or border, and
cut short or truncated like that of a Hog. But the most extraordinary
features of this ugliest of faces are the projections on each side of
the nose. These are formed by swellings of the cheek-bones along the
base of the great canine teeth, and the skin covering them is ribbed,
and has ridges which are alternately light blue, scarlet, and deep
purple in colour, contrasting strangely with the other tints of the
hair. To add to the strange look, the eyes are deeply sunken, and their
colour, a deep hazel, contrasts with a streak of vermilion, which
reaches down each side of the nose to the lip, and extends upwards
in the neighbourhood of the brows, which are large and “beetled.” A
forehead would clearly be out of place in such a brute, and therefore
it recedes rapidly above the eyes, and is lost in the great tuft of

The canine teeth are immense, and when the animal is enraged they and
the others are shown, their beautiful white colour contrasting with
the strange medley of tints around them. On the body the hair is very
bristly, but the hands and feet are naked, and as if to add to the
many peculiarities of the Mandrill, they are small in relation to the
vigorous-looking limbs and short chest.

So curiously decorated a brute living just outside the civilisation
of the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, was sure to attract notice,
especially as they were brought into Europe by the African merchants.
Aristotle appears to have been struck with the hog-like look of the
head, and he called it by the name of Hog-Ape (_Chœropithecus_), and
all writers, from the earliest to the latest, have contributed opinions
founded on very doubtful facts, to the detriment of its character. All
the iniquities, abominations, and scandals that have been coupled with
the Gorilla, Chimpanzee, and Orang-utan, are linked on fourfold to the
character of the ill-favoured Mandrill, and this is decided to be quite
correct by the natives of the Gold Coast and the inland regions, where
it lives a most dreaded and independent life.

There is no doubt that the Mandrill is extremely brutal in its adult
age, and that the males are ferocious and disgusting, there being no
particular choice as regards ugliness and oddity of decoration between
their faces and sterns, whose callosities are vast. But the young are
not so, and probably the quieter tints of the female are associated
with a gentler disposition. Both the young and the females have
shorter muzzles than the adult males, and they have neither the great
cheek-swellings nor the colouring of the face; in fact, it is only when
the great eye teeth are being cut by the males, as evidences of its age
and powers, that the irregular decoration begins to be noticed.

The question of the colouring and ornamentation of Monkeys will
again be noticed in the summary at the close of the description of
the Quadrumana, and it is therefore only now necessary to remark
that the most grotesque-looking and ferocious Mandrill is especially
beautiful in the eyes of his partner, who, with humble colours and
softened looks, admires her fractious spouse. His colours glow with
love and flame under the influence of passion, and probably no more
curious-looking piece of living polychrome was ever seen than “Jerry,”
at the Surrey Zoological Gardens, when he got in a rage after drinking
gin and water. “Jerry” was old and had gained all his ornaments, but
had lost his levity, fur, and amiability. Broderip writes of him: “He
liked the good things of Mandrill life, but would not put up with its
troubles. He was a glutton, and ferocious in the extreme. Most kindly
he would receive your nuts, and at the same time, if possible, would
scratch or pinch your fingers, and then snarl and grunt in senseless
anger. He would sit in a little arm-chair, and would wrap himself up
in a blanket, knowing what was coming, the bribe being either a cup of
tea, which he took, as people used to say, ‘quite like any Christian,’
or, what was much nicer in his eyes, a glass of weak grog and a pipe.
If he was disturbed in his enjoyment he was not pleasant, and if a
shower of nuts came in upon his feast, especially if it occurred after
the gin and water, he came out in his true colours. Cramming the nuts
into his mouth, and stowing them away rapidly in his cheek-pouches,
this giving an unusual size to his jaws, he would howl and march about,
snarling and grunting. His little eyes glared, his nose and cheeks
became swollen, and their colours most vivid. His hair stood out,
and he walked as it were on the very tips of his fingers and toes,
presenting every now and then vermilion behind, which a distinguished
French anatomist has said was not without elegance.”

He was under the control of the keeper, who had, however, to take
care that he was not bitten unawares, for “Jerry” was deceitful and
treacherous in the extreme. It is said that he once dined in the
presence of royalty, and that he was one of the many higher animals
who were invited to dine George the Fourth at Windsor when his Majesty
required novel amusements and unusual excitement. Doubtless he behaved
himself, and contributed as much, and probably more, than any guest,
to the royal enjoyment, and he appears to have enjoyed his hashed
venison himself. There was no mistake about his enjoying his pipe, for
he smoked as slowly and sedately as the gravest of his visitors at the
Zoological Gardens.

Had “Jerry” been let alone, and had he remained in Africa at liberty,
doubtless he would have in time headed his troops as patriarch and
watchman, and would have led them in many an expedition against the
fields of corn and the plantations of fruit-trees. For the Mandrills,
in a state of nature, behave much like the other Baboons. They are,
however, very fond of insects, large and small, inoffensive and
venomous, and they lift up stone after stone in their search for them,
enjoying Scorpions as much as anything else. Probably they can throw a
stone, and this, coupled with their aspect, their assembling in troops
to defy the farmers and watchers, and their attacking Dogs without
mercy, has given them the bad character in the eyes of the negro race
which they appear to have had from time immemorial. It is said that
they annoy the Elephants so much that they will not remain in the same
district; but it is doubtful whether the great proboscidean could
flourish where the Mandrill cares most to live, for he is neither a
forest nor a plain Ape, but, like the rest of the Baboons, travels far
and wide from his rocky home. They associate in bands like the other
Cynocephali, and behave as they do when plundering; but it appears
to be true that the Mandrills are often found in small numbers, and
that then they devote themselves to hunting for insects rather than to
predatory excursions. Very little is known about their habits in the
wild state in Africa, and it is evident that they are avoided rather
than watched by the Blacks.

[Illustration: MANDRILL.]

Although, from the scantiness of reliable information regarding their
habits when living at liberty, the Mandrill is of no great interest to
the ordinary naturalist, still, the comparative anatomist, having had
the advantage of dissecting both tame and wild specimens, considers
this Monkey, which is ordinarily placed last in the scheme of the
classification of the Old World kinds, of very great interest. For,
placed low down in the Monkey scale, and remote from the man-like Apes,
it approaches the flesh-eating animals, or Carnivora, in many points
of its construction, and, if not exactly, still approximately, and in
their general character.

[Illustration: YOUNG MANDRILL. (_From a Sketch at the Zoological

The back-bone, for instance, although its curves recall those of man,
is eminently that of the brute, that is to say, it greatly resembles
that of many kinds of quadrupeds. The pieces, or vertebræ of the back
(dorsal) have, of course, spines, but they do not slope backwards;
on the contrary, those of the last three are directed forward; and
the loin, or lumbar vertebræ, are six or seven in number, and there
is an arrangement by which their general strength is increased, by a
forking of the joint-bearing processes which unite them together by
the formation of a bony structure. These peculiarities connect the
Mandrill, whose common position is on all-fours, with the inferior
quadrupeds, for they exist in them. Then there is no true sacrum bone,
but two or three back pieces (sacral vertebræ), form a short conical
sacrum--one attached separately to the hip-bone on either side. This
is like the arrangement in the Carnivora. The hip-bones are long,
narrow, and deeply excavated behind, or rather externally; the front of
the bony girdle of the loins (the pelvis) is long; and the bones (the
ischial) on which the Mandrill sits are very broad and semicircular.
Now, these three apparently simple matters of anatomical detail are
not only of interest to those who recognise the analogies of the same
parts in different animals, for they relate to means, to ends, and
commend themselves to the consideration of ordinary observers. The
shape of the hip-bone on each side, so unlike that of man and the
man-like Apes, perhaps the Gibbons excepted, depends upon the relation
of the muscles which move the hind-quarters and their bones, and the
hollow in the hip is well filled up by those which pass backwards to
the thigh. The position of those muscles assists the motion of running
on all-fours and of springing. The length of the girdle (the front of
the pelvis or pubic bones) relates to the dimensions of the digestive
and reproductive organs. The large size of the haunch-bones, or rather
of their ends, is due to their being covered by the great pad-like hard
parts, or callosities, on which the creature sits very constantly.
Instead of having the soft muscles so familiar to the human anatomist
well and largely developed there, it has this mass of fat cellular
tissue and coloured skin attached to a curved bone, the whole being
a most comfortable seat, and very frequently used by this restless
Monkey. The bones of the tail are few in number, for it is short, but
the muscles which wag the organ in Monkeys, in which it is of some
size, are still present at its root. There is a capacious chest in the
Mandrill, but its bones, or rather the ribs which partly form it are,
as it were, pressed in at the sides, so that it is not round like that
of the higher Apes, but rather long and flat at the sides, and thus
resembles the chest of the Semnopitheci on the one hand, and that of
the lower four-footed animals on the other. It has good lungs and a
strong heart, and the intestines, stomach, and liver do not occupy as
much space relatively as in the genera of Monkeys already described.

There is a singular approach in the conformation of the fore hand to
the paw of the Carnivora, and a great departure, so far as resemblance
is concerned, from that of man in the Mandrill. It is produced by the
relative length of the bones which unite those of the wrist to those
of the fingers; for these so-called metacarpal bones, four in number,
leaving out that of the thumb, are of the same length, and not unequal,
as in the higher Apes and in man. Therefore, the middle finger of the
Mandrill is not longer than the others, and hence the peculiarity of
the hand as a whole. This is noticed in some Macaques to a certain

There is one anatomical peculiarity of the body which may also be
noticed, as it relates to the movements of the animals, and their
trotting and galloping on all-fours. The pieces of the back-bone in the
neck have processes which project outwards (transverse processes), and
in the Mandrill they have a triangular shape, and a ridge exists upon
them, which is the representative of a very distinct piece of bone in
most of the other Mammalia. Now, this structure appears to have to do
with the attachment of a muscle which is also present in the Macaques,
and which reaches from these transverse processes to the spine of
the blade-bone (scapula), and its duty is probably to draw this bone
forward, and to assist the fore limb in progression.[68]

Most of the peculiar muscular arrangements of the Cynomorpha previously
described are repeated in the Mandrill; but it has some which are of
much interest. Thus, the great chest muscle (pectoralis major), which
reaches in the higher Apes from the front of the chest to the upper
arm-bone, is very large in the Mandrill, and is divided into three
portions, and the great air sac of the neck projects between them.
There are also muscular fibres connected with the back, which assist
the animal in pulling back its upper arm, and they give force not only
to blows, scratchings, and tearings, but also velocity to the movements
of the whole limb in moving along the ground. Strangely enough, there
is a curious resemblance between the muscles of the thumb of the
Mandrill and of the Orang-utan, two of them being united together,
so as to give the thumb seven instead of eight; the tendons of these
muscles (the long adductor and the short extensor) remain, however,
separate. This is a part of the anatomy which recalls the corresponding
structures in the Carnivora, and indicates the restricted amount of
movement in the thumb of the lower Apes and Monkeys.

[Illustration: SKULL OF THE MANDRILL.]

Having a good digestion, the Mandrill has a tolerably large liver, but
it is separated into several lobes, or pieces, which are more in number
than those of the other genera; but as it is partly insectivorous in
its diet, there is no necessity for a very full-sized large intestine,
and this is not furnished with the appendix noticed in the man-shaped

Finally, as regards the skull, it may be said, that that of a large
adult Mandrill is the strongest created; so huge are the jaws, face,
teeth, and crest-ridges, that one wonders where its brain can be put
in life. The true brain-case is indeed small, and is encroached upon
inside by the back of the orbits, whence the eye looks out under the

The forehead bone is triangular-looking, and there is no ascending of
the forehead, the bone being, as it were, crushed flat, so as to make
a triangular space with the brows in front. Ridges exist on the sides
of this space, and pass backwards to the occiput, where they meet
side crests from the ear-bones. The occiput is stuck up in a singular
manner, and the surface of the bone is strongly marked by the muscles
which draw the head backwards. Of course the singular part of the skull
is the huge ribbed prominence of the upper jaw-bone on the side of the
nose, and the great upper canine teeth.


Very little is known about the habits of another Baboon which is
found on the coast of Guinea, and which is called the Drill. But
it has been described, drawn, and stuffed frequently, and has been
called Wood Baboon, the Cinereous Baboon, and the Yellow Baboon.
The natives evidently confound it with the young Mandrill; and as
it is good-tempered when young they capture specimens for European
menageries, where they are commonly to be seen. It appears to be a
modified Mandrill, like it in temper, and in its disagreeable adult
qualities; it has not, however, the grand coloration of the face,
although the prominences of the cheek-bones are present.

The Drill is smaller than the Mandrill, and has a short stumpy tail,
occasionally two inches in length, covered with bristly hair, and
ending in a brush. The colour of the hair is greener than that of the
Mandrill, and underneath it is whiter and more silvery, whilst there is
much light-brown hair on the upper parts of the limbs. It has whiskers,
which are brushed back, and a small orange-coloured beard; moreover,
the general tint of the skin beneath the hair is dark-blue, and the
dinginess is relieved by scarlet callosities.

The Baboons of Africa certainly lead very exceptional lives for
Monkeys. They are the Apes of the rock and plain, and they would be
out of place, on account of their method of moving and their general
habits, in the dense tropical forests and swampy jungle. Their
structure and general conformation are especially suited for their
mode of life, and their courage, numbers, and instincts avail them
against their common enemies--enemies which the contented dwellers in
the woods, such as the Troglodytes, have not. Probably the Baboons are
of vast antiquity, for the age of the African hills is great, even
geologically speaking. The tree disappears and the woods die away
sooner or later, whilst the rock merely crumbles. Certainly the life of
the Gorilla and other great Apes is intimately associated and connected
with the life of the great trees and the duration of the vast woods
of Equatorial Africa. Destroy them, and the days of the Troglodytes
would be at an end. But the rocks and hills are not so transient as
the woods, and the Baboon will exist long after the higher Apes are
extinct. Did he exist before them, and is he the link between them and
a still less monkey-like animal? These are questions whose import has
not escaped the active mind of one of the most eminent of anatomists,
for Gratiolet believes in the descent of the Gorilla from the Baboon,
and of course that the last preceded the first in time.

The possibility of the descent of the Cynocephali from a flesh-eater
only rests upon the resemblance of some of the structures of the
Mandrill, for instance, to those of some of the Carnivora. The dog-like
appearance of the Baboon of course depends upon its long snout and
jaws, but these are very different in their anatomy and construction
from those of the Dog. The Cynocephali (Baboons) are the lowest of the
Old World Monkeys, but their next-of-kin in the downward classification
are not now existing. They are more remote from the Lemurs, which come
next below as Quadrumana, than they are from the great Apes.

Hence the Baboon stands very much by himself. He may have possibly very
distant relationship with some long-lost forms--creatures which lived
geological ages since, and in which the ferocity of the Carnivora was
combined with some of the structures of the Monkey; or--and this is the
more probable--he may have once lived as a denizen of the forest, and
the symbol of Thoth may really have merited the name of Hamadryas. The
forest may have succumbed to changes in the physical geography, and the
survivors of the slow extinction of the trees had to lead different
lives and assume other habits. The Cercopitheci (the Guenons) may have
been the old forest Monkeys, and the Macaques, those half Baboons, may
be their modified descendants in a line which led to the true Baboon.
If this be true, the dog-like characters of the Cynocephali were given
by nature during their progressive alterations from the condition of
Tree Monkeys.


There is a small Baboon which is very interesting to the student of
the distribution of animals over the surface of the globe and to
geologists. It is jet-black in colour, there being hardly a trace of
dark-brown in its long hair, and hence it has been called the Black
Baboon, or _Cynocephalus niger_.

These animals are found in considerable numbers in the great island
of Celebes, situated in the sea between Australia and the mainland of
Asia, and they have been introduced by man into the Philippine Islands
and Batchian. They are, therefore, extra-African, but they are true
short-tailed Baboons, nevertheless.

The Black Baboon, when full grown, is about two feet in length, and the
tail measures about an inch. Its face and neck are not covered, but all
the rest of the body, the head, and the limbs, have a long black fur,
and the hair of the top of the head runs up into a tall long half-curl.
The face is long and very melancholy-looking, and the cheeks are
smaller, but coloured black on either side of the nose. But the nose
does not extend, like that of a Dog, quite to the end of the muzzle,
for the creature has a decided upper lip, and the division or septum
of the nostrils is long and rather broad, so that these openings look
downwards and outwards. The seat has a scarlet tint, and the tail is a
mere knob.

[Illustration: DRILL.]

Nothing is known about the wild habits of the Black Baboon, but it
appears to be a wood Ape, and it certainly has not the impudence or
the bold aggravating courage of the African Baboon in confinement.
They are frequently brought over to Europe, and may be watched in most
zoological gardens. They are capital climbers, but they like to remain
a great deal on the ground, sitting upright on their haunches in a very
sedate manner. Associating very well with other Monkeys, they appear
rather affectionate in disposition than otherwise, and may be seen
looking very quiet and stately whilst some more agile companion rubs
his face and lips against theirs, apparently to their gratification.
The distinction between the Black Baboon and the African kinds is
slight, and they all belong to the same genus,[71] and therefore must
have had a common parent in remote times. But the black one lives
far away in the Asiatic islands, surrounded by animals different
from those which live in Africa, many of which, nevertheless, have a
curious African look about them. Now, the geologist asserts that there
are proofs of the former connection by land of the mainland of Asia,
Hindostan, and Africa. The facts upon which this assertion is made
will be stated in several consecutive chapters of this work, and indeed
particular allusions to them from time to time will be inevitable.
It is only necessary to mention here that the separation of the two
great masses of land occurred about the time of the elevation of the
Himalayas as a mountain chain, and they are about as old as the Alps
of Europe. Hence the Baboons, found as they are in the separated
districts, existed as a united genus before those vast changes. If the
Black Baboon is a forest dweller--and there appears to be good reason
to believe that this is the case--there is something more than simple
conjecture in the suggestion that the whole of the Baboons once lived
in forest lands.

[Illustration: BLACK BABOON.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The Cynomorpha, or Dog-shaped Quadrumana, include the genera
Semnopithecus, Colobos, Macacus, and Cynocephalus, and their
distinctions and some of their anatomical peculiarities have been
noticed, and they may be summarised as follows:--As a group, the
Cynomorpha are more fitted for running on all-fours than for any other
method of progression, and their construction relates to that of such
running animals as the Cats as well as to that of the Monkeys. Thus the
arm-bone (humerus) is unlike that of the man-shaped Apes; it is bent so
as to be slightly convex forwards, and the top where the round joint
is--the head of the bone--look upwards and backwards, and not upwards
and inwards as it does in the Gorilla. The forearm bones, longer than
the arm-bone, are modified, and the most movable of them (the radius)
is so much jointed to the arm-bone that the power of moving the lower
part of the forearm upwards and downwards (of pronation and supination)
is much diminished. There is the extra bone in the wrist, making nine,
and one of the bones sticks out behind (pisiform), so as to form a kind
of heel to the hand. The thumb is complete except in the Colobi, but
it is short in proportion to the other fingers; and in some the third
and fourth fingers are equal in length, thus departing from the Ape,
whose third finger is always longest, resembling rather that of beasts
of prey. The blade-bone differs much from that of the Anthropomorpha,
being longer and narrower, and the portion above its spine, instead of
being large, as it is in such ponderous climbers, is small. All these
arrangements relate to the running on all-fours, the palms of the hands
being applied to the ground. Moreover, in order that the hand should
thus resemble a foot in its duties, some of its muscles simulate those
of the foot and fore-leg. Thus a muscle which extends the metacarpal
bone of the thumb (the bone between the wrist and the thumb under “the
ball”), and keeps the thumb flat on the ground in running, and tends
to pull it up, has a slip which is attached to the bone of the wrist,
called trapezium, and which is at the wrist end of the metacarpal bone.
It extends the wrist as well as the thumb. Now this is an arrangement
seen in the foot, where a muscle extends the great toe’s metacarpal
bone and the ankle bones also. In order to carry out this extension of
the fingers, so as to prevent downward bending (or flexing), they have
a complete double set of extensor muscles.

[Illustration: SKELETON OF THE MANDRILL. (From the _Cyclopædia of
Anatomy and Physiology._)]

All the Cynomorpha have the lifting muscle of the blade-bone; and the
muscle which pulls the elbow back and assists in climbing, both in the
Gorilla and its fellows, is present (the slip from the back to the
elbow, _Dorso-epitrochlearis_).

The nature of the spine and back-bone processes has been noticed in the
Mandrill, but it is necessary to state that the hip-and haunch-bones
are not closed in behind by a distinct sacrum, as is the case in the
Anthropomorpha. The arrangement in the Cynomorpha closely resembles
that of the great beasts of prey, but the haunch-bones are turned
out slightly so as to form a seat. There is considerable variation
in the number of the bones in the back and tail. With regard to the
hinder limbs, the thigh-bone has a round ligament at its joint with
the pelvis, and the shaft bends forwards, and when the animal is at
rest on all-fours the thigh projects forwards and downwards, thus
indicating the almost permanent position of this great bone in most
runners on all-fours, the Elephant being a remarkable exception. The
heel-bone is flat from side to side, and the toe-thumb, which reaches
about half way up the first joint of the next toe, has considerable
powers of motion, and can be struck out from the foot or be pulled
in. The climbing muscle exists (page 106), as does also the peculiar
stretching muscle of the little toe (abductor of the metacarpal bone).
A transversus pedis, already noticed, exists. As the fore-limb assists
greatly in locomotion, and much climbing is done by it, the “calf”
is not much required for the hind limbs; and one of the muscles of
it (the soleus) has a comparatively small surface of origin--from
the fibula alone. The great muscle of the back of the thigh, which
assists in the perfect erect posture and in the running also in man,
is incomplete in the Cynomorpha. Its fibres reach from the haunch-bone
to the small bone of the fore-leg in these last, but in man they
arise also all down the back of the thigh, and enable the knee joint
to be kept straight. All these Monkeys have a muscle on the sole of
the foot called the plantaris, but it is not seen in animals lower
in the scale than the Quadrumana; moreover, all the other muscles of
the sole are more isolated than in man, and consequently they produce
more distinct and separate movements of the toes, and especially in
the toe-thumb. The tail, so variable in its development, consists of
numerous bones, which are modified “back-bones,” or vertebræ, and in
some there are little bones which are under these, and arranged in a
rude V-shape, their office being to protect the blood-vessels which
are enclosed by them. The muscles and nerves of this tail are special,
and contribute to its different movements. The huge canine teeth and
the cutting first pre-molars have been noticed, and it only remains
to observe that the Cynomorpha have a first set of teeth (milk teeth)
which fall out gradually, and are replaced by the permanent ones. The
milk teeth consist of four incisors above and below, two pre-molars
above and below, and four true molars above and below, making twenty
teeth in all. All these animals, except the first two genera, have
simple stomachs, but the liver has several fissures in it in the
Baboons (as it has in the Gorilla), and but few in the Asiatic species
(as in the Orangs)--facts of no small significance, for it is very
probable that the Gorilla is one of the Baboon line, as the Orang is
one of the genealogical tree of a Semnopithecus. The brain exhibits all
the convolutions seen in the Anthropomorpha, but the very monkeyish
external perpendicular one is well marked. The little brain is not
uncovered by the brain proper, which is shortest in the Sacred Apes and
longest in the Baboons.

The description of the Cynocephali ends that of the Monkeys of the Old
World--The Catarrhini--and the whole of the group may be classified as




    _Sub-Family._--{1. Anthropomorpha.
                   {2. Cynomorpha.

    1. Anthropomorpha.

        Genus--Troglodytes.     Example--The Gorilla and Chimpanzee.

          „    Simia.              „     The Orang-utan.

          „    Hylobates.          „     The Gibbons.[72]

    2. Cynomorpha.

        Genus--Semnopithecus.   Example--The Entellus Monkey.

          „    Colobos.[73]        „      The Guereza.

          „    Cercopithecus.      „      The Guenons and Mangabeys.[74]

          „    Macacus.            „      The Magot.

          „    Cynocephalus.       „      The Baboons.[75]




    The Monkeys of the New World--How Distinguished from those of
    the Old--Their Division into Families--The First Family, THE
    CEBIDÆ, with Prehensile Tails--THE HOWLERS--Appropriateness of
    their Name--Where Found--General Description--THE YELLOW-TAILED
    HOWLER--Anatomical Peculiarities and Appearance of the Face--Other
    Members of the Family--THE BLACK HOWLER--Its Locality--THE
    Humboldt--Peculiarities of the Skeleton--THE SPIDER MONKEYS--Seen
    by Humboldt in the Brazilian Forests--Remarkable Power of the
    Tail--Flexibility of the Limbs--Conformation of the Brain--Other
    Species--THE COAITA--Curious Stories of them in Captivity--THE
    CHAMECK--THE BLACK SPIDER MONKEY--Its Geographical Range--Its
    CAIARÁRA--Observed by Bates on the Amazon--Other Varieties--THE
    BROWN SAJOU--THE CAPUCHIN SAJOU--Described by Brehm--Their
    Remarkable Dexterity and Cleverness--Diseases of Monkeys.

Not one of the numerous kinds of Monkeys which have been noticed in
the former chapters has ever been found in the New World--that is to
say, on the American continent. The converse is also true, for not one
of those which are about to be noticed, and which inhabit the tropical
parts of South and Central America, has been seen in any other part of
the world.

The two groups are not only distinct as regards their geographical
distribution, but they are also different in many very important
points of their construction and habits. It is evident that, although
it may be said that the resemblances between the Baboons, Macaques,
and Troglodytes, for instance, indicate some kind of relationship,
and suggest a community of origin, there is nothing of the sort to be
traced between any Old and New World Monkeys. They seem to have started
from different sources.

All the Monkeys of the New World have the partition between the
nostrils broad, and it separates them widely: they open as it were
sideways, and the whole of the lower part of the nose is flat. This
peculiarity has given the name to the group, as has been explained in
the first chapter, and it is accompanied by some others. Thus, with one
exception, the numerous genera of the New World Monkeys have the hinder
limbs the longest, and they are wont to go on all-fours, the erect
posture being only occasionally adopted by the Spider Monkeys. Their
thumbs differ less from the other fingers than do those of the Old
World Monkeys, and the toe-thumb is large and movable; no cheek-pouches
or callosities are seen in any of them, and only a few have air sacs.
It is usual to say that the American Monkeys are known by their
prehensile tails, but this is only true in part, for whilst some have
this member wonderfully developed and useful, others have it incapable
of holding on, whilst a few have barely a tail at all. The teeth are
more numerous than in the Apes and Monkeys of the Old World, in one set
of New World genera; and they are of the same number in another. In the
first instance, there are thirty-six teeth instead of the thirty-two
so frequently noticed hitherto, and in the last the thirty-two are
differently arranged to those possessed by the Old World kinds. For
example, in the prehensile-tailed Howlers, there are thirty-six teeth,
or one extra tooth in each jaw and on both sides, over and above the
usual thirty-two; and this tooth is a false molar, or one of those
between the true grinders and the canine teeth. There are thus three
false molars instead of two, as in the Old World kinds, on each side in
both jaws.

In the Marmosets, which have only thirty-two teeth, there are only
two back grinders in each jaw on each side instead of three, as in
the Old World Monkeys, but there are three pre-molars in each jaw on
each side. All these distinctions are useful in the classification of
these American Monkeys, and therefore they have been divided into two
families, one having thirty-six and the other thirty-two teeth, and the
first family has again been subdivided into the genera with prehensile
tails and those without them. The first to be described are the Cebidæ,
and this family contains--first, the genera with thirty-six teeth and
with prehensile tails; second, the genera without prehensile tails and
the same number of teeth.

[Illustration: GROUP OF HOWLERS.]


Although articulate speech is denied to the Monkey world, many have
very extraordinary voices, the capacity for making a noise being great
in them. Thus, the Gorilla has a tremendous voice, and the Gibbons
are especially noisy, one of them having been noticed (page 77) to be
able to emit something like a series of musical notes. But they are
all silent in comparison with the noisiest of all Monkeys--the South
American Howlers. The females of this group can make a moderate amount
of disturbance, but the males surpass every animal in their prolonged
and sustained yelling. Their howlings, commencing often suddenly at
the close of day or in the middle of the night, amongst the strange
stillness of the great virgin forests, appal the traveller on his first
visit. “Nothing,” says Waterton, speaking of the Red Howler, “can
sound more dreadful than its nocturnal howlings. While lying in your
hammock in those gloomy and immeasurable wilds you hear him howling at
intervals from eleven o’clock at night till daybreak. You would suppose
that half the wild beasts of the forest were collecting for the work of
carnage. Now it is the tremendous roar of the Jaguar as he springs on
his prey; now it changes to his deep-toned growlings as he is pressed
on all sides by superior force; and now you hear his last dying moan
beneath a mortal wound.” Humboldt and Bonpland landed at Cumana, and
travelled towards the celebrated cavern of Guacharo, and they saw and
heard the Howlers often; and on getting into a cold district their
horrible din became worse, and was heard at a distance of two miles.
This was near the convent of Caripé, which is more than 4,000 toises
(a toise being rather more than our English fathom) above the sea,
and where the nights are cold. The animal clearly has earned its
appellation of the Howler, and might properly have been called Stentor,
as was proposed by a distinguished French zoologist. Stentor was a
Greek, whose voice was louder than that of fifty men. But Illiger,
probably familiar with the writings of the learned Apuleius--that
student of Carthage and Athens who married a rich Roman widow, and was
therefore accused of witchcraft, and who wrote the “Golden Ass,” a book
singularly applicable to modern society--called the Howler after the
word _Mycetias_, an earthquake with a hollow bellowing noise. The word
is from μύζω (to moan). An old writer (Margrave) wrote in his Natural
History of Brazil, in 1648, that all the Howlers assembled in the
morning and evening in the woods, and that one takes his place on a
tree high up, and motions to his companions to sit down and listen,
and then, after having seen them all seated, commences his discourse,
pitched at so high a key that at a distance one would imagine that all
the congregation were joining in. But this is not the case; only one
orator is allowed to speak at a time, and all the rest wait politely,
but not very patiently. When he has had enough howling he motions to
the whole, who burst out into a fine chorus for some time. Then, by
order, they all cease, and the first recommences, and after having been
listened to with due attention the whole depart. What the noise must
be sometimes, if they all join in, may be gleaned from the fact that
Humboldt saw the trees crammed with them, and believed that more than
2,000 may be found in a square league.

It really does occur that when there is an assemblage of these
Monkeys--for instance, of the _Mycetes Caraya_--when the weather is
warm and open, they make the forests resound in the morning and evening
with their overwhelming voices. The males begin the dreadful concert,
in which the females, with their less powerful voices, sometimes join,
and which is often continued for several hours. It does not appear that
any especial cause induces them to begin their noise, and probably
they do it because it pleases them, as the birds do in their prolonged
songs. Mr. Darwin suggests very forcibly that the females are pleased
or attracted by it, liking (as in higher animals) the loudest and most
intolerable of the noise-makers best. Hence one Howler is, of course,
always trying to outdo the others. But it is true that some Howlers
live in pairs and indulge in their vocation all the same. Wallace,
however, states that the females do not join in the noise, and that the
howling is made before bad weather, and in the evening.

These Howlers are the largest of the Monkeys of the New World, some
being nearly three feet in length, without counting the long prehensile
tail; they have movable thumbs on their hands, a hairless space
underneath the tip of the wonderful tail, and the howling apparatus in
the throat.

They have rather tall heads, with beard and large lower jaws, which,
with a thickness about the throat, give the appearance of an unusual
swelling being there, the cause of which will be noticed further on.
Some have long and others short fur, but generally there is much of
it about the head (where it is brushed forwards) and neck. Black and
red are favourite colours, and the young of both sexes differ often in
their tints from the adults, and so do the males from the females. One
kind in particular is decidedly coloured.


The last half of the tail of this species is of a brilliant golden-fawn
colour, and this tint is on the upper parts of the body nearly up to
the shoulders; the rest of the tail is light maroon, and what remains
of the body is dark maroon, there being a violet tint in the limbs.

Besides its colours this kind presents some points of interest. They
live in companies, and when they pass from one tree to another they all
play at follow-my-leader exactly. They watch the movements of those
which precede them, jump in the same manner, and at the same place, and
even place their feet and hands on the same spots on the boughs. They
are found in Columbia and New Granada, and in Brazil on the confines of

The limbs of all the Mycetes are long, and whilst there is a good
toe-thumb to the foot, the very best of the hand-thumbs is not equal
to those of the Monkeys of the Old World. The nails on the fingers and
toes are compressed from side to side, as it were, and begin to look
like claws.

Ogilby, an admirable observer, noticed years ago that two Howlers
did not use their hands so as to take things between the thumb and
forefinger, and he ascertained that this thumb was so much on a line
with the other fingers that it was not opposable in the ordinary sense
of the word, and that it was more like an extra finger than a thumb.
This, he noticed, was not the case with the Howlers alone, but that it
peculiarised the Monkeys of the New World. The examination of their
skeletons shows that the bones of the thumb are on the same plane or
level as the fingers, and the whole is brought close to the fingers, as
our great toe is to the other toes. Nevertheless, this thumb can move
to and from the fingers.


But if the fore-hand so greatly resembles a paw, compensation is
made to the animal by the gift of the prehensile tail, which is very
muscular, and the under surface is without hair near the end, so that
the sensitive surface can touch and feel objects. They can feel,
therefore, around them, and also above them, as they move along and
lay hold of branches and hanging creepers without looking for them.
The delicate sense of feeling depends on the nervous supply; and the
power of clasping and holding on upon the bending or flexor muscles. A
bony framework supports all these structures, and runs from the last
bone of the sacrum to the tip, and consists of many separate vertebral
bones placed in a long series. The first few bones which join on to the
sacrum, and form the root of the tail, resemble the back-bone pieces,
or vertebræ, to a certain extent. Each has a body, and also processes
for jointing with the one before and behind, and a spine also. Besides
these, there are two curious projections on the lower part of each
body, which are called chevron bones, and are V-shaped, and their use
is to allow the blood-vessels and nerves to pass along between them
without being pressed upon. Towards the end of the tail the vertebræ
become long and stout, and are united behind and in front, forming a
broad bone, and without the joints, and the chevron bones are reduced
to little rounded pieces of bone. Everything tends in this tail to
ready, rapid, and forcible motion, and indeed so perfect an organ is it
that when one of these Howlers is shot it always hangs to the tree by
its tail, even if quite dead, and does not fall down until some hours
afterwards, when the strong flexor muscles have relaxed. Therefore,
writes a recent author, if fresh food is required, it is best to kill
a Lagothrix (see page 171) in the Peruvian valleys, as hung meat
soon becomes tainted. The Golden Howler, nevertheless, furnishes the
principal animal food to the inhabitants of the banks of some of the
rivers entering the Peruvian Amazon. They keep to the low lands and
shores of the rivers, and are found moving from place to place in pairs.


(From the _Cyclopædia of Anatomy and Physiology._)]


The head of this and all other Howlers has a large black face, and a
high receding forehead; the chin recedes much, and there is a great
jowl produced by the large bones of the lower jaw. There is a curious
swelling at the back of the orbit; and the part of that cavity for the
eye which joins the cheek-bone has a round hole in it, as if it had
been made by a gimlet. It has two nose or nasal bones, which remain
separate, and the forehead (frontal) bone goes so far back that it
joins the side (parietal) bones of the skull in a V-shaped suture, or
union, and there is not much back to the brain-case, which is depressed
in shape, on the whole. They are vegetarians, and yet have very decided
canine teeth, those of the upper jaw being large, and they project
downwards much lower than the other teeth; and the large lower jaw has
evidently quite as much to do with the howling apparatus as with the
teeth, for it opens out behind to admit of the great bone of the tongue
moving readily within its boundaries.

This Howler, like all the others, has good lungs, and a windpipe
ending, as usual, in the larynx and its thyroid cartilage (see page
22), as in other Monkeys. The bone at the base of the tongue (the
hyoid) is attached to this cartilage, as usual, by a membrane, and
instead of being a flat curved bone with two projections on each side,
called horns, is swollen out into a bag shape, the horns being very
small. The bone in other animals is at the base of the tongue, and
this is the case in the present instance, although it is so large, the
inside of the hollow being able to contain four cubic inches of water.
Now, the air from the upper part of the windpipe can get into this
cavity, as there is an opening between it and the upper part of the
larynx. Hence the same noise is produced as if the animal howled into a
resonant shell.

[Illustration: BRAIN OF THE HOWLER.]

In order to strengthen the voice, the cartilage of the larynx itself
is large and strong, and the so-called ventricles of it are enlarged
into air sacs, and they unite in front of the “Adam’s apple.” Besides
these there are other sacs connected with the gullet. So that the whole
of the front and sides of the neck below and between the sides of the
lower jaw are complicated by air sacs and resounding chambers. The
breast-bone of the Howler differs in certain respects from that of
all other Monkeys, for its upper bone (manubrium) is halved, and each
half supports the end of the collar-bone and first rib. Possibly the
resulting space may have something to do with the air sacs.


The possessor of these curious appendages, whatever Howler it may
be, for all the species of the genus have them, is active enough in
his woods, but still is a sad-looking animal, much given to crawling
listlessly from branch to branch, and becoming melancholy in captivity.
They have a surly disposition, are never to be made pets of, and are
savage; while at the same time they show none of the lively play which
makes the Spider Monkeys and little Sapajous so very amusing. Possibly
their howling exhausts much of their nervous energy, and certainly
their brains are peculiar. The back, or occipital part of the brain,
does not cover the cerebellum, or little brain, which is large in
proportion to the rest. The brain is small in comparison with those of
the other American Monkeys, due allowance being made for the greater
size of the Howler; and its surface markings or convolutions are few
and simple.

There is much less brain-matter packed up in folds, or convolutions,
than in most Monkeys, and some of the most important are wanting
(the angular and external perpendicular), and it has a shrunken and
contracted look. Everything shows a low condition of intelligence and
mental power. The absence of so much brain-matter behind, so unusual
amongst the Monkeys, has suggested to those who believe in phrenology
that the bump of philo-progenitiveness was absolutely deficient in
this species. But in spite of this, we find that the Howlers are kind
to each other, and bring up their solitary little ones, teaching and
feeding them with just the same amount of affection that all the other
New World kinds display. So the love of offspring is not deficient;
nevertheless, it may be assumed that the sameness of habits and the
slight requirements of their lives render a more elaborate brain

Finally this and all the Howlers have the stomach a little disposed to
be arranged as more than one single sac, and in this there is just the
hint of the condition in the Semnopitheci of the Old World.


These Monkeys are called the Monos by the natives of Guatemala, and
certainly deserve some other name than Howlers. Howling is a moderate
noise in comparison with the loud, widely-heard yell which they can
produce. The effect of these noises when produced by four or five
animals trying their voices one against the other in the quiet forest
is most remarkable and unpleasant. Salvin thus writes:--“The wonderful
cry whence Mycetes gets its trivial name of Howling Monkey is certainly
most striking, and I have sometimes endeavoured to ascertain how far
this cry may be heard. It has taken me an hour or more to thread the
forest undergrowth from the time the cry first struck my ear to where,
guided by the cry above, I stood under the tree where the animals were.
It would certainly not be over-estimating the distance to say two
miles. When the sound came over the Lake of Yzabal unhindered by trees,
a league would be more like the distance at which the Monos’ cry could
be heard.”

[Illustration: CAPARRO, OR HUMBOLDT’S LAGOTHRIX. (From the _Proceedings
of the Zoological Society_.)]

The Monos are abundant throughout the forests of the eastern part of
Guatemala, but are unknown in the forest-clad regions which stretch
toward the Pacific Ocean. They are particularly plentiful in the
unbroken forest country which occupies the northern part of Vera Paz,
for seldom an hour passes without the weird outcry falling on the ear
of the traveller even when at the height of 6,000 feet. At this height
in a cold and damp region, where the forest trees are of the largest
growth, these Howlers congregate in the upper branches of the highest
trees. Living in small companies of five or six, they crawl sluggishly
along the boughs when disturbed. It was from such a locality that
those specimens of this species were found which are now in the British
Museum. The animals afford a dark and not very nice meat, which is
readily eaten by the Indians. The young as well as the females are of
the same dense black colour as the old males, but the hair is shorter
and not so glossy. All have the hair of the front part of the head long
and soft, and inclined forward over the forehead nearly to the eyes.
There are ten species of Howlers, and they are found in the forests
covering the country from East Guatemala to Paraguay.


Humboldt, in one of his geographical excursions amongst the great
streams which feed the Orinoco, went far up towards their sources.
Going once into an Indian cabin in those remote regions he saw a large
Monkey, of a kind which he had never seen before. He named it, after
the words of the natives, “The Caparro,” and from its having a peculiar
furry skin which reminded him of the familiar hare-skin of home, he
termed it Lagotriche, from λαγώς (a hare), and θρίξ, τριχός (hair, or
fur), and thus arose the genus about to be described.

Humboldt’s new Monkey had a prehensile tail which was longer than the
body, and underneath, close to the tip, there was a naked and sensitive
spot of some length. It had a round and large head, a naked black face,
but no beard. There were, however, smellers or long hairs around the
mouth. It had long limbs and a shortish body, whose fur was long and
sable-grey in colour. A good temper and a quiet disposition appeared to
characterise this Monkey, and the natives said it was found in troops,
and that it often stood upon its hind legs.

They have thumbs, as well shaped as those of any American Monkey,
on the fore hands, as well as on the hinder extremities. They were
deficient, however, in the howling apparatus, and therefore they differ
from the Mycetes, and as their thumbs were noticed to be large, they
differ from the next group of Monkeys, or the Spider Monkeys.

A careful examination of the skeleton shows that the outside
differences are accompanied by inside ones, especially in the skeleton.

Thus, there are fourteen rib-bearing back-bones, or vertebræ, and this
increase of number over the ordinary thirteen is interesting, because
it makes the animal approach those lower than the Primates; then it
has four loin vertebræ, and three are in the sacrum bone. There is a
curious growth of the second vertebra of the neck or the axis, for
its spine is trifid, and has three projections for the attachment of
muscles. Finally, the long tail is very elaborate in its bony part,
and seven of its bones near the root have so great a resemblance to
the back-bones higher up in the body, that they have a canal like
that which in the others protects the spinal marrow, which, however,
does not reach further down than the lower loins. Then five of them
have good strong spines, and all have the chevron or V-shaped bones
underneath well grown.

This tail is quite as useful to the Lagothrix as it is to the Howlers
and to the Spider Monkeys about to be considered, and they feel with,
and swing and hold by it, to perfection.

The Caparro is about two feet two inches in length without the tail,
and has been subsequently to its description by Humboldt called
_Lagothrix Humboldtii_, or Humboldt’s Lagothrix.


Bates says of this Monkey, that it is, with the rest of those found in
the district of the Upper Amazon, arboreal and diurnal in its habits,
and that it lives in troops, travelling from tree to tree, the mothers
with the children on their backs; leading, in fact, a life similar
to that of some Indians, and like them occasionally plundering the
plantations which lie near their line of march. The Barrigudo is the
“big-bellied Monkey” of the Portuguese colonists, and they are very
bulky animals. They have the head clothed with grey, and they live
with the Caparro mentioned above, in the same forests, and lead the
same kind of life. One measured twenty-six inches in length, and the
tail six, and it was the largest Monkey he saw in America, with the
exception of a Black Howler, who was twenty-eight inches in length.
The skin of the face of a Barrigudo is black and wrinkled, the forehead
is low, and the eyebrows project; and, in short, the features resemble
in a striking manner those of an old negro. It is not an active animal
in the forests, and lives exclusively on fruits, but is much persecuted
by the Indians on account of the excellence of its flesh as food. From
information given to Mr. Bates he calculated that one troop of these
Indians numbering about 200, destroyed 1,200 Monkeys a year for food.
Consequently they are diminishing in numbers, and are not found on
the Lower Amazon at all. Its manners in captivity are grave, and its
temper is mild and confiding. Owing to these traits the Barrigudo is
much sought after as a pet; but it is not hardy, and seldom survives a
journey down the river.

There are five species of the Woolly Monkeys, and they are found in
the valley of the Upper Amazon and along the slopes of the Andes to
Venezuela and Bolivia (Wallace).


Many early travellers recorded that during their wanderings by the
sides of the rivers of the northern part of South America, and in the
Isthmus of Panama, small troops of dark-coloured Monkeys could be seen
rushing along amongst the trees, swinging under the branches, and
feeding upon berries. Sometimes they would stop on the lower branches
of the trees and look at the intruders; but usually they scampered off,
swinging with their front limbs and clasping with the hinder, having
their stout and long tail ready for emergencies. Their length of limb,
slender bodies, long hair, and their long tail, by which they suspend
themselves, and their extremely variable movements, soon gave them
the name of Spider Monkeys amongst those interested in their habits,
although, of course, the natives had some names of their own for them.

Humboldt saw them in the great virgin forests of Brazil, hanging in
curious clusters, clasping each other by means of their limbs and
tails, and all being suspended by the tail of one strong fellow. He
was, as everybody must be, greatly impressed with their clever use of
their tails, for he observed them being used as a fifth member, and
with all the dexterity of hands. The natives will have it that they
fish with their tails, but this is of course untrue, and they do not
carry anything to their mouths with them. They are wonderful swingers
and claspers, and they are exquisitely sensitive at the tip and for
some inches underneath it, and they are stout where they join the body,
exceedingly muscular, and in some kinds there are long hairs on them,
especially near the end.

These Monkeys have small heads, long necks, and exceedingly long arms
and legs; some are covered with a soft fur, and in others it is harsh,
and the hairs are long and rigid; and all have the thumbs of the hands
either absent or just visible as slight projections. The feet are long
and have well-shaped toe-thumbs. Their head is round, and the muzzle
only projects slightly, so that there is something human in their
appearance, especially when their large eyes are open; and the hair
in some kinds is brushed forwards on the cheeks and brows so as to
resemble whiskers and front hair. There is something in their shape,
without the tail, which reminds one of the Gibbons, those long-armed
Apes of the East, and the fore-hands resemble those of the Colobi of
Africa (page 100); but the Spider Monkeys have not the power of jumping
possessed by these, and their hind legs, useful as they are when amidst
the great trailing orchids and the climbers of the American tropics,
are feeble members when on the ground. Then the Monkey walks on the
outside edge of the feet, and on the inside edge of the hand, with its
tail feeling here and there for anything to catch hold of. Often they
are very sedate and slow in their movements, like the Semnopitheci
of India, and they indulge in a series of climbings from bough to
bough, swinging from one to the other, and holding on now and then and
assisting in the movement with the tail. They are as gentle in their
manners as those just mentioned, and are full of play with each other.

Their teeth resemble those of the Howlers, but the eye teeth, or
canines, are smaller, and the crushing teeth, or molars, are rounder.

From the defective thumbs, all these Monkeys as a group or genus have
been termed “imperfect-handed,” and therefore two Greek words which
convey these terms ἀτελής (imperfect), and χείρ (the hand), have been
conjoined in the word Atelochirus, of which Ateles is used as an


But on examining the hands carefully, and noticing the deep parts as
well as the outside, it was found that they could be ranged into two
sub-groups. In one there is no external appearance of a thumb, and in
the other there is a stunted projection, but in both the member is not
quite deficient so far as its bones are concerned. In the first group
the metacarpal bone (the bone which is in man covered by the ball of
the thumb, and which extends from the wrist to the first joint) is
just seen, but it does not project; and in the second group there is
one phalanx or thumb-bone on the metacarpal, and this sticks out and
is covered with skin so as to resemble a hard pimple. In one kind this
little thumb has no nail, and in another there is one on it.

It is curious that some of the woolly-haired kinds of Ateles should
have no thumbs and others their rudiments; and that this should be the
case in the long and harsh-haired kinds also. There are many kinds of
Ateles, and there is consequently some difficulty in recognising them
as species and many attempts have been made to classify them, so that
they might be readily distinguished. Those with short and thick thumbs
have been called Brachyteles, and those without them Ateles; those with
woolly fur have been termed Eriodes, but all are now included in the
genus Ateles.

Everybody is interested in seeing the curious sprawling swinging of
the Ateles in the Zoological Gardens, and also in noticing the curious
way in which some can place their hand right over the head nearly on
to the opposite shoulder, and brush the hair with it forwards, and
especially because both kinds of movement refer to the great length of
the fore-limbs. On the contrary, although they can maintain the erect
posture for a short time, they seem feeble about the hind limbs, which
are shorter than the others. Their heel-bones are evidently short, so
that leaping is never well done.


They are fruit and vegetable eaters, and enjoy eggs, and a nut
occasionally, but they have no cheek-pouches. They have, however, an
air-pouch, or sac, in front of the throat, but none of the noise-making
gifts of the Howlers, and this sac enters the windpipe differently to
those of the Monkeys of the Old World, and this is very curious. It
opens into the windpipe below the cartilage which forms the “Adam’s
apple” in man, and not above and between it and the tongue. Below this
cartilage, which is called the thyroid cartilage, there is another
attached to it by which it joins on to the rings of the windpipe. The
opening is between this lower cartilage, the cricoid,[83] and the top
ring of the windpipe.

Their stomach is single, and the large intestine, as they are
vegetarians, is large, and its termination the “cæcum” also, but it has
no little worm-like appendage as in the Gibbons. No especial points
have been noted in the muscular system, except the very curious fact
that, although the bones of the thumb are so rudimentary, the muscles
are all there except the one which principally bends it forward.

As the activity of the Spider Monkey is marvellous, as they swing on
and catch hold of boughs with great skill and energy, and as they
display much intelligence, their brains ought to be well developed.
Doubtless there is a great deal of movement in these long-limbed
creatures which takes place like the walking of man, _i.e._, without
direct thought, for we move our leg muscles, and all those which assist
them in the act of walking, without a constant direction of the will.
Just as man’s walking is thus said to be done automatically, so much of
the swinging and progression of the Ateles is produced without direct
exertion of the will. But it is evident that the Spider Monkey judges
his distance, and very often considers whether such and such a bough
will bear his weight, and uses exactly sufficient muscular exertion for
what he requires.

Moreover, there is a graceful co-ordination or mutual action of the
muscles of the limbs, body, and tail to a common end in most of its
movements which is evidently done by will. The movements of the tail
are perfectly wonderful, and, indeed, so perfectly does it hold on,
although the animal cannot see what this long slender organ is doing,
that most children think there is an eye at the end of it. Directly
the Spider Monkey rises on its hind legs, up goes the tail straight
behind its back, and curves a little at the tip downwards: the delicate
hairs stick out and feel the slightest touch or passage of air; and
the least touch induces the last few joints to clasp hold. The animal
will walk along and catch hold of things with its tail at every other
step or so, and will change its hold in exact proportion to its rate
of progression. All these movements necessitate clasping, unclasping,
twisting, and a regular succession of efforts, and are not likely to be
carried out except by an animal with a well-developed nervous system.
Hence it has been a matter of some interest to compare the brain of
Ateles with those of other Monkeys, and even with that of man.


Even in this Monkey, which is low in the scale on account of its
having badly-developed thumbs, the structures of the brain greatly
resemble those of the Monkeys of the Old World. The nerves are large
in proportion to the substance of the brain, and the brain proper
is narrow in front and hollowed out beneath, where it rests on the
orbits. But these proofs of a low kind of intelligence and of great
muscular power are accompanied by structures which mimic or sketch out
those of the human brain in an extraordinary manner. The cerebellum,
or little brain, is large, as it is the organ which has much to do
with regulating and co-ordinating the movements of the muscles, but it
is quite covered by the back part, or posterior lobes, of the brain.
Inside the brain the cavities called the ventricles may be seen, and
they are made on the human plan, for the cavity on each side (lateral
ventricle) has a front part, a back part, and a deep one, and on
its lower surface, or floor, certain roundings, which are called by
odd names, such as the hippocampus minor and the hippocampus major.
These are visible in the brain of Ateles as they are in man. Now, it
is very remarkable, allowing for the difference in the size of the
brain of most other Monkeys and of man, that the Spider Monkey should
have larger posterior lobes to its brain than they have. Moreover,
this unusual size produces a greater length of the back part (or
horn, or cornu) of the lateral ventricle in Ateles. The difference,
however, between the packing of the nervous substance of the brain
in man and in the Spider Monkey is vast, for in this last there are
few convolutions, but the principal are happily said by Huxley to
sketch out the position of the most important in the human brain. The
projection of the back part of the brain of the Spider Monkeys over
the cerebellum is at least one-tenth of an inch. Hence there is much
nervous matter in the back part of the brain, and this compensates
for the narrowing and diminution of nervous matter in the front. Are
the nerves, then, which give the Spider Monkey its wonderful power of
activity and complicated movement, situated in the back part of the
head? At present physiologists have not satisfactorily shown what are
the offices of these back or occipital lobes of the brain; the rounded
floor of the cavity in the brain, which goes by the absurd name of
hippocampus, because it is curved like a “sea horse,” and which is well
seen in Ateles, has much to do with the sensation of touch, and the
nervous matter at the sides of the brain appears to be connected with
the nerves of the muscles of the limbs. The Ateles lead a life of very
great sameness in their forests, and their perceptions and intelligence
are never greatly stimulated, hence the fore part of the brain is small.



This is the Monkey of which an extraordinary story is told by Acosta.
It belonged to the Governor of Carthagena, and was regularly sent
to the tavern for wine. They who sent him put an empty pot in one
hand, and the money into the other, whereupon he went “spidering,” as
Broderip terms it, to the tavern, where they could by no means get his
money from him till they had filled his pot with wine. As the ganymede
of the Governor came back with his charge, certain idle children would
occasionally meet him in the street, and cast stones at him, whereupon
he would put down his pot, and cast stones at them, till he had assured
his way; then would he return to carry home the pot. And what is more,
although he was a good bibber of wine, yet would he never touch it
till leave was given to him. It is about as true as the account of
the habits of the genus given by a distinguished French author. He
says that they live in greater or smaller troops in the forests; their
food consists of insects, and they also eat little fishes, mollusks
(shellfish), and other animal substances. When they are a little way
from the coast they sometimes come down to the beach by the sea-side
and collect such things as oysters, and they get at the inside by
breaking the shells between stones. Most of the species live far away
from such luxuries, and one and all are vegetarians, as a rule, and eat
an insect or suck an egg or two as the exception.

The Coaita, or Quata, is large for an Ateles, and is covered with long,
coarse hair, of a glossy black colour, the under part at the groin
being without any. The hair of the head is directed forwards, and
conceals the ears, which have no lobe, and the face is of a reddish
flesh-colour. It is an intelligent animal, and shows much curiosity
when anything new is seen in its vicinity. All the agility of the
genus is to be witnessed in its climbing and swinging from tree to
tree; and it has no thumbs. They live in Surinam and in the Brazils.
Bates, when living on the Lower Amazon, saw much of this Monkey, or
Coaita, as he properly terms it. He describes it as a large black
Monkey, covered with coarse hair, and having the prominent parts of
the face of a tawny, flesh-coloured hue. Moreover, he found that the
natives esteemed its flesh very much, and the military commandant of
the place used to send out a hunter every week to shoot one for his
table. “One day,” writes this author, “I went out on a Coaita hunt,
borrowing a negro slave of a friend to show me the way. On the road I
was much amused by the conversation of my companion. He was a tall,
handsome negro, about forty years of age, with a staid, courteous
demeanour, and a deliberate manner of speaking. He told me he was a
native of Congo, and the son of a great chief, or king. He narrated the
events of a great battle between his father’s and some other tribe, in
which he was taken prisoner, and sold to the Portuguese slave-dealers.
When in the deepest part of a ravine we heard a rustling sound in the
trees overhead, and Manuel soon pointed out a Coaita to me. There was
something human-like in its appearance, as the lean, dark, shaggy
creature moved deliberately amongst the branches, at a great height.
I fired, but only, unfortunately, wounded it in the belly. It fell
with a crash headlong about twenty or thirty feet, and then caught
a branch with its tail, and remained suspended in mid air. Before I
could reload it recovered itself, and scrambled nimbly to the topmost
branches, out of the reach of a fowling-piece, and we could perceive
the poor thing apparently probing the wound with its fingers.” He
states that “Coaitas are more frequently kept in a tame state than any
other Monkey. The Indians are fond of them as pets, and the women often
suckle them when young at their breasts! They become attached to their
masters, and will sometimes follow them to a considerable distance.
I once saw a ridiculously tame Coaita. It was an old female, and had
accompanied its owner--a trader on the river--on all his voyages.
By way of giving me a specimen of its intelligence and feeling, its
master set to and rated it soundly, calling it scamp, heathen, thief,
and so forth, all through the vocabulary of Portuguese vituperation.
The poor Monkey, seated on the ground, seemed to be in sore trouble
at this display of anger. It began by looking earnestly at him, then
it whined, and lastly rocked its body to and fro with emotion, crying
piteously, and passing its long, gaunt arms continually over its
forehead, for this was its habit when excited, and the front of the
head was worn quite bald in consequence. At last her master altered his
tone--‘It’s all a lie, my old woman, you’re an angel, a flower, a good,
affectionate old creature,’ and so forth. Immediately the poor Monkey
ceased its wailing, and soon after came over to where the man sat.”
The disposition of the Coaita is mild in the extreme. It has none of
the painful restless vivacity of the Cebus, and no trace of the surly,
untamable temper of the Howlers. Bates says it is an arrant thief,
and that it shows considerable cunning in pilfering small articles of
clothing, which it conceals in its sleeping-place. The natives of the
Upper Amazon procure the Coaita when full grown by shooting it with the
blow-pipe and poisoned darts, and restoring life by putting a little
salt (the antidote to the poison with which the darts are tipped) in
its mouth. The animals thus caught become tame forthwith. Two females
were once kept at the Jardin des Plantes, in Paris, and Geoffroy St.
Hilaire says they rarely quitted each other, remaining most part of
the time in close embrace, folding their tails round each other’s
bodies; they took their meals together, and never squabbled over their
favourite fruit.

The same traveller when once very hard up for food was obliged to kill
a white-whiskered Coaita, and cook it. He writes:--“I thought the meat
the best flavoured I had ever tasted. It resembled beef, but had a
richer and sweeter taste. We smoke-dried the joints, and the last one
was an arm with the clenched fist. This I used with great frugality,
hanging it between meals on a nail in the cabin, and nothing but the
hardest necessity could have driven me to an act so closely resembling

[Illustration: COAITA]


An old author, Von Sack, in his voyage to Guinea, gives the following
account of the manners of this Spider Monkey:--“It is of a very docile
disposition, and capable of being quite domesticated. I have seen a
pair of them at a gentleman’s house at Paramaribo, which were left
quite at liberty. When the female negroes were employed at their
needlework, they used to come and sit amongst them and play with
pieces of paper, and afterwards go and gambol amongst the trees, but
never went over to the neighbouring gardens. They well knew the hour
of dinner of their master, when they would come to the gallery, look
in at the windows, though without attempting to enter into the room,
being aware that this was a liberty which was not allowed them; they
therefore patiently waited for their dinner outside.”

The Latin name of this species refers to its having hardly five
fingers. It has four and a short stump of a thumb, visible and useless,
but consisting of two bones, the usual muscles, and the skin covering.
It is larger than the Coaita, and is black, and covered with long hair,
but the face is brown. The tail is considerably longer than the body.


This Spider Monkey is more interesting for its geographical range
and favourite localities than for anything else. It lives in Central
America, north of Panama, and is common in the neighbourhood of
the volcano called Orizaba, in the state of Vera Cruz. It lives in
companies in the deep barrancas, up to an elevation of two thousand
feet above the sea, and in the State of Oaxaca it roams in the forests
up the country to a height of four thousand feet, being the same
elevation to which the Tapir often reaches in its roaming. It is a
black Ateles, with very long hair, which spreads out in all directions,
but there is grey-white on the inside of the limbs, and underneath. It
has no thumbs on the hands.

[Illustration: CHAMECK.]

The position which the Ateles take in resting is often very curious.
The great Apes of the Old World can lie on their backs like a man,
and the Monkeys with callosities sit on them, and, drawing up the
knees, let the head fall on to them, or on to the breast, bringing
the arms forward when they sleep. But the want of callosities, and of
the peculiar flatness of back which characterises the Anthropomorpha,
prevents the American Monkeys from adopting either of these positions.
Many lie on their sides, and others huddle up in parties, but the
Ateles often lie across two or three rope-like horizontal stems, with
the face looking downwards, a turn being taken by the tail round the
support to insure safety. The length of the back has something to do
with this, and of course with their extraordinary agility. The dorsal
region of the back-bone, or that which bears ribs, is as long in
comparison with the other (neck and loin) regions as in any Monkey;
indeed, the maximum of length is attained. There are either thirteen or
fourteen back-bone pieces (vertebræ), which have ribs attached to them.
The lower vertebræ are four or five in number, and the tail is at its
maximum of length in relation to that of the body, its pieces (caudal
vertebræ) being very complicated near its root. There, eight pieces
(vertebræ) are so like those of the back that they have spines, cross
processes, of course without ribs, jointing processes, and a similar
nervous canal to those which are higher up in the body. The spinal
marrow does not go down it, however. Underneath them are the V-shaped
or chevron bones. The end bones are short and thick.


These Monkeys appear to go in small parties, passing through the
forests at a rapid pace, feeding on different kinds of berries. The
berries which Mr. Bartlett found in their stomachs resembled a
gooseberry with a large stone inside. Owing to their great length of
limb and tail, and to their muscular vigour, these Spider Monkeys
travel far and wide. They are found on both sides of the Peruvian
Amazon (or Marañon), and on both sides of the Huallaga. They are also
common on the Rio Tigri, and range along the lower spurs of the Andes,
across Ecuador and Columbia, over the head waters of the Rio Napa, Rio
Japura, and Rio Negro, where it was first discovered. They have also
been found in Venezuela. Bartlett endeavoured to hunt them on the Rio
Tigri, a small tributary that runs into the Amazon about four miles
above the town of Nanta, on the north-western shores of the Peruvian
Amazon, but was prevented by the fever and ague of the climate, and the
fears of the Indians. Going into the mountains up the Marañon River,
he heard from the Indians of the presence of a long-armed Ape--called
in their language Maciosuppeh--at the distance of three days’ journey.
He engaged three Indians, started by way of a forest footpath that
had been opened by a Catholic priest, to the town of Moyahamba, as
part of his penitence. He writes:--“At the end of three days I reached
the highest point of the mountains; here we came across a number of
the Monkeys in question--about eight or nine. I shot the male that is
now in the British Museum, and my Indians brought down another with a
poison-dart. Having obtained two of them I was satisfied that I had
found a new species. While, however, I was busily engaged preparing the
first specimen, my Indians had quietly placed the other on the fire;
and, to my great horror and disgust, they had singed the hair off, and
thus spoiled the specimen. Of course I was obliged to keep the peace,
for they had not tasted meat for some days, and the Monkey proved a
very dainty dish.”


Probably one of the most extraordinary-looking creatures in the world
is _Ateles cucullatus_ (Gray). This very spidery-looking Monkey has a
very curious head of hair, which looks as if it sadly required cutting,
for it comes over the forehead, and forms a regular hood, which expands
over the eyebrows. Everywhere the fur is long and flaccid, and of a
blackish silvery-grey colour. The face is reddish, the cheeks and
lower jaw being nearly bare of hair; the skin, however, is of a black
shade. The skin around the orbits and upon the nose is bare, and of a
brownish flesh-colour. The body is about fourteen inches, and the tail
twenty-seven inches in length. The tail is stout near the body, and
becomes very slim towards the end, the greater part of it, especially
the under surface, being extremely hairy. The length of the hind feet,
the long scraggy limbs, the spare, long body, and its great agility,
give the Monkey a most extraordinary appearance. Probably it comes from
the northern coast of Columbia.

There are many species of Ateles, and they range on the Pacific side of
Guatemala, on the west side of the Andes, and in the forests watered by
the great rivers.


If attention has been paid to these descriptions of the groups of
American Monkeys already dealt with, it will have been evident that
they can readily be distinguished one from another. Thus, the Lagothrix
has a round head without a beard, a prehensile tail, with the hair off
it underneath, not far from the tip, and its thumbs are large; the
Spider Monkeys, or Ateles, have small heads, the same kind of tail,
and their thumbs are either defective or wanting altogether; and the
Mycetes, or Howlers, have high heads and beards, thumbs, the same
kind of tail, and the howling apparatus in perfection. Now, the next
(and last) genus of prehensile-tailed Monkeys differs from all these
in not having the naked spot on the under side of the tail, in having
a thicker tail, and a gentle whistling voice. These are the little
“masters of the woods,” according to Azara, and should be called “Cai”
(the “C” is soft), which has been altered to Sajou by the extraordinary
talent which the French have of confounding spelling and sounds in
other languages. Buffon divides the Monkeys noticed above into the
_Sapajous_ and the _Sagoins_, the larger kinds belonging to the first,
and those about to be noticed to the last. He modified, he says, the
words _Cayonason_ and _Cagoni_, their _C_ being pronounced as _S_.
But Azara says that the real words are Caigonazon and Cai, they being
pronounced as written, and the first means Great Cai, and the last Cai,
or Cay, simply Monkey. Sajous is a derivation from Cagoni, and animals
properly included by it constitute the genus _Cebus_, but to add to the
confusion, Mr. Wallace calls them “Sapajous.”


(From the _Proceedings of the Zoological Society_.)]

They are the small, active, red-faced, round-headed, long-tailed
American Monkeys, which curl the end of the tail downwards, and yet use
it to hold on by. They are smaller and more delicate than those already
described; their teeth are smaller, and they have not large canines
like the Mycetes. Vrolik, in noticing the gentle expression of their
face, says their movements are graceful and gay, and their “manners a
mixture of sweetness, cleverness, agility, and lubricity!”

There is abundant proof to be obtained of their agility and
intelligence, and, unfortunately for them, their gifts are valuable in
the eyes of Monkey-trainers, and many a little pug, dressed up as a
Highlander or soldier, who does tricks in the streets for the benefit
of his master, once had a gay life of “lubricity” in the virgin forests
of the Amazon.

Bates, in his interesting work, “The Naturalist on the Amazon,” refers
especially to the following species--



This (according to this author and admirable observer) is the
light-brown Caiarára, and it is pretty generally distributed over the
forests of the level country. He saw it frequently on the borders of
the Upper Amazon, where it was always a treat to watch a flock leaping
amongst the trees, for it is the most wonderful performer in this line
of the whole tribe. The troops consist of thirty or more individuals,
which travel in single file. When the foremost of the flock reaches
the outermost branch of an unusually lofty tree, he springs forth
into the air without a moment’s hesitation, and alights on the dome
of yielding foliage belonging to the neighbouring tree--may be, fifty
feet beneath--all the rest following the example. They grasp in falling
with hands and tail, right themselves in a moment, and then away they
go along branch and bough to the next tree. It owes its native name to
the disproportionate size of the head to the body. It is very often
kept as a pet in the houses of the natives, and Mr. Bates kept one for
a year, and he thus writes about it:--“It accompanied me in my voyages,
and became very familiar, coming to me always on wet nights to share my
blanket.” It is a most restless creature, but is not playful like most
of the American Monkeys, the restlessness of its disposition seeming
to arise from great nervous irritability and discontent. Its actions
are those of a wayward child. It does not seem to be happy even when it
has enough of its favourite food--bananas; but will leave its own meal
to snatch the morsels out of the hands of its companions. It differs
in these morbid traits from its nearest kindred, for another Cebus
found in the same parts of the forest--the Prego Monkey--is a much
quieter and better-tempered animal. It is full of tricks, but they are
generally of a playful character.

The Caiarára keeps the house in a perpetual uproar where it is kept.
When alarmed or hungry, or excited by envy, it screams piteously, and
it is always making some noise or other, often screwing up its mouth,
and uttering a succession of loud notes resembling a whistle. Mr.
Bates’s little pet used to run after him, supporting himself for some
distance on his hind legs, without, however, having been taught to do
so. The end of this friendship came at last, and in a tragical manner.
“He offended me greatly one day by killing, in one of his jealous
fits, another and much choicer pet--the Nocturnal Owl-like Monkey
(_Nyctipithecus trivirgatus_). Some one had given this a fruit which
the other coveted, so the two got to quarreling. The Nyctipithecus
fought only with its paws, clawing out, and hissing like a Cat. The
other soon obtained the mastery, and before I could interfere, finished
its rival by cracking its skull with his teeth. I then got rid of him.”

[Illustration: BROWN CAPUCHIN. (_From the Zoological Gardens._)]

Broderip writes about one as follows:--“Humboldt saw at Maypures one of
these Monkeys riding a Pig. He used to bide his time, and every morning
caught one, which he compelled to perform the part of the horse. Seated
on pig-back did he majestically ride about the whole day, clinging
to his bristly steed as firmly as ever the Old Man of the Sea clung
to Sindbad, not even giving poor piggy a respite at meal times, but
continually bestriding him all the time he was feeding in the savannah
that surrounded the Indian huts. A missionary had another of these
riders, but the missionary’s Monkey laid a strong hold on a comfortable
Cat which had been brought up with him, carried him well, and bore all
his tricks with patience and good humour.”

The skull is long, and uniformly round in these animals, and the
face is not very prominent. There are two nasal bones, and the
inter-maxillary bone is distinct; moreover, the chin is rounded and
receding. With all its powers of teasing, fun, and its intelligence,
one would anticipate that the brain would be far superior in its form
to the Spider and other Monkeys with prehensile tails; and this is the
case, for the convolutions on the outside are almost equal in their
number and relative size to those of the Monkeys of the Old World.

There are eighteen kinds of these Capuchins, and the attempt has been
made to classify them by the direction of the hair of the head and
its colour, but in doing this sufficient allowance has not been made
for the influence of sex, age, and the bodily vigour, so that great
confusion still exists in their classification.


In this species the hairs of the head are brushed back, but it appears
that with age some hairs are erected at the sides of the head above the
ears into two horns, so as to give it the name of the Horned Monkey.


This is known by the black top to its head, and it is small, and brown
in colour elsewhere, the face and throat being greyish-yellow.

Brehm gives the following notes about their habits:--“This Monkey is
common from Bahia to Colombia, and it chooses wooded country where
there is no underwood. The greater part of its life is spent on trees,
and it only leaves them to drink, or to visit a field of maize. In the
day he wanders from tree to tree, looking for food; in the night sleeps
on the branches of some tree. Generally one sees him in small families
of six or ten, of whom the most part are females. It is difficult to
observe the animal, because he is so timid and shy. Rengger asserts
that he is seldom to be seen. Once he noticed a pleasant whistling
noise, and he saw an old male looking timidly around on the highest
tree-tops, and then approach. About twelve or thirteen others followed
him, of both sexes, and three females carried a little one partly on
the back, partly under one arm. Suddenly one of these animals saw an
orange-tree with ripe fruit, gave a cry, and sprang up the tree. In a
few seconds the whole company were assembled there, and were engaged
in picking and eating the ripe fruit. Some began immediately to eat,
others sprang, loaded with a couple of fruit, to a neighbouring tree,
whose stronger branches provided them with a table. They sat themselves
down on a branch, encircled it with their tails, then took an orange
between their hind legs, and tried with these to loosen the peel at the
top with their fingers. If they did not succeed immediately, they flung
the fruit, grumbling and snarling, several times against a tree, by
which the rind was broken. Not one tried to peel the orange with their
teeth, probably because they were aware of its bitter taste. As soon,
however, as a small opening was made, they quickly pulled a piece off,
eagerly licked up the juice, not only what was on the fruit, but also
what was on their hands and arms, and then ate the pulp. The tree was
soon bare, and then the stronger ones tried to rob the weaker, both
making the most peculiar grimaces, gnashed with their teeth, tore each
other’s hairs, and pulled each other roughly about. Others carefully
searched the dead branches, lifted up the dry bark, and ate the insects
lying underneath. When they were satisfied, they laid themselves along
a branch, in the same manner as the Howlers, to sleep. The young ones,
however, began to play, and thereby showed themselves to be very agile.
They swung themselves by their tails, or climbed up them as if by a
rope. The mothers had great trouble with their young, who wished for
the luscious fruit. At first they gently pushed their young aside, but
afterwards showed their impatience by grunting; then they seized the
disobedient child by the head, and threw it roughly on its back. As
soon, however, as they were satisfied, they gently drew the young ones
forward, and laid them at their breasts. The mother’s love shows itself
by the great care with which every old one handles her young, through
laying them on the breast, by watching them, by searching their fur,
and by the attacks on others who come near. The motions of the young
one were neither light nor graceful, but awkward and ungainly. Another
time Rengger came upon a family who were about to make an attack upon
a maize-field. They climbed softly down from a tree, looked carefully
around, broke two or three heads of fruit off, and returned as quickly
as possible to the wood, there to devour their booty. As Rengger showed
himself the whole troop fled, with shrill cries, through the tree-tops.
Every one, however, took at least a head of fruit away with him.
Rengger now shot one of these, and saw a female fall with her young one
through the branches. He thought he should be able to catch her soon,
but, though dying, she caught herself by her tail, and kept him waiting
for quite a quarter of an hour. The young one had not left its mother,
but rather clung faster to her, though showing signs of fear. After she
was dead, and it was taken away, the little thing called in plaintive
tones to its mother, and crept near to her as soon as it was let loose.
After some hours, however, the coldness of the body seemed to frighten
the young one, and it willingly stayed in its captor’s breast pocket.
Our informant says that in the family of the Cai, the number of females
exceeds the number of males. In January the female gives birth to a
young one, and keeps it at her breast for the first week, but later on
carries it on her back. The mother never leaves her young, not even
when she is wounded. Rengger, however, observed that a female, whose
arm had been broken by a bullet, tore her young one from her breast,
and set it on a branch; but this most likely was to shield the young
one from danger rather than to relieve herself of its weight.

“The young Cai is often caught, and tamed. When older they cannot
bear restraint; they become mopish, refuse their food, never grow
tame, and die in a few weeks. The young one, on the other hand, soon
forgets its freedom, becomes attached to people, and partakes, as do
many other Monkeys, of their food and drink. They walk on their hind
legs for three or four steps, but they are trained to walk upright by
tying the hands behind the back. At first they fall frequently, and
must therefore be held by a cord from behind. When sleeping they curl
themselves up, and cover the face with the arms and tail. They sleep in
the night, and when it is very hot, in the middle of the day. At other
times they are in constant motion.

“Among the senses of the animal the sense of feeling is the most acute.
It is short-sighted, and cannot see at all by night. It does not hear
well, for it can be easily surprised. It holds everything that has
smell to its nose, and it is often deluded by the smell into tasting
what its taste tells it is not fit to eat. The sense of feeling makes
up in some measure for the others. It shows itself chiefly in the front
hands, less in the hinder, and not at all in the tail. Through practice
and teaching this faculty can be greatly cultivated.

“Rengger’s Cai knew his master in the darkest night, as soon as he
had felt his usual clothing. The cry of the Cai changes according to
its emotions. One generally hears a whistling sound, which seems to
proceed from weariness. If he demands anything he groans; wonder or
embarrassment he shows by a half whistling tone; when angry he cries in
a deep, rough tone--‘Hu! hu!’ When in fear he shrieks; when pleased he
chuckles. By these cries the leader of a troop shares his feelings with
the others. These they show also, not only by noises and motions, but
also by a kind of laughing and crying. The former is the drawing back
of the corners of the mouth; but he utters no sound. When crying his
eyes fill with tears, which, however, never flow down his cheeks. The
Cai is very sensitive to cold and damp, and must be kept from them if
he is wanted to keep well. This is easy, as he gladly rolls himself up
in a blanket. They live about fifteen years.

“The intelligence of the Cai is worthy of notice. He learns in the
first few days of his captivity to know his master and his keepers,
and looks to them for food, warmth, protection, and help; trusts
them fully, is pleased when his keeper plays with him, lets himself
be teased by him, and after not having seen him for some time shows
the greatest pleasure on his reappearance. He also soon forgets his
freedom, and becomes almost wholly a domestic animal. An old male which
Rengger had got loose once from his cord, and ran away into the wood,
but returned again in two or three days, sought out his keeper, and
allowed himself to be tied up. Those who are not badly treated show
great fidelity, especially to the blacks, whom they like always better
than the whites. The Cai is not only fond of men, but also of animals,
and it is no uncommon thing in Paraguay to bring him up with a young
Dog, who serves as a horse for him.

“The animal is very sensible, and does not give in to the will of man.
One can keep him from doing anything, but cannot force him to do it.
On the contrary, he tries to make others bend to his will, and also
men, sometimes by caresses, sometimes by threats. Weaker animals must
follow his will. This does great harm to his learning. He will only
learn those things which he can make use of, such as opening boxes,
looking through his master’s pockets, &c. As he grows older he gains
experience, and knows how to use it. If one gives him an egg for the
first time, he breaks it so clumsily that he loses half the contents,
but the second time he only breaks the top, and lets no more be lost.
He is not often taken in twice by anybody. He soon learns to know the
expression of the face, and the tone of the voice.

“The Cai is also very prone to stealing eatables. If caught in the act
he cries out with fear before he is touched, but if he is not caught
then he pretends to be perfectly innocent, and looks as if nothing
had happened. Small articles he hides, when disturbed, in his mouth,
and eats them at his leisure. His covetousness is great. What he once
gets is not so easily taken away, at the most, by his master, when he
likes him very much. His covetousness is made use of to capture him.
The niggers clean out a pumpkin through a small hole, and then slip
pieces of sugar, &c., inside. They see this, and thrust their arm in,
and while so engaged will rather be caught than relinquish their spoil.
Besides these qualities, they show curiosity and destructiveness to a
great extent.

“They are fond of teasing, and pull the tails of Dogs and Cats, snatch
the feathers out of Hens and Ducks, and even tease Horses which are
tied up close to them; they also pull their bridles, and are all the
more pleased the more worried or frightened the animal becomes.

“Only the Indians make use of the skin, and therefore hunt the Cai down
with bow and arrow. The whites prize him most highly in captivity.”

Some of these little Monkeys really appear to reason, and are very
clever. Rengger states that when he first gave eggs to his Monkeys they
smashed them, and thus lost much of their contents; afterwards they
gently hit one end against some hard body, and picked off the bits
of shell with their fingers. After cutting themselves only once with
a sharp tool they would not touch it again, or would handle it with
the greatest care. Lumps of sugar were often given them wrapped up in
paper, and Rengger sometimes put a live wasp in the paper, so that in
hastily unfolding it they got stung. After this had happened once they
always first held the packet to their ears, to detect any movement

[Illustration: WEEPER CAPUCHIN, OR CAI.]

This breaking of the egg in a proper manner is as interesting as two
well-known facts, one of which may be observed by anybody in the habits
of American and other Monkeys. Sometimes a little Monkey has a nut
given him, and he is not strong enough to crack it. He will look up
into your face with a meaning glimmer of his eyes, and hand you the
nut again. Crack it for him, and he receives it as a matter of course.
Formerly one of the large Monkeys in the Zoological Gardens had weak
teeth, and he used to break open the nuts with a stone, and Mr. Darwin
was assured by the keepers that this animal, after using the stone, hid
it in the straw, and would not let any other Monkey touch it.

Rengger taught one to open palm-nuts by breaking them with a stone,
and so satisfied was it with its performance, that it soon began to
experiment on other kinds of nuts, and then it began upon boxes. It
also crushed off with blows of a stone the soft rind of a fruit that
had a disagreeable flavour, in order to get at the luscious food

Some interesting observations were male by Rengger in Paraguay on the
diseases of these Monkeys in their natural state. One kind of Cebus
was found liable to what we call “colds,” or, medically speaking,
catarrh. It had all the usual symptoms; was uncomfortable evidently for
a while, had a stuffiness in the head, and then its nose ran like that
of a child. If the colds occurred over and over again the same result
took place as happens in man, for symptoms of consumption came on, and
death ensued. Moreover, these same Monkeys suffered from apoplexy,
inflammation of the bowels, and even from cataract in the eye. Even the
tiny ones suffered like human babies in cutting their second set--or
rather in shedding their milk, or first set--of teeth. They became
feverish, and often died with the symptoms of fever on them.

The same author saw a Capuchin Monkey taking great and affectionate
care of its infant. The flies were teasing it, and the mother drove
them away as sedulously as possible. When in its native woods the Cebus
Azaræ utters at least six distinct sounds when it is excited, and
these seem to produce corresponding feelings in the Monkeys which are

The Capuchins range from Costa Rica to Paraguay.



    General Description of the Second Division of Cebidæ--Without
    Prehensile Tails--THE SQUIRREL MONKEYS--Described by Buffon and
    Humboldt--Peculiarities of the Species--Anecdotes by Le Vaillant--A
    Tragic End--THE WIDOW MONKEY--Origin of the Name--THE ONAPPO--Its
    Nocturnal Habits and Peculiar Cry--THE DOUROUCOULIS, OR OWL
    MONKEYS--General Description of the Family--Peculiar Formation of
    the Arm-bone--THE THREE-STRIPED OWL MONKEY--Described by Humboldt
    Resemblance in the Face to Man--Structural Peculiarities--THE
    COUXIO--THE PARAUACÚ--THE MONK--Description of the Brain--Other
    Varieties of the Sakis--Anecdotes of them--THE BLACK-HEADED
    SAKIS--General Description.

None of the remaining groups or genera of these Monkeys of the New
World have tails by which they can hang on with, or by the aid of which
they can swing or cling when falling. Some kinds may curl the tail
around a bough, or use it in their rapid side movements, after the
manner of other animals, but it is never truly prehensile.

This deficiency in the prehensile capacity of the tail is, of course,
accompanied by an absence of the elaborate tail structures, and the end
bones especially are no longer flattened, so as to grasp easily, but
are round.

There are other signs of their having a less elaborate conformation
than the prehensile-tailed; thus, the front teeth project, or are
prominent obliquely in all but one genus, and the feet and hands
resemble those of quadrupeds more than ever. In fact, having descended
the scale of Monkeys nearly to the bottom, resemblances with the next
groups of animals are becoming more and more apparent. Just as the
Monkeys of the Old World--the Baboons--resemble the carnivorous animals
in many points, so these non-prehensile-tailed Monkeys of the New
World have many likenesses with the Lemuroida, and with insect-eating
animals, and the smaller they are the greater is the resemblance. There
are two divisions of the Monkeys without prehensile tails. In one, the
species have the same number of teeth as Mycetes and Ateles; and in the
other they have only thirty-two teeth.

In the first division are the Squirrel Monkeys, the Sakis, and the
Douroucoulis, forming respectively the genera Callithrix, Pithecia, and
Nyctipithecus; and in the second there are the Marmosets and Tamarins,
of the genera Hapale and Midas. The second division is distinctly
separated from the other by some comparative anatomists, and forms the
group of “Arctopitheci,” or Bear Monkeys.


Callithrix means lovely hair, from κάλλος and θρίξ, and merely refers
to the pretty fur of these Monkeys, and gives no insight into their
peculiarities, and is a mere name. It includes the Squirrel Monkeys,
which are distinguished by having good-sized canine teeth, and by the
first crushing tooth being conical in shape, and having an extra
tubercle on its base; on the other hand, there are other kinds in it
which have short canine teeth, such as the Widow Monkey.

All have the peculiarities of the non prehensile-tailed group, but
their front teeth do not project forwards. The tail is round and


Buffon was a great admirer of this long-tailed, very human-headed
little Monkey, and remarked that they will always be admired more than
any other of their American brethren, on account of their littleness,
the gentleness of their movements, their brilliant colour, their large
and striking eyes, and their little round faces. He noticed that
although the tail was long it was not stout and muscular, as is the
case in those which are prehensile; and he observed that they were fond
of curling it around objects, and even around their own or their mate’s
bodies. Their grey olive body-fur contrasts with their bright red arms
and legs, whilst the muzzle is blackish, and these colours, on an
active little creature whose body is about ten inches long, and whose
tail is not quite fourteen, look very pretty.

Humboldt often had the opportunity of watching the Saimaris, and was
much impressed with their affectionate disposition, and says that they
readily wept if they were spoken to in a sad manner. When they are
spoken to for some time they will listen with great attention, and
then will place their little hands to the speaker’s lips. The attempt
suggests the great trouble to catch the words as they come out of the
mouth. They knew objects when they saw them in pictures, and even when
they were not coloured, and when they represented their usual food,
such as fruit and insects, they endeavoured to catch hold of them. They
entertained a great desire to catch Spiders, and caught them with great
skill, either with their hands or mouths.

They feel any sudden change in the temperature of their native woods
very soon, and when there is a fall of some degrees in the thermometer,
they collect in little troops, and huddle together for the sake of
their mutual warmth. There is a vast deal of squabbling and fighting
to see who shall get in the middle, and not be left out in the cold,
and great is the whistling and squeaking. Unfortunately for the noisy
creatures, the Indian hunters take advantage of their assembling in
this manner, for when they hear the cries they shoot their arrows in
the direction of the Monkeys, and often hit the chilly little group. It
is said that when young they have a slight smell of musk.

The Squirrel Monkeys have a small face, and the brain-case behind it
is moderately arched above, and sticks out behind very decidedly. This
is because the head is placed on the spine differently to the Monkeys
already described. In them the opening in the under part of the skull,
for the passage of the spinal cord (the foramen magnum) is far back,
but in the Squirrel Monkeys it is much further forward; so far forward,
indeed, that there is enough room for brain matter behind it to allow
the back part of the brain to be relatively larger than in man. Huxley
remarks that in this Monkey the cerebral hemispheres (that is to say,
the whole of the “brain proper”) project beyond the cerebellum to a
greater relative extent than in any other Mammal nearly by one-fifth
of their total length. But the fore part of the brain is small, and
there are very few convolutions. On referring to the description of the
Howlers, this great difference will be appreciated. Gervais, with a
laudable desire to account for the great development of the back part
of the head, insists on the great love the young show their mother,
not leaving her even when she is dead. The orbits of this Monkey are
large, and are close together; they are not perfectly separated by
bone, for a membrane shuts one off from the other; and the cheek-bone
has not the round hole in it which is observed in the Spiders and
Howlers. As a whole, the head is very human-like, especially when it is
young; but the forehead-bone is triangular, and projects upwards and
backwards between the side bones of the head, and the chin is round and
prominent. The forehead is narrow, and the muzzle is more protruding,
however, than in man.[94]

Le Vaillant, in his introduction to his first voyage, gives the
following curious instance of the exhibition of their instinct of
clinging to their mother under extraordinary circumstances:--When
living in Dutch Guiana, at Paramaribo, where he was born, and where
he had already, though very young, formed a collection of insects,
the future traveller and his party in one of their excursions had
killed a female Monkey. “As she carried on her back a young one, which
had not been wounded, we took them both along with us, and when we
returned to the plantation, my Ape had not quitted the shoulders of its
mother. It clung so closely to them, that I was obliged to have the
assistance of a negro to disengage them; but scarcely was it separated
from her, when, like a bird, it darted upon a wooden block that stood
near, covered with my father’s peruke, which it embraced with its four
paws, nor could it be compelled to quit its position. Deceived by its
instinct, it still imagined itself to be on the back of its mother,
and under her protection. It seemed perfectly at ease on the peruke.
I resolved to suffer it to remain, and to feed it there with Goat’s
milk. It continued in its error for three weeks, but after that period,
emancipating itself from its own authority, it quitted the fostering
peruke, and by its amusing tricks became the friend and favourite of
the whole family;” though it is difficult to suppress a smile at the
idea of a Monkey clinging to a full-bottom on a wig-block, and fancying
it its mamma. The story, as it begins mournfully with the slaughter of
the poor mother, ends tragically for her unhappy offspring. It died a
terrible death--the result, indeed, of its own mischievous voracity,
but in agonies frightful to think of. “I had, however,” continues Le
Vaillant, “without suspecting it, introduced the wolf among my flock.
One morning, on entering my chamber, the door of which I had been
so imprudent as to leave open, I beheld my unworthy pupil making a
hearty breakfast on my noble collection. In the first transports of
my passion I resolved to strangle it in my arms; but rage and fury
soon gave place to pity, when I perceived that its voraciousness had
exposed it to the most cruel punishment. On eating the Beetles it had
swallowed some of the pins on which they were fixed, and though it made
a thousand efforts to throw them up, all its exertions were in vain.
The torture which it suffered soon made me forget the devastation it
had occasioned. I only thought of affording it relief; but neither my
tears, nor all the art of my father’s slaves, whom I had called from
all quarters with loud cries, were able to preserve its life.”


The Monkeys in the second division of this genus have the canine teeth
not so long as in the other, and the two middle upper incisors are
broad. It contains the Widow Monkey.

This rare and pretty little animal has been compared, and not unaptly,
to a diminutive black Dog with a white face. Its whole colour, in fact,
is of a uniform shining blackness, with the exception of the face,
neck, and arms, which are dull white, the former being surrounded with
a narrow band of pure white. This remarkable disposition of colour
has obtained for it, from the Creoles, the fanciful name of Widow
Monkey, the whiteness of the face, neck, and arms being compared to
the veil, handkerchief, and gloves worn in its native country by
widows. It is described as particularly gentle and timid, except
when a small bird--its natural food--is placed in its sight; it then
becomes animated and eager, darts at it like a Rat, and devours it
in an instant; at other times it will remain motionless for hours,
attentively watching whatever is going on. It seems, however, to have
a particular aversion to its hands being touched, since they are
immediately withdrawn, and hid under its belly. It evinces a great
dread of other Monkeys, but not those of its own species. Of its native
history we are entirely ignorant. The usual length of the body is
not more than one foot. The head is round, the muzzle short, and the
general expression of its physiognomy is agreeable. The colours we have
already noticed. The nose is short and flat, and the ears are almost
naked. The hands are nearly white on the outside, but black within,
and the hinder hands, or more properly feet, are entirely black; the
tail is also black, and a little longer than the body. Very probably
this pretty Monkey is only a variety of Callithrix amictus, which has
a blackish-brown fur, with the under half of its throat white, and the
hands are of a dull yellow or whitish colour.


This Monkey belongs to the same division of the genus as the Widow
Monkey, and it is interesting because its habits are nocturnal. It
feeds and roams by night instead of by day. Doubtless many other
kinds do so, but it has been recorded of this species from its first
discovery. They live in Para, and in the Brazils, and are remarkable
for the agile and graceful way in which they jump from tree to tree,
the females carrying the little ones on their backs, and moving with
the vivacity and restlessness of birds. Resting during the day, they
roll themselves up like balls, and utter plaintive, deep-seated, weary
cries, which have given them the name of Ventriloquist Monkeys. At
night they are all life and movement, and then they search for insects
and eggs, and enjoy themselves. Their colour is a reddish-grey, and
spotted on the upper parts of the body, and beneath and on the limbs
the tint is of a vivid maroon. The tail is grey, tipped with white.
There are fourteen species of the genus, and they range to the southern
limits of the great forests.



The name given to these Monkeys conveys their habit of sleeping by day,
waking up in the evening, and leading a very restless life during the
greater part of the night. They are small animals, with a large round
head, short face, and very large eyes; their fur is kept close; they
have a tail of some length, but it can only curl around objects without
holding on. The body is short, and greatly resembling that of the
Squirrel Monkey in some points. They are distinguished as follows:--The
two middle upper front teeth (incisors) are broad, and the lower ones
project in a slanting direction; the canines are moderately long. The
ears are partly hidden amongst the hair of the head, and the eyes are
large. There is a curious condition of the upper arm-bone (humerus)
of these Monkeys, which they have in common with the different kinds
of Cebus, the Squirrel Monkeys, and the little Ouistitis about to be
mentioned. It is, moreover, seen in the Carnivora, or the flesh-eating
animals. The lower part of the bone, where it is jointed to the two
bones of the fore-arm, at the elbow, has one of its projections there
(the inner condyle) perforated by a hole. This gives passage to the
main artery of the limb and the main nerve, and the use of it appears
to be to prevent the contracting muscles of the arm pressing upon
these important structures. They resemble some of the lower animals,
especially one of the Lemuroida, of the genus Stenops, in the length
of the loin back-bones; and, indeed, relatively this lumbar region is
longer in them than in any other Monkey. The rib-bearing back-bones
are more numerous than in other Monkeys, and there are either fourteen
or fifteen of them, and, moreover, their spines are much prolonged
forwards, as in carnivorous quadrupeds.


This is another of the interesting objects first made known to us by
the researches of M. Humboldt, who described it as one of the most
remarkable Monkeys of South America. According to the account of this
well-known traveller, its habits are completely nocturnal, as it
wanders about only during the night, and retires into hollow trees,
or rather recesses, to sleep away the day. In captivity it generally
composes itself to rest at nine in the morning, and continues in
that state until seven in the evening; if, during this period, it is
awakened, it becomes melancholy, listless, and stupid, and seems to
have much difficulty in opening its large, owl-like eyes. M. Humboldt’s
figure represents the animal dormant. No sooner, however, does the
setting sun bring the return of twilight, which to him is his “opening
day,” than our little Monkey becomes all life and impetuosity. He then
commences his hunt (if unconfined) after small birds, insects, and
probably fruits, since he shows no objection to the latter aliment when
in captivity. This carnivorous disposition may probably account for
the extreme difficulty with which this species is tamed. An individual
in the possession of the traveller, and which he kept for nearly five
months, could not be reconciled to captivity. It slept during the day,
hiding itself in the darkest recess it could find. It seldom played
with its master, but showed particular cleverness in capturing flies,
and, if irritated, it hissed and struck with its paw like a Cat, the
throat being at the same time inflated. Its voice, for so small an
animal, is extremely powerful; at times it is described as faintly
resembling the howl of the American Tiger, or Jaguar; and at others to
be a kind of mew, accompanied by a disagreeable guttural sound. The
hair is grey, mixed with white, and glossed with a silvery lustre.
The centre of the back is marked by a brown line, and on the head and
forehead are three others, diverging, and of a black colour. The chest,
belly, and under surface of the limbs are yellowish-orange. The face
resembles that of a Cat, and is covered with blackish hairs. The eyes
are very large, and the ridges of a bright yellow. The tail is bushy,
and half as long again as the body, which measures nine inches and a

[Illustration: ARM-BONE OF OWL MONKEY.]

Mr. Bates is quoted in the following passages with reference to this
and other kinds of Nyctipitheci, and their resemblances:--

[Illustration: RED-FOOTED DOUROUCOULI. (From the _Proceedings of the
Zoological Society_.)]

“An interesting genus of Monkeys, found near Ega, are the Nyctipitheci,
or Night Apes, called Ei-á by the Indians. Of these I found two
species, closely related to each other, but nevertheless quite
distinct, as both inhabit the same forests, namely, those of the higher
and drier lands, without mingling with each other, or intercrossing.
They sleep all day long in hollow trees, and come forth to prey on
insects and eat fruits only in the night. They are of small size, the
body being about a foot long, and the tail fourteen inches, and are
thickly clothed with grey and brown fur, similar in substance to that
of the Rabbit. Their physiognomy reminds one of an Owl, or Tiger-Cat.
The face is round, and encircled by a ruff of whitish fur; the muzzle
is not at all prominent. The mouth and chin are small, the ears are
very short, scarcely appearing above the hair of the head. The eyes are
very large, and yellowish in colour, imparting the staring expression
of nocturnal animals of prey. The forehead is whitish, and decorated
with three black stripes, which in one of the species (_Nyctipithecus
trivirgatus_) continue to the crown, and in the other (_N. felinus_)
meet on the top of the forehead. _N. trivirgatus_ was first described
by Humboldt, who discovered it on the banks of the Cassiquiare, near
the head waters of the Rio Negro. One cannot help being struck by this
curious modification of the American type of Monkeys, for the Owl-faced
Night Apes have evidently sprung from the same stock as the rest of the
Cebidæ, as they do not differ much in all essential points from the
Whaiapurais (_Callithrix_), and the Sia-miús (_Chrysothrix_). They have
nails of the ordinary form on all their fingers, and semi-opposable
thumbs; but the molar teeth, contrary to what is usual in the Cebidæ,
are studded with sharp points, showing that their food is principally
insects. I kept a pet animal of the _N. trivirgatus_ for many months,
a young one being given me by an Indian companion, as a present from
my newly-baptised godson. These Monkeys, although sleeping by day, are
aroused by the least noise, so that when a person passes by a tree on
which a number of them are concealed, he is startled by the sudden
apparition of a group of little striped faces crowding a hole in the
trunk. It was in this way that my companion discovered the colony from
which the one given to me was taken. I was obliged to keep my pet
chained up; it therefore never became thoroughly familiar. I once saw,
however, an individual of the other species (_N. felinus_), which was
most amusingly tame. It was as lively and nimble as the Cebi, but not
so mischievous, and far more confiding in its disposition, delighting
to be caressed by all persons who came into the house; but its owner,
the municipal judge of Ega (Dr. Carlos Mariani), had treated it for
many weeks with the greatest kindness, allowing it to sleep with him
at night in his hammock, and to nestle in his bosom half the day as
he lay reading. It was a great favourite with every one, from the
cleanliness of its habits and the prettiness of its features and ways.
My own pet was kept in a box, in which was placed a broad-mouthed glass
jar. Into this it would dive, head foremost, when any one entered the
room, turning round inside, and thrusting forth its inquisitive face
an instant afterwards to stare at the intruder. It was very active at
night, venting at frequent intervals a hoarse cry, like the suppressed
barking of a Dog, and scampering about the room, to the length of its
tether, after Cockroaches and Spiders. In climbing between the box and
the wall, it straddled the space, resting its hands on the palms and
tips of the outstretched fingers, with the knuckles bent at an acute
angle, and thus mounted to the top with the greatest facility. Although
seeming to prefer insects, it ate all kinds of fruit, but would not
touch raw or cooked meat, and was very seldom thirsty. I was told by
persons who had kept these Monkeys loose about the house, that they
cleared the chamber of Bats, as well as insect vermin. When approached
gently, my Ei-á allowed itself to be caressed, but when handled roughly
it always took alarm, biting severely, striking out with its little
hands, and making a hissing noise like a Cat. As already related, my
pet was killed by a jealous Caiarára Monkey, which was kept in the
house at the same time.”


This night-loving Monkey has short hair, and a cylindrical tail,
and looks like one of the Lemurs. It has rufous hands and feet, the
ear-conches are large and prominent, and almost hairless. It inhabits

Another species[99] is quite nocturnal in its habits, coming out after
dark only in search of food in the Peruvian valleys.


Humboldt was much impressed with the resemblance of some of these
Monkeys in the face to man. One of them, the Capuchin of the
Orinoco, is certainly strangely human in its appearance. The eyes
have, according to Broderip, a mingled expression of melancholy and
fierceness. There is a long, thick beard, and as this conceals the
retreating chin, the face and forehead are much upon a line. Strong,
active, and fierce, he is tamed with the greatest difficulty, and
when angered he raises himself on his hinder extremities, grinds his
teeth in his wrath, and leaps around his antagonist with threatening
gestures. “If any malicious person wishes to see this Homunculus,”
writes that entertaining author, “in a most devouring rage, let him
wet the Capuchin’s beard, and he will find that such an act is an
unforgivable sin.” It is so anxious not to wet this fine ornament
to its face, that instead of putting the mouth to the stream when
it desires to drink, it lifts the water in the hollow of its hand,
inclines its head on its shoulder, and, carrying the draught to its
mouth, drinks slowly, and with deliberation. This Saki is called
_Pithecia cheiropotes_ (the Hand-drinking Monkey). Its length,
including the bushy tail, is about two feet nine inches. It is of a
brownish-red colour, and the hair of the forehead is directed forwards.
The body hair is long, and the beard, which arises below the ears,
is brown, inclining to black, and it covers the upper part of the
breast. The back is red, the eyes are sunken, and the nails are, with
the exception of those of the thumbs, more like claws. They are very
solitary, and often are found without their mates.

This Saki has, in common with many others, certain structural
peculiarities which group them all in the genus _Pithecia_. For
instance, the incisor or front teeth are rather prominent obliquely,
and the lower are long. The canine teeth are long, thick, and
cone-shaped. The crushing, or molar teeth, are small. The tail is very
hairy, and the ears are large. The ribs are broader relatively in this
genus than in any other of the Monkeys.

As has already been noticed, the tail differs in length in different
members or species of this genus, and consequently it has been divided
into a long-tailed and a short-tailed set. The Monkey just mentioned
belongs to the long-tailed series, as does also the following:--


This Saki has a beard under its chin, and the fur is generally of a
brown-black in the male, and brown in the female. It has a fine fiery
tail, and a very human aspect. The name is by no means satisfactory,
especially as by a curious mistake the young ones have been called


Bates gives the following description of this Monkey, whose habits
he studied on the Upper Amazon, at Ega:--“One of the Ega Monkeys is
called the Parauacú, and is a timid, inoffensive creature, with a long
bear-like coat of harsh speckled-grey hair. The long fur hangs over the
head, half concealing the pleasing, diminutive face, and clothes also
the tail to the tip, which member is well developed, being eighteen
inches in length, or longer than the body. The Parauacú is a very
delicate animal, rarely living many weeks in captivity; but any one
who succeeds in keeping it alive for a month or two gains by it a most
affectionate pet. One of the specimens of _Pithecia albicans_--which
is only a variety of this species--now in the British Museum was, when
living, the property of a young Frenchman, a neighbour of mine at Ega.
It became so tame in the course of a few weeks that it followed him
about the streets like a Dog. My friend was a tailor, and the little
pet used to spend the greater part of the day seated on his shoulder,
whilst he was at work on his board. It showed, nevertheless, great
dislike to strangers, and was not on good terms with any other member
of my friend’s household than himself. I saw no Monkey that showed
so strong a personal attachment as this gentle, timid, silent little
creature. The eager and passionate Cebi seem to take the lead of all
the South American Monkeys in intelligence and docility, and the
Coaita has perhaps the most gentle and impressible disposition; but
the Parauacú, although a dull, cheerless animal, excels all in this
quality of capability of attachment to man. It is not wanting, however,
in intelligence as well as moral goodness, proof of which was furnished
one day by an act of our little pet. My neighbour had quitted his house
in the morning without taking the Parauacú with him, and the little
creature having missed its friend, and concluded, as it seemed, that
he would be sure to come to me, both being in the habit of paying me a
visit daily together, came straight to my dwelling, taking a short cut
over gardens, trees, and thickets, instead of going the roundabout way
of the street. It had never done this before, and we knew the route
it had taken only from a neighbour having watched its movements. On
arriving at my house and not finding its master, it climbed to the top
of my table, and sat with an air of quiet resignation waiting for him.
Shortly afterwards my friend entered, and the gladdened pet then jumped
to its usual perch--on his shoulder.”

THE MONK.[103]

[Illustration: BRAIN OF MONK.

(From the _Proceedings of the Zoological Society_.)]

This Monkey is introduced here with a view of explaining the general
characteristics of the brain of the group.

The brain of one of these Monkeys weighed 460 grains, or the
one-eighteenth part of an entire but emaciated body. The general form
is a regular arch, and the cerebellum is covered by the brain proper.
Its general form is like that of some of the Cebi, and is less pointed
than that of the Old World Apes in front, and less elongated and
depressed than those of the lowest Monkeys of the New World, such as
the marmosets and Tamarins, for instance.

On the outer surface of the brain there are few but deeply-cut and
characteristic furrows. The fissure of Sylvius slopes backwards and
upwards, but not very far back, and ends abruptly. On the front lobe
there is a deeply-marked fissure, running crossways, backwards, and
outwards, and bent in the middle. Separated from this by a wide
interval is the fissure of Rolando. The external perpendicular fissure
so common in the Old World Monkeys is just visible. On the inner
surface the sulci are present in a simple form, and the calcarine
sulcus is well curved, and prolonged and bifurcated. This is a better
organised brain than that of the Howler, and is not unlike that of the
Spider Monkey.

[Illustration: MONK. (From the _Proceedings of the Zoological

The second series of the Sakis, or those with only a short tail, or
a stump of three inches in length, are called Brachyures, from this


These are the names of a rare Monkey, which Bates described as
follows:--“Early one sunny morning, in the year 1855, I saw in the
streets of Ega a number of Indians, carrying on their shoulders down
to the port, to be embarked on the Upper Amazon steamer, a large cage,
made of strong lianas, some twelve feet in length and five in height,
containing a dozen Monkeys of the most grotesque appearance. Their
bodies (about eighteen inches in height, exclusive of limbs) were
clothed from neck to tail with very long, straight, and shining whitish
hair. Their heads were nearly bald, owing to the very short crop of
thin grey hairs, and their faces glowed with the most vivid scarlet
hue. As a finish to their striking physiognomy, they had bushy whiskers
of a sandy colour, meeting under the chin, and reddish-yellow eyes.
They sat gravely and silently in a group, and altogether presented a
strange spectacle. These red-faced Apes belonged to a species called by
the Indians Vikarof, which is peculiar to the Ega district, and they
had been obtained with great difficulty in the forests which cover the
low lands, near the principal mouth of the Japura, about thirty miles
from Ega. It was the first time I had seen this most curious of all the
South American Monkeys. I afterwards made a journey to the district
inhabited by it, but did not then succeed in obtaining specimens;
before leaving the country, however, I acquired two individuals, one of
which lived in my house for several weeks.

[Illustration: COUXIO. (From the _Proceedings of the Zoological

“The Scarlet-faced Monkey lives in forests which are inundated during
a great part of the year. It is never known to descend to the ground;
the shortness of its tail is therefore no sign of terrestrial habits,
as it is in the Macaques and Baboons of the Old World. It differs
a little from the typical Cebidæ in its teeth, the incisors being
oblique, and in the upper jaw converging, so as to leave a gap between
the outermost and the canine teeth. Like the rest of its family, it
differs from the Monkeys of the Old World, and from man, in having an
additional grinding tooth (pre-molar) on each side of both jaws, making
the complete set thirty-six, instead of thirty-two, in number. This
Uakari (_Brachyurus calvus_), also called the White Uakari, from its
skin, seems to be found in no other part of America than the district
just mentioned, namely, the banks of the Japura, near its principal
mouth; and even there it is confined, as far as I could learn, to the
western side of the river. It lives in small troops amongst the crowns
of the lofty trees, living on fruits of various kinds. Hunters say it
is pretty nimble in its motions, but is not much given to leaping,
preferring to run up and down the larger boughs in travelling from tree
to tree. The mother, as in other species of the Monkey order, carries
her young on her back. Individuals are obtained alive by shooting them
with the blow-pipe, and arrows tipped with diluted Urari poison. They
run a considerable distance after being pierced, and it requires an
experienced hunter to track them. He is considered the most expert who
can keep pace with a wounded one, and catch it in his arms when it
falls exhausted. A pinch of salt (the antidote to the poison) is then
put in its mouth, and the creature revives. The species is rare, even
to the limited district which it inhabits. Senikor Chrysostomo sent
six of his most skilful Indians, who were absent three weeks before
they obtained the twelve specimens already noticed. When an independent
hunter obtains one, a very high price (thirty or forty milreis--£3 7s.
to £4 13s.) is asked, these Monkeys being in great demand for presents
to persons of influence down the river. Adult Uakaries caught in the
way just described very rarely become tame. They are peevish and sulky,
resisting all attempts to coax them, and biting any one who ventures
within reach. They have no particular cry, even when in their native
woods. In captivity they are quite silent. In the course of a few days,
or weeks, if not very carefully attended to, they fall into a listless
condition, refuse food, and die. Many of them succumb to a disease
which, I supposed from the symptoms, to be inflammation of the chest
or lungs. The one which I kept as a pet died of this disorder after I
had had it about three weeks. It lost its appetite in a very few days,
although kept in an airy verandah. Its coat, which was originally
long, smooth, and glossy, became dingy and ragged, like that of the
specimens seen in museums; and the bright scarlet colour of its face
changed to a duller hue. This colour, in health, is spread over the
features up to the roots of the hair on the forehead and temples, and
down to the neck, including the flabby cheeks, which hang down below
the jaws. The animal in this condition looks, at a short distance, as
though some one had laid a thick coat of red paint on its countenance.
The death of my pet was slow; during the last twenty-four hours it lay
prostrate, breathing quickly, its chest strongly heaving. The colour
of its face grew gradually paler, but was still red when it expired.
As the hue did not quite disappear until two or three hours after the
animal was quite dead, I judged that it was not exclusively due to the
blood, but partly to a pigment beneath the skin, which would probably
retain its colour a short time after the circulation had ceased. After
seeing much of the morose disposition of the Uakari, I was not a little
surprised one day at a friend’s house to find an extremely lively and
familiar individual of this species. It ran from an inner chamber
straight towards me after I had sat down on a chair, climbed my legs,
and nestled in my lap, turning round and looking up with the usual
Monkey’s grin after it had made itself comfortable. It was a young
animal, which had been taken when its mother was shot with a poisoned
arrow. Its teeth were incomplete, and the face was pale and mottled,
the glowing scarlet hue not supervening in these animals before mature
age; it had also a few long black hairs on the eyebrows and lips. The
frisky little fellow had been reared in the house amongst the children,
and allowed to run about freely, and took its meals with the rest of
the household. There are few animals which the Brazilians of these
villages have not succeeded in taming. I have even seen young Jaguars
running loose about a house, and treated as pets. The animals that
I had rarely became familiar, however long they might remain in my
possession, a circumstance due, no doubt, to their being kept always
tied up. The Uakari is one of the many species of animals which are
classified by the Brazilians as ‘mortal,’ or of delicate constitution,
in contradistinction to those which are ‘duro,’ or hardy. A large
proportion of the specimens sent from Ega die before arriving at Para,
and scarcely one in a dozen succeeds in reaching Rio Janeiro alive. It
appears, nevertheless, that an individual has once been brought in a
living state to England, for Dr. Gray relates that one was exhibited in
the gardens of the Zoological Society in 1849. The difficulty it has of
accommodating itself to changed conditions probably has some connection
with the very limited range or confined sphere of life of the species
in its natural state, its native home being an area of swampy woods,
not more than about sixty square miles in extent, although no permanent
barrier exists to check its dispersal, except towards the south, over
a much wider space. When I descended the river in 1859 we had with us
a tame adult Uakari, which was allowed to ramble about the vessel, a
large schooner. When we reached the mouth of the Rio Negro we had to
wait four days, whilst the Custom-house officials at Barra, ten miles
distant, made out the passports for our crew, and during this time the
schooner lay close to the shore, with its bowsprit secured to the trees
on the bank. Well, one morning Scarlet-face was missing, having made
his escape into the forest. Two men were sent in search of him, but
returned, after several hours’ absence, without having caught sight of
the runaway. We gave up the Monkey for lost, until the following day,
when he re-appeared on the skirts of the forest, and marched quietly
down the bowsprit to his usual place on deck. He had evidently found
the forests of the Rio Negro very different from those of the delta
lands of the Japura, and preferred captivity to freedom in a place that
was so uncongenial to him.“


This, like the last, must be enumerated among the more remarkable
Monkeys of the New World, from all of which it is to be immediately
distinguished by the extreme shortness of the tail, a structure which
would seem to make it the representative of the Baboons of the Old
Continent. It is, in fact, the only one hitherto discovered in America
whose tail does not exceed three inches in length. It is altogether a
small species, that described by Humboldt measuring little more than
one foot five inches from the head to the feet. In its adult state,
however, it is described as reaching the length of another foot. Its
disposition is inactive, phlegmatic, but very docile. It eats with
avidity all sorts of fruits--sweet or sour. These it will seize by
stretching out both hands at once, bending the back and body at the
same time in a forward attitude. The physiognomy has a much more human
expression than that of the generality of Monkeys, particularly in
the face, which is naked and black. Its profile is not much unlike
the Ethiopian. The head is oval, but flattened on the sides. On the
eyelids, mouth, and chin there are a few stiff hairs, but the chin has
no beard. The ears are large, and like those of the human subject,
are naked. The fur is long, shining, and of a uniform yellowish-brown
colour over the whole of the body. The fingers are much lengthened,
the nails rather flat; and the tail, notwithstanding its shortness, is
thick, and almost naked towards its extremity. Broderip compares its
face to one of the old withered negroes, who, by great respectability
of conduct, have gained their freedom. Another variety is the
White-headed Saki,[106] of which we give an illustration.

[Illustration: WHITE-HEADED SAKI.]

[Illustration: COMMON MARMOSETS.]



    The Dentition of the Genus Hapale, or the Marmosets, or
    Ouistitis--The Face--The Paw-like Hands and Feet--Their Claws--The
    Skull and Brain, and the Nature of the Diet--THE COMMON
    TAMARINS--Their Dentition--THE NEGRO TAMARIN--Its Habits--MIDAS
    Arctopithecini in general.

The second division of the Monkeys of the New World is characterised
by there bring thirty-two teeth, and the tail is not prehensile. It is
generally termed that of the Marmosets, or in scientific language, the
Arctopithecini, a word which means Bear-Monkey. There are two genera
in this division: the first is that of the Marmosets proper, or genus
Hapale; and the second is that of the Tamarins, or genus Midas.


In this genus the thirty-two teeth are so arranged that instead of
there being three back teeth, or true molars, on the side of each
jaw, they have only two. But there are false molars placed in front
of these two crushing molars, and this has a direct relation to the
insectivorous diet of the animal. The outer edge of these false molars
has one sharp point, admirably adapted to pierce a hard-coated Beetle,
or to smash up a grub. The incisor, or front teeth, differ in the two
genera. They are long (especially the lower ones), narrow, and are
curved outwards, and they stick out forwards from the jaw in the genus
Hapale. Those of the Tamarins are short and broad, the lower ones being
stuck out and close together. The lower canine teeth of the Hapale, or
Ouistitis, are very small, and those of the other genus are larger.

The face of the Marmoset is short, and the broad division between the
nostrils, which open widely apart and outwards, is very evident. Very
remarkable are the feet, for in these Monkeys the toe-thumb is not
widely separated from the other digits, but is close to and parallel
with them, so that they resemble the human foot more than the human
hand. The insectivorous and carnivorous propensities of these little
creatures are shown in the form of their nails, which are claws. They
are curved, compressed from side to side, and sharp, except that of
the great toe, which is broad. In the hand the thumb is not capable of
being separated widely from the other fingers, and it has a sharp claw
on it, so the resemblance to a true hand is small, and the likeness to
a “paw” is great; and to conclude this part of the subject, the soles
are much longer than the toes. Hence, with paws and long feet with
claws, these little creatures, which have been termed Hapale--from
ἁπαλός (soft, gentle)--are not unlike Bears in their extremities, and
have been called Bear-Monkeys, or _Arctopithecini_. The intelligence
of these Monkeys is certainly not very great, hence the examination of
their brain is sure to be interesting, for one would expect that it
could not be like that of the intelligent Cebus, or even that of the
Spider Monkey. The mouth appears to be large, and it really has a wide

[Illustration: 1. HAND-BONES OF MARMOSET.


First, then, the skull is remarkable for the relative size of the
brain-case, and the back part projects far behind. The outside of the
skull is smooth and rounded, and the brow-ridges are very slight, the
orbits being large. Inside, and accommodating itself to this long head,
is a very long brain, whose back part projects past the cerebellum.
But this is not all the unusual part of it, for instead of there
being convolutions, or packings-in of the surface of the brain, it
is almost smooth, the great fissures being alone marked. Here, then,
is the lowest form of brain yet noticed in the Quadrumana, and it
approaches to the form seen in the lower animals. What the great back
part of the brain-case means is hardly yet known, but if it refers to
the affections it will render the story told by Broderip all the more
valuable. He says that a lady kept two of these Marmosets, and that she
was impressed with their great affection for each other. “They had no
family, but they were very happy, and were all in all to each other.
One of them unfortunately died. The other seemed to be unwilling to
believe the change that had taken place, and continued to caress the
body, until it became absolutely necessary to remove it. Everything
was done to console the widow that its fond and distressed mistress
could think of, but as soon as its mate was taken away the poor widowed
creature pressed its little hands to its eyes, refused to be comforted,
and remained pining in that attitude till death relieved it of its

The teeth and claws indicate a carnivorous or insectivorous diet in
these Monkeys, and the brain does not deny it, and many anecdotes
may be told of their love of something alive. Every one may see the
Marmosets at the Zoological Gardens making usually very successful
dashes at flies with their fingers, and enjoying their tiny prey; and
there is little doubt that the following story is true:--One of them,
which was kept by the “Sage Femme” of the Royal Family about a hundred
years since, took a great fancy to fish, and made a dash at a Goldfish
he saw swimming round and round in its globe. He caught it, and ate it,
so the lady observing his fondness for something lively gave him an
Eel, and as the little Monkey was not more than eight or nine inches in
length without his tail, this lively gift frightened him at first by
twisting round his body and neck; but he soon killed it, and enjoyed
the treat.


These little, gentle, pretty creatures, usually so readily tamed, are
made great pets of, and attract much attention in all collections of
animals, and one kind has been often brought from the tropical woods of
the Brazils and kept in England, so that its habits during captivity
have been watched from birth until death in adult age. Many years
since F. Cuvier had some of the common Marmosets born whilst under his
care, and he watched them and their parents well. The young ones had
their eyes open on coming into the world, and their skins were covered
with very smooth hair of a deep grey colour, but which was scarcely
perceptible on the tail. They instantly crept into their mother’s
nice warm fur, and clung on with their little hands and feet, and
they attracted the intense admiration and curiosity of the father and
mother, who were in the same cage. There were three little ones, and
the mother indeed did not know what to do with them. Broderip suggests
that what followed was because the lady Ouistiti had no experienced
female friend to direct her in her first confinement. At any rate,
the mother seized the first by the head, and proceeded to bite this
important part of the body off, and, luckily for the other two, whilst
she was thus finishing off her offspring, they managed to get to her
breasts, and to begin to suck. From that moment she bestowed upon
them the natural attention of a parent, and became all affection. The
father was even more affectionate than the mother, and assisted most
assiduously in the nursing department. The favourite position of the
young ones was upon the back and bosom of the mother, and when she
was tired of nursing she would come up to her mate with a shrill cry,
which Broderip writes said as plainly as any one could speak, “Here,
do take the children!” He immediately stretched forth his hands, and
placed the little ones on his back, or under his body, where they held
on whilst he carried them about, and amused them. At last they used
to get hungry, and whined for their mother, who took them, and after
having nursed them returned them to their “papa.” In fact, the father
did all the hard work, and the mother merely fed them. In this instance
this domestic happiness was cut short, for the mother was weakly, no
wet-nurse was to be had, and the little ones sank and died. In their
native state they lead an arboreal life, and assemble in groups of
six or seven, climbing up the tallest trees, and jumping from bough
to bough, showing the greatest activity, like and greater than that
of Squirrels. So rapidly do they move from branch to branch, and from
tree to tree, that the eye fails to follow them readily. They are
recognised at once by their long tuft of whitish hair, which sticks out
from the side of the head, and almost hides the ears. The size of the
whole animal is about that of a small Squirrel, and the tail is very
long, bushy, and prettily marked with alternate rings of ash-colour
and of black fur. The head is small, the eyes are gentle-looking, and
the nose is flat, the face being black. The fur of the body is darkish
brown, with different shades of colour for each hair, which is dusky at
its root, reddish in the middle, and grey at the tip. There are very
different stories told regarding their intelligence and affection. Some
naturalists assert that they are incapable of affection towards man,
even to the hand that feeds them. Swainson says “it mistrusts all,
and treats as indifferently those whom one would think it well knew
and those who are strangers; neither does it show much intelligence,
although it is attentive, and suspicious of everything that is passing.
When under the influence of fear it strives to conceal itself, uttering
a short but piercing cry; at other times it hisses.” The name Ouistiti
has been given to this Monkey, and the Portuguese of the Amazon
districts called it the Sanglain, whilst Europeans term it a Marmoset.


The word “humerale” is to be translated a part of the harness on the
shoulders, or a graduate’s cloak, according to an old Latin dictionary,
and thus far a fit name has been given to a little Monkey thus noticed
by Mr. Bates in his work on the Amazons:--

“I saw in the woods on one occasion a small flock of Monkeys. They
belonged to a very pretty and rare species, a kind of Marmoset, I think
the _Hapale humeralifer_ described by Geoffroy St. Hilaire. I did not
succeed in obtaining a specimen, but saw a living example afterwards in
the possession of a shopkeeper, at Santarem. It seems to occur nowhere
else except in the dry woods bordering the campos in the interior
parts of Brazil. The colours of its fur are beautifully varied; the
fore part of the body is white, with the hands grey; the hind part
black, with the rump and underside deadish-tawny; the tail is banded
with grey and black. Its face is partly naked, and flesh-coloured, and
the ears are fringed with long hairs. The specimen was not more than
eight inches in length, exclusive of the tail. Altogether I thought it
the prettiest species of its family I had yet seen. One would mistake
it at first sight for a kitten, from its small size, varied colours,
and the softness of its fur. It was a most timid creature, screaming
and biting when any one attempted to handle it. It became familiar,
however, with the people of the house a few days after it came into
their possession. When hungry or uneasy it uttered a weak, querulous
cry, a shrill note, which was sometimes prolonged so as to resemble the
stridulation of a Grasshopper.”


The Tamarins have the upper front teeth placed close together; and
the lower, which are broad and truncated, project forwards. The lower
canines are longer and larger than in the Marmosets. Living in the
forests of the Isthmus of Panama, Peru, and of the Brazils, they
sometimes collect in troops. They are very restless, active, and
probably indulge in a very mixed diet of fruit, eggs, insects, and
small birds. The smaller they are the more violent are they in their
gesticulations and rage. They appear, when annoyed, bristling up their
hair in a very fierce manner. They are, however, easily tamed, and are
made great pets of by the natives.


Bates gives some interesting details regarding the little Midas, or
Tamarin Monkeys, which he saw during his long residence on the Amazons.
He writes:--

“They are small in size, and more like Squirrels than true Monkeys in
their manner of climbing. The nails, except those of the hind thumbs,
are long and claw-shaped, like those of Squirrels, and the thumbs
of the fore extremities, or hands, are not opposable to the other
fingers. I do not mean to convey that they have a near relationship to
Squirrels, which belong to the Rodents, an inferior order of Mammals;
their resemblance to those animals is merely a superficial one. The
body is long and slender, clothed with soft hair, and the tail,
which is nearly twice the length of the trunk, is not prehensile.
The hind limbs are much larger in volume than the anterior pair. The
_Midas ursulus_ is never seen in large flocks; three or four is the
greatest number observed together. It seems to be less afraid of the
neighbourhood of man than any other Monkey. I sometimes saw it in
the woods which border the suburban streets, and once I espied two
individuals in a thicket behind the English Consul’s house at Nazareth.
Its mode of progression along the main boughs of the lofty trees is
like that of the Squirrels; it does not ascend to the slender branches,
or take wonderful flying leaps like those Monkeys whose prehensile
tails and flexible hands fit them for such headlong travelling. It
confines itself to the larger boughs and trunks of trees, the long
nails being of great assistance to the creature, enabling it to cling
securely to the bark, and it is often seen passing rapidly round the
perpendicular cylindrical trunks. It is a quick, restless, timid little
creature, and has a great share of curiosity, for when a person passes
by under the trees along which a flock is running, they always stop for
a few moments to have a stare at the intruder. In Para, the _Ursulus_
is often seen in a tame state in the houses of the inhabitants. When
full grown it is about nine inches long, independently of the tail,
which measures fifteen inches. The fur is thick, and black in colour,
with the exception of a reddish-brown streak down the middle of the
back. When first taken, or when kept tied up, it is very timid and
irritable. It will not allow itself to be approached, but keeps
retreating backwards in a querulous humour, uttering a twittering,
complaining noise, its dark, watchful eyes, expressive of distrust,
observant of every movement which takes place near it. When treated
kindly, however, as it generally is in the houses of the natives,
it becomes very tame and familiar. I once saw one as playful as a
kitten, running about the house after the negro children, who fondled
it to their hearts’ content. It acted somewhat differently towards
strangers, and seemed not to like them to sit on the hammock which was
slung in the room, leaping up, trying to bite, and otherwise annoying
them. It is generally fed on sweet fruits, such as the banana,
but it is also fond of insects, especially soft-bodied Spiders and
Grasshoppers, which it will snap up with eagerness when within reach.
The expression of countenance in these small Monkeys is intelligent
and pleasing. This is partly owing to the open facial angle which is
given as one of 60°; but the quick movements of the head, and the way
they have of inclining it on one side when their curiosity is excited,
contribute very much to give them a knowing expression. Anatomists
who have dissected species of Midas tell us that the brain is of a
very low type, from there being few convolutions, the surface being as
smooth as that of a Squirrel’s. I should conclude, at once, that this
character is an unsafe guide in judging on the mental qualities of
these animals. In mobility of expression of countenance, intelligence,
and general manners, these small Monkeys resemble the higher Apes far
more than they do any rodent animal with which I am acquainted. On the
Upper Amazon I once saw a tame individual of the _Midas leoninus_, a
species first described by Humboldt, which was still more playful and
intelligent than the one just described. This rare and beautiful little
Monkey is only seven inches in length, exclusive of the tail. It is
named _leoninus_ on account of the long brown mane which depends from
the neck, and which gives it very much the appearance of a diminutive
Lion. In the house where it was kept it was familiar with every one;
its greatest pleasure seemed to be to climb about the bodies of
different persons who entered. The first time I went in it ran across
the room straightway to the chair on which I sat down, and climbed up
to my shoulder. Arrived there it turned round and looked into my face,
showing its little teeth, and chattering, as though it would say,
‘Well, and how do you do?’ It showed more affection towards its master
than towards strangers, and would climb up to his head a dozen times
in the course of an hour, making a great show every time of searching
there for certain animalculæ. Isidore Geoffroy St. Hilaire relates of a
species of this genus, that it distinguished between different objects
depicted on an engraving. M. Audouin showed it the portraits of a Cat
and a Wasp. At these it became much terrified; whereas, at the sight
of a figure of a Grasshopper or Beetle, it precipitated itself on the
picture, as if to seize the objects there represented.“


Bates is the authority for the following short notice of this pretty
Monkey:--“The little Tamarin is one of the rarest of the American
Monkeys. I have not heard of its being found anywhere except near
Cameta. I once saw three individuals together running along a branch
in a cacao grove near Cameta. They looked like white kittens. In their
motions they resembled precisely the _Midas ursulus_ already described.
I saw afterwards a pet animal of this species, and heard that there
were many so kept, and that they were esteemed as choice treasures.
The one I saw was full-grown, but it measured only seven inches in
length of body. It was covered with long white silky hairs, the tail
was blackish, and the flesh nearly naked and flesh-coloured. It was a
most timid and sensitive little thing. The woman who owned it carried
it constantly in her bosom, and no money would induce her to part with
her pet. She called it ‘Mico.’ It fed from her mouth, and allowed her
to fondle it freely, but the nervous little creature would not permit
strangers to touch it. If any one attempted to do so it shrank back,
the whole body trembling with fear, and its teeth chattered, whilst it
uttered its tremulous frightened tones. The expression of its features
was like that of its more robust brother, the _ursulus_; the eyes,
which were black, were full of curiosity and mistrust, and it always
kept them fixed on the person who attempted to advance towards it.”


[Illustration: DEVILLE’S MIDAS. (From the _Proceedings of the
Zoological Society_.)]

This pretty Monkey is plentiful everywhere on the Peruvian Amazons, but
is extremely delicate in constitution. It will not bear the least cold,
and it is kept with great difficulty. The Indian women make great pets
of them, and put them into the long hair on their heads. They are thus
kept warm, and are not without interesting occupation. Having become
tame they frequently hop out of their odd home and feed, or having
captured a Spider or two, scamper back and hide under the luxuriant
crop of their owners, who are generally unwilling to part with them.


This is one of the prettiest of the Tamarins, and has long silky fur
and soft yellow hair. This is arranged like a mane around the neck
and face, near to which its tint is redder than usual, and, to make
a contrast, the face itself, and also the hands and feet, are dark
purple. The beauty of the hair is very striking, and when the sun
shines upon it there is a great display of colour, and a rich gloss
over all. Like all the Tamarins, it has a tail about the same length as
the body, which is not prehensile, but it is in this instance tufted at
the end. The habits are pretty evident when the sharp, claw-like nails
are examined. They are admirably adapted for seizing and killing small
birds and insects, as well as for assisting the hands to hold fruit.

[Illustration: SKULL OF MARMOSET.]

In the Brazilian forests they assemble in small parties, and,
like the other Marmosets, bound from tree to tree, and keep up a
great chattering and whistling, and they cry out with alarm, and
soon disperse on the appearance of man within their usual haunts.
This fondness for being high up in the woods is carried into their
captivity, where they prefer having their little nest up at the top of
the cage. In descending from this favourite spot they usually climb
down backwards, the tail hanging down. They do not try to stand erect,
and, indeed, the position is not natural to them.

They like to be caressed and fondled, but they give no such return, and
they know those who are kind to them. They dislike strangers usually,
and hiss at them. They are very delicate in Europe, as they require a
constant high temperature. Cuvier states that these Monkeys have an air
sac in the throat, resembling in situation that of the Spider Monkey
(_Ateles paniscus_).

The Arctopithecini, as a group, have a smooth and rounded skull, large
orbits, small brow-ridges, and a large brain-case. The skull is large
behind, and the opening for the spinal cord (foramen magnum) is at the
junction of the hind third with the two fore thirds of the length of
the brain. They have numerous vertebræ in their back-bone, and those
in the back and loins number usually nineteen. It is stated by Cuvier
that there is an air sac in the neck of the _Midas ursulus_, which
communicates with the organ of voice through a space between two of its
cartilages. It appears that the hands and feet of the Marmosets have
thumbs and toe-thumbs so slightly separable from the fingers and toes
that the resemblance to “feet” is decided. This is increased by the
fact that the thumbs have claws on them, and the toe-thumb is the only
digit with a flat nail, all the rest having claw-like ones. The thumb
is really not opposable, but nevertheless the muscles are there to give
it movement; the opponens muscle of the thumb is doubtfully present,
but the adductors, abductor, and long and short flexors are all there.
There is much union of the deeper muscles of the fingers, indicating
less independence of movement. In the foot the toe-thumb has no special
abductor, and the transversus pedis is absent.



    The Classification of the Monkeys of the New World--The
    Geographical Distribution of the Genera--The Fossil Monkeys of the
    New and Old World and their Alliances--The former old Fauna of
    Europe, Asia, and Africa--The Resemblance of Quadrumana to other
    Animals and Man.

With regard to the Monkeys of the New World, they are to be grouped and
classified as follows:--The Howlers must be placed by themselves, then
the Spider Monkeys; the Lagothrix and the Sajous form a very distinct
group; and thus the prehensile-tailed series is complete. Then come
the non-prehensile-tailed. The Sakis form one group, and the Squirrel
Monkeys, and the Night, or Owl Monkeys (the Douroucoulis), make a
second. The Arctopithecini are another family, and consist of the
Marmosets and Tamarins.

    _Family._       _Sub-Family._          _Genus._        _Example._
                                        { Mycetes        Howler.
  Platyrhini,                           {
  or Cebidæ     Prehensile-tailed       { Ateles         Spider Monkey.
                                        { Lagothrix      Barrigudo.
                                        { Cebus          Cai.
                                       { Pithecia,
                                       {   including
                                       {   Brachyurus   Saki.
                Non-prehensile-tailed  { Callithrix     Squirrel Monkey.
                                       { Nyctipithecus  Douroucouli.
  Arctopithecini                         Hapale         Marmosets.
                                         Midas          Tamarins.

The American Monkeys present some remarkable instances of the
localisation and dispersion of species; allied kinds of different
species, but with the same habits, occupying neighbouring districts,
or being rather remote. And it is noticed that the great rivers form
barriers between the homes of different kinds, which, however, mingle
at the river source, and in the country not rendered impassable to
them by broad streams. Thus Wallace noticed that the Howler (_Mycetes
Beelzebub_) is apparently confined to the Lower Amazon, in the vicinity
of Para, and a black species to the Upper Amazon, the Red Ursine Howler
having the Rio Negro and the Upper Amazon as its forest ground.

One Spider Monkey is found only in the Guiana district north of the
Amazons, and another, the _Ateles ater_, inhabits West Brazil, but the
species of the genus range, as a whole, over the forest regions from
the south of Mexico to 30° south latitude, and even on the west of the

The Lagothrix Monkeys, with their fine, furry coats, are found in the
Ecuador district of the Amazons, but are unknown in Guiana and Eastern
Brazil, and the species of the short-tailed Sakis are restricted
to special districts; thus the Couxio is from Guiana, and does not
pass the Rio Negro on the west, or the Amazon on the south. The
white-skinned one is found on the Rio Negro, and the _B. rubicundus_ on
the Upper Amazon, another species being found on the lower part of the
same river. So it is with the other Sakis with long tails. The genus
is found widely dispersed, but the species are restricted in their
roaming. One is found, according to Wallace, on the north bank of the
Upper Amazon, and another, with a red beard, only to the south-west of
the Rio Negro. The genus Cebus has a very wide range in South America,
so has the Squirrel Monkey group, for they are found on both banks of
the Amazon and Rio Negro; but the white-collared species is found only
on the Upper Rio Negro, and another on the Upper Amazon.

The same author noticed the range of the Douroucoulis in the Amazon
districts; one (_N. trivirgatus_) is found in Ecuador, and the Cat-like
kind on the Upper Amazon. Equally restricted to limited districts were
three kinds of Marmosets.

Fossil remains of Monkeys have been found in the New World in the
Brazils, which belong to the existing genera Cebus, Callithrix, and
Hapale. The fossil Cebus is at least four feet in height, and the
Callithrix was of a very large kind. The fossil Ouistitis are large
and small. The geological age of the Brazilian fossils is probably
about that of the last European deposits. Now, the remarkable part of
this interesting story is, that in the olden time there was the same
division of the Monkeys into those of the Old and of the New World. The
Catarhini were then, as now, restricted to Europe, Asia, and doubtless
to Africa; and the Platyrhini were only found in America, and moreover
the resemblance of the old forms to the new is remarkable, the large
size of the fossils being in keeping with what is known about the large
dimensions of most of the old forms of life. Rütimeyer’s discovery in
Switzerland of a fossil with bones like those of the Howler (Mycetes),
and yet like a Lemur in structure, and of vast antiquity, carries us
back to a time when a different distribution of animals prevailed. Then
there were American-looking and Madagascar-looking things in Europe,
and associated with them were Opossums and other creatures foreign
enough to it at the present time. Nevertheless, this fact gives the
hint of the origin of the American Monkeys from the Lemurs. Lately the
fossil remains of a Lemur-like animal have been found in North America.
In concluding this short notice of the extinct Monkeys, it must be
remembered that in the days when there were those agreeable northern
climates which made Greenland a land of flowers, Indian Monkeys lived
in the dense woods of Greece, Central Europe, and Southern France.

Mr. Darwin, who has collected a vast array of facts relating to the
resemblance of the Monkeys to other beings, writes very much as

“The resemblance of Monkeys to man is greatly caused by the relative
position of the features of the face. The eyes are arched over; they
are separated by a long nose, the end of which in some is very human.
The mouth is not carried back, but occupies the same general position
as in man, and the forehead, so often wrinkled, is usually prominent,
and like that of a child. The likeness is increased by the fact that
anger, sorrow, pleasure, and satisfaction are displayed by the Monkey
by nearly similar movements of the muscles and skin, chiefly above
the eyebrows, and round the mouth. Some few expressions,” writes Mr.
Darwin, “are, indeed, almost the same, as in the weeping of certain
kinds of Monkeys, and in the laughing noise made by others, during
which the corners of the mouth are drawn backwards, and the eyelids
wrinkled. In man the nose is much more prominent than in most Monkeys;
but,” writes the same author, “we may trace the commencement of an
aquiline curvature in the nose of the Hoolock Gibbon, and this in
the great-nosed Monkey is carried to a ridiculous extreme.” All this
is disappointing to those who pride themselves on “the family nose,”
especially if it is a Roman. Again, the faces of many Monkeys are
furnished with beards, whiskers, and moustaches. The hair grows to a
great length in some species of Semnopithecus, and in the Bonnet Monkey
(_Macacus radiatus_) it radiates from a point on the crown, with a
parting down the middle. This is a human fashion; moreover, in this
Monkey the front hair ends rather abruptly, and a downy and almost
smooth-looking forehead is shown. They have eyebrows in some instances.
Mr. Darwin, in carrying out his investigations into the resemblances
between men and Monkeys, said he is, as, indeed, have been all
anatomists, very interested regarding the hair of the limbs of those
he places in comparison. “It is well known,” he writes, “that the hair
on our arms tends to converge from above and below to a point at the
elbow. This curious arrangement, so unlike that in most of the lower
Mammals, is common to the Gorilla, Chimpanzee, Orang, some species of
Hylobates, and even to some American Monkeys. It is not invariable in
the same genus, for in _Hylobates agilis_ the hair on the forearm is
directed downwards, or towards the wrist, in the ordinary manner, and
in _Hylobates lar_, it is nearly erect, with only a slight forward
inclination. It can,” he adds, “hardly be doubted that with most
Mammals the thickness of the hair and its direction on the back are
adapted to throw off rain, and even the transverse hairs of the Dog’s
leg may serve for this end when he is curled up asleep.”

[Illustration: HEAD OF THE BLACK HOWLER. (From the _Proceedings of the
Zoological Society_.)]

Mr. Wallace remarks that the convergence of the hair towards the elbow
on the arms of the Orang serves to throw off the rain when, as is the
custom of this animal, the arms are bent, with the hands clasped round
a branch, or over its own head. But the previously-mentioned naturalist
aptly remarks that the attitude may not determine the direction of
the hair; and that, on the contrary, the direction of the hair may
determine the attitude. Of course the darkness of the negro makes any
likeness, real or imaginary, with the Monkey, all the greater, and
really the resemblance of the American Monkey--whose name (_Satanas_)
indicates his ill looks with its jet-black skin, white rolling
eyeballs, and hair parted at the top of its head, to a young negro, is
laughable enough.

Any one who visits the Zoological Gardens soon becomes aware that
there is a great variety of expression in the eyes and muscles of the
face of Monkeys, and infinitely greater in amount than in any other
animals, and in some points infinitely less than in man. Mr. Darwin
has collected facts, and given the result of his own observations upon
the different methods of expression produced by the facial and other
muscles, and the following is from his work on the “Expression of the

“It is not possible to distinguish in Monkeys, at least, without more
experience than I have had, the expression of pleasure or joy from
that of affection. Young Chimpanzees make a kind of barking noise
when pleased by the return of any one to whom they are attached. When
this noise--which the keepers call a laugh--is uttered, the lips are
protruded; but so they are under various other emotions. Nevertheless,
I could perceive that when they were pleased, the form of the lips
differed a little from that assumed when they were angered. If a young
Chimpanzee be tickled, and the armpits are particularly sensitive to
tickling--as in the case of our children--a more decided chuckling or
laughing sound is uttered, though the laughter is sometimes noiseless.
The corners of the mouth are then drawn backwards, and this sometimes
causes the lower eyelids to be slightly wrinkled. But this wrinkling,
which is so characteristic of our own laughter, is more plainly seen in
some other Monkeys. The teeth in the upper jaw in the Chimpanzee are
not exposed when they utter their laughing noise, in which respect they
differ from us; but their eyes sparkle and grow brighter, as Mr. W. L.
Martin, who has particularly attended to their expression, states.

“Young Orangs when tickled likewise grin and make a chuckling sound,
and Mr. Martin says that their eyes grow brighter. As soon as their
laughter ceases, an expression may be detected passing over their
faces, which, as Mr. Wallace remarked, may be called a smile. I have
also noticed something of the same kind with the Chimpanzee. Dr.
Duchenne--and I cannot quote a better authority--informs me that he
kept a very tame Monkey in his house for a year, and when he gave it
during meal times some choice delicacy, he observed that the corners
of its mouth were slightly raised; thus an expression of satisfaction,
partaking of the nature of an incipient smile, and resembling that
often seen on the face of man, could be plainly perceived in this

“The _Cebus azaræ_, when rejoiced at again seeing a beloved person,
utters a peculiar twittering sound. It also expresses agreeable
sensations by drawing back the corners of its mouth, without producing
any sound. Rengger calls this movement laughter, but it would be more
appropriately called a smile. The form of the mouth is different when
either pain or terror is expressed, and shrill shrieks are uttered.
Another species of Cebus in the Zoological Gardens when pleased makes
a reiterated shrill note, and likewise draws back the corners of its
mouth, apparently through the contraction of the same muscles as with
us. So does the Barbary Ape (_Inuus ecaudatus_) to an extraordinary
degree; and I observed in this Monkey that the skin of the lower
eyelids then became much wrinkled. At the same time it rapidly moved
its lower jaw or lips in a spasmodic manner, the teeth being exposed;
but the noise produced was hardly more distinct than that which we
sometimes call silent laughter. Two of the keepers affirmed that this
slight sound was the animal’s laughter, and when I expressed some doubt
on this head (being at the time quite inexperienced), they made it
attack, or rather threaten, a hated Entellus Monkey living in the same
compartment. Instantly the whole expression of the face of the Inuus
changed; the mouth was opened much more widely, the canine teeth were
more fully exposed, and a hoarse barking noise was uttered.

“The Anubis Baboon was first insulted, and put into a furious rage,
as was easily done by his keeper, who then made friends with him, and
shook hands. As the reconciliation was effected the Baboon rapidly
moved his jaws and lips up and down, and looked pleased. Two or three
species of Macacus, and the _Cynocephalus niger_, draw back their ears,
and utter a slight jabbering noise when they are pleased by being
caressed. With the Cynocephalus the corners of the mouth are at the
same time drawn backwards and upwards, so that the teeth are exposed;
hence this expression would never be recognised by a stranger as one
of pleasure. The crest of long hairs on the forehead is depressed, and
apparently the whole skin of the head drawn backwards. The eyebrows
are thus raised a little, and the eyes assume a staring appearance.
The lower eyelids also become slightly wrinkled, but this wrinkling
is not conspicuous, owing to the permanent transverse furrows on the
face. With Monkeys the expression of slight pain, or of any painful
emotion, such as grief, vexation, jealousy, &c., is not easily
distinguished from that of moderate anger, and these states of mind
readily and quickly pass into each other. Grief, however, with some
species, is certainly exhibited by weeping. A woman who sold a Monkey
to the Zoological Society, believed to have come from Borneo (_Macacus
maurus_), said that it often cried, and Mr. Bartlett, as well as the
keeper, Mr. Sutton, has repeatedly seen it when grieved, or even when
much pitied, weeping so copiously, that the tears rolled down its
cheeks. There is, however, something strange about this case, for two
specimens subsequently kept in the Gardens, and believed to be the
same species, have never been seen to weep, though they were carefully
observed by the keeper and myself when much distressed and loudly
screaming. Rengger states that the eyes of the _Cebus azaræ_ fill with
tears, but not sufficiently to overflow, when it is prevented getting
some much-desired object, or is much frightened. Humboldt also asserts
that the eyes of the _Callithrix sciureus_ instantly fill with tears
when it is ‘seized with fear,’ but when this pretty little Monkey in
the Zoological Gardens was teased so as to cry out loudly, this did not
occur. I do not, however, wish to throw the least doubt on the accuracy
of Humboldt’s statement.

“The appearance of dejection in young Orangs and Chimpanzees when out
of health is as plain and almost as pathetic as in the case of our
children. Their state of mind and body is shown by their listless
movements, fallen countenances, dull eyes, and changed complexion.

“This emotion is often exhibited by many kinds of Monkeys, and is
expressed, as Mr. Martin remarks, in many different ways. Some species,
when irritated, pout the lips, gaze with a fixed and savage glare
on their foe, and make repeated short starts as if about to spring
forward, uttering at the same time inward guttural sounds. Many display
their anger by suddenly advancing, making abrupt starts, at the same
time opening the mouth, and pursing up the lips so as to conceal the
teeth, while the eyes are daringly fixed on the enemy as if in savage
defiance. Some again, and principally the long-tailed Monkeys, or
Guenons, display their teeth, and accompany their malicious grins with
a sharp, abrupt, reiterated cry. Mr. Sutton confirms the statement
that some species uncover their teeth when enraged, whilst others
conceal them by the protrusion of their lips, and some kinds draw back
their ears. The _Cynocephalus niger_, lately referred to, acts in this
manner, at the same time depressing the crest of hair on its forehead,
and showing its teeth, so that the movements of the features from anger
are nearly the same as those from pleasure; and the two expressions can
be distinguished only by those familiar with the animal.

“Baboons often show their passion, and threaten their enemies in a
very odd manner, namely, by opening their mouths widely, as in the
act of yawning. Mr. Bartlett has often seen two Baboons, when first
placed in the same compartment, sitting opposite to each other, and
thus alternately opening their mouths; and this action seems frequently
to end in a real yawn. Mr. Bartlett believes that both animals wished
to show to each other that they are provided with a formidable set
of teeth, as is undoubtedly the case. As I could hardly credit the
reality of this yawning gesture, Mr. Bartlett insulted an old Baboon,
and put him into a violent passion, and he almost immediately thus
acted. Some species of Macacus and of Cercopithecus behave in the same
manner. Baboons likewise show their anger--as was observed by Brehm
with those which he kept alive in Abyssinia--in another manner, namely,
by striking the ground with one hand, like an angry man striking the
table with his fist. I have seen this movement with the Baboons in the
Zoological Gardens, but sometimes the action seems rather to represent
the searching for a stone or other objects in their beds of straw. Mr.
Sutton has often observed the face of the Rhesus Monkey, when much
enraged, growing red. As he was mentioning this to me another Monkey
attacked a Rhesus, and I saw its face redden as plainly as that of a
man in a violent passion. In the course of a few minutes after the
battle the face of this Monkey recovered its natural tint; at the
same time that the face reddened, the naked posterior part of the
body, which is always red, seemed to grow still redder, but I cannot
positively assert that this was the case. When the Mandrill is any way
excited the brilliantly-coloured naked parts of the skin are said to
become still more vividly coloured.

“With several species of Baboons the ridge of the forehead projects
much over the eyes, and is studded with a few long hairs representing
our eyebrows. These animals are always looking about them, and in
order to look upwards they raise their eyebrows. They have thus, as it
would appear, acquired the habit of frequently moving their eyebrows.
However this may be, many kinds of Monkeys, especially the Baboons,
when angered or in any way excited, rapidly and incessantly move their
eyebrows up and down, as well as the hairy skin of their foreheads. As
we associate in the case of man raising and lowering of the eyebrows
with definite states of the mind, the almost incessant movement of the
eyebrows by Monkeys gives them a senseless expression. I once observed
a man who had a trick of continually raising his eyebrows with any
corresponding emotion, and this gave to him a foolish appearance; so
it is with some persons who keep the corners of their mouths a little
drawn backwards and upwards, as if by an incipient smile, though at the
time they are not amused or pleased.

“A young Orang, made jealous by her keeper attending to another
Monkey, slightly uncovered her teeth, and uttering a peevish noise,
like ‘tish-shist,’ turned her back on him. Both Orangs and Chimpanzees
when a little more angered protrude their lips greatly, and make a
harsh barking noise. A young female Chimpanzee in a violent passion
presented a curious resemblance to a child in the same state. She
screamed loudly, with widely-open mouth, the lips being retracted so
that the teeth were fully exposed. She threw her arms wildly about,
sometimes clasping them over her head. She rolled on the ground,
sometimes on her back, sometimes on her belly, and hit everything
within reach. A young Gibbon in a passion has been described as
behaving in almost exactly the same manner. The lips of young Orangs
and Chimpanzees are protruded sometimes to a wonderful degree under
various circumstances. They act thus not only when slightly angered,
sulky, or disappointed, but when alarmed at anything--in one instance
at the sight of a Turtle--and likewise when pleased. But neither the
degree of protrusion nor the shape of the mouth is exactly the same,
as I believe, in all cases; and the sounds which are then uttered are

“Frowning, which is one of the most important of all the expressions
in man, is due to the contraction of the corrugations by which the
eyebrows are covered and brought together, so that vertical furrows
are formed on the forehead. Both the Orang and Chimpanzee are said
to possess this muscle, but it seems rarely brought into action, at
least in a conspicuous manner. I made my hands into a sort of cage,
and placing some tempting fruit within, allowed both a young Orang and
Chimpanzee to try their utmost to get it out; but, although they grew
rather cross, they showed not a trace of a frown, nor was there any
frown when they were enraged. Twice I took two Chimpanzees from their
rather dark room suddenly into bright sunshine, which would certainly
have caused us to frown. They blinked and winked their eyes, but only
once did I see a very slight frown. On another occasion I tickled the
nose of a Chimpanzee with a straw, and, as it crumpled up its face,
slight vertical furrows appeared between the eyebrows. I have never
seen a frown on the forehead of the Orang.

“A fresh-water Turtle was placed, at my request, in the same
compartment in the Zoological Gardens with many Monkeys, and they
showed unbounded astonishment, as well as some fear. This was displayed
by their remaining motionless, staring intently with widely-opened
eyes, their eyebrows being often moved up and down. Their faces seemed
somewhat lengthened. They occasionally raised themselves on their hind
legs to get a better view. They often retreated a few feet, and then,
turning their heads over one shoulder, again stared intently. It was
curious to observe how much less afraid they were of the Turtle than
of a living Snake, which I had formerly placed in their compartment,
for in the course of a few minutes some of the Monkeys ventured to
approach and touch the Turtle. On the other hand some of the larger
Baboons were greatly terrified, and grinned as if on the point of
screaming out. When I showed a little dressed-up doll to the black
Baboon, it stood motionless, stared intently with widely-opened eyes,
and advanced its ears a little forwards; but when the Turtle was placed
in its compartment, this Monkey also moved its lips in an odd, rapid,
jabbering manner, which the keeper declared was meant to conciliate
or please the Turtle. I was never able clearly to perceive that the
eyebrows of astonished Monkeys were kept permanently raised, though
they were frequently moved up and down. Attention, which precedes
astonishment, is expressed by man by a slight raising of the eyebrows,
and Dr. Duchenne informs me that when he gave to the Monkey formerly
mentioned some quite new article of food, it elevated its eyebrows a
little, thus assuming an appearance of close attention. It then took
the food in its fingers, and with lowered or rectilinear eyebrows
scratched, smelt, and examined it, an expression of reflection being
thus exhibited. Sometimes it would throw back its head a little, and
again with suddenly-raised eyebrows re-examine, and finally taste, the

“In no case did any Monkey keep its mouth open when it was astonished.
Mr. Sutton observed for me a young Orang and Chimpanzee during a
considerable length of time; and, however much they were astonished,
or whilst listening intently to some strange sound, they did not keep
their mouths open. This fact is surprising, as with mankind hardly any
expression is more general than a widely-open mouth, under the sense of
astonishment. As far as I have been able to observe, Monkeys breathe
more freely through their nostrils than men do, and this may account
for their not opening their mouths when they are astonished, for, as
can be discovered with care, man apparently acts in this manner when
startled, at first for the sake of quickly drawing a full inspiration,
and afterwards for the sake of breathing as quietly as possible.

“Terror is expressed by many kinds of Monkeys by the utterance of
shrill screams, the lips being drawn back so that the teeth are
exposed. The hair becomes erect, especially when some anger is likewise
felt. Mr. Sutton has distinctly seen the face of the Rhesus Monkey
grow pale from fear. Monkeys also tremble from fear, and sometimes
they void their excretions. I have seen one which, when caught, almost
fainted from an excess of terror.”

Rengger, who studied the American Monkeys carefully, says that they
evidently understand each others’ gestures, and this is plain enough to
all who spend a little time in a large collection of them. They have
their likes and dislikes, and submit to be teased and bullied by some
favourite, although of a different species; the contrary, however,
is the usual occurrence, and they resent familiarities very readily.
Perhaps the most amusing instance of this fondness is given by Mr.
Darwin, who had it from the Superintendent of the Zoological Gardens.
Two Chimpanzees, rather older animals than those usually brought to
England, were introduced to each other for the first time:--“They sat
opposite, touching each other with their much-protruding lips, and
the one put his hand on the shoulder of the other. They then mutually
folded each other in their arms. Afterwards they stood up, each with
one arm on the shoulder of the other, lifted up their heads, opened
their mouths, and yelled with delight.”

YOUNG ORANGS. (_From a Sketch at the Zoological Gardens._)

Mr. Bartlett, of the Zoological Gardens, states that the faculty of
attention which is necessary for imitation, obedience, and teaching,
is a very variable one amongst the same species of Monkeys, and told
Mr. Darwin the following anecdote:--“A man who trains Monkeys to act
used to purchase common kinds from the Zoological Society at the cost
of five pounds for each, but he offered to give double that price
if he might keep three or four of them for a few days, in order to
select one. When asked how he could possibly so soon learn whether a
particular Monkey world turn out a good actor, he answered that it
all depended on their power of attention. If, when he was talking and
explaining anything to a Monkey, its attention was easily distracted,
as by a fly on the wall, or other trifling object, the case was
hopeless. If he tried punishment to make an inattentive Monkey act, it
turned sulky. On the other hand, a Monkey which carefully attended to
him could always be trained.”

Very little is known about the family habits of the Monkey, and whether
they have one, two, or many wives; but in some instances, where the
colour of the male and his ornamentation differs from that of the
female, it has been possible to trace their habits. Thus, the Gorilla
is undoubtedly a polygamist, and the males and females differ. So it
is with the Baboons, which live in troops or herds containing twice as
many adult females as males. Amongst the South American Monkeys the
Howler (_Mycetes caraya_) usually lives with two or three wives, and
is distinguished from them by his voice, colour, and beard; and the
Capuchin, which also differs from the female, is probably polygamous.
The good example of having one wife set by some Monkeys is utterly
lost upon some Eastern potentates. Thus, Sir John Lubbock states, that
an intelligent Kandyan chief--of course a polygamist--was perfectly
scandalised at the utter barbarism of living with only one wife, and
never parting until separated by death. “It was,” he said, “just like
the Wanderoo Monkey.”





    The Name of the Genus Lemur popularly given to the Group--Lemuroida
    the Correct Name--Their Distinctive Characters--Their Hands
    and Feet--Ankle-bones--Tail--_Rete Mirabile_--Nostrils--Colour
    of the Eye--Ears--Teeth--Brain--Resemblance to Monkeys--Their
    Locality--Lemur at Liberty--Its Playfulness--Division of
    the Lemurs--Beauties of Madagascar--GENUS INDRIS--Described
    by Grandidier--Their Locality--Colour--Fingers--Teeth--THE
    DIADEM INDRIS--Specimens at the British Museum--Little
    known about it--THE WOOLLY LEMUR--Described by Sonnerat--THE
    SHORT-TAILED INDRIS--Distinguished by its Tail--Its Skull--GENUS
    LEMUR--Specimens obtained by Pollen--Their Cry.

The forests of Madagascar, of Western and Eastern Africa, and of some
of the Asiatic Islands, are the homes of several kinds of animals
which are not unlike the Monkeys in some respects, but which differ
from them in their habits of life, and, to a certain extent, in their
anatomy. Most of them are in the habit of hiding up all the day, and
of moving with great vivacity at dusk and during the night-time. Their
gliding, noiseless motion amidst the dense foliage of the tropical
woods during the dark hours, and their restless activity in searching
for their food during the short twilight, were considered to resemble
the fitful apparitions of sprites, spectres, and hobgoblins, and hence
Linnæus gave them the name of Lemurs, taking the term from the Latin
(_lemures_), “ghosts.” The name has been adopted popularly, so as
to include all the kinds which, with some structural resemblance to
the Monkeys, are for the most part nocturnal in their habits, and it
really appears to represent the notions which the excessively timid and
superstitious natives of the Eastern Islands have of the malevolent
influence of some of these active and very small creatures, whose
large eyes glare and shine in the dark woods as they rush to and fro
before the extreme darkness of the night commences. The use of the name
has been productive of some confusion, for it was especially given
to one genus or group of kinds which is restricted to the Island of
Madagascar. The genus Lemur, with a species of which most visitors to
the Zoological Gardens are familiar--the Ring-tailed Lemur--by no means
contains all the animals now under consideration, and they have been
arranged under other groups, or genera, and have different names; yet
they are all popularly called Lemurs.

Hence, to avoid this confusion, it is usual to call the genus just
mentioned genus Lemur, and all the others “Lemur-like animals,” and the
Greek word εἶδος (_like_) being added the term _Lemuroida_ is
formed. In scientific language, then, the creatures popularly called
Lemurs are termed _Lemuroida_. Either expression may be used, but if
the familiar one is employed, it is necessary to remember that the word
means other animals besides those of the genus Lemur.

[Illustration: ANUBIS BABOON. (_See pp. 149–150._)

(_From the Living Specimen in the Zoological Gardens, London._)]

The Lemurs, using the popular term in its wide significance, can be
distinguished from the Monkeys and all other animals at a glance. Very
few travellers have the opportunity of observing them when wild,
and enjoying their liberty in their native woods, but every visitor
to the Zoological Gardens in the Regent’s Park may have the chance of
comparing some of them with other animals. This comparison may be made
readily at certain times, but not always, for only a few Lemurs care
to show themselves in broad daylight, and the rest come out of their
little nests in the evening. They are known by hairy “hands” at the
end of the arms and legs, large furry tails, slim furry bodies, long
ears, great staring eyes, and a muzzle like that of a small Fox. At
night-time, when the Baboons, Macaques, Guenons, and American Monkeys
are at rest and asleep, the Lemurs are awake, and rushing and jumping
here and there in their limited space; but during the day-time, when
the Monkey world is most giddy, with one or two exceptions the others
are quiet, and if poked out into daylight look dazed and stupid, and
are only too glad to get into darkness again. The exceptions to these
habits are not numerous. The Night-loving Monkey of South America comes
out to look about at the same time as its neighbour, the Night-loving
Lemur; and the Common, or Ring-tailed Lemur, is always ready to receive
food, or to be noticed in broad daylight, as it goes to bed with
monkeydom in general.

The other animals with which the Lemuroida may be confounded are
such as Squirrels, Weasels, Rats, Cats, and small Kangaroos. Some
Lemuroida have a slight resemblance, in general shape, to some of
these, and their habit of going about hopping on the hind legs tends
to the general likeness; moreover, in some there are front teeth
greatly resembling those of the gnawing, or Rodent animals, and in all
the back teeth are somewhat like those of insect-eating animals, or
_Insectivora_. But a little care will show that all these animals are
sufficiently distinct so as not to be classified with the Lemuroids
in the same group of the animal kingdom. The fact that the Lemuroids
have large thumb-like great toes, which enable the foot to be used as a
hand, is quite sufficient to distinguish them from animals with paws,
and all those mentioned above.

A curious mistake was made by confounding a Lemur with the Sloth (which
is never found out of South America, where also there are no Lemurs) in
the diary of a correspondent to one of the most important newspapers in
the world, and which was read with universal interest, and certainly
with great amusement, during the Ashantee War. He wrote:--

“Sloths (!) of the two-toed variety abound in every part of the
country. At night we always heard them, and much discussion did they
cause. The cry is somewhat like the Nubian Hyena, and I think no
evidence appeared besides this deceiving sound to prove the existence
of Hyenas on the Gold Coast. It is only a monosyllable, _Ka_, repeated
in scale, at longer and longer intervals as it mounts the gamut.
Amongst the last octaves, the creature seems bound to burst. One
listened for the final notes with ridiculous anxiety, lying awake in
the still darkness. _Do_, _re_, _mi_, _fa_, _sol_ passed off easily;
but the _la_ demanded evident exertion, the _si_ exertion greater
still, and so on at lengthening intervals, till one reached the
octaves, which really seemed to split the beast’s throat in utterance.
I once heard a Sloth compass six octaves, but he generally finds his
ultimatum at the third. The native story goes that the animal makes
only a pitiful moaning when on the ground, but no sooner is he arrived
on the tree-top than he utters this piercing cry; and therefore, as
Mr. Bonnat told me, the Ashantees, a quick-witted people, call certain
chiefs of theirs _cocofhoo_, or Sloth, because whilst they were small
men they sang small, but they crow very loud from the ‘stools’ to which
the king thus raised them.... I believe Mr. Winwood Reade shot a fine
Sloth at Mansu. The only specimens I myself saw were two young ones,
both captured by cutting down the tree on which they sat. They had
pretty grey furs, and the same anxious wretched look common to their
family. Those who still credit the old belief about Sloths--if there be
any--would have been much disconcerted to observe the activity these
creatures showed in running up and down the pole to which they were
tied, walking head downwards, of course!”

[Illustration: LEMUROIDS AT HOME IN MADAGASCAR. (_After Grandidier._)]

The Lemuroida as a group have some general characters in common.
Firstly, they are all Quadrumanous, and the hinder thumbs are in
most very large, strong, opposable to the other digits, and capable
of much movement. Furnished also with well-made thumbs on the hands,
they have a great power of grasp, and of clasping boughs and large
creeping plants during their active climbing and jumping. Then there
are special structures on the tips of the fingers; these are flattening
of the tips into disc-or button-shaped pads, on the upper surface of
which is the nail. The skin of these rounded tips covers a cushion of
fat, and is well supplied with sensitive nerves, and hence they are
not only cushions, but extremely fine points of touch. Their use is
evidently connected with the extremely agile boundings, from branch to
branch, during the hours when there is little or no light. The sense of
feeling, then, replaces that of sight to a great extent, and the supply
of nerves is sufficient to excite the muscles of the fingers and hands,
toes and feet, to hold on at the least touch; while the cushions of
fat prevent the extremities from being jarred. These curious tips give
a very clumsy appearance to the digits, even when they are extremely
small. There is a true claw on the second digit (toe) of the foot,
and nails on the other fingers and toes in some Lemuroids, but there
are different arrangements of the claws in others. It is noticed when
several kinds of them are examined, that there is a great difference
in their digits as regards their size and length, and the fourth is
the longest instead of the third, as in man: but sometimes the index,
or first finger, not counting the thumb, is much reduced in size, and
in two forms it is very defective, and only a little knob remains to
show its position; but this apparent deformity has something to do with
their method of life. The thumbs are well formed, and so are the third,
fourth, and fifth digits, the index being as just mentioned, and the
result is to divide the hands, as it were, into two opposing portions,
giving a grasp like that of the climbing birds--the Parrot, for
instance. These kinds of Lemuroida creep slowly towards their prey, and
clasp the branches firmly before they jump on the insect they desire
to catch. Besides these peculiarities of the hands and feet, which,
moreover, are supplied in every joint with tendons and muscles of great
motive power, the fore-arm is capable of turning the wrist forwards or
backwards, or, as it is called, rotating, and also of bending. Again,
the upper arm is loosely but firmly attached to the shoulders and neck,
so as to admit of great range of motion, so what with the bending and
rotation of the fore-arm, and the mobility and cushioned state of the
fingers, these creatures possess a wonderful apparatus, suited for
extreme action and safe holding on. The ability to rest on the hind
legs and jump like a Kangaroo (see page 5), which is peculiar to some
kinds, depends also upon peculiar structures. The ankle-bones are very
long in these, so long, indeed, as to make the foot resemble that
of a Frog when jumping more than that of any other animal. The long
ankle-bone acts as part of a lever, and enables the muscles of the back
of the leg to act on the foot so as to project the creature high in the
air, or for many feet from one bough to another, or along the ground.
There is nothing like this in the Monkeys. Now, the woolly fur of the
Lemuroids, and their cylindrical woolly tails, at first sight appear
to be encumbrances to an active animal which lives in the tropics, but
they are all extremely chilly creatures, and love heat; moreover, it
is possible that severe falls may be rendered less injurious by the
deadening influence of a soft fur. The tail is a wonderful apparatus
in some kinds, and barely exists in others, being, however, never
prehensile even when longest and strongest. Probably it is used as a
kind of adjuster of movements in rapid exercise, and certainly it is
a great comfort to many, for several kinds like to curl it over their
backs, or round their necks, like a sable boa, whilst they are asleep,
or basking in the sun. In one kind it is supplied with a marvellous set
of tendons, and, indeed, to such an extent of complexity, that it would
appear that Nature had lavished mechanical appliances to every joint
without any very definite use. It is remarkable that in those Lemuroida
which have no tail, or barely a trace, there is a curious arrangement
of the blood-vessels. The limbs in these kinds are not supplied with
main arteries, and veins with long branches, but the blood-vessels
form a closely-packed set of tubes of very small size. This network,
in the language of science, is called a _rete mirabile_, “a wonderful
network,” for such it is. Curiously enough this arrangement of the
blood-vessels is found in some totally different animals, whose
movements are very slow and cautious, such as the Sloths, for instance.
Equally slow are the movements of some of the kinds of Lemuroida which
possess this interesting structure. It has been suggested that this
novel division and subdivision of the blood-vessels tends to produce
slowness of movement, and it may be said in a general way that the
active Lemuroida and active animals of other orders do not have a _rete

NOSTRILS. (_After Grandidier._)]

Some Lemuroids have short, and others have long muzzles, and there
is great variety in the shape of the head. Evidently those with long
noses have a very fine sense of smelling, and the whole of the members
of the sub-order have a peculiar twist in the outside nostril, which
distinguishes them from the Monkeys of both the Old and the New World.
This twist was thought to be of great importance in classifying the
Lemuroida in the animal scale, and they are often at the present day
termed “Strepsirhini,” from the Greek words which mean curved nostril.
Some scent out insects and grubs under the bark of trees, and all
use this sense in searching for food by night. There are some long
hairs about the upper lip and cheeks like those of a Cat, and these
“smellers” are doubtless extremely sensitive to touch, and although
they do not assist the sense of smelling, they help the animals in
avoiding danger in their movements through the dark underwood.

The colour of the iris (the membrane around the pupil of the eyes) is
very beautiful in most, and as the eye is large and staring, it is well
seen. Sometimes the pupil is round, but in some kinds it is a slit, as
it is in the domestic Cat, for instance, and this shape has much to
do with their nocturnal habits. The iris moves in two directions, and
makes the pupil either larger or smaller; and the importance of this
gift is, that whilst a small pupil admits only a very slight quantity
of light into the body of the eye, a large one allows a great amount
to enter; hence, at eventide the pupil dilates, or, in other words,
the iris acts so as to enlarge it, and all the light possible enters,
but in sunlight the pupil contracts, even to a point, the iris moving
so as to shut out the superfluous and injurious illumination. The
nocturnal kinds require a very dilatable pupil, for they move often in
comparative darkness, and when the least ray of light is of benefit to
them. Besides this structure, there is another which has to do with
husbanding, and making the most of faint light. If the eyes of a Lemur
are examined a little carefully, they will be found to glare with a
very metallic lustre in certain lights, just as those of a Dog and Cat.
It appears that in certain animals, and in the Lemuroids, there is a
peculiar layer within the eye which looks coloured; but really it is
only very finely marked by fibres, which decompose the common white
light into its primitive colours, in the same manner as the extremely
delicate markings invisible to the naked eye on mother-of-pearl produce
the well-known beautifully iridescent tints. This layer is behind
the sensitive layer of the eye, and it acts as a concave reflector,
collecting the slightest glimmers, and making them of use. The membrane
is called the tapetum. It has been noticed that there is a difference
in the expression of the eyes of the Lemuroids and Monkeys, and
certainly these last have the advantage of showing their impudence,
malice, and fear in their beautiful organs of sight.



(_Original, after Murie._)]

The ears of some Lemuroida are small, but in the majority not only are
they large, but they possess singular powers of movement, and in some
can be folded up. The sense of hearing is undoubtedly acute in the
nocturnal kinds, and their capacious ears are of immense importance to
them, for they have to discover their prey by their sense of smell and
sight, and also to be on the alert against their natural enemies.

There is a singular want of sameness in the teeth of the Lemuroida, and
several kinds, which apparently lead the same sort of lives, and eat
the same food, have different arrangements of the cutting and grinding
teeth. Sometimes the front teeth fall out when the second set is cut,
and are not replaced, and in the Aye-Aye they act as perfect chisels.
As a rule, in all kinds, the lower front teeth project horizontally
forwards from the jaw, and somewhat resemble in their direction those
of the Marmosets, but the upper ones are straight. As the Lemuroida
live easily and perform movements of very much the same character
year after year, their brains are not much called upon. They are not
as tractable or as intelligent as Monkeys, and although their muscles
act with vigour and ease, still they are not required to perform the
actions which are regulated by the superior intelligence of the Apes.
Hence it is not to be expected that the brain of the Lemuroida will be
as well developed as that of the Ape or Monkey. It is, in reality, not
so bulky, and not so convoluted. The brain is low in height, longer
than broad, and does not cover the cerebellum. Finally, the young
Lemuroida are nourished within their parent through a placenta, which
is diffuse, and more or less disc-shaped, and therefore unlike that of
the animals already described, and of man.

They have a peculiarity about the under part of the tongue, namely,
beneath its tip there is a fringe of scaly flesh, the free ends of
which, when the mouth is shut, fit in between the front teeth. Its use
is unknown, but some have said that it is to keep the back of the teeth
and the spaces between them clean.


(_Original, after Murie._)]

It is their general shape, and the possession of what may be called a
toe-thumb, which makes the Lemuroids resemble Monkeys, but the likeness
is not with those of the Old World, but with the furry Marmosets, with
long canine and projecting front teeth, of the New World. But although
there are these points of resemblance, the intelligence of the Monkey
is far in advance of that of the Lemur, and this can be well estimated
when their eyes are compared. In the Monkey the eye is very movable,
full of varying expression, and often has the aspect of supreme cunning
and mischief; but this is never the case in the others, whose fixed,
staring eyes have no speculation in them.

Differing as they do from the world of Monkeys, the Lemuroida still
resemble them as a whole, more than they do any other animals,
and therefore they are associated with them in the scheme of
classification. They belong, therefore, with the Monkeys, and man, to
the _Primates_, and as they present important differences from the
Monkeys, they are classified in a separate sub-order of the Primates.
This sub-order is called the Lemuroida, a term which has already been
explained. Some zoologists, impressed with their great resemblance to
the Apes, have called them the Half Apes, and others, looking upon them
as the forerunners of the Monkeys, term them Pro-Simia.


The Lemuroida live in very out-of-the-way places, and the majority are
in Madagascar, which is an island very little visited by Europeans,
and where some naturalists have studied them and their habits under
great difficulties. The skins of captured specimens have been stuffed,
and a few living kinds have found their way to England; hence there
are some fine groups of stuffed Lemuroida in the British Museum, and
some living species in the Zoological Gardens. Marvellous stories, of
course, abound amongst the natives regarding their tricks and habits,
and the sober truth has been very difficult to distinguish from error,
especially as the night is the scene of their gaiety. Nevertheless,
during the last few years much knowledge has come to hand about these
interesting creatures, and it has been rendered all the more important
by the labours of the comparative anatomists, who have dissected many
kinds of them, and described their results.

There is no doubt that at first sight they are uninteresting. Many
sleep most of the day, as a rule, and they cannot be got out of their
snug little dens in the Zoological Gardens during visiting hours
except by force, and then they look dazed and stupid. But a careful
observation opens out much that is extremely interesting in their
habits, and shows how remarkably their limbs and bodies are adapted for
a singular and nocturnal life. Take an example:--Some Lemuroida, which
live in Caffraria and South-eastern Africa, are called “Galagos” by the
natives, and the name has been adopted by zoologists. One of these is
of an uniform dark brown colour, and the tail is long, cylindrical, and
woolly, the ears being large, rounded, and black, and it is called the
Black, or Garnett’s Galago. There is nothing to be made of its habits
during the day, but if any one is affected with sleeplessness, and
desires a domestic pet that would enliven the dreary midnight hours,
then forthwith let him purchase a specimen, if possible a pair of them.
They will rest quietly enough and contented in their berths during
the day, but only let them have freedom in the chamber for a while
at night, with a Cat or Dog for companion, and, _presto!_ the dull
hours will be merry. The following is Mr. Bartlett’s (Superintendent
of the Zoological Gardens) experience in a letter addressed to one of
us:--“The other night I took an opportunity of letting one of these
interesting creatures--Garnett’s Galago--have his liberty in my room,
and I assure you I was well repaid by his performance. Judge my utter
astonishment to see him on the floor, jumping about _upright_ like a
Kangaroo, only with much greater speed and intelligence. The little
one sprang from the ground on to the legs of tables, arms of chairs,
and indeed on to any piece of furniture in the room; in fact, he was
more like a sprite than the best pantomimist I ever saw. What surprised
me most was his entire want of fear of Dogs and Cats. These be boldly
met and jumped on at once, and in the most playful manner hugged and
tumbled about with them, rolling over and over, hanging on their tails,
licking them on the head and face. I must add, however, that now and
again he gave them a sharp bite, and then bounded off, full of fun at
the noise they made in consequence of the sly nip he had inflicted.
This active trickery he never appeared to tire of; and I was myself so
pleased on witnessing the droll antics of the creature that the night
passed and it was near daybreak before I put a stop to his frolics
by catching and consigning him to his cage. In bounding about on the
level ground, his jumps, on the hind-legs only, are very astonishing,
at least several feet at a spring, and with a rapidity that requires
the utmost attention to follow. From the back of a chair he sprang,
with the greatest ease, on to the table, four feet distance. He was
delighted with a little wooden ball, which he rolled about and played
with for a considerable time, carrying it in one hand while he hopped
and skipped about in high glee. He eats fruits, sweetmeats, bread, and
any kind of animal substance, killing everything he can pounce upon and
overpower. This strong and active little brute thus eats his prey at
once, as I had proof in an unfortunate Sparrow which he unmercifully
devoured head first.”

Another pair of these Galagos, since kept in the Society’s Gardens, at
dusk and nightfall behave quite as actively. Most unwillingly are they
poked out of their comfortable sleeping-box during the day, or even
when becoming dark, until they hear the keeper sounding all visitors
out, and quietness reigns. Immediately, then, they are full of life,
and utter an extraordinarily loud and prolonged ka-ka-ing yell, a sort
of _feu-de-joie_. From even till morn there follow unceasing motion and
occasional ejaculation, until, on the appearance of the keeper, they
retire to rest.

[Illustration: GARNETT’S GALAGO.]

The number of the Lemuroida is considerable, and they have been grouped
in at least twelve genera, and these, again, have been arranged in
families. These will be classified by-and-by. It is extremely difficult
in many instances to distinguish one kind or species from another, in
consequence of the great sameness of shape, and the fact that the same
individual has a different coloured coat at various times of his life,
and that the males and females of the same kind are often differently

It will be seen, on reading the description of the Monkeys in the
first chapters, that they can be arranged not only by their peculiar
structures into grand groups, but by the particular parts of the world
they inhabit. Hence they have been divided into those of the Old and
of the New World. Now, something of the same kind may be done for the
Lemuroida, but not quite as perfectly. There are six genera of them
living in Madagascar, three in Africa, and three in the great Asiatic
Islands and Hindostan. But although some of those of one locality
are very distinct from those of others, it is not always so, and one
Madagascar and one African group present close resemblances, and,
curiously enough, two West African genera are classed close to two
whose kinds live in Ceylon, Hindostan, and the island of Borneo.

No Lemuroid has ever been found in the New World, or in Australia.
It will then be convenient, in order to avoid too much anatomical
description, to separate at first the Lemurs geographically, and the
first to be noticed are those of Madagascar.

As yet very little is known about the natural beauties of the great
island of Madagascar. Very few books have been written about it,
and nearly all of them are devoted to descriptions of the manners,
customs, and religions of the different tribes. In fact, missionary
work and political enterprise rendered the publication of such works
necessary, and, with rare exceptions, the beauties of Nature, and
the interesting fauna and flora, were treated with neglect.[115]
Moreover, the jealousy of the governing powers prevented many of those
travellers, who were competent to observe Nature and to appreciate her
beauties, from exploring large tracts of the island. Descriptions,
then, of the characteristic scenery, and of the habits of most of the
animals of Madagascar, are exceedingly scarce; and, indeed, those which
do exist cannot all be believed, for one geographer, whose work teems
with lively anecdotes, and with illustrations of forest and upland, is
stated by a later writer never to have left the eastern coast.

It appears, however, that the scenery of the great island is very
varied. There is a long line of sea-coast, which is fertile in some
places, but very sterile and unprofitable in the south especially.
This coast-line limits the forest land, which forms a belt around
the higher mountains of the central part of the country, and the
hill or comparatively treeless district is broken and very romantic.
Those who hunt the Lemuroida know that it is useless to seek for
certain kinds everywhere; and, indeed, their experience proves that
each of the different districts of the island has a peculiar little
assemblage of these “Half Apes” amongst its trees. The silence amongst
the woods, where the luxuriance of vegetation is extraordinary, is
most remarkable. It is so different from the noise and motion within
tropical forests in other parts of the world, and it is only at the
end of the day, when the short twilight approaches its close, that the
quiet solemnity of the scene is broken by the cries and agile movements
of the various Lemuroida. The quietude is produced by the absence
of the whole of the Monkey tribes from Madagascar, for they are the
great noise-makers of the forests of other tropical countries, and by
the indisposition of most of the Lemuroids to move by daylight. They
hide themselves in nests of leaves or amongst the densest foliage,
and some seek the tops of the highest trees for safety. They seem to
know that the hunter will seek them by day if possible. But as the
dusk approaches, the quiet, solemn-looking creatures begin to move,
jump, swing, and run along the branches with a wonderful dexterity and
rapidity. They rarely come to the ground, and when they do so, their
gait is clumsy, but up in the trees their motions are graceful and
noiseless. They cry out to each other, and appear to take a delight in
disturbing the echoes of the night, and after eating their fill they
become quieter towards dawn, when they retire to their hiding-places
looking dazed and half-blinded by the light. Some of the kinds called
_Indris_, now about to be described, illustrate these remarks very
well; thus one species is only found in little patches of forest land,
quite in the extreme south of the island, where the country is sandy
and poor, whilst a second is found in the north-east of the island
amongst the luxuriant woodland. Some keep to the districts where the
bamboos abound, much to the disgust of the hunter, for the covert is
thick, and the leaves very destructive to clothing. Probably it is the
difficulty in trapping and shooting some kinds, and their night-life,
which gives them a superior intelligence in the eyes of the natives,
who hold some which are very man-like, having no tail, or only just a
stump, in great veneration.


The distinguished traveller of Madagascar, M. Grandidier, found it
very difficult to obtain much information about these Lemuroids, the
name of which is the same as a native expression of surprise, such
as “Look, there it is!” He undertook a very perilous journey by sea
and land to the south of the island, and there he found the favourite
woods of some, and also in the south-west. He arrived in a coaster,
in June, 1866, off Fort Dauphin in the south-east of the island, and
being blown out to sea, gained the southernmost cape, St. Marie, off
a most inhospitable and arid shore. A long row of sand dunes, without
a trace of vegetation, bounded, in the background, a low coast-line
of rocks, which extended far into the shallow sea, being constantly
hidden by furious waves. Not a trace of man or of dwellings could be
seen. The sand dunes slope towards the sea at a high angle, and are
at least 150 yards high. Their tops are flat, and continue backwards
into the country for some distance. They are composed of broken shells,
and are covered here and there by a stunted spiny vegetation. It was
on the slopes of these dunes that Grandidier found portions of the
eggs of the extinct colossal bird Æpyornis. Beyond the dunes is a vast
plain without even small hills, and covered with a scanty vegetation of
groups of deformed trees; but in the remote distance hills are seen,
and then there are numerous forests.

Some species of Indris live in these stunted forests of deformed trees,
in bands of ten or twelve, and never come to the ground except when
pressed by hunger. When seen under such circumstances, they stand up on
their hind feet, their tail hanging behind them, and they advance by
little hop-like motions, resembling those of a child that jumps with
its feet tied together.

They are nearly white in colour, and are called _Sifac_ by the natives
(page 212), and are looked upon with veneration, for they are not very
unlike very small men in general shape, especially when they stand
erect. In common with all the Indris, they are slim, tall, long-legged
animals, with very strong feet, with a large and well-formed thumb-like
opposable great toe. The head is very furry, and the ears, tufted with
hair, are almost, but not quite, hidden, whilst the muzzle, moderate in
length, projects between the staring eyes. They have a longish neck,
and the body seems to be compressed at the sides. All the fur is soft,
and stands out, and that of the tail makes it like a Fox’s brush, but
is more slim and cylindrical.

But there is a curious arrangement of the fingers, for the index finger
of the hand (that is to say, the first finger, not counting the thumb)
is shorter than the fifth, so that their “fore finger” is a little
finger. The toe-thumb is placed widely from the toes, and rather
backwardly, and the toes are united together by a kind of fold or web
of the skin which reaches up to the first joint; moreover, the first
toe (not including the toe-thumb) has a curved claw on it. They are not
good walkers, any more than the Apes, although, like them, they assume
the erect position, and it is only on very rare occasions, and when it
is necessary to cross a tract of land to get to trees with more fruit
upon them, that they attempt to put the foot to the ground. It is not
their natural position, and they seem to be quite out of their element.
When they come to the ground they rest on the outer edges of the feet,
and soon drop on their hands, on the corresponding parts of which they
support themselves. So walking is performed with difficulty, and not
with grace, and in this they may be compared with the Orangs; but in
the Indris the arms are always shorter than the legs. In the trees and
branches, which are their favourite haunts, they climb easily, rapidly,
and with grace, running along the boughs, jumping to great distances,
and alighting with unerring certainty, and clinging on with wonderful
tenacity. The structure of the muscles, bones, and ligaments enables
them to lead this active arboreal existence, and so strong is their
power of grasp, that it remains sometimes after death, for it has
happened that in shooting them whilst clinging to the branches they
have remained suspended after having been mortally wounded, or dead.

Being dwellers in the foliage of the trees, and amongst the network
of branches, twigs, and creepers, the kinds of Indris have a choice
of many kinds of food. Leaves, buds, fruit, insects, eggs, and small
birds are constantly within their reach, but usually they do not hunt
or chase prey, and are satisfied with the best fruit they can find,
and other vegetable substances. Nevertheless, they do not despise or
reject a bird as something out of the common way of diet, and they open
the skull and suck the brains. The teeth are not very well suited for
stopping and killing living prey, for in the grown-up individuals there
are no lower canines, there being only an upper pair, and thus one of
the most important seizing and killing arrangements is absent. On the
other hand there are plenty of crushing teeth, with sharp points to
them, which enable the Indris to champ fruit without much side to side
movement of the jaw being permitted. There are two false, or premolars
on each side in both jaws, and three molar teeth behind them. Besides
these there are four front teeth in both jaws. In all there are thirty
teeth, a smaller number than in any of the animals yet considered.

The upper front teeth, or incisors (four in number only), project
forwards very slightly, and nearly bite up and down; but the four lower
front teeth (incisors) project well forwards, and the outer pair of
them are sometimes called canines, but their office is plainly the same
as that of the other front teeth. The predominance of the crushing
teeth (there being twenty of them) over those adapted for tearing
flesh, denotes that these animals should have a vegetable diet, and
this requires larger digestive organs, as the food is bulky. So it is
found that the stomach is single, and then there is a very large cæcum,
or blind-gut, which ends in a large intestine, which is very long, and
twisted on itself, so as to form two regular folds, one on the other,
instead of one, as is commonly observed in the higher animals already
noticed; in fact, the arrangement is not very unlike that of the sheep,
whilst the cæcum is on the same scale as that of that great vegetarian,
the Rabbit. These large parts of the digestive apparatus are common to
most vegetable-eating animals, whilst the flesh-eaters have them short
and small.

But the Indris does not begin life with the prospect of being a
vegetarian, for it has a first set of teeth, or milk teeth, as they are
termed, and these are shed to make way for the second, or permanent
set. Now, it is most curious that the young should have more teeth than
the elders, and that were this first set to persist through life, it
would indicate a very mixed-feeding animal. The little ones have no
less than thirty-four teeth, and they have two lower canines, and two
extra lower false molars more than the adults. As age increases all
these first teeth gradually fall out, and are replaced, to a certain
extent, by the second set mentioned above.


[Illustration: MILK DENTITION OF INDRIS. _c_, CANINE, AND _p_,

Now, what is the meaning of this? Why should the young have a larger
set than the adults? Clearly those of the adult are admirably adapted
for its life, and it is equally evident that those of the young are
of no particular use to them. They are either suckling, or are eating
fruits obtained for them, and do not kill and feed on birds and living
things. It is found that the milk teeth of Indris correspond with the
adult or permanent set of such an animal as the Ring-tailed Lemur,
which belongs to a different genus. Hence the perfect condition of
the teeth of the genus Lemur are the same as the first arrangement
of the teeth in the genus Indris. It tends to prove that there is
some genealogical relationship between the two genera, and that they
were derived from a common ancestor. Moreover, it may be assumed that
the milk teeth of all animals are inherited from a perfect and adult
ancestral form which was less highly organised or constituted.

It is said that the female Indris has but one little one at a time,
and that they are all gentle and timid, being rarely kept for any time
in captivity. They are nocturnal in their habits, and evidently have
extremely sensitive vision, and, like the others which lead this life,
they are protected from many jarring falls by the structure of their
hands and feet.


[Illustration: DIADEM INDRIS AND WOOLLY INDRIS. (_After Grandidier._)]

This is a fine species, with a white furry ruff, or crown, on the
forehead and around the face, and it has a long muzzle and body, and
a thick, long tail. It greatly resembles the White Indris, called
_Sifac_, with the exception of its characteristic head ornament,
and leads the same kind of life in another part of the island of
Madagascar. Fine stuffed specimens of it, and of many other Indrisinæ,
are in the British Museum, and it will be noticed that they are there
called, not Indris, but Propithecus, which is another name for them. It
is a question of the value of a tail in classification, which produces
the two names for one genus. Some zoologists are impressed with the
great importance of the tail, and do not class species together as a
genus, although they may have strong resemblances, unless they all
have or have not tails. Others do not consider the possession of a
tail to be of such great importance when the other characters are
sufficiently close to render it advisable to form them into one group.
The same question arose in considering the Monkeys, for in the genus
Macacus we admitted Macaques with and without tails; and also in the
genus Cynocephalus, in which there are some with good, others with
small, and a few with very stumpy tails, the same caudal latitude
was given. Hence, it is not consistent to form two genera of these
creatures, one with a tail (or Propithecus) and the other without one,
or with a stump (or Indris). Indris contains the Lemuroids, whose
other resemblances are so great that they overweigh the tail question.
So little is known about the Diadem Indris that it is only necessary
to notice one point in its anatomy, which refers to its habits. It
evidently assumes the semi-erect posture very frequently when climbing,
and a great part of the weight of the body is felt by the foot and
its great clasping toe-thumb. The examination of the foot proves that
it is one, and not a hand, for bone for bone it may be compared with
the human foot, and that of the Apes. The great toe is wide apart from
the others, and in that it resembles the thumb of a hand; but all the
other bones of the ankle or tarsus are in the same relative position
as they occupy in us. They have the same names. Their foot is very
broad, and this is produced by the extra size of the four front bones
of the ankle, and these form an arch, the three inner ones being more
or less wedge-shaped, and the outer, or fourth, is more or less of a
cube in shape; hence they are called the wedge-shaped (cuneiform) and
cube-shaped (or cuboid) bones. They are jointed in front to the long
bones (metatarsals), and behind to the three other ankle-bones. All
are united more or less solidly by ligaments, and yet there is motion.
Now in this Indris the wedge-shaped bones are large, especially the
second from the inside, or the middle one, and curiously enough this
is small in most other Lemuroids. The large arch formed by these bones
contributes to the strength of the foot.

[Illustration: BLACK OR SHORT-TAILED INDRIS. (_Modified after

The Diadem Indris is found in the forests of the central parts of
Madagascar, and appears to keep apart from other kinds and to roam
about the dense woods in bands.


This is one of the long-tailed Indris, and is remarkable for having
long hinder limbs, a long furry tail, a very short muzzle, and a round

It was first described by Sonnerat, in his voyage to the East Indies,
who called it the _Makis à bourre_, or the Woolly Makis. On the
north-east coast, the natives call this Indris the Amponghi, and this
name is given to it in the great forest of Tsasifoutt, which is in the
island of St. Mary, adjacent to Madagascar. This is an interesting
point, for it affords evidence that the island of Madagascar had once
a greater geographical extension, and that St. Mary’s and the other
small islands along the coast were at a former period continuous with
it. These woolly Indris are not frequently caught, or indeed seen at
all, for they hide during the daytime, and sleep curled up amongst the
thick shade of the foliage, or in some comfortable nest in the hollow
of a tree. At night-time they wake up, and eat and play amongst the
trees on which their food grows. They are said to be stupid animals,
but probably, as they have never had their intelligence tested except
when half asleep, they may be quite as intelligent as the other
Lemuroids, and this opinion is strengthened by the fact that the brain
of the _Indris laniger_ is large in proportion to the size of the body;
larger indeed in proportion than the brain of any of the others. It is
this relative size of the great organ of the nervous system which has
impressed some zoologists with the propriety of placing this Indris at
the head of all the Lemuroids, and nearest the Monkeys.

The animals are small in size, and a dried skin measures rather more
than a foot and a half in length, from the muzzle to the root of the
tail, and this latter appendage is thirteen inches long. The head
is broad over the eyes, which are wide apart, and the muzzle barely
projects, and the whole of the face is covered with short hairs of a
reddish-brown tint. There is a distinct band of whitish fur placed
across the top of the forehead, and which has fur before and behind it
of a darker colour than the rest of the hair of the body. This band is
curved, and forms a point which projects forward in the middle line
of the forehead. The fur on the back and flanks of the body is of a
dark grey colour close to the skin, but on its surface the colour is
brown more or less rusty. This is the tint on the extremities, the grey
colour underlying. On the backs of the thighs there are white patches,
and at those spots there is no deep-seated grey tint. The cylindrical
tail is reddish-brown, like the hands and feet. The ears are short and
rounded, and are generally hairy, but not tufted, and they are hidden
in the fur of the head. The nostrils are separated by a narrow septum.
The feet are short and broad, and the claw of the toe is long and

Although the muzzle is so short, the teeth are set so as to be in a
long row on each side, for the front cutting teeth are not placed
side by side, but in front of each other, and there is a strange gap
between the inner ones in the upper jaw. Then the canine teeth, seen,
of course, only in the upper jaw, are very broad, and the next teeth to
them (the first pre-molars) are as large as they are. This is a marked
peculiarity, and there is no other creature except man that has these
teeth so closely resembling each other. To complete the notice of this
little highly-constructed Indris it is necessary to remark that its
wrist-bones resemble in their number and place those of man and the
higher Apes. The Gibbons and all the other Monkeys have an extra bone
to the wrist, called the _intermedium_, and this is present in the
Indris already noticed, but it is absent in this Avahi, and in the next
kind about to be described.

The next species to be noticed was never included in the so-called
genus Propithecus, as it has only a short stump of a tail, but has
always been taken as the special illustration of the group _Indris_.


This species can be distinguished from all others by its stump-like
tail. It has a long muzzle, visible hairy ears, and generally speaking
the fur is black; it is marked, however, with white hairs on the
fore-arms, back, and hinder quarters. As regards the teeth, there
is some variability in the size of the upper incisors in different
individuals, and the front pair may be smaller or larger than the hind
pair. The inhabitants of Madagascar call it the Babakoto (_baba_ means
“father,” and _koto_, “boy”). This Indris, which attains the height of
three feet, is found in the interior of the east of Madagascar; and
when Vinson travelled through one of the great forests in that part of
the island, he was constantly annoyed by the incessant noise made by
numerous bands of them, which kept themselves, however, out of sight,
and hidden in the dense foliage. The natives consider the Babakoto
sacred, and believe that the trees on which they live yield leaves
which will cure all diseases. Moreover, they tell some astonishing
stories about these objects of their veneration. They say that it is
dangerous to cast a spear at one of them, for, if it misses its mark,
the animal returns the weapon with a surer aim! They also assert that
after a little one is born, the mother throws it to the father, who is
usually up a tree close by, and he throws it back again! This exercise
is repeated several times; and if the young one is invariably caught
it is reared with care, but if it tumbles, there is an end of it. They
train the Babakoto to catch birds; and it is said that they become as
useful as Dogs; moreover, it appears that, although these Indris are in
the main fruit-eaters, they will not despise the brains of birds, which
they suck with evident delight.

The skull of an Indris has large orbits, which are open behind into
the space in which the temporal muscle works, and the “tear-canal” is
in front of the orbit; moreover, the forehead, or frontal bone, is
divided. The lower jaw has its angle, or the part between that which
holds the teeth and that which rises up to be jointed with the skull,
turned in, and the upper jaw in front is joined by the intermaxillary


An animal which has no upper front teeth is certainly a curiosity,
especially when its general state and habits resemble those of the
other Indris and Lemuroids, and the Lepilemur is such a one. It is
found in Madagascar, and it is interesting on account of the variable
nature of the colour of the fur in different individuals, as well as
from the nature of its teeth and its habits. It differs, however, so
much from all the other Lemuroida, that it is placed by itself in a
genus, and the distinctions are that when fully grown it has no upper
front teeth, although it has them in the first, or milk set, and that
it has also four teats for its young instead of two, as is the case in
all the animals hitherto noticed. The name refers to its prettiness,
and hence the genus is called _Lepilemur_.

This creature, considering its size, has an immense tail, as it is ten
inches long, the head and trunk measuring only fourteen, and the whole
animal forms a nice little meal for the natives of the north-west of
the island. They call it Fitili-Ki, and as it eats the buds and leaves
of trees it has a good flavour as a meat; hence it is sought after, but
not hunted, for that is unnecessary. Knowing its habits the natives
watch it, and, when it has left off playing and scampering about with
its fellows (for it is very sociable), notice where it retires as
daylight appears. There they find their prey quietly asleep, curled up
in a comfortable nest of leaves, and they kill it with a stick. Hunting
them would be useless, for they are quite nocturnal in their habits,
and their activity in moving, and agility in taking prodigious bounds
and jumps, are wonderful. Indeed, their body seems to be carefully
made as strong as possible to meet the strains of their jumping, and
there is a ridge of bone in the bodies of some of the vertebræ which
strengthens the spine as a whole; moreover, the relation of the length
of the ankle-bones and of the lower leg is that which is best adapted
to their heedless rushings from branch to branch through the woods.
Their nightly excursions for fruit and play are rendered all the more
safe by their great eyes and widely open orbits, but how the eating the
fruit is assisted by the want of the upper front teeth may probably
puzzle most people. Perhaps the diet may require a greater use than is
usual of the back teeth, and the lower ones are peculiar, for their
front part is carried forward outside the next tooth before them in the
jaw, giving thus much extra strength to the whole. This Weasel Lemur,
or _Lepilemur mustelinus_, has fair-sized ears, and its colours are of
all sorts of shades of red, grey, white, and yellow.

These animals hide their little ones, which do not get about much at
first, in nests made in the holes in trees.

Another Lemuroid excited the attention of the members of one of the
political missions, which was sent from the island of the Mauritius
to the capital of the Hovas, in mountainous Central Madagascar. This
animal was found in some numbers in the bamboo forests, which skirt the
hills at their base, and many were caught in that of Alamazaortra. It
seemed to live in the masses of bamboo leaves, and to wander about them
by night, sleeping and resting by day in the deepest part of the woods.
It is small, and has a short muzzle and a round head, and a long tail,
the prevailing colour being grey, with red tints here and there on the
back and head, which are paler below. It is a variable species, and
some individuals are more olive than grey, but all have such peculiar
teeth that they can be distinguished from all others of the sub-order.
They have upper and lower front teeth, but the upper set are very
small, and are so placed that the canine teeth hide the outer ones;
besides this character there are four teats instead of two.

[Illustration: WEASEL LEMUR. (_After Schlegel and Pollen._)]

M. Pollen, a well-known naturalist, says that the natives of the
north-west of Madagascar call it the Bokomboule, and in Europe it
has been named the Grey or Broad-nosed Lemur, the genus being called
Hapalemur, and hence its proper name of _Hapalemur griseus_. The word
Hapalemur means Gentle Lemur (from ἁπαλός, soft, gentle), and this
appears to be their character. Hearing of their presence in the bamboo
forests, M. Pollen wished to go there to hunt them, but he was strongly
urged not to do so on account of the fatigue of the sport, and the
difficulties likely to arise from the spines, thorns, and sharp leaves,
which readily produce wounds. He went, and after being well scratched
and cut about, he returned with some specimens. The Hapalemurs sleep
during the whole of the day rolled up, with the back curved, and the
head between the thighs, the tail being curled over the back; but
they are not so sleepy that they cannot escape from the hunter who
seeks them. Idle enough by day, they exhibit a wonderful agility and
disposition to romp and play at night. Their cry is like the grunt of
a little Pig, and the greater part of their nourishment is derived
from bamboo-leaves. One, which was kept by M. Pollen in captivity, ate
bananas, but would touch rice only when it was half starved, and it had
the strange propensity so often observed in some tame Monkeys of biting
its tail.

The next group of the Lemuroids is that which has given the name to the
whole sub-order.

[Illustration: GREY OR BROAD-NOSED LEMUR. (_After Schlegel and


THE LEMUROIDA (_continued_).


    Called by the French _Makis_--Restricted to Madagascar--Their
    Activity--Different Species--How to distinguish them--THE
    RING-TAILED LEMUR--Reason for the Name--Tail--Colour of
    Body--Eye--Hand and Foot--Geographical Range--Anatomical
    Peculiarities--Playfulness in Captivity--THE WHITE-FRONTED
    LEMUR--Specimen in the Zoological Gardens--THE LEMUR OF
    MAYOTTE--Where Found--Colour--Manner of Life--THE MONGOOSE
    LEMUR--Description of one sent to Buffon--THE RUFFED
    LEMUR--Described by Ellis--Domesticated Specimens--THE BLACK
    LEMUR--Geographical Range--Hand--Foot--GENUS CHEIROGALE--Bushy
    Tails--Resemblance to the Hapalemur--Nocturnal Habits--Difficult
    to distinguish--THE FORKED-CROWNED CHEIROGALE--Wonderful Powers of
    Leaping--Cry--Reason for the Name--A Nest-making Variety--Specimens
    in the Jardin des Plantes--Resemblance to the Galagos.

The animals which are included in the genus Lemur are popularly called
by the French the _Makis_. They are restricted, geographically, to
Madagascar, and to some of the adjacent islands, and are not found
elsewhere. Instead of roaming along the boughs and through the woods
with a restless activity during the night, after the manner of the
Lemuroida already described, the Makis move, gambol, and jump with
great agility by daylight. Resting during the hours of the night,
they run along the branches after daylight, searching for their food,
which consists principally of fruit and occasionally birds’ eggs, and
even of the small birds themselves. They are very active, and as the
conformation of their limbs adapts them for an arboreal existence, they
rarely come to the ground.

Having, without exception, all the peculiarities of animals which move
and prey by day, it is very curious that the species of Makis should
be classified under a genus bearing the name of Lemur. But in this
instance, as in many others, the original derivation of the name has
but slight or even no reference to the peculiarities of the animals
which are thus artificially designated by it, and of course great
confusion results.

There are many species included in the genus Lemur, and there is great
difficulty in discriminating between them, for many of them are very
variable, and therefore it is probable that it will be much restricted
with the advance of the knowledge of the zoology of Madagascar. All
have a long snout, a small, flat, and long skull, and a long body with
narrow flanks. The hind limbs are rather longer than the front ones,
and there is a long furry tail. The feet and hands are short, and the
great toe is broad; moreover, the ears are moderate in length, and
are either tufted or are hairy. In some kinds the head is surrounded
by a ruff of fur, and the colour of the hair differs according to the
species, and is even different in individuals of the same kind.

Thus, a black Lemur, called _Lemur niger_, has a female which has white
whiskers, and another with a black-and-white fur, which is called the
Ruffed Lemur (_Lemur varius_), has a young one which is red, so that
all these different tints having been formerly recognised as belonging
to different kinds or species are now proved to be natural varieties of
fewer species.

The males of many kinds differ from the females in colour, and from
the young also; moreover, at certain times of the year, according to
the age of the animal, the fur changes its tints, and a corresponding
alteration is produced by different food, so that the great number
of species of Lemur described by naturalists must be regarded with

A careful plan in discriminating the species is to divide them after
the fashion--but not with the same intention--of the late Dr. Gray,
of the British Museum. He made certain groups, and called each a
genus, but this last proceeding was not correct. One of his groups is
as follows:--For example, Lemurs with faces without a ruff, the tail
ringed, and a bald spot above the inside of the wrist.[119] The first
kind about to be described belongs to this set, and is


All these titles refer to the pretty Cat-like Lemur with
chinchilla-grey tints, and a banded tail of black and grey rings, which
is commonly to be seen at the Zoological Gardens. It is so familiar,
and has been so carefully examined, that it is advisable it should
occupy some space in this description of its natural history.

The naturalist’s name for this creature aptly denotes a Cat-like
resemblance--a similitude due, perhaps, partly to size, certain tints
of colouring, a peculiar arching of the back, and the long tail carried
aloft, recalling at once purring Pussy. The tail, a striking feature,
is several inches longer than the head and body taken together; it is
clothed with abundance of long, soft, fluffy hairs, and alternately
marked with rings of black and white. The predominant colour of the
body and legs is chinchilla-grey, with a sprinkling of reddish hairs
or rusty wash on the back; the under parts, however, are pure white.
The cosy covering of delicate woolly fur, shorter than on the tail,
stands out, instead of being smooth and sleek. The head is of a conical
shape; the flattish depressed oval ears, by no means prominent, are
sparsely hairy within, and are edged with short white hairs. The muzzle
is nearly bald and black; the eyes are broadly encircled by the same
colour, the remainder of the head and throat being snow-white. The
eye, full, conspicuous, and softly expressive, is of a rich orange
hue, with a dark pupil, and the eyebrows are represented by a few
long black straggling hairs. There is a moustache and beard, but no
vibrissæ (smellers), as in the Cat-tribe. The hind limb far exceeding
the fore-limb in height, mainly causes the attitude of back-arching
when on the ground. The fore foot is a kind of diminutive flat-nailed
hand, with a proportionally short thumb, and it is hairy above, but
naked below, and all the fingers have expanded cushions on their last
joints. The hand is not capable of being closely clenched, and the
thumb reaches only to the middle of the palm. The hind feet are large,
and there is a strong great toe-thumb. Moreover, a true claw adorns
the next toe, and in many other respects there is a certain agreement
between the foot and hand. Both are black-soled, and the beautiful
tracery of the pronounced cross lines, furrows, and folds would delight
the heart of a gipsy fortune-teller. The mammæ, or teats, are two in
number, and are placed near the armpits. Usually the species of Lemur
have but one, or at most two, little ones at a birth, and the period
of gestation is about one hundred and ten days, the young Lemur being
born almost naked, and nearly without fur. Their hairs are short and
sparsely distributed, except on the head, where they form a kind of
belt around the eyes. They cling on to their mother’s fur, and, holding
on to that over her stomach and abdomen, they lie across her, so that
when she draws up her legs she either hides the little one effectually,
or it may be seen hairless in the folds of the mother’s groins. After
a while, and as the young Lemur becomes better clothed and stronger,
it leaves this snug and warm retreat, and crawls up on to the mother’s
back and shoulders, and seizes her fur, and holds on with such tenacity
that she can jump and bound about without unseating her little burthen.

[Illustration: RING-TAILED LEMURS.]

_Lemur catta_ inhabits a circumscribed region. Its range is along the
south and west coasts of Madagascar. Social, and banding together in
troops, they feed on the fruits of the forest, and occasionally, it is
averred, capture insects and small birds. Those kept in confinement,
however, are far less carnivorous than the smaller and livelier
nocturnal Galagos to be described hereafter. They seem remarkably
sensible to cold, huddling and crouching close to one another as if
heat and comfort were indispensable to their nature. At such times
their tails are wound round the bodies of their companions and of
themselves in a very odd fashion. Ordinarily very good-natured, they
like to be fondled, and come down to be fed, uttering either a grunt
of satisfaction or a loud plaintive cry, but it is stated that in
Madagascar when the wet season comes on they become much excited, and
rush about quite careless of danger, grunting terribly. They do not
tease each other like Monkeys, and do not jump about on their hind
legs alone, to do mischief of all kinds; on the contrary, they leap on
all-fours with great agility and quietude, and in a light-hearted sort
of way. They use their hands in grasping objects given to them, and
feed themselves with them; but, like the Monkeys, they often scratch
with the hinder extremities, and do not use them to put food to their

On looking into their anatomy it will be noticed that the back-bone
has none of those graceful curves so characteristic of man, and which
are modified and less perceptible in Apes. It is made for going on
all-fours and jumping, and consists of some twenty-nine pieces, or
vertebræ, there being also twenty-six in the tail. Having good lungs,
the chest is capacious, but is long and flattened at the sides, and
there are thirteen ribs on each side, and a central breast-bone, or
_sternum_, composed of seven pieces.

The skull has large eye-cavities, or orbits, and (as in Indris)
they are not closed behind by bone, but are open there, though the
angle of the lower jaw is not turned in or inflected. The diet of
the Ring-tailed Lemurs being both vegetarian and of insects, or an
occasional small bird, their teeth are very equally distributed as
regards their kinds. There is a good set of front teeth for tearing
and incising, the full number of canines for piercing and killing,
and the full number of grinders. The numbers are on each side of the
upper jaw--two incisors, one canine, three false, or pre-molars, and
three true molars, and on each side of the lower jaw is a corresponding
number. Thus this arrangement resembles that of the milk teeth of
Indris, but the front teeth of the lower jaw stick out in a remarkable
manner. Corresponding with their teeth are the digestive organs, which
are more suited for the assimilation of vegetable food than for a
purely carnivorous diet. These measure nearly seven feet in length, and
the blind-gut, or cæcum, is about a foot long. There is one point of
great interest in the throat of this Lemur, especially when the animal
is considered as intermediate between some Carnivora and the American
Monkeys. This, the organ of voice, has a small laryngeal pouch,
recalling, or rather fore-shadowing, the great ones of the Howlers;
and the bone at the base of the tongue (the hyoid) has a body and
projections, which resemble those of the Carnivora rather than those of
the Monkeys. In the wrist there is the ninth bone.

When in captivity, the Ring-tailed Lemur soon becomes attached to its
keeper, and they show some powers of memory. A quartermaster of the
French frigate _Dupleix_, who had one on board, was recognised by it
when surrounded by all the crew. This little creature liked to play
with the cabin-boys and the Dogs, and took charge of, and protected, a
little Monkey belonging to one of the sailors. The Monkey was fondled
and nursed, and cleaned with great attention by its active little
friend; but corresponding kindness was not shown to the ship’s fowls,
whose tails it pulled unmercifully.


This is easily known by its broad band of white fur encircling the
forehead, cheeks, and ears, and contrasting with the black muzzle,
which is long and compressed. It is restricted in its geographical
range to Madagascar.

Several of these White-fronted Lemurs have been brought to Europe from
time to time, and have been kept in the Zoological Gardens. Their
habits are simple enough. They often exhibit great vivacity, and are
much given to leaping from one object to another, in which they are
aided by the pad-like structures of the hands and feet.


There is a kind of Lemur which lives in the island of Mayotte, one of
the Comoro group between Madagascar and the mainland of Africa, and
which is not found elsewhere. It is known as the Lemur Mayottensis, or
the Lemur of Mayotte, and is remarkable for the strange variation in
the colour of its fur. Probably there are five different colours, which
are peculiar to different individuals of this species, and they have
all received different names. These are termed varieties. But of what
are they varieties, and which is the animal whence they have varied?
These questions cannot be answered; and therefore this group of forms
constitutes a species--a species really being a term which includes the
sum of all the possible varieties of an animal. One of the varieties is
the Black-fronted Lemur, which inhabits Madagascar itself, and as there
is every probability that at one time the Comoro Islands were joined
on to Madagascar, the existence of apparently different species, but
really only varieties, can be explained.

These animals live in companies composed of from six to twenty, in the
virgin forests of Mayotte, and they may be seen in broad daylight or at
night. They lead an arboreal life, but they occasionally come to the
ground after fallen fruit. They are hunted with Dogs, and when closely
pressed, they take refuge in the highest branches, look fixedly at
their enemy, growl, and wave their tails. When they see the hunter they
rush off and take prodigious leaps, and go into the very depths of the
forest. Should one be wounded it will defend itself against the Dogs,
and will even jump upon them and bite their ears. They are fond of
fruit, and especially of the wild date, and they wander far and near in
numbers seeking their favourite food.


The great naturalist Buffon had a Lemur sent to him as a present, which
he kept as a pet for many years. At first it ran about the house, and
was tame and full of fun, roaming here and there, and settling down
before the fire like a common Cat. It was very good-natured, and became
a great favourite; but with age came ill-temper, and it became cross
and vicious; moreover, it was always making disturbances, so it had to
be chained up. Having some ingenuity and perseverance, it managed to
slip its chain now and then, and to escape. It made its way directly
into the street, and used to visit a confectioner’s shop, where it very
quietly and systematically roamed in search of sweets, devouring all it
could lay its hands on. If it could not get sweets it would take fruit,
and was quite heedless regarding the price or the rarity of its desired
treats. When it was known that it had escaped, if the shop-people had
not already told Buffon, every one knew where it was to be caught,
and a great trouble the catching was, for it got into corners, showed
fight, and bit, and resisted being touched very decidedly. The cold,
however, was its great enemy, and it always suffered much from it, and
finally died from its effects.

The Mongoose Lemur, as it is often called, has a long head, flat
forehead, and large canine teeth. It is of a reddish-grey colour
generally, the crown of the head, the face, and chin being black;
moreover, there is a streak of the same colour up the forehead,
and across the crown. The cheeks and the side of the forehead are
iron-grey, and this and its black nose distinguish it.

It carries its fine tail well stuck up when it runs about, and jumps on
all-fours from place to place, and grunts with pleasure when fed and

The last group of the genus Lemur contains kinds which have a ruff of
fur on the cheeks and neck, and the ears are pencilled at the end, the
wrist being moreover hairy. They are common in Madagascar, and two are
worthy of notice--the Ruffed Black-and-White Lemur, and the Ruffed
Black Lemur.

[Illustration: MONGOOSE LEMUR, OR WOOLLY MACACO. (_Male and Female,
partly after Sclater._)

(From the _Proceedings of the Zoological Society_.)]


[Illustration: RUFFED LEMUR. (_After Schlegel and Pollen._)]

Ellis, when journeying through one of the Madagascar forests, noticed,
one bright, clear, and bracing morning, a peculiar shouting or
hallooing, apparently at no very great distance. It was, he wrote, “not
like any sound I had heard before, but resembled that of men or boys
calling to each other more than anything else. At first I thought it
was a number of people driving cattle out of the forest into the road.
Still I heard no crashing amongst the underwood, and saw no signs of
bullocks. Then I imagined it must be a number of bird-catchers, or
squirrel-catchers. But on inquiring of my companions they said the
noise proceeded from the Black-and-white Lemurs--_Lemur macaco_, or
_Lemur varius_ (Geoffroy)--of which there were great numbers in the
forests. I had repeatedly seen Lemurs of more than one species in the
market at Tamatave, and numbers among the people of the place. There
were two or three of the large ruffed Lemurs in a house near my own
dwelling, and they seemed to be quite domesticated. Though covered with
thick, almost woolly, hair, they appeared to be ill at ease in wet or
cold weather, but to luxuriate in the warm sunshine. I often noticed
two or three of them together on a fine morning after rain raised upon
their hind legs, on the outside of the house, leaning back against the
wall with their fore legs spread out, evidently enjoying the warmth of
the sun which was shining upon them. They are often kept tame by the
natives for a long time, and numbers are sold to the masters of ships
and others visiting the port. We had one on board the ship in which I
made my first voyage from Madagascar. It was a fine animal, and during
the twenty-eight days of our passage I had frequent opportunities of
observing its disposition and habits. It was tied to a boat on deck,
and in a basket under the fore part of the boat it found a partial
shelter from the rain and wind. It conveyed its food--boiled rice
and fruit--to its mouth by the hand; and it was gentle and sociable,
seemingly grateful for any trifling notice or kindness. I frequently
gave it water, which it lapped like a Dog, and occasionally a banana;
and in a short time it seemed to watch my movements whenever I came on
deck, jumping on my arm or shoulder if I approached the boat; but was
most delighted when, attaching a long line to the short cord tied round
its body, I loosened it from the boat and allowed it to run up the
cords or rigging, which it ascended with astonishing ease and speed,
sitting sometimes with apparent pleasure on the extremity of the yard.
It was scrupulously clean, and seemed unable to endure any tar or other
dirt on its shaggy coat. One morning, during a heavy gale of wind,
when there was much motion of the ship and great confusion and noise
among the sailors, the Lemur seemed unusually excited, and clapped its
hands together, and chattered loud in a most extraordinary manner,
occasioning great uneasiness amongst the crew of Malagasy sailors,
who declared it was an omen of evil to the ship, and that some fearful
calamity might be expected. I had felt so much interest in the sociable
and apparently gentle animal on board ship, that I should have been
glad to have seen some of its species in their own forest homes; but
though numbers were evidently near, none of them came within sight.”

This Lemur has, as its name implies, a black-and-white fur; the white
tint is very general near the skin, and black is put on in patches, the
tail being completely of that colour. It has a long face and skull,
with a high nose and a narrow space between the eye cavities.

[Illustration: SKELETON OF THE RUFFED LEMUR. (_Modified after De


It is this Lemur which has a mate with white whiskers and a white patch
on the lower part of the back, whilst its own colour is uniformly black.

It inhabits the north-west of Madagascar, and the Sakalaves call it
Acoumba. M. Pollen noticed one of the white-whiskered yellowish-red
coloured females with a little black young one (a male) on its
shoulders, and when the mother was shot, it fell with her, so tightly
had it grasped her wool. They live in companies, and like the very tops
of the tallest trees of the forest for their home; they are usually
seen in the evening, when they make a great deal of noise with their
concert of grunts and cries, and they jump from bough to bough quite as
quickly as a bird flies. They have a trick of falling down suddenly,
when pursued, into the underwood, and when the hunter searches for
them they will be seen rushing off to a distant tree. When reared in
captivity they are docile and affectionate. They like to sit on their
keeper’s shoulder, and will eat nearly everything that is offered to
them. Fruit they prefer, but they will crack a bird’s skull and eat the
brain. In some districts of Madagascar these Lemurs are not allowed
to be killed or to be kept either dead or alive, on account of some
superstitious ideas of the natives.

One of the most remarkable peculiarities of this Lemur is the marked
padded nature of the hand. The palm of the hand is longer than the
fingers, and the thumb is not much bigger than the little or fifth
finger. The fourth finger is slightly the longest, and its tip, as well
as those of the other fingers, is furnished with a well-marked pad,
which gives a roundness and fulness to the last joint, or phalanx. The
fleshy pads of the palm and fingers are also numerous, and the largest
occupies the position on the palm of the ball of the thumb in man,
whilst in front of this there is a pad space on the palm close below
the first joint of the index finger. A smaller pad is placed behind
the roots of the third and fourth fingers, and there is a pad at the
root of the fifth digit. Two long pads are seen behind this last on the
outer margin of the palm, which converge towards the great pad of the
base of the thumb. These six pads of the palm form an ellipsis around
the centre of the hand, and are of paramount importance in preventing
the jar of jumping.

[Illustration: HEAD OF THE BLACK LEMUR. (_After Murie._)]

The under part of the foot of the Black Lemur is at first sight very
much like a hard palm, with a great thumb, for the great toe is large
and thumb-like. The four other toes are finger-like, and are very
slightly larger than the fingers of the hand; and the sole, although
narrow and rather elongate, resembles a palm somewhat. The second toe
is small; and although it has a small pad beneath its tip, a distinct
and sharp nail projects from the last phalanx. All the other toes have
large pads beneath their tips, and assume more or less of a rounded
shape at the ends. The great toe’s pad is large and almost circular in
outline. There is a large pad at the base of the great toe, which is
almost divided into two by a furrow, and each of the remaining toes has
a small pad at its junction with the sole, and there is one along the
outer border. All these tactile pads with cushions of fat on the palm
and sole act admirably as buffers, and prevent injury to the joints of
the bones, as the Lemur terminates its leap by bringing its extremities
in sudden contact with boughs or small trees. Moreover, they enable
the animal to distinguish substances by their very sensitive surface.
By being placed at the base of the fingers and toes on the palm or
sole, and by being separate and along the edge of elliptical spaces,
the movement of the fingers and toes still retains their independence.
Moreover, the existence of a central spot between the pads favours the
movements of the palm and sole, and assists in the opposable nature
of the thumb and first toe. The pads on the under part of the ends
of the fingers and toes appear not only to act as cushions, but to
enable the Lemur to distinguish the nature of the substances with which
they come in contact. They are therefore sensitive, and may be termed
extraordinary organs of touch. A circlet of very long hairs projects
and radiates round the ears of this Lemur, and gives the animal a very
peculiar appearance.


There are many very small bushy-tailed and almost Rat or Squirrel-like
Lemuroida in Madagascar, which have a most curious habit. In England
Hedgehogs, Dormice, and Bats--and in other countries the Marmot and
other animals--hide up on the approach of winter, and go off to
sleep for many a long day until warm weather returns, and food can
be obtained; and this is done also by many reptiles, and not a few
insects. They take their winter’s sleep like the Water-rat--

    “And when cold winter comes, and the water-plants die,
    And his little brooks yield him no further supply,
    Down into his burrow he cozily creeps,
    And quietly through the long winter-time sleeps.”

And in Madagascar, where the heat is always great, and there is a wet
and dry season, food being always in great abundance, these little
bushy-tailed things go off at a certain time into a nest of leaves, and
doze away for weeks, whilst their fellows are scampering around them
during the moonlight nights, and imitating them in their sleep whilst
all nature glows in the tropical sun. In temperate climates where there
is a winter, this long sleep is called wintering, or hibernating, and
in the hot climate it is called the summer sleep, or æstivation.

Why some animals should do this and others not, why some should
sleep long in winter, and others in summer, and why all should be
most regular in their time of taking their nap, are questions well
worthy of any one’s attention, and especially because they cannot be
answered. Some of the hibernating animals awake for a little time now
and then, and take food, but others get quieter and quieter, their
breathing becomes slower and slower, their heart beats with diminished
force and rapidity, and their temperature falls; but, on the other
hand, the irritability of the muscles, especially of those of the
heart, increases; and in these--for instance, in many of the Bats--the
hibernation is not a commonplace, long-continued slumber, but a
necessary matter, and the awakened sleeper dies.

Let us notice what takes place in the hibernators. They get into a
place out of the light, and where the temperature is tolerably equable,
and after having got nice and fat previously, they settle down in
different positions, according to their shape, and go to sleep. They
avoid too cold places, and get out of the range of the action of frost.
Now taking no food, breathing very slowly, with very slow pulses, and
indulging in no exercise, there is very little exhaustion going on. The
quantity of fat stored up by the animal in its body generally consumes
away, but very tardily, for the oxygen in the blood is at its lowest
ebb, and the arterial blood resembles that of the dull purple veins.
Under ordinary circumstances, if the whole of the blood is in this
condition, the muscles of that side of the heart which propels the
pure blood throughout the frame lose their power of contraction, and
death ensues. But in their hibernating condition their irritability
is increased, and they pump the impure blood as well as they did the
bright scarlet fluid of old. At last the fat is consumed, the animal
gets thin, and by the time the spring comes it is ready for its new

Now the little _Cheirogales_ of Madagascar certainly do part of all
these wonderful things. They get fat, and their tails attain a most
dignified size; then they retire for their summer sleep, grow thinner
and thinner, and finally come forth with such miserable vestiges of
tails, so thin and miserable-looking. Their time of quietude is during
the hot and dry season, and is equivalent to the English winter, and
they fatten up during the months when the warm rain makes everything to
grow in profusion. It must be noticed that although these Cheirogales
greatly resemble the Lemurs already described, they have no special
construction which necessitates this sleep.

These Cheirogales resemble the Hapalemurs in shape, and may be known
by their small size, their long tail, which is either conical or
cylindrical, and by their face, which is scarcely narrower in front
than behind. Having long ankle-bones, the back muscles of the leg have
a great leverage over the foot, which enables the creature to make
its easy jumps. Being nocturnal in their habits, they have very large
eyes, and rounded and short, but sharp-sensed, external ears. They are
vegetable feeders, yet most of them are extremely fond of something
alive to eat, and, indeed, are greedy enough when they have the
opportunity of catching insects. Having wonderful powers of sight, and
of rapid jumping, they watch for their prey, and approach it quietly,
and finally descend from some height with the stealthy swoop of an
Owl, catching the Beetle, Spider, or even small bird, and tearing it
to pieces with astonishing celerity. They have a shrill cry at night,
which is loud for such small creatures, but their usual voice is soft.

Holes in trees are used by the Cheirogales for hiding-places and nests
for their young, which do not accompany the mother at first out of
their safe retreats.

Naturalists have had a vast amount of trouble in distinguishing these
little Lemuroids one from the other, and there has been a vast amount
of confusion about their names, but the following are interesting for
many reasons.


[Illustration: FORKED-CROWNED CHEIROGALE. (_Modified after Schlegel and

The “Walouvy,” or “Tantaroué-léla”--for such are its Malagasy
by-names--is found in abundance in the forests on the western side of
the island, but it equally inhabits the eastern parts of Madagascar.
Their choice of a domicile is ordinarily in the hollow of a tree,
particularly in one with a double aperture; and in their selection they
not unfrequently stumble on a cavity already occupied by Bees, but this
does not deter them from having a share in the busy business concern.
For the natives pretend that it has a preference for the society of
the Bees, doubtless with an eye to the dainty luscious honey, which it
steals as opportunity offers. They make incredible leaps, so that it
is extremely difficult to capture them. At night their cries resound
in the woods almost continuously, and their noise somewhat resembles
the piercing tones of the Guinea-fowl, a kind of “Ka-ka-ka-ka” being
uttered loudly and precipitately.

The name of this species comes from a dark brown streak which passes
along the whole length of the back, and over the head, to fork into two
bands--one over each eyebrow. Whatever may be its liking for honey,
it has the means of biting hard fruit, for it has large middle front
teeth, and also a strong first upper false molar. As a whole the teeth
number the same as in the first division of the American Monkeys.


Another of these little Lemuroids, called Coquerel’s Cheirogale, is
celebrated as a nest maker, for it gathers dead leaves, and twigs, and
grass, and makes a comfortable nest of large size, for it is a foot and
a half in diameter. It goes into it by day, and sleeps soundly whilst
the sun is up, but comes out at dusk to leap, crawl, and swing amongst
the trees, looking out for live food quite as much as for fruit.

M. Milius, who was Governor of the Island of Réunion in 1821, gave a
pair of little Lemuroids, each being about nine inches in length, with
a long tail, to the Jardin des Plantes, at Paris. They lived there
for some time, and used to get out of their cages at night and wander
about the rooms and places where the beasts were confined. At dusk,
after having been very quiet all day, they got up and stood well on
their hind legs, and began to jump to and fro like mad creatures, and
they kept it up when the room was quite dark, for they could be heard
rushing about amongst a crowd of cages tenanted by other animals; but
if the least light were admitted they darted through a small hole which
led to their own cage, and were there again in the twinkling of an eye.
They had beautiful silky fawn-coloured fur, and rolled themselves up in
balls during the daytime, for the light seemed to be especially painful
to them. In their captivity they were fed on bread, biscuits, and fruit.

One of the Cheirogales has a black circle around the eyes, and is
called the Spectacled Cheirogale, and it is interesting because it is
the species whose summer sleep has been noticed, and because it has an
extremely important tail. This tail thickens greatly at the root, and
tapers towards the end, not being cylindrical throughout, and it is the
root which gets grossly fat, and finally excessively thin.

The last kind to be noticed is sometimes called the Madagascar Rat, or
the Dwarf Cheirogale, for it is only four inches long, with a tail of
six inches, and it might be passed by as only interesting for its small
size and Rat-like look, but it has a most resplendent eye. The tapetum,
or coloured tinsel-looking glaring structure situated deeply in the
eyes, is so large, and the eye admits so much light at dusk, that quite
an unnatural brilliancy is produced. They are night hunters, and are
quiet and good-tempered when kept in cages.

They make true nests, like those of the crow, which consist of small
interlaced twigs, in the midst of which there is a depression, with a
bed of hairs for the young.

All the Cheirogales come, of course, from Madagascar, and they appear
to inhabit the northern part of the island, and the east and west
coasts, but not the south. They complete--with the exception of the
curious Aye-Aye, which will be described at the end of this notice of
the Lemuroida--the Madagascar Lemurs, and it is a point of interest
to know that they are the only Madagascar Lemuroids which are pretty
closely allied, so far as construction and shape are concerned, with
any of the African kinds, which will now demand attention. Indeed,
they and the Galagos of Africa have much in common, and are readily
distinguished from the Indris and other Lemuroids already noticed. For
instance, both have the long heel, or ankle-bone, the same number of
teeth, and both have four teats, or mammæ--two on the breast, and two
on the groin. They have no ruffs and no ear-tufts, and their brain is
more triangular in shape than that of any other of the Lemuroida.



THE LEMUROIDA (_concluded_)--THE GALAGOS.[129]

    Puzzle of the Naturalists--Opinions regarding it--Specimen
    Examined by Owen--Feeding--Teeth--Hands--Classification of the
    Lemuroida--Geographical Distribution.

These Galagos are most interesting, lively creatures, and they have
wonderful ears, which are long, large, and elliptical, and can be
furled up if the animals become frightened. Moreover, they have a long
heel-bone, and the tail, often bushy, either equals or is longer than
the trunk.


The distinction between these kinds is not very definite, but they are
inhabitants of the West Coast of Africa, namely, Senegal, Calabar,
and the Gaboon. The Rev. W. C. Thomson’s account in a letter to Mr.
Murray of what he suspects to be really and truly _G. Demidoffii_ and
_G. murinus_ is well worth quotation. “Young ones of both species
were brought to us about this period of the year (July 26). Mr. Robb
has a young specimen of the smaller species just now, and about this
time last year I became possessed of one of the larger. It is a most
interesting and amusing pet, not only quite tame, but manifesting
strong attachment. I had it for about six weeks in my possession, when,
unfortunately, both for myself and it, it took a false leap into a
water-canal and was drowned. It was a very epitome of zoology, of the
size and colour of a large Rat; it had the tail of a Squirrel, the
facial outline of the Fox, the membranous ears of the Bat, the eyes
and somewhat the manners of the Owl in its cool odd way of peering at
objects, the long slender fingers of a lean old man, who habitually
eats down his nails, and all the mirthfulness and agility of a
diminutive Monkey. It hated its cage at night, but delighted to leap
upon the bars of the chairs ranged purposely round the table for it. It
could clear a horizontal distance of at least six feet at a leap; and
whenever it fell, as during its short apprenticeship it often did, and
from alarming heights too, it gave expression of its apparent chagrin
by a rough sort of purring. It possessed a curious power of folding its
membranous ears back upon themselves, and somewhat corrugating them at
pleasure; and it appeared to me that the palms of its hands and feet
were endowed in some degree with the power of suction, such as the
Walrus is said to possess in perfection. I have seen it maintain itself
in positions where the mere lateral pressure of its limbs appeared
to be inadequate for the purpose. I once applied it to the side of a
cylindrical glass shade, of which it could not embrace so much as a
third of the circumference, and sure enough it maintained its position
for some time, gradually sliding down until it gave way. The palm was
very much depressed, always clean and glistening, surrounded by five
papilliform growths, those near the roots of the fingers serving as
points of opposition to them, the fingers never closing beyond the
palm. Mr. Robb had one of your species (_G. murinus_) in his possession
for a considerable while. It devoured Grasshoppers, and even the fierce
Mantides (leaf insects), greedily, as well as Moths, little as it was;
but I never saw my kind muster courage enough to attack a Grasshopper
or _Mantis_, though nearly twice as large as Mr. Robb’s. No doubt mine
would, by-and-by, have become less particular and more daring. The
smaller species was very familiar, and used to run over people with
perfect freedom. A favourite place of refuge was under his whisker, and
between it and his shirt collar.” According to the same correspondent,
the little ones breed in captivity, but never grow more than about
three or four inches long in the body; the larger kind, he says, within
a year grow to six or seven inches long, or equal to a big Rat. Their
voices differ, the larger animal’s tone being lugubrious. He further
says that the little creatures (_G. murinus?_) are gregarious or social
in their wild state, travelling in small companies, and inhabiting a
common nest, one of which he himself got a glimpse of. He saw several
individuals rush out of it as he passed, and it answered in its
situation and description to the account he had received of them, which
was, that they were built on suitable forks of trees, with a foundation
of clay and superstructure of dried leaves.


(_Original after Murie._)]


This is interesting from being the earliest known species of
true Galago, and also as apparently having the widest range of
geographical distribution. It is but a very little larger than the
full-grown species mentioned above, and has fawn-grey fur above, and
yellowish-white beneath, with dark-brown feet and tail, and a white
stripe on the face. It is common in the Senegal forests, even to the
borders of the great Sahara Desert. Its habits in no way differ from
the other Galagos’, though it is asserted that when pressed by hunger
it feeds on the gum-arabic, plentiful in the acacia trees of its
native forests. Its eagerness in the capture of insect prey is well
attested. It pursues Beetles, Sphinges, and Moths with great ardour,
even while they are on the wing, making prodigious bounds at them, and
often leaping right upwards to seize them. Should it by chance miss
its object and accidentally fall from the branch to the ground, it
re-ascends with the rapidity of flight to renew the hunt. In captivity
it freely eats chopped meat, eggs, and milk. Although good-tempered in
confinement, it nevertheless is vivacious and petulant. At night it is
always on the move, and if the occasion arises, darts off to the woods
without a moment’s delay. The Moors say its flesh is good eating.


(_Modified after Murie and Mivart._)]

The so-called Sennaar Galago[132] by some is held to be a different
species, but by many is only deemed a variety of the preceding. This
animal is plentiful on the wooded banks of the White Nile, and is
spread over the forest tracts in Kordofan, and in the same latitudes
to the Blue Nile in Sennaar, bordering Abyssinia. By the native name,
“Camimdi,” it is also well known in the interior of the East African
Coast, viz., above Tete near the Zambesi River. If, moreover, the
Maholi Galago, as certain authorities believe, is but a variety of the
same, then the Senegal Galago ranges over nearly three-quarters the
length and breadth of Africa.


(_Altered after De Blainville._)]


Originally discovered and described by the late Sir Andrew Smith in
his “South African Zoology,” this is one of the most charming and
interesting little creatures imaginable. The general colouring of the
upper parts is a yellowish or brownish-grey, with slightly darker
brindling on the back, a broad nose-streak, cheeks and throat white,
and a tinge of yellow intermixed with the white of the belly and inside
of the limbs. The great tender-looking eyes are of a deep topaz yellow;
the ears, flesh-tint inside and downy-white outside, are very big, and
betimes are rapidly folded together like those of Garnett’s Galago,
giving the creature great variety of expression. The head is somewhat
globular, with a short, high, almost pointed nose. The delicate woolly
fur of the body lengthens and darkens on the tail, most so towards its
end. Smith observes that they spring from branch to branch, and tree
to tree, with extraordinary facility, and always seize with one of
their fore-feet the branch upon which they intend to rest. In their
manners they manifest considerable resemblance to Monkeys, particularly
in their propensity to the practice of ridiculous grimaces and
gesticulations. It spends the daytime in the nests which it forms for
itself in the forks of branches, or in the cavities of decayed trees;
and in these nests the females also produce and rear their young, of
which there are generally two at a birth. Sir John Kirk found it common
among the hills of Kebrabassa, Batoka, and Nyassa, in East Africa. He
says, singly and in pairs they came about the camp-fires at night, and
in the dim light resembled a Bat in movements, by crossing from side
to side, at single leaps, distances of six feet. A pair which lived
a few years ago in the Zoological Gardens were a most interestingly
tender couple. The day saw them nestled lovingly in their little box,
and as night wore on they would peep out and cautiously and by stealth
venture into their more spacious cage. Creeping down the branch, which
served as a ladder, so noiselessly that not a movement could be heard,
they would suddenly spring hither and thither, not like ordinary
quadrupeds, but in a manner only to be compared with the leap and dart
of a Tree Frog (_Hyla_). Approaching a dish of Meal-worms laid out
for them, they would snap them up with their forepaws so quickly that
the eye could not follow the motion; this rapidity of action equalled
the Chamæleon’s tongue, whose protrusion and withdrawal baffles the
eye, the fly gone being the main fact the observer is cognisant of.
They seemed heartily to enjoy the Meal-worms, these being dainties in
comparison with their ordinary food, which was sopped bread, rice and
milk, and fruit. They were much more timid creatures than the impudent,
rollicking Garnett’s Galago,[134] whose habits were noticed in the
beginning of our description of the Lemuroids. Neither were they by any
means as noisy; indeed they seldom if ever uttered a sound, and that
was only a subdued warning note. As regards their Monkey-like gestures,
hinted at by Smith, this pair never showed any, their manner being
rather Squirrel-like than otherwise. Occasionally a hasty contraction
or curling together of each capacious ear simulated the scared grimace
of a Monkey, but this action was one of surprise or timidity, and not
that of the drollery and mischief of Monkey habit. On the whole, these
Maholi Galagos appear to be animals of lower intelligence than the
Monkey tribe.

[Illustration: MONTEIRO’S GALAGO.

(_From a Photograph by Murie._)]


This handsome animal comes from both East and West Africa south of the
Equator, and is about as large as a Cat, with a great bushy tail some
three or four inches longer than the body. This appendage it carries
aloft very majestically, or swerves it to and fro as a kind of rudder
in climbing, occasionally sweeping it along the back and belly, or
curling it around the body after the manner of the Lemurs. Being
nocturnal in its habits, the eyes, which are large, and with great wide
dark pupils and a brown-red iris, have a glassy, glimmering appearance
in daylight, but look like balls of fire at night. The ears are a
remarkable feature: about a third shorter than the head, they stand
out like great, flattish, elliptical-mouthed trumpets, ever changing
position and shape, and catching all sounds, and they are nearly bare
within and slightly hairy outside. This animal has fur of a uniformly
dark brown, and this colour mainly distinguishes it from


This short description of the Thick-tailed Galago in a great many
respects answers to another, which merits the title of “Grand,” if
dimensions a grade larger deserve it. One was obtained at Cuis Bay,
south of Loanda, and was conveyed to England in the living state, being
supposed to be only a pale variety of the last-mentioned species. The
only visible difference from the latter seems to be that of colour,
even this slightly varying. It is of a light chinchilla-grey all over,
save the tail and the throat, which are nearly white. The nose is black
and bare, and the feet are deep brown. The entire length of the animal
is twenty-eight inches, whereof the tail is sixteen. The ears are a
couple of inches long, and blackish. Mr. Bartlett remarks that when
these are thrown forwards they give the head a resemblance to that of
the Aye-Aye; but when they are folded back and down the physiognomy
approaches that of the Douroucouli. Sir John Kirk (who accompanied
Dr. Livingstone) says: “While the _G. maholi_ is peculiar to the
interior, where its geographical range seems to be great, the other,
or Great-tailed Galago (_G. Monteiri_), is confined to the maritime
region--so far as I know, never penetrating beyond the band of wood
known generally as the mangrove forests. By the Portuguese it is named
‘Rat of the Cocoa-nut Palm,’ that being its favourite haunt by day,
nestling among the fronds; but if it be disturbed, performing feats
of agility, and darting from one palm to another. It will spring with
great rapidity, adhering to any object as if it were a lump of wet clay.


(_Original after Murie._)]


(_Original after Murie._)]

“It has one failing--otherwise its capture were no easy task. Should a
pot of palm-wine be left on the tree, the creature drinks to excess,
comes down, and rushes about intoxicated. In captivity they are wild;
during the day remaining either rolled up in a ball, or perched half
asleep, with ears stowed away like a Beetle’s wing under its hard and
ornamented case (elytra). I had half a dozen Squirrels with one in
the same cage; these were good friends, the latter creeping under the
‘Golgo’s’ soft fur and falling asleep. On introducing a few specimens
of Shrew (_Macroscelides tetradactylus_), the ‘Golgo’ seized one and
bit off its tail, which, however, it did not eat. The food it took was
biscuit, rice, orange, banana, guava, and a little cooked meat. Stupid
during the day, it became active at night, or just after darkness set

“The rapidity and length of its leaps, which were absolutely noiseless,
must give great facilities to its capturing live prey. I never knew it
give a loud call, but it would often make a low chattering noise. It
has been observed at the Luabo mouth of the Zambesi, at Quilimane, and
at Mozambique. When I had my live specimen at Zanzibar, the natives
there did not seem to recognise it; nevertheless, it may be abundant on
the mainland.”

from Alph. Milne-Edwards._)]

Mr. Monteiro tells us that the Loanda specimens have not the character
of being such a drunken lot of creatures, though they are arrant
thieves, but otherwise he corroborates Kirk’s observations. He mentions
that they come in bands, and rob the fruit-trees of the villages. Their
flesh is looked upon as good eating, and their skins are eagerly sought
for, the fur being used to staunch wounds. In allusion to the Galago’s
inebriety, Dr. Gray relates that a friend of his gave a half-grown
Scotch Terrier to a distiller, who soon returned it with the character
of “habit and repute.” The animal could not by any correction be
prevented from drinking the spirit as it came from the still, or any
spirits it could get, and it would stagger and reel about, verifying
the term, “a drunken dog,” so often applied to divine man.


The rest of the African Lemuroids have not the habits, appearance, and
anatomy of the Galagos, and are a very sad, weird, slow-going set,
totally different from the active, careless kinds already noticed. A
world of care seems to hang around their deliberate movements; they are
images of Sleepy Hollow; they never are seen to spring and rush about,
but ordinarily conduct themselves with great gravity and decorum. Slow
they are, and hence their name the Slow Loris, and their body and
limbs are not made for rapid locomotion. The limbs are nearly equal in
length, their head is globular, and the eyes are uneven. The short ears
and short fur are all of a piece, and so is the short tail (for this
is most common), and the short second or index (counting the thumb as
one) finger. The back or rib vertebræ are fourteen or more, and the
loin-bones are never less than seven. There is a remarkable division
of the blood-vessels of the arms, loins, and legs called the _rete
mirabile_. The vessels split into minute tubes, like hairs in calibre,
but of two sizes, and lie closely adherent to each other in long
parallel lines (see page 245); this arrangement, also termed a plexus,
or plexiform, being similar in kind to what is met with in the Sloth
tribe of South America. The Slow Lemurs inhabit both Africa and Asia,
but are not found in Madagascar, and their mode of life is strictly
arboreal and nocturnal.

The first African genus is _Perodicticus_.

[Illustration: ANGWÁNTIBO. (_Slightly altered after Huxley._)]


As far back as the year 1705, while on a voyage to the Guinea coast,
the Dutch navigator, Van Bosman, came across a new and strange little
quadruped which, on his return, he figured and briefly described under
the name of Potto. The colonists knew it as the Bush-dog, and that it
was slothful and retiring, seldom making its appearance except in the
night-time, and then to feed on the cassada and other vegetables. It
is remarkable for its singular hand, which has, as it were, a deformed
forefinger, and for a seeming protrusion of the neck-bones.

Like other tropical night-animals, the home or wild habits of the Potto
have only been loosely studied. It is not restricted to the northern
parts of Guinea, but is found on the Gold Coast and at the Gaboon River
under the Equator. It shows a certain agility at night, clambering up
the most smooth and polished branches with ease. When caught, and in
captivity, one authority says, it sped along the cornices and angles
within the house wherever there was the least elevation from the wall.

Those specimens which have lived in the Regent’s Park Gardens from
time to time have fed on the same kind of food and exhibited no
special differences of habit from the Slow Loris of Asia, presently to
be described, if we except a more intractable disposition; for they
have seemed rather addicted to giving an ugly bite whenever attempted
to be handled, however gently. Mr. Bartlett managed to get one that
showed a more amiable disposition, courting kindly stroking. When
first obtained, it was so young that doubts were entertained of its
surviving, especially as it suffered from the cold weather. To obviate
this a small bag of hare-skin was made, fur inside, and Master Potto
was placed therein. Furthermore, a bitch having whelps on the premises,
one of the latter was put in with the young African for a while, then
another, and so on in rotation, the animal heat of Potto being duly
sustained. The latter clung to the puppies as it would to its mother,
hugging them on the belly so tight that the doggies did not quite seem
to relish their forced companion. This nursing, however, did well, and
Potto was duly reared, and became on the whole good tempered.


(_After Huxley, Zool. Soc. Proc._)]

Mr. Skues records having purchased a female at Cape Coast on the 31st
March, 1869, along with its young one, which had been born on the
8th February. They slept all day; the mother usually perched on a
door, with the youngster clasped to her belly, by its fore and hind
extremities. At dusk they came down and wandered about the room all
night. After a time, young Potto scampered hither and thither on his
own account. Milk and bread they refused, but would feed on pine-apples
and bananas, with water. Although there were insects about the room, as
is the case always in tropical climates, the Pottos were never detected
eating them, but one day the mother was found busily munching at a tray
of preserved Beetles. At Accra, circumstances prevented due attention
being given them, and there the young one died aged twenty-two weeks.
The mother survived only six weeks. The negroes seemed to be much
afraid of the Potto, which they called “Aposo,” or “Aposou.” It
inhabits West Africa and the coasts of the Gulf of Guinea.

The hairs on the Potto are longish, soft, and woolly, mouse-coloured
at the base, rusty in the middle, and paler tipped. Hence results a
general chestnut tint, with intermixture of grey, the under surface
being considerably paler. The limbs are nearly of one length; the head
rounded, with slightly-hairy shortish ears, and moderately-projecting
muzzle. The nose and chin are almost naked and flesh-coloured, the
former grooved or nicked in the centre. The eyes are lateral and
oblique, very convex, and with an oblong pupil. The index, or first
finger, is very short, resembling a tubercle.

The nature and number of the teeth indicate a mixed diet, as there are
four incisors above and below, and two canines in the upper and lower
jaw. Then come three pre-molars and three lower grinders on each side
in both jaws.


The next genus is very singular. The species has just the trace of
a tail, and the index finger is reduced to a slight projection, or
tubercle, on which there is no trace of a nail, and the fingers and
toes about the lower joints are united by skin. The ear has two cross
folds, and there are fifteen dorsal back-bones, and seven in the loin


Our knowledge of this curious African species, which comes from West
Africa and Old Calabar, truly a “three-fingered Jack,” is due to
the Rev. A. Robb, when missionary at Old Calabar. From his letter
(December, 1859) accompanying the bottled specimen first transmitted to
England, we gather the following history:--“The Calabar people call it
_Angwántibo_--_angwán_ means a farm, but we do not know the etymology
of the second part of the word, and cannot say whether it arose from
any habit peculiar to the animal. It lives in trees; but, being
nocturnal, the people know exceedingly little about it. They cannot
tell what it eats. A lad whom I asked said that he lived in the house,
and it lived in the bush, how then could he know anything about it?
My Krumen also recognised it as a countryman of theirs. They consider
the one sent as a young one, and say that in their country it grows to
the size of a common puss. Probably theirs is a different animal, but
I cannot tell. They call it _Dwăn_, and say that it lays down the
law to the other beasts, forbidding them to eat the young fruit when it
begins to form on the trees. If the Monkey transgresses, the _Dwăn_
seizes him, and holds him there till he dies--yea, the Monkey rots in
his grasp. They say they are shot together thus. If the Monkey gets
the shot, the _Dwăn_ holds on; if the _Dwăn_ gets the shot, they
fall together. The Krumen say that the _Dwăn_ eats fruit. This is
all we know about it at present; and their (the Krumen’s) account seems
somewhat fabulous.”

[Illustration: SLOW LORIS. (_After Tickell and Alph. Milne-Edwards._)]

Dr. Alexander Smith describes and compares the animal with the Potto.
He mentions the following characters:--Above, yellowish-brown, the
roots of the hairs, dark grey; below, paler, in some parts nearly
white; hair, wool-like; length from muzzle to point of tail, 10½
inches, the tail being only a quarter of an inch long. The body is
slender; the head oval and rounded, with a blunt but protuberant
face; the eyes, full and large; ears, naked within, and with short
hairs externally; nostrils, sinuous, and laterally placed; there is
projecting fold beneath the tongue, as in other Lemuroids, and the
neck is short. The limbs are slender, the hinder a trifle larger and
stronger than the others; both feet and hands conform to those of the
Potto, with, however, a still greater reduction of the index finger.
He observes that the hands and feet are divided, as it were, into two
opposing portions, which he likens to the grasp of such climbing-birds
as the Parrots. This peculiarity, along with the multiple blood-vessel
division of the extremities, he thinks indicative of long-enduring
muscular action, stealthy step, and adaptation for gripping twigs of
trees, rather than for the purpose of capturing a prey.

[Illustration: RETE MIRABILE. (_Original after Murie._)

Greatly magnified, and partly diagrammatic representations of a _Rete
Mirabile_. A. General appearance. B. Cross section of vessels. C. How
the capillary vessels of two sizes join.]

The anatomical peculiarities of the Angwántibo have been lucidly
described by Prof. Huxley in the “Proceedings of the Zoological
Society,” where, from his examination, he substantiates Dr. Gray’s
separation of the animal generically from its African mother the Potto.


There are two well-marked kinds of these Lemuroida to be met with in
very large districts in the East, and they live in the tropical woods
of Eastern and Southern Hindostan, Ceylon, Burmah, Siam, Cochin China,
the Malay Archipelago, and in the great Islands of Sumatra, Java, and
Borneo. But they do not live together in the same parts.

[Illustration: SLOW LORIS. (_From a sketch by Tickell._)]

The first to be noticed has the widest geographical range, and is to be
found here and there from Hindostan to China, and from Burmah to the
great islands. Hence quite a voluminous history is attached to this
animal, whose singular appearance and habits, peculiar anatomy, and
geographical distribution, have been the fruitful theme for travellers
and naturalists of most European nations. He is called by many names,
and is the Bashful Billy--“Chirmundi Billi”--of the Bengalese, or
the Slow Lemur, and naturalists term him the Slow Loris, or Kukang
(_Nycticebus tardigradus_). When he is turned out of his quarters in
the daytime, he reminds one of a very young, awkward puppy without a
tail. But his eyes, however, are enormous and owl-like, and seem to
start protuberantly forwards with an unmeaning stare. When his wits
return, and the scare ceases, he softly turns on his heel, and with a
very slow, measured pace--hand-over-hand, as sailors term it--makes for
his box. There is a cool, sedate manner about his whole proceedings
which may either be taken for wisdom or stupidity. During the night,
when hungry cravings send him forth on his own account, his eyes light
up, and he seems more alive to his interests, though seldom increasing
the activity of his movements. On a table he waddles like a sailor
newly ashore, but with a rope or bough to grasp, by foot or hand, there
ensues a grip like a vice, a steady mode of ascent putting him betimes
out of reach of danger.

The eye of the Kukang, besides its adaptation to nocturnal vision,
in the presence of a tapetum, or silvery lining to the choroid or
blood-vessel layer, has also a singular manner of closing. Instead
of the eyelids shutting from above downwards, as in the majority of
Mammals, they approach obliquely outwards and inwards. This mode of
closure is entirely due to an inequality in the fleshy fibres which
surround the eyelid, and, together with the large pupil, somewhat
elliptical in shape, produces in daylight a very strange, unmeaning
look. It has a very odd knack of hanging to boughs, body downwards,
and the way in which it is done, asleep or awake, apparently receives
explanation from the mode in which certain of the flexor muscles are
fastened above the knee-joint. Thus, by simple bending of the leg,
the toes are drawn (on bending) together, and hold fast without any
sensible muscular exertion. The mechanism, in fact, is similar in kind
to that which enables birds to perch while slumbering, or by which Bats
adhere to crevices while suspended head downwards. It possesses the
peculiar _rete mirabile_ of blood-vessels already noticed.

Many anecdotes respecting the habits of the Nycticebus in confinement
have hitherto found currency, a similar vein of narrative running
through each. One kept by Mr. Baird some nine months had a preference
for veal, fresh-killed fowls’ necks, sugar, and gum-arabic, cooked
meat being abhorred. Instead of recounting old stories, we append the
following observations of Captain Tickell, not hitherto made public:--

“This animal is tolerably common in the Tenasserim provinces, and in
Arracan, but from being strictly nocturnal in its habits is seldom
seen. It inhabits the densest forests, and never by choice leaves the
trees. Its movements are slow, but it climbs readily, and grasps with
great tenacity. If placed on the ground, it can proceed, if frightened,
in a wavering kind of trot, the limbs bent at right angles, like a
mutilated Spider. It sleeps rolled up in a ball, its head and hands
buried between its thighs, and wakes up at the dusk of evening to
commence its nocturnal rambles. The female bears but one young at a
time. In confinement they are at first savage, bite severely, and in
spite of general slow movements, can do so pretty quickly, uttering
a rough grunt or growl. They, however, get quiet, if not absolutely
docile, in time, and are kept without difficulty, requiring no other
diet than plantains, or any other kind of fruit. They become content
to remain in the smallest box, where another animal would soon pine
and perish for want of exercise. When for a time confined they readily
abandon their nocturnal habits, eat during the day, and rest at
night. They will thus remain contentedly on an old punkah hung in a
lumber-room, for many days; but, unless thoroughly reclaimed, they will
always seize an opportunity during night to escape, never travelling
far, however, and generally turning up in some thicket or bamboo-clump,
or other quiet corner in the grounds. They greedily devour all sorts of
insects, and also birds’ eggs.”

On one occasion Captain Tickell watched an individual crawling along
the floor to seize a Cockroach. When it had approached within ten or
twelve inches, it drew its hind feet gradually forwards until almost
under its chest; it then cautiously and slowly raised itself up into a
standing position, balancing itself awkwardly with its uplifted arms,
and then, to his astonishment, flung itself, not upon the insect, which
was off “like an arrow from a Tartar’s bow,” but on the spot which it
had, half a second before, tenanted (see woodcut). This is its manner,
however, of catching such of its living food as will wait long enough.
Grubs, Caterpillars, and the slower Beetles (_Scarabæi_) are seized in
one or both hands, and slowly carried to its mouth, and there solemnly
munched up; the Nycticebus looking all the time, with its delicate
small muzzle and its protuberant eyes, like one of those apologetic
pigmy Lapdogs ladies love to carry. It is almost wholly silent, but
when roused to take food, now and then it utters a feeble tone, like
the crackling of some substance in the fire. When angry, and about to
bite, it gives forth a tolerably loud growl or grunt.

The above animal (with one or possibly two species) forms the genus
Nycticebus, in which the body and limbs are short; there is no tail,
and the head is globular, whilst there are no less than sixteen
back-bones with ribs. The index finger is short, and there is a nail on

The next genus is called Loris, or Stenops.


Comes from Ceylon, Malabar, and the Coromandel Coast, and the Malays
in Ceylon call it “Seyvoingoo,” the Cinghalese, “Onaha ppoolowa.” The
meagre figure and long lank limbs of this creature give it a droll,
half-starved look, its skin-tight robes and silent melancholy lending
oddity, but not gracefulness, to its charms. If seen during the day,
and made to walk on a flat surface, what between its blinking, peeping
eyes and awkward gait, a feeling of pity devoid of admiration is apt
to arise. But watched at night, when it is clambering among branches,
its character changes to that of a more lithe and nimbler animal,
whose great staring eyes and gliding progress most surely indicate
a nature less apathetic than a more hasty conclusion would warrant.
Its uncommonly long body, devoid of a tail, is rendered more striking
on account of limb-length, and the colour is usually of an unequal
sooty-grey, the back mingled with much rusty-tinted or tawny hairs.
The under parts are whitish, and there is a light nose-streak. The
space round the eyes, which are close together, is dusky, and on the
head is a dark spot, pointing to the inner eyelid. As in other of the
Lemuroid groups, there is no absolute constancy in depth of tint and
markings, lighter and darker varieties being met with. The rounded ears
are conspicuous, though not long and mobile as in the Galagos, and the
face has a kind of Dog-like expression. The hair is very singular when
the animal is alive: it resembles soft packed wool, somewhat curled
and arranged in little tufts, as the hair on the scalp of the negro,
but very delicate; it soon loses this appearance after death if much
handled, as is always the case in removing the skin.

part after Emerson Tennent._)]

The Slender Loris is very common in the lower country of the south
and east of Ceylon. Dr. Templeton, who had several of them, observes
“that after a few months’ confinement they soon begin to pine and die.
One was particularly noticed. If the room was perfectly quiet about
dusk, it ventured about, crawling along the rails of the chairs with a
very gentle movement. There was an interval of nearly a minute in the
closing of its hands on the parts of the furniture which it grasped in
succession, while moving its head from side to side with much grave
deliberation. But when a Spider or other insect came within its reach,
its clutch at it was quick as lightning, and with equal rapidity it was
conveyed to the mouth. It seemed particularly anxious to avoid having
its hinder extremities touched. When approached, it retiringly slunk
along the stick placed slantingly in the corner for its use, or along
the back of the chair, with the usual deliberate movement. Its great
goggle eyes would be fixed immovably on your face or hands if held
towards it, and with every expression of fear. Its mouth appears small,
and so little distensible that one cannot imagine it capable of biting
anything except it be of very small size. The natives, nevertheless,
assert that it destroys Peacocks in the jungle, seizing them by the
neck, which it clutches with such tenacity that the bird soon falls
exhausted to the ground off its perch, or in its sudden flight,
attempting to escape its persecutor. Having devoured the brain, the
Loris leaves the rest of the body untouched.” Among the others in his
possession, Templeton alludes to a female which gave birth to a young
one. “This latter, when ushered into the world, was about two inches
long, like a Mouse, perfectly without hairy covering, a large head,
attenuated body, and excessively slender legs. The face and eyes were
proportionally much smaller than in the older animal. It clung to the
mother so tenaciously, that I believe it would almost have parted with
its life than let go its hold.” This baby Loris, he remarks, was not at
all entitled to the usual appellation, Dog-like.

Sir J. Emerson Tennent says that the Slender Loris, from its sluggish
movements, nocturnal habits, and consequent inaction during the day,
has acquired the name of the “Ceylon Sloth.” According to him there
are two varieties in the island; one of the ordinary fulvous brown,
and another larger, whose fur is entirely black. A specimen of the
former was sent to him from Chilaw, on the western coast, and lived for
some time at Colombo, feeding on rice, fruit, and vegetables. It was
partial to Ants and other insects, and always eager for milk or the
bone of a Fowl. The natural slow motion of its limbs enables the Loris
to approach its prey so stealthily that it seizes birds before they
can be alarmed by its presence. During the day one which he kept was
usually asleep in the strange position shown in the woodcut (p. 247),
its perch firmly grasped with its hands, its back curved into a ball
of soft fur, and its head hidden deep between its legs. The singularly
large and intense eyes of the Loris have attracted the attention of
the Cinghalese, who capture the creature for the purpose of extracting
them as charms and love-potions, and this they are said to effect by
holding the little animal to the fire till its eyeballs burst. Its
Tamil name is _theivangu_, or “thin-bodied;” and hence a deformed child
or an emaciated person has acquired in the Tamil districts the same
epithet. The light-coloured variety of the Loris in Ceylon has a spot
on its forehead, somewhat resembling the _namam_, or mark worn by the
worshippers of Vishnu; and from this peculiarity it is distinguished as
the _Nama-theivangu_.

A curious animal, differing from the foregoing Slow Lemuroids, but
Asiatic in its distribution, is the only species of the genus _Tarsius_.


This is a small, active creature, which appears to excite great terror
in the minds of the natives of the East Indian Archipelago, from its
curious-shaped face, and sudden appearance at dusk. So impressed are
the inhabitants of some portions of Java with its malevolent influence,
that if they see one of them on a tree near their rice-grounds, they
will leave them uncultivated.

About the size of a small, common Squirrel, this tiny cause of fright
has a round head, like that of a Marmoset, a pointed muzzle, large
ears, and staring eyes. Its grinning mouth gives a queer and comical
look to the face. Its body is about six inches in length. The limbs
are long, especially the hind pair, and the tail--about nine inches
long--is slender, and furnished with a brush of long hair at the end.
The colour of the body is fawn-brown as a rule, and the bare parts
are of a flesh tint, and the forehead, face, and nose are reddish, and
there is a black eye-streak. The name is derived from the fact of the
“tarsus,” or ankle-bones, being remarkably developed, the heel-bones
being very long. There is but one kind as yet known, and it can be
distinguished from all the other Lemuroids by the peculiarity of its
front teeth. There are four upper ones and only two lower, and the
inner pair of the upper jaw are much larger than the outer. There
are four canine teeth; and there are twelve molar teeth in each jaw,
six being false molars. These teeth are very crowded, and there is
scarcely any space between them. The ends of the fingers and toes are
well supplied with pads, which assist the animal in its jumping and
clinging, and the second and third toes have short, sharp, and pointed
claws, which stand nearly erect. The nails of the hands are scale-like
and triangular, and this is the case with those of the great and outer

[Illustration: TARSIUS. (_Animal after Burmeister, but modified from
specimens in the British Museum._)]

The cavity for the eye, or orbit, is unlike that of any other of
the Lemuroida, for it is closed behind, and does not open there on
to the temple; this is, therefore, very characteristic. But the
globular-shaped head, although remarkable, is not quite so distinctive.
The most striking anatomical feature, and indeed that which is
observable in the outside shape, is the disproportionate length of
the heel-bones and foot to the lower leg and thigh. It has a very
small side-bone to the leg (_fibula_), and it does not reach to the
ankle. Oddly enough, the third finger of the hand is the longest, and
the second and fourth are nearly equal, presenting a difference with
regard to the other Lemuroida. So that this small, active creature,
with a Monkey-like appearance, has more resemblance to the Insectivora,
and differs very considerably from the rest of the group with which
it is classified. The Spectre Tarsier, which inhabits the Oriental
Archipelago and the Philippine Islands, has not been brought alive
to England, but the late well-known naturalist, Mr. Cuming, gave the
following description of its habits and peculiarities:--

“The Malmag is a small animal living under the roots of trees,
particularly the large bamboo of these islands. Its principal food is
Lizards, which it prefers to all other. When extremely hungry I have
known it to eat Shrimps and Cockroaches, and give a great preference to
those which are alive. It is very cleanly in its habits; never touches
any kind of food that has been partly consumed, and never drinks a
second time from the same water. It seldom makes any kind of noise, and
when it does emit sound, it is a sharp, shrill call, and only once.
On approaching it in its cage it fixes its large full eyes upon the
party for a length of time, never moving a muscle; on drawing nearer or
putting anything near it, it draws up the muscles of the face similar
to a Monkey, and shows its beautiful, sharp, regular-set teeth. It
laps water like a Cat, but very slowly, and eats much for so small an
animal. It springs nearly two feet at a time. It sleeps much by day, is
easily tamed, and becomes quite familiar, licking the hands and face,
and creeping about your person, and is fond of being caressed. It has
an aversion to the light, always retiring to the darkest place. It sits
upon its posteriors when it feeds, holding its food by its fore-paws;
when not hungry it will ogle the food for a considerable time. A male
and female are generally seen together; the natives of these islands
make sure of taking the second having secured the first. They are
extremely scarce in the island of Bohol, and found only in the woods of
Jagna and the island of Mindanao. It produces one at a time. I had the
good fortune to procure a female without knowing her to be with young.
One morning I was agreeably surprised to find she had brought forth.
The young one appeared to be rather weak, but a perfect resemblance to
its parent; the eyes were open and covered with hair. It soon gathered
strength, and was constantly sucking betwixt its parent’s legs, and
so well covered by its mother that I seldom could see anything of it
but its tail. On the second day it began to creep about the cage with
apparent strength, and even climb up to the top by the rods of which
the cage was composed. Upon persons wishing to see the young one when
covered over by the mother, we had to disturb her, upon which the dam
would take the young one in its mouth, in the same manner as a Cat,
and carry it about for some time. Several times I saw her, when not
disturbed, trying to get out of the cage, with the young one in her
mouth as before. It continued to live and increase in size for three
weeks, when, unfortunately, some one trod upon the tail of the old one
which was protruded through the cage, a circumstance which caused her
death in a few days. The young one died a few hours after, and I put it
in spirits.”


Another Madagascar Lemuroid remains to be noticed, and it ought to have
been described with those of that great island; but the creature is so
unlike all the others, and is so manifestly inferior in its Lemuroid
character, and peculiar in its construction and habits, that it is
necessary to place it at the end of all. Its position in the scale of
classification is at the end of the Lemuroida, for although it has many
of their anatomical characters, it resembles the Rodents, or Gnawers,
in others. It is called


This is one of the most remarkable animals in the world, both on
account of its peculiar Squirrel shape and Lemur-like construction,
as well as on account of its habits. The animal was first kept and
described by the traveller Sonnerat, who obtained a male and female
from the west coast of Madagascar. He kept them on board ship and fed
them on boiled rice for two months, when they died, and he used to
remark that they used a finger of each hand to eat with, after the
fashion of the Chinese, who use chopsticks. Having shown them to some
of the natives of the east coast of the island, they were surprised,
and denied that these curious-looking creatures belonged to their part
of the country; moreover, they ejaculated “Aye-aye” on seeing them,
and thus gave the familiar name to the breed. It is now known that the
so-called Aye-Aye chiefly inhabits the forests of bamboos, which are
numerous in the interior of the island. They are rare animals, and live
a solitary life, or are found in pairs, but they never associate in
bands of several individuals. They are essentially nocturnal in their
habits, for they sleep all the day long in the thick bunches of leaves
of the bamboos in the most impenetrable part of the forests, and they
are therefore rarely seen, and are only met with quite by accident. The
Aye-Aye feeds on the pith of the bamboos, and on sugar-canes, but it
also loves Beetles and their grubs as a change of food. During the dark
nights it awakens the echoes of the forest with a kind of plaintive
grunting, and jumps from bough to bough, and clambers up the trees
with great agility and vivacity, examining the bark of old trees most
carefully in order to find its favourite insect-food.

[Illustration: AYE-AYE. (_After Owen, Trans. Zool. Soc., but

As daylight approaches, the Aye-Aye ceases its lively play and
forest-roaming, and moves into the sombre shades of the densest
foliage; there it avoids the light and the rays of the sun, and placing
its head between the fore-feet, and encircling itself with its bushy
tail, the now half-torpid creature sleeps on until the evening.

The Aye-Aye is about three feet in length, including the long tail, and
there is a half Fox, half Lemur look about it, with a little of the
Squirrel. The hind feet at first sight are like those of a Monkey, as
are also the limbs; but the hands are not in keeping with the rest, for
the fingers are of all kinds of lengths, and the middle one looks as
if it were atrophied and wasted. A little care, however, proves that
the ears, so widely open and spoon-shaped, and nearly naked, are larger
than those of these animals, that the head is really broader than
theirs, and that the furthest end of the muzzle surmounts a perfect
lip which hides four great front teeth, two above and two below. The
tail is a very prominent object, and is longer than the body; it is
straight, very bushy, flexible, and is covered with long coarse hairs,
being thicker at the end than at the root. All the rest of the body,
except the ears, nose, and the palms of the feet and hands, which are
naked, is covered with a fur that is dense and furry underneath, and
long and hairy at the ends; and it is these long hairs which give the
general tint to the animal. The prevailing tint is a deep fuscous
approaching to black; there is a little dark-red underneath, and
yellow-grey on the throat nearest the head. Everywhere the dark colour
is relieved by long scattered white hairs, which are very conspicuous
on the back. On the back and tail the hair attains the length of from
three to four inches. It has widely-open staring eyes, and whilst it is
lively enough in the dark, it looks dazed and stupid in daylight. As if
to render the animal more curious than ever, the teats, or mammæ for
suckling the young, are not on the breast, but in the lower part of the
body, and close to the groins, there being one on each side.

The Aye-Aye, so strangely constructed, has been a great puzzle to
naturalists, and there have been many keen debates about its natural
history. It is a hundred years since Sonnerat stated that, although
the Aye-Aye much resembles a Squirrel, “yet it differs therefrom by
some essential characters, being also allied to the Lemur and the
Monkey;” and in describing the fore-foot, he specifies the long slender
joints of the skeleton-looking middle finger, which the animal, he
says, “makes use of to draw out of holes in trees the worms which form
its food.” Buffon saw the skin of one of these specimens obtained by
Sonnerat, and concluded that it is more closely allied to the genus
of Squirrels than to any other, and that it also has more relation to
a kind of Jerboa. After describing the hind feet, Buffon remarks that
the opposite character of the thumb with the flattened nail separates
the Aye-Aye widely from the Squirrel, and that of all animals that
have a flat great toe-thumb nail, the Tarsier, a kind of Jerboa, is
that which most resembles it. He ranked the Aye-Aye with the Rodents,
or Gnawers. Nevertheless, Cuvier considered it to be one of the
Squirrels, and by no means ignoring the opposite hind thumb, he still
believed it to be an unusual or anomalous kind, but he was greatly
led by the belief that the animal gnawed wood invariably for the sake
of its only food, the worms and grubs. About the same time a German
(Schreber), by examining the limbs, decided that the Aye-Aye was a
Lemur, and he called it _Lemur psilodactylus_, or the “bare-fingered”
Lemur; and after a while Cuvier obtained the skull and part of the
limb-bones from Sonnerat’s specimen, and examined the first especially.
Then the great front teeth of the Aye-Aye, and the space behind them,
influenced the great anatomist, who saw that it had the teeth of
Gnawers (Rodents), and skull like that of the Quadrumana, so he placed
it in the list of doubtful animals. After his time, most anatomists
considered the animal to be clearly allied to the Squirrels, and placed
it amongst the Rodentia. But in 1859 Owen, from whose works the above
notices of the progress of opinion on this subject have been taken,
received an important letter from Dr. Sandwith, C. B., and a specimen
of the Aye-Aye. The following letter explains the habits, and Owen
subsequently described the anatomy of the animal, and placed it in its
present position in the classification.


Dr. Sandwith wrote:--“After very great difficulty and much delay I
have at length obtained a fine healthy male, a real Aye-Aye, and he is
enjoying himself in a large cage which I had constructed for him. And
now I have some questions to ask you. Do you want him dead or alive?
It will, of course, be much easier to send his dead body home, if that
will do; and if so, how am I to preserve him? If you want him alive
you must tell me so without delay, as I think it would be dangerous to
send him home in the cold season. I observe he is sensitive of cold,
and likes to cover himself up in a piece of flannel, although the
thermometer is now often 90° in the shade. He is a very interesting
little animal, and from close observation I have learned his habits
very correctly. On receiving him from Madagascar, I was told that he
ate bananas, so of course I fed him on them, but tried him with other
fruit. I found he liked dates, which was a grand discovery, supposing
he be sent alive to England. Still I thought that those strong Rodent
teeth, as large as those of a young Beaver, must have been intended
for some other purpose than that of trying to eat his way out of a
cage--the only use he seemed to make of them besides masticating soft
fruits. Moreover, he had other peculiarities, _e.g._, singularly large
naked ears, directed forward as if for offensive rather than defensive
purposes; then again the second finger of the hands is unlike anything
but a monster supernumerary member, it being slender and long, half
the thickness of the other fingers, and resembling a piece of bent
wire. Excepting the head and this finger, he closely resembles a Lemur.
Now, as he attacked every night the woodwork of his cage, which I was
gradually lining with tin, I bethought myself of tying some sticks over
the woodwork, so that he might gnaw these instead. I had previously
put in some large branches for him to climb upon; but the others were
straight sticks to come over the woodwork of his cage, which alone
he attacked. It so happened that the thick sticks I now put into his
cage were bored in all directions by a large and destructive grub
called here the Montorek. Just at sunset the Aye-Aye crept from under
his blanket, yawned, stretched, and betook himself to his tree, where
his movements were lively and graceful, though by no means as quick
as those of a Squirrel. Presently he came to one of the worm-eaten
branches, which he began to examine most attentively; and bending
forward his ears and applying his nose close to the bark, he rapidly
tapped the surface with the curious second digit, as a Woodpecker taps
a tree, though with much less noise, from time to time inserting the
end of the slender finger into the worm-holes as a surgeon would a
probe. At length he came to a part of the branch which evidently gave
out an interesting sound, for he began to tear it with his strong
teeth. He rapidly stripped off the bark, cut into the wood, and exposed
the nest of a grub, which he daintily picked out of its bed with the
slender tapping finger, and conveyed the luscious morsel to his mouth.
I watched these proceedings with intense interest, and was much struck
with the marvellous adaptation of the creature to its habits, shown by
his acute hearing, which enables him aptly to distinguish the different
tones emitted from the wood by this gentle tapping, his evidently acute
sense of smell aiding him in his search; his secure footsteps on the
slender branches to which he firmly clings by his Quadrumanous members;
his strong Rodent teeth enabling him to tear through the wood; and,
lastly, by the curious slender finger, unlike that of any other animal,
and which he used alternately as a pleximeter, a probe, and a scoop.
But I was yet to learn another peculiarity. I gave him water to drink
in a saucer, on which he stretched out a hand, dipped a finger into
it, and drew it obliquely through his open mouth; and this he repeated
so rapidly that the water seemed to flow into his mouth. After a while
he lapped like a Cat; but his first mode of drinking appeared to me to
be his way of reaching water in the deep clefts of trees. I am told
that the Aye-Aye is an object of veneration at Madagascar, and that if
any native touches one he is sure to die within the year; hence the
difficulty of obtaining a specimen. I overcame this difficulty by a
reward of ten pounds.”

Further information on the same subject was obtained by M. Vinson, who
states that his Aye-Aye slept the greater part of the day, and moved
about and made attempts to escape at night time. Having once succeeded,
it climbed to the nearest tree, and moved about, leaping from branch
to branch with the agility of the Ring-tailed Lemur; but its ordinary
life in captivity suggested the idea of its being an indolent and
rather slow-moving animal. The tail is carried in a curve, with the
hollow of the bend downwards, so that it is slightly arched, and its
chief office seems to be to add to the warmth of the already warm fur
when the animal is in repose. In assuming the attitude of rest, the
Aye-Aye places its head between its hands, and bends the tail over it
by curving it forwards and letting it fall. Then it rolls itself into a
ball, and covers the whole surface with the bushy hairs of this useful
appendage, which is longer than the whole body and head together.

With regard to the Aye-Aye mentioned by Dr. Sandwith, Owen advised
that, if it could not be sent safely to England, it had better be
killed by chloroform, and sent over in spirit. Before this advice
arrived the animal managed to escape from its confinement, and made for
the sugar-canes in a neighbouring plantation, and there the unlucky
Aye-Aye was speedily captured. He was martyred for the sake of science,
and its description by Owen will last as long as literature, and
its skin and bones as long as the British Museum exists. Some other
observers had interested themselves about the animal in the interval,
and in 1855 M. Liénard is said by Owen to have observed the habits of
a young male. This one liked mango nuts, and invariably made a hole
in the rind with his strong front teeth, inserted therein his slender
middle digit, and then lowering his mouth to the hole, put into it the
pulp which the finger had scooped out of the fruit. When one hand was
tired it used the other, and often changed them. On presenting him with
a piece of sugar-cane, he held it by both hands, and tearing it open
with his teeth, sucked out the juice. M. Vinson had one for two months,
which was brought from Madagascar to the Ile de la Réunion, and he
stated that it selected the grubs it liked best by the sense of smell,
and that when _café au lait_ or _eau marée_ was offered, it drank by
passing its long slender finger from the vessel to the mouth with
incredible rapidity.

The Aye-Aye, according to the discovery of M. Soumagne, honorary consul
of France in Madagascar, constructs true nests in trees, which resemble
enormous ball-shaped “birds’-nests.” He found them in the belt of
forest which is situated half-way up a great mountain close to the town
of Tamatave. They are composed of the rolled-up leaves of the so-called
“Traveller’s Tree,” and are lined with small twigs and dry leaves. The
opening of the nest is narrow, and is placed on one side, and it is
lodged in the fork of the branches of a large tree. In this the Aye-Aye
resembles the lower Lemuroids, and not the genera _Loris_ and _Tarsius_.

The specimen of the Aye-Aye examined by Owen is three feet in length,
the included tail measuring one foot eight inches and a half, and the
fourth fingers of the hand and the fourth toes are the longest. The
forefinger is shorter than the fifth, or little finger, and the second
toe, counting the toe-thumb as the first, is shorter than the little

The Aye-Aye is admirably adapted for its peculiar life, although
part of its construction is very unlike that of the other Lemuroids,
whose habits are much the same. Having nocturnal habits, the eyes are
especially formed for the purpose of admitting all the light possible.
They are large, prominent, and none of the “white” or conjunctiva is
seen, only the cornea and the light brown or hazel-coloured iris behind
it (commonly called the “sight”) being visible. It is a very staring,
open eye, and the pupil is capable of being widely opened in the dark,
and in fact it dilates generally as the light wanes, so as to admit
every possible ray. In daylight, on the contrary, it contracts to a
pin’s point in size, so as to shut out the light which would dazzle the
eye and probably produce injury to it. There is a tapetum (see page
214) which assists in nocturnal vision. Nature has protected the eye
not only with lids, for there are traces of eyelashes on the upper one
but not on the lower, under which, however, there are some bristles.
There is a kind of eyebrow in the form of tufts of a dozen very slender
bristle-like hairs, and to complete the arrangement for protecting the
eye against direct injury, and for letting the animal know when things
are near enough to injure its organ of sight, there is what is called a
nictitating fold in each eye. This is a layer of the white of the eye,
or conjunctiva, situated close to the inner side near the nose, and
which extends when required over the “sight” as a cover and protection.
In addition to the nocturnal sight, the Aye-Aye has evidently extremely
delicate hearing, the ears being large, spoon-shaped, and open, and
their sense is very acute. For, either by hearing or by their very fine
sense of smell, it detects grubs in the wood, and soon has them out,
thanks to its teeth and claws.

The feet are long, and are made for grasping and for supporting the
Aye-Aye on boughs whilst it uses its hands and teeth. They are very
strong, and have a very long ankle, and claws to all the toes, except
to the great thumb-like toe, which is very powerful, and has a flat
nail. But it is in the hands and teeth that the singularity of the
animal is made manifest, which makes it so little like the Lemuroida
as a group. The hand is unique, but the front of the skull and the
front teeth resemble those of the gnawing animals, and hence the name
Cheiromys, which means hand-rat. Something has been said already
regarding the food of the animal, and as its nature has to do with the
hands and teeth, it is advisable to quote the able Superintendent of
the Zoological Gardens, Mr. Bartlett:--

“In feeding,” writes Mr. Bartlett, “the left hand only is used, but the
examination of the mode of taking her food requires careful attention,
owing to the very rapid movement of the hand. The fourth finger, which
is the largest and longest, is thrust forward into the food; the
slender third finger is raised upwards and backwards above the rest,
while the first finger (or thumb) is lowered so as to be seen below
and behind the chin. In this position the hand is drawn backwards
and forwards rapidly, the inner side of the fourth finger passing
between the lips, the head of the animal being held sideways, thus
depositing the food in the mouth at each movement. The tongue, jaws,
and lips are kept in full motion all the time. Sometimes the animal
will advance towards the dish and lap like a Cat, but this is unusual.
The skeleton-like third finger is used with great address in cleansing
her face and picking the corners of the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and
other parts of the body, and during these operations the other fingers
are closed.” From all that has hitherto been observed, the Aye-Aye
evidently eats both insects and vegetable food, so that in captivity it
will reject meat food more or less. In its natural state it will prefer
the grubs of some trees to those which frequent others, and it searches
along the boughs for some evidence of their presence, and, with teeth
and slim fingers, opens their galleries and brings them to light.

The teeth are certainly remarkable. There are two sets, the milk teeth
and the adult teeth. In the first, or milk teeth, there are two front
teeth, one canine tooth, and a molar or grinder on each side of the
upper jaw. In the lower jaw there is but one front tooth, no canine,
and one molar on each side. A further peculiarity consists in the
falling out of the molars, one incisor, and the canine in the upper
jaw, to be replaced by the following adult dentition, or second set.
This consists of one incisor, no canine, one pre-molar, and three
molars on both sides of the upper jaw; while below, the canine and
pre-molar are entirely absent, the incisor and molar being like those
of the upper jaw; it has thus eighteen teeth altogether. There are two
front teeth in the upper and two in the lower jaw only, but they are
very large, long, and narrow, being shaped like those of a Rabbit or
Rat. Their tips wear away and expose a sharp cutting surface of thick
enamel in front, and they are splendid cutting chisels. They gnaw and
cut away wood, strip off bark, and make deep holes in the branches, and
their length permits them to be placed in hollows in the wood so as to
prise them open by acting as levers. It appears that they are made to
grow from their sockets as they are worn down by frequent use. They are
by themselves, and there is a great gap (diastema) or distance in the
gums between them and the next teeth. This is quite after the fashion
of the gnawing animals. The back teeth crush and champ fruit, vegetable
substances, and insects with ease. There is a curious point about the
chin, for there is no bony union there between the two sides of the
lower jaw; on the contrary, the union is by a more or less elastic
tissue, which permits of some movement up and down and from side to
side during the action of the great front teeth.[144]

The hand is most peculiar, for certain of the fingers are so thin and
long that they appear as if improperly nourished. They have the usual
number of joints, and the last joints have strong curved claws. They
have not the same relation of length and size as in any of the other
Lemuroids, for the fourth finger is the longest instead of the third,
and the third finger is so much more slim than the others, that Owen
remarks that it seems as if it were paralysed. The hair is carried down
the arms to the fingers, and adds to their spidery look. In the wrist
there are the usual nine bones, the intermedium being there in addition
to the eight recognisable in the higher Apes; and the two bones of the
fore-arm greatly resemble those of the Monkeys in general.

The wrist and fore-arms are very movable, and the fingers also;
but the thumbs, small as they are, and clawed, have but little of
the thumb-like motion, and are but very slightly opposable to the
forefinger, which, moreover, is rather shorter than the “little” or
fifth finger.

[Illustration: BONES OF THE HAND AND FOOT OF AYE-AYE. (_After Owen._)]

On the whole the Aye-Aye presents some resemblance to the Lemuroids,
and less to any other animal. Its large open ears, the eyes looking
straight forward, the nostrils placed at the end of the snout, the
want of any groove on the upper lip, the nature of the fur, so furry
below and hairy above on the skin, are interesting to those who care to
compare this animal with the Lemuroids and Rodents, or gnawing animals;
so are the perfect condition of the orbits, or eye cavities, in front
and their opening through behind, and the arrangement of the back-bones
and limbs to those who would compare it with the Monkeys.

The skeleton resembles that of these last, and there are so many points
of difference from the Rodents--although the skull at first sight looks
like that of a Rat--that this very exceptional creature is classified
with the Lemuroida from its partial resemblance to them and the Monkeys.



Now that the Madagascar, African, and Asiatic Lemuroids have been
noticed, and their prominent peculiarities described, it is easy to
arrange them in the proper classification. Firstly, the position of
the whole sub-order is next to the Hapale Monkeys of South America
in the order of Primates. Then, if the figures or stuffed specimens
of an Aye-Aye, a Tarsius, and a Slow Loris be compared, there is no
difficulty in distinguishing them, for they differ much. But if a
Lepilemur and a Galago are compared, it will be noticed that although
they differ enough to be placed in two genera, still the distinction
is not great. So it is advisable to group them together in a family;
but the three others must belong each to a separate family. The scheme
of Professor Mivart, who has paid much attention to these animals, and
which we adopt, is as follows:--



                                             { Indris.
                                             { Lepilemur.
    _Family_    I.--Lemuridæ.                { Lemur.
                                             { Hapalemur.
                                             { Cheirogale.
                                             { Galago.
                                           { Perodicticus.
                                           { Loris, or Stenops.
    _Family_  II.--Nycticebidæ             { Nycticebus.
                                           { Arctocebus.
       „     III.--Tarsidæ                    Tarsius.
       „      IV.--Cheiromydæ                 Cheiromys.

As groups these have more or less well-defined differences. Thus, the
Lemuridæ have no _rete mirabile_, and, except in one species, the tail
is large, and all have their hind legs longer than their front ones.

The Nycticebidæ have short ears and faces, and the tail is short or
absent. They have a strange defect in the fingers (of hand and foot),
the ankle is short, and there is a _rete mirabile_.

As a family the Tarsidæ have long ears, a long ankle, a long and
slender tail, and there is a _rete mirabile_. Moreover, the fourth
finger is not the longest.

The Cheiromydæ are known at once by their great front teeth, and the
probe-like middle finger of the hand.


All the kinds of Indris, Lepilemur, Hapalemur, Lemur, and Cheirogale
inhabit Madagascar and some of the small islands close to its coast,
and one kind of Lemur is found in one if not in two of the Comoro
Islands, which are between the north west of Madagascar and the African
coast, and nearer the island than to the continent. They have not been
discovered elsewhere, and this is extremely interesting, because, with
the exception of the genus Galago, they form the entire family of the
Lemuridæ. The Galagos are not found in Madagascar, but in the woods
and forests of the opposite coast of Africa. Some Galagos are found
as far south as Port Natal, and the thick-tailed species inhabits both
the eastern and the western coasts of the continent, and the central
parts also. Others have been found near the Gaboon and in Fernando Po,
Senegal, and Gambia, and in the country of Sennaar and near the White
Nile. The Aye-Aye is essentially a Madagascar form. The Nycticebidan
family has a wide geographical range. Thus, the species of the genus
Loris are found in Ceylon, in Southern India at Pondicherry, and in
Hindostan; the genus Nycticebus has one species in Borneo and Sumatra,
a second in Java, and a third in China. On the contrary, the remaining
genera, Perodicticus and Arctocebus, are limited to the west coast
of Africa, none of them being found in the intermediate regions of
that continent or in Madagascar. Finally, the Tarsidæ, according to
Wallace, inhabit Borneo, Celebes, and some other neighbouring islands,
the species being the same in all localities. How is the widespread
distribution of the animals of the sub-order to be explained? On the
presumption that they all sprang from one parent stock, it is necessary
to suggest the occurrence of vast geographical changes in bygone ages,
such, for instance, as the former connection of Madagascar and the
mainland of Africa, and their separation; the former existence and
subsequent subsidence of a vast tract of land between Hindostan and
Africa, north of and remote from Madagascar; and the former continuity
of land where there are now the islands of Borneo, Sumatra, and Java.
It is necessary also to assume that Ceylon was united to Hindostan;
and the great islands just mentioned to the continent of Asia. The
land which was intermediate between Hindostan and Africa has been
called Lemuria by Dr. Sclater, and its theoretical existence explains
the otherwise incomprehensible presence of Giraffes and Hippopotami,
now purely African genera, in the olden time in Asia. Geology rather
favours these views. The first Lemuroida swarmed amongst the forests of
these vast countries, and their descendants cut off from each other by
geographical changes are now limited to very remote localities.

The fossil remains of Lemuroida, or of animals whose skulls resemble
somewhat those of the sub-order, have been found in the Eocene of the
Western territories, of the United States, and also in the south of

    The particular muscles of the hand, arm, and shoulder which
    characterise the Monkeys, and which have been described in the
    former chapters, are found in the Lemuroids; and Murie and Mivart
    have already shown that in the Lemuroids the muscles agree mainly
    with those of Monkeys, and others bear certain resemblances to
    those of animals lower in the scale. Moreover, the Lemurs possess a
    unique band of fleshy fibres, which stretch between the shin-bone
    and the adjoining small bone of the leg, which would seem to serve
    in aiding the turning of the limb (the rotator fibulæ).


[Illustration: MARSH BAT. (_One-half natural size._)]





    One of Æsop’s Fables--Opinions of the Ancients regarding
    Bats--Scaliger’s Statement of the Puzzle--Opinions of the Middle
    Ages--The True Position of the Bats--The Wing of the Bat--General
    Structure: The Breast-bone, Arms, Fingers, “Wing-membrane,” Wings,
    Skull, Ribs, Pelvis, Legs--In Repose--Walking--The Teats--Organs
    of the Senses--“Blind as a Bat”--The Eyes--Spallanzani’s
    Experiments--The Bat’s Power of Directing its Flight in the
    Darkest Places--Their Food--In Winter-Quarters--A Battue of

One of those ancient fables ascribed to Æsop, which were the delight
of our younger days, contains a description of a battle between the
birds and the beasts. The grounds of the quarrel we do not remember,
and indeed the moral of the fable was tacked on to the conduct of
the Bat. Availing himself of his combination of fur and wings, that
astute animal hovered over the field of battle, and took his place on
one side or the other, according to the direction in which the tide
of success appeared to be turning, with the purpose, of course, of
claiming in any case to be on the side of the victors. But this finesse
was unsuccessful; the traitor was scouted by both parties, and has ever
since been compelled to make his appearance in public only at night.
Passing over the ingenious explanation thus afforded of the nocturnal
habits of the Bats, this fable reflects pretty clearly the state of
uncertainty in which the ancients were as to their precise nature.
The union of a Mouse-like body with long wings was a great puzzle to
people who had no sound principles of natural history classification
to go upon; and even among the naturalists of antiquity there was much
doubt as to the true position to be assigned to animals so singularly
endowed. Aristotle seems to have thought they were birds with wings
of skin; and Pliny describes them as the only birds which bring forth
their young alive and suckle them. Among the Jews it is perfectly clear
that the Bat was reckoned a bird; it is distinctly included among
the unclean fowls in Leviticus (xi. 19), and Deuteronomy (xiv. 18).
The obfuscation displayed by ancient writers with respect to the Bat
is well shown in the following passage, in which Scaliger summarises
their opinions:--“It is indeed,” he says, “an animal of marvellous
structure; biped, quadruped; walking, but not with feet; flying, but
not with feathers; seeing without light, in the light, blind; it uses
light beyond the light, but wants light in the light; a bird with
teeth, without a beak, with teats, with milk, bearing its young even
when flying.” Can it be wondered at that such a creature should be a

Nevertheless, some ancient writers seem to have entertained clearer
notions on the subject, such as Macrobius, who maintained that as the
Bat walked like a quadruped it ought to be classed with quadrupeds,
for which he is blamed by Jonston, who speaks with approval of Plato’s
opinion, according to which this unfortunate animal is neither bird
nor beast, an opinion which partially prevailed to a rather late
date. Throughout the Middle Ages, however, the general opinion even
of professed naturalists was that Bats were birds; and we find this
notion prevailing down to the time of Aldrovandus, in the latter part
of the sixteenth century, and of Jonston, whose gigantic compilation
was published in 1657. It is a question whether this notion that Bats
are birds has even yet been entirely dispelled in the popular mind,
and no doubt many people still regard them as birds, because they can
fly, just as Whales and Seals are considered fishes, because they swim,
and Centipedes and Scorpions reptiles, because they crawl. John Ray,
the father of modern zoology, writing in 1683, was the first to refer
the Bats to their true position among the Mammalia (animals which
suckle their young), and in this course he was followed by Linnæus,
who actually placed these puzzles of former naturalists in his highest
order of Mammals, the Primates, along with man and the Apes. The
position assigned to them by Linnæus in the series of animals they have
virtually retained in nearly all systems to the present day.

MURINUS.) (_From De Blainville_).

_a_, humerus; _b_, shoulder-blade; _c_, collar-bone; _d_, fore-arm
(radius, with the ulna at the elbow); _e_, wrist-bones (carpal-bones);
_f_, thumb; _g g_, metacarpal bones; _s s_, breast-bone (sternum); _p_,
pelvis; _i i_, heel-spur.]

By all modern zoologists the Chiroptera have been regarded as a
distinct order of the Mammalia, characterised especially by their
possession of the power of flight, and the consequent modification of
the structure of their fore limbs, which is indicated in the name given
to the group (Chiroptera--hand-wings). They are, in fact, the only true
flying Mammals, and, indeed, the only truly flying Vertebrates except
birds, for the so-called flying Squirrels, flying Lemurs, and flying
Opossums are only furnished with a broad fold of skin on each side of
the body, which, when expanded by the spreading of the limbs, acts as
a sort of parachute to sustain them for a time in the air. This is
also the case with the flying Dragons, although in them the membrane
is stiffened by means of a portion of the ribs; and even in the flying
fishes, in which the organs of aerial locomotion are formed by the
fore-limbs, these merely sustain the fish in the air for a time by the
increased surface they give it, but do not serve as real wings, like
those of Bats and birds.

There is, however, an important difference in the structure of the
wing in the Bats and birds although the general principle on which
the organs of flight are constructed is the same. In both (as indeed
also in flying insects), this principle consists in having a strong
framework, to which an up and down movement can be communicated, along
the front of the wing, enabling it to strike the air with more or less
force during its downward passage, whilst the effective surface of the
organ is of a flexible or elastic nature, being formed in the bird by
the long feathers which are implanted in the skin clothing the bones of
the wing, and in the Bat by a thin leathery membrane which is stretched
between the bones of the fore and hind limbs. Upon these leathern wings
the Bats flit about noiselessly in the twilight or in the darkness of
the night. They are able to advance with considerable speed, and also
to turn and wheel about in their course with great facility.

Of course, as in birds, the principal modification of structure
exhibited in these animals is connected with their power of flight, and
manifested in the fore-limbs. These, although most disproportionately
developed, still, however, display the same bones which have been
described in the arms of the Monkeys and Lemurs, as will be seen in
our figure of the skeleton of the European Mouse-coloured Bat. We find
in them a strong humerus (_a_) of moderate length, articulating with
large shoulder-blades (_b_), which cover a considerable portion of the
back of the chest, and are kept apart by well-developed collar-bones
(_c_), springing in front from a breast-bone (sternum, _s_), which,
although distinctly showing Mammalian characters, projects in such a
manner as to serve the purpose of the deep keel in the breast-bone of
birds, and give attachment to the powerful muscles required to set the
wings in motion (see accompanying figure). The humerus is followed
by the bones of the fore-arm (_d_), the radius and ulna, of which,
however, the latter is generally very small, and reduced to a mere
rudiment immovably fixed to the radius towards the end nearest the
body. This section is the longest part of the arm, and the simplicity
of its structure is in connection with the fact that, as in birds,
there is here no occasion for any movement of rotation in the arm, such
as enables the fore-limbs of many Mammals to be applied to a variety
of uses. At the extremity of the radius are the carpal or wrist-bones
(_e_), which are small but numerous, and furnish surfaces for the
articulation of the bones of the fingers. Of these, the first, or thumb
(_f_), is short, and composed of three joints, a metacarpal and two
phalanges, the last of which bears a strong curved claw, of great use
to the animal in clinging to various surfaces, and in walking on the
ground. Of the other four fingers, the metacarpal bones (_g_) are very
long and slender, forming, indeed, the greater part of the fingers;
they taper towards their tips, but at the tips themselves are slightly
enlarged. The first, or index finger, in most Bats is composed of
the metacarpal bone alone, but in some this is followed by two short
phalanges. The other fingers possess either two or three phalanges. In
general only the thumb possesses a claw, but in some Bats there is one
also on the index finger.


To convert this framework into an organ of flight its various parts
are, as already stated, united by a membrane of more or less leathery
appearance, although often so thin and delicate as to be somewhat
translucent. It is an expansion or wide fold of the skin of the body
like those forming the parachutes of the flying Squirrels, &c., and
often called by the same name--_patagium_. We shall employ the simpler,
if rather longer term, “wing-membrane.” The bones of the arm, with
their accompanying muscles, and those of the fingers, are enclosed
between the two layers of skin of which the membrane is composed, and
which they serve to extend and support. In front of the arm there is a
small portion of membrane filling up the angle of the elbow, and called
the antebrachial membrane. The thumb is left free. Behind the arm is
the great expanse of the wing, which springs from the sides of the
body, and is also attached to the hind legs, generally extending down
to the ankle.

The wings are expanded by the spreading of the fingers, which radiate
from the wrist something like the sticks of a fan. The second, or
middle finger, which is the longest, runs to the extreme tip of the
wing, but before reaching this it generally joins the extremity of
the first, or index finger, which thus acts as a sort of stay to
it, and the two fingers together form a tolerably stiff support for
the outer margin of the wing. The other two fingers (the third and
fourth) traverse the wing to its hinder border, where they carry out
the membrane into small pointed projections; so that when the wing
is expanded, this border shows two points besides that at the apex of
the wing, and three more or less rounded notches, the last of which is
between the tip of the fourth finger and the attachment of the membrane
to the hinder limb.

In most Bats the membrane does not stop short at the legs, but encloses
them after the same fashion as the arms, leaving only the foot and
sometimes a part of the shank free. The portion of membrane that passes
within the legs, sometimes filling up the whole space between them and
enclosing the whole or a part of the tail, sometimes forming only a
narrow border to these limbs, is called the interfemoral or intercrural
membrane, and the characters furnished by it and its relations to other
parts are of great importance in the classification of Bats.

The rest of the structure of these animals may be dismissed in a
few words. The skull, and all the other parts of the skeleton, are
generally light and delicate in their construction, as might be
expected in animals destined to support themselves in the air; but
there is no trace of those pneumatic cavities which, in birds, enable
the air to penetrate all parts of the skeleton. The jaws are well armed
with teeth, which differ in their character in accordance with the
food consumed by the animals. The ribs are well developed, and enclose
a large chest cavity. The pelvis (_p_) is long, slender, and somewhat
bird-like in some respects; the legs are short, generally slender, and
articulated in such a manner that when used in walking the knees are
directed backwards, like our elbows; the fibula (the second bone in the
shank) is usually imperfectly developed, in the same way as the ulna in
the fore-arm; and the foot consists of five distinct toes, armed with
small but sharp claws, by which the animals suspend themselves from the
surface of rocks, walls, and other objects, in the dark retreats to
which they retire for their repose. From the heel-bone (_calcaneum_) in
most Bats there springs a cartilaginous or bony rod or spur, which is
regarded by some zoologists as forming part of the bone itself. This
spur, which is often of considerable length, runs along the margin
of the interfemoral membrane, which it no doubt helps materially
to stretch. When long, and more or less curved, it often causes a
projection of the side of the interfemoral membrane, as shown in the
figure of the Marsh Bat (p. 259). The tail is very variable in length.

In repose, or rather when not flying, the wings of the Bat are folded
up by a reversal of the process by which they were extended for flight;
the long fingers are drawn together, and up towards the fore-arm, and
the membrane forms leathery folds at the sides of the body. This is
also their position when the animal is walking or running on the ground
(see the engraving on the next page), which it does in a somewhat
awkward fashion, by the action of its hind feet and the claws of
its thumbs. When seen thus engaged there can be little doubt as to
the quadruped nature of the Bat. Our little European species have a
Mouse-like appearance, which fully justifies their old popular name.

The teats are usually situated on the breast; but sometimes they are
placed quite on the sides, immediately beneath what we must call the
armpits. They are two in number. In addition to these chest or pectoral
teats, some species have been described as possessing a second pair
of such organs situated on the groin, but recent investigations prove
clearly that these are merely nipple-like warts.

The organs of the senses are well developed. The ears are almost always
of considerable size, sometimes very large and membranous, and in
most cases there is in front of the cavity a sort of lobe of variable
form, called the earlet, or tragus, representing the little rounded
lobe which, in the human ear, projects from behind the cheek over
the opening (see the woodcut of the Head of the Long-eared Bat). The
nostrils are either simple slits or apertures at the end of the muzzle,
or surrounded by leaf-like organs, often of the most extraordinary
forms (see the Head of the Spectacled Vampire, p. 264, and other
illustrations later on), in fact, this tendency of the skin in Bats
to run out into membranous expansions is one of their most remarkable
characteristics, and, from their mode of life, this great development
of the skin system would seem to be almost essential to their existence.

The old proverbial expression, “As blind as a Bat,” is certainly not
founded on a due appreciation of facts, for Bats are by no means blind;
on the contrary, they are furnished with very efficient eyes, although,
in most cases, these are little bead-like organs, very unlike the eyes
usually seen in animals whose activity is nocturnal or crepuscular. But
it would appear that the office of the eyes in guiding these animals
is, at all events, supplemented by some other means. Towards the
end of the last century, the Abbé Spallanzani made some exceedingly
interesting, although certainly cruel experiments on various species
of Bats. He blinded these animals, sometimes by burning the eyes with
a red-hot wire, sometimes by removing the organs altogether, and even
filling up the orbits with wax, and then allowed them to fly. In spite
of the mutilation, the unfortunate little creatures continued quite
lively, and flew about as well as those which still retained their
eyes; they did not strike against the walls of the room, or the objects
in it, avoided a stick held up before them, and showed a greater
desire to keep out of the way of a Cat or the hand of a man than to
escape contact with inanimate objects. One of these blinded Bats was
set free in a long underground passage, which turned at right angles
about its middle. It flew through the two branches of this passage,
and turned, without approaching the side walls. During its flight it
detected a small cavity in the roof at a distance of eighteen inches,
and immediately changed its course in order to conceal itself in this
retreat. In a garden a sort of cage was prepared, with nets, and from
its top sixteen strings were allowed to hang down. Two Bats were
introduced into this enclosure, one blinded, the other with its eyes
perfect. Both flew about freely, never touching the strings with more
than the tips of the wings. Finally, the blind Bat discovered that the
meshes of the enclosing net were large enough for it to get through,
and made its escape; and, after flying about for a time, made its way
rapidly and directly to the only roof in the neighbourhood, in which
it disappeared. In a room containing numerous branches of trees, or in
which silk threads, stretched by small weights, were suspended from
the ceiling, the Bats, though blinded, avoided all these obstacles;
and when, after tiring themselves with their aerial evolutions, they
settled on some object for the sake of rest, they would immediately
rise again on an attempt being made to seize them with the hand.


[Illustration: HEAD OF LONG-EARED BAT.]

From these experiments it was perfectly clear that in threading the
galleries of caverns and other narrow and pitch-dark places to which
Bats commonly resort for their diurnal repose, these animals were
guided by some other sense than that of sight, and the worthy abbé set
himself to ascertain what this sense might be. He commenced operations
by covering the body of one of his blind Bats with varnish, and found
that this had no effect in rendering its movements uncertain. He then
stopped up the ears with wax, and finally with melted sealing-wax,
and still the Bats obstinately persisted in avoiding obstacles placed
in their way. Consequently they did not _hear_ their way in the dark.
There remained the senses of smell and taste. To test the former the
nostrils were stuffed up, but the only effect of this operation was
to bring the creature speedily to the ground, owing to difficulty of
breathing. Little fragments of sponge impregnated with musk, camphor,
or storax were fastened in front of the nostrils, and then the Bats
flew about as freely as ever, and showed the same power of avoiding
contact with objects in their path. The removal of the tongue, as might
be expected, produced no result.

Many of Spallanzani’s experiments were repeated by M. de Jurine, of
Geneva, and with similar results, although Jurine found that when the
ears were effectually stopped the Bats struck their wings against any
object that came in their way.


Spallanzani found further that when the head of a Bat was enclosed
in a small paper bag, or even wrapped in some fine light stuff, the
animal could not be induced to fly. Coupling this observation with
the results of his other experiments, he came to the conclusion that
the mysterious faculty possessed by Bats of finding their way in the
darkest places was due to some special sense with which they were
endowed, and which was seated in some unknown organ situated in the
head. Cuvier, however, who was the first really to appreciate the
results of these experiments, arrived at the conclusion, now generally
accepted, that the wonderful power possessed by Bats of directing
their flight in places so dark as to render the sharpest eyes useless,
was due to an exceptional development of the sense of touch, residing
especially in the great delicate membranous expanse of the wings.
These organs are really of the most delicate structure, and traversed
by nerves, the fine ramifications of which terminate in little loops,
like those found in those parts of the skin in man in which the
sense of touch is manifested with the greatest perfection; and their
surface is covered with rows of small thickened points, or papillæ,
which may very probably have something to do with the perception of
exceedingly delicate tactile impressions. Further, the wings of Bats
are very copiously supplied with blood-vessels, and according to Dr.
Wharton Jones even the veins are furnished with contractile walls, so
that the circulation of the blood in them must be exceedingly active.
In fact, according to Professor St. George Mivart, we have here a
condition of things which may be in some degree analogous to a state
of inflammation, which would doubtless considerably heighten the
sensibility of the parts. But besides the wing-membranes many Bats, as
we have seen, possess greatly enlarged ears, and also curious leaf-like
and membranous appendages attached to the region of the nose, all
of which no doubt partake of the sensibility of the wing-membranes,
and assist in no small degree in guiding their possessors. In fact,
from some observations recorded in Bell’s “British Quadrupeds” with
regard to two British species (the Pipistrelle and the Horseshoe Bat),
it would appear that the species with nasal appendages show greater
acuteness of perception than those with simple noses, and many of them
are known to frequent the darkest places of retreat, and to fly later
than some of their less highly endowed fellows.

The food of the great majority of Bats consists of insects, which they
capture on the wing. The members of one large family, however, and some
species of another, feed upon fruits; whilst a few find at least a part
of their nourishment in the blood of other animals. They generally fly
in the twilight of the evening and morning, retiring to obscure places
during the day, although some species will occasionally come out of
their concealment by daylight.

In temperate and cold climates they pass the winter in a torpid state
suspended by their hinder claws in their ordinary places of daily
retreat, where they are often to be found in immense numbers. An
American gentleman, describing a cave in the Western Territories, where
the excrements of Bats had formed so large a deposit of “guano” that
it was proposed to utilise it as manure, was asked by a friend of ours
about the number of Bats in the cavern. He said, “Well, I guess when we
went in there was about as much Bats as air in it.” There is doubtless
a slight tinge of occidental hyperbole about this statement, but the
following sober details, although also from the Western continent, may
serve to show what multitudes of these creatures may collect together
when left undisturbed in a suitable haunt. The story is told in the
introduction to Dr. Allen’s “Monograph of the Bats of North America,”
and is a description by M. Figaniere, Portuguese Minister to the United
States, of the incidents attending his occupation of a new house in
May, 1860:--

“The weather,” he says, “which was beautiful, balmy, and warm, invited
us towards evening to out-door enjoyment and rest, after a fatiguing
day of travel and active labour; but chairs, settees, and benches were
scarcely occupied by us on the piazza and lawn, when to our amazement,
and the horror of the female portion of our party, small black Bats
made their appearance in immense numbers, flickering around the
premises, rushing in and out of doors and through open windows, almost
obscuring the early twilight, and causing a general stampede of the
ladies, who fled, covering their heads with their hands, fearing that
the dreaded little vampires might make a lodgment in their hair.

“This remarkable exhibition much increased our disappointment in
regard to the habitable condition of our acquisition, and was entirely
unexpected, inasmuch as the unwelcome neighbours were in their dormant
state, and ensconced out of sight when the property was examined
previous to purchase.

“Evening after evening did we patiently, though not complacently,
watch this periodical exodus of dusky wings into light from their
lurking-places one after another, and in some instances in couples,
and even triples, according as the size of the holes or apertures from
which they emerged in the slate roofing would permit. Their excursions
invariably commenced with the cry of the _Whippoorwill_, both at
coming evening and early dawn, and it was observed that they always
first directed their flight towards the river, undoubtedly to damp
their Mouse-like snouts, but not their spirits, for it was likewise
observed that they returned to play hide and seek, and indulge in
all other imaginable gambols: when, after gratifying their love of
sport, and satisfying their voracious appetites (as the absence of
Mosquitoes and Gnats testified), they would re-enter their habitation,
and again emerge at the first signal of their feathered trumpeter. Thus
I ascertained one very important fact, namely, that the Bat, or the
species which annoyed us, ate and drank twice in twenty-four hours.
Such appeared their habit, such, therefore, was their indispensable
need.” After trying various remedies, none of which seemed to abate the
nuisance, M. Figaniere adopted the following plan:--

“When the Bats’ _réveillé_ was sounded by the bugle of the
_Whippoorwill_, all the hands of our establishment, men and boys, each
armed with a wooden implement (shaped like a cricket-bat), marched
to the third floor, ‘on murderous deeds with thoughts intent.’ A
lighted lantern was placed in the middle of one of the rooms, divested
of all furniture, to allure the hidden foe from their strongholds.
After closing the window to prevent all escape into the open air,
the assailants distributed at regular distances to avoid clubbing
each other, awaited the appearance of the Bats enticed into the room
by the artificial light and impelled by their own natural craving.
The slaughter commenced, and progressed with sanguinary vigour for
several hours, or until brought to a close by the weariness of dealing
blows that made the enemy bite the dust, and overpowered by the heat
and closeness of the apartment. This plan succeeded perfectly. After
a few evenings of similar exercise, in which the _batteurs_ became
quite expert in the use of their weapons, every wielding of the wooden
bat bringing down an expiring namesake, the war terminated by the
extermination of every individual of the enemy in the main building.
However, there still was the cockloft of the laundry, which gave
evidence of a large population. In this case I had recourse to a plan
which had been recommended, but was not carried out in regard to the
dwelling-house. I employed a slater to remove a portion of the slating,
which required repairing. This process discovered some fifteen hundred
or two thousand Bats, of which the larger number were killed, and the
remainder sought the barn, trees, and other places of concealment in
the neighbourhood.

“To remove the very disagreeable odour which remained in the upper
part of the house, various kinds of disinfectants were employed with
some advantage; but the most effectual method resorted to was that
of opening holes of about four inches square, two at each gable end,
to permit a current of air to pass through. These holes were covered
with wire gauze to prevent the re-entrance of any of the remainder of
the army of the enemy which might hover around the premises. At the
end of five years the odour has now nearly disappeared, being hardly
perceptible during a continuance of very damp weather.”

The great number of species of Bats which have been described
from various parts of the world, but especially from tropical and
sub-tropical regions, display two very strongly-marked types of
structure, associated in general with very different habits and modes
of life. Some are exclusively confined to a fruit diet, or consume
animal food only as an exceptional dainty; whilst the others almost
as exclusively find their nourishment in the swarms of insects which
everywhere people the air. Of the latter, however, some few feed
upon fruits, and others are said to diversify their insect fare by
occasionally sucking the blood of other animals, and even of man
himself. In the Frugivorous, or Fruit-eating Bats, the crowns of the
molar teeth are smooth, with a central furrow running in the direction
of the length of the jaw; in the Insectivorous forms, on the contrary,
the molars show sharp tubercles separated by transverse furrows,
generally producing a sort of W-like pattern on each tooth. These
two types of tooth-structure are associated in each case with other
characters. The Bats are thus divided into two great groups, generally
regarded as sub-orders.




    Characteristics of Fruit-Eating Bats--Distribution--Diet--Flying
    Fox of Ceylon: its Habits, as described by Sir E. Tennent--The
    Flight of the _Pteropidæ_--Known to the Ancients--The Fruit Bats
    in the Zoological Gardens--INDIAN FLYING FOX--Diet--Dissipated
    Habits--GREAT KALONG--Linnæus’s Description--In their

[Illustration: HEAD OF THE KALONG.]

The fruit-eating Bats (_Frugivora_, Wagner), called _Megachiroptera_,
or Large Bats, by Mr. Dobson, on account of the comparatively large
size of most of the species, are characterised by having the face
elongated and Dog-like (see above illustration)--whence the name of
Flying Foxes is often applied to them by European residents in the
countries where they occur--the ears simple and usually pointed, but
with the sides uniting, so as to form a complete ring at the base, the
nose without any leaf-like appendages, the tail short or altogether
deficient, the interfemoral membrane, or the membrane between the legs,
which in our ordinary Bats encloses the tail, reduced to very small
dimensions, and the molar teeth furnished with flattish crowns, along
the middle of which runs a longitudinal furrow (figured below). The
free thumb is long, and armed with a strong hooked claw, and the first,
or index finger, in nearly all the species, is also terminated by a


The species of Frugivorous Bats, of which about seventy have been
described, agree very closely in their general characters, and
constitute a single family, to which the name of _Pteropidæ_ has been
given, derived from that of the oldest and most extensive of its
genera, _Pteropus_ (wing-foot). They are distributed all over the
warmer parts of the Eastern hemisphere and the islands of the Pacific.
Wherever they occur, they present nearly the same form, and generally a
very similar style of coloration, whilst in their diet they stick most
religiously to fruits, for although some have been found in captivity
to feed on the flesh of birds and rats, and others are charged with
catching and eating fish, in the former case some allowance must
be made for the artificial condition of the animal, which probably
produced a morbid appetite, heightened by the fact that the supply of
his natural food had been exhausted; and the second statement seems
to rest exclusively on the observed fact of these Bats on leaving
their roosts at sunset skimming close over the surface of water, and
sometimes even dipping into it; but the object of these evolutions, as
remarked by Mr. Dobson, “is probably, in the first instance, to drink,
and, secondly, to rid themselves of some of the numerous parasites
with which they are commonly infested.” Sir James Emerson Tennent,
however, says of the Ceylonese species, that “insects, caterpillars,
birds’ eggs, and young birds are devoured by them; and the Singhalese
say that the Flying Fox will even attack a Tree Snake,” but these
statements are not confirmed by other writers, and from the reference
to the Singhalese, it seems probable that they are founded upon hearsay
evidence. Mr. Dobson, however, has suggested that one species (the
_Cynonycteris amplexicaudata_) feeds occasionally upon the shell-fish
that it finds upon the shore, and in this opinion he is supported by
Mr. W. T. Blanford, who found the species upon the island of Kishm, in
the Persian Gulf, a spot so barren that he thinks the Bats would starve
if they depended upon fruits for their nourishment.


The habits of the Flying Fox of Ceylon (_Pteropus medius_) are so well
described by Sir James Emerson Tennent, that we may here quote his
observations upon that species, especially as they will apply, _mutatis
mutandis_, to the members of the family in general. He says:--“They
feed, amongst other things, on the guava, the plantain, the rose-apple,
and the fruit of the various fig-trees. Flying Foxes are abundant
in all the maritime districts, especially at the season when the
_pulum-imbul_ (_Eriodendron orientale_, Stead.), one of the silk-cotton
trees, is putting forth its flower-buds, of which they are singularly
fond. By day they suspend themselves from the highest branches,
hanging by the claws of the hind-legs, with the head turned upwards,
and pressing the chin against the breast. At sunset taking wing, they
hover, with a murmuring sound occasioned by the beating of their broad
membranous wings, around the fruit-trees, on which they feed till
morning, when they resume their pensile attitude as before. [See Plate

“A favourite resort of these Bats is the lofty india-rubber trees,
which on one side overhang the Botanic Gardens of Paradenia, in the
vicinity of Kandy. Thither for some years past they have congregated,
chiefly in the autumn, taking their departure when the figs of the
_Ficus elastica_ are consumed. Here they hang in such prodigious
numbers, that frequently large branches give way beneath their
accumulated weight. Every forenoon, between the hours of 9 and 11, they
take to wing, apparently for exercise, and possibly to sun their wings
and fur, and dry them after the dews of the early morning. On these
occasions their numbers are quite surprising, flying in clouds as thick
as Bees or Midges. After these recreations, they hurry back to their
favourite trees, chattering and screaming like Monkeys, and always
wrangling and contending angrily for the most shady and comfortable
places in which to hang for the rest of the day protected from the sun.
The branches they resort to soon become almost divested of leaves,
these being stripped off by the action of the Bats attaching and
detaching themselves by means of their hooked feet. At sunset they fly
off to their feeding-grounds, probably at a considerable distance, as
it requires a large area to furnish sufficient food for such multitudes.

“In all its movements and attitudes, the action of the _Pteropus_ is
highly interesting. If placed upon the ground, it is almost helpless,
none of its limbs being calculated for progressive motion; it drags
itself along by means of the hook attached to each of its extended
thumbs, pushing at the same time with those of its hind feet. Its
natural position is exclusively pensile; it moves laterally from branch
to branch with great ease, by using each foot alternately, and climbs,
when necessary, by means of its claws.

“When at rest or asleep, the disposition of the limbs is most curious.
At such times it suspends itself by one foot only, bringing the other
close to its side, and thus it is enabled to wrap itself in the ample
folds of its wings, which must envelop it like a mantle, leaving only
its upturned head uncovered. Its fur is thus protected from damp and
rain, and to some extent its body is sheltered from the sun.

“As it collects its food by means of its mouth, either when on the
wing or when suspended within reach of it, the Flying Fox is always
more or less liable to have the spoil wrested from it by its intrusive
companions, before it can make good its way to some secure retreat in
which to devour it unmolested. In such conflicts they bite viciously,
tear each other with their hooks, and scream incessantly, till, taking
to flight, the persecuted one reaches some place of safety, when he
hangs by one foot, and grasping the fruit he has secured in the claws
and opposable thumb of the other, he hastily reduces it to lumps, with
which he stuffs his cheek-pouches till they become distended like those
of a Monkey. Thus suspended in safety, he commences to chew and suck
the pieces, rejecting the refuse with his tongue.” Sir James Emerson
Tennent adds that the Flying Fox drinks by lapping, to do which it
suspends itself head downwards from a branch above the water.

The flight of the _Pteropidæ_ is strong and direct, although not very
rapid, and they often travel considerable distances in search of
favourite articles of food. During flight the hind legs are usually
stretched out horizontally, and as the space between them is not, as
in most other Bats, filled up by an interfemoral membrane, the animals
appear as if they had two stiff tails. Their skin exhales a peculiar
odour, which has been sometimes described as “musky,” although the
term is hardly applicable to it. This odour, which is supposed to be
due to the contamination of the fur with the urine of the animals,
strongly pervades their dwelling-places, and unless great care is taken
in skinning them their flesh is said to acquire a corresponding taste,
which is a matter of some importance, as the larger species constitute
a favourite article of food in the countries which they inhabit.

That the ancients were acquainted with some species of these Bats seems
pretty certain, as one of them (_Cynonycteris ægyptiacus_) is common
in Egypt, and, in fact, is frequently represented on the monuments of
that country (see the engraving on the next page), and Aristotle refers
to a tail-less African Bat, which was probably a Flying Fox. The town
of Borsippa, in Mesopotamia, is mentioned by Strabo as being haunted
by Bats of larger size than any of those known in Europe; and, indeed,
that it was so haunted, and that the inhabitants ate these Bats, is
nearly all that is definitely known of the town. The species was in
all probability either the Egyptian one just referred to, or a nearly
allied form (_Cynonycteris amplexicaudata_), which is known still to
inhabit Persia. The Mosaic prohibition of the Bat as an article of food
to the Jews also no doubt related to one of these species, which may
have been commonly eaten in Egypt or in Syria.

Formerly it was considered a matter of considerable difficulty to
keep these Frugivorous Bats alive in captivity, and especially to
transport them to Europe; but the latter difficulty has disappeared
with increased facilities of locomotion, and several species have been
exhibited alive in various menageries and zoological gardens.

The Zoological Society’s beautiful Gardens in Regent’s Park, London,
generally contain several examples of the Collared Fruit Bat of South
Africa (_Cynonycteris collaris_). It may be noted that these animals
thrive remarkably well in their rather confined cages in the Monkey
House, where, unfortunately, they have no opportunity of displaying
their activity on the wing; but the visitor may see their usual
attitude in repose, suspended by their hind feet, and with their wings
wrapped round them like a cloak, whilst the fact of their curtain being
lifted is always sufficient to disturb some of them, and induce them
to turn their sharp little noses and bright eyes in the direction of
the intruder, and to utter the little querulous cry which seems to
indicate their objection to being disturbed. At night, however, they
become more active, crawling briskly about their cage, and quarrelling
vigorously among themselves for the choice morsels of their food. They
also breed freely in their prison (especially the African species). The
young African Fruit Bats born in the Zoological Gardens were covered
with short, smooth hair of a nearly uniform pale ash-colour, a little
darker towards the tips. Only one was produced at a time, and this
clung by its hind claws to the lower part of the body of the mother,
with its mouth usually attached to one of the two nipples situated on
the breast, as shown in the figure on the next page. The young Fruit
Bats born in confinement may be brought up, as Mr. Bartlett tells us,
to display some fondness for the person who takes care of them and
feeds them. They will then, if let loose, crawl about upon him, and
even mount upon his shoulder and demonstrate their affection by licking
his face after the fashion of a Dog. In the uneducated state, however,
they bite viciously.



Southern Asia and its dependent islands may be regarded as the
metropolis of the Fruit Bats. Here the species are most plentiful, and
most numerously represented by individuals; it is here also that the
largest species occur. One of the best-known is the Indian Flying Fox
(_Pteropus medius_), some account of the habits of which, from the
pen of Sir James Tennent, has already been given; and this species
inhabits the whole of Hindostan, with the exception of the Punjab,
Ceylon, Arracan, Tenasserim, and Pegu. It has been described by most
writers under the name of _P. Edwardsii_, having been erroneously
identified with a species inhabiting Madagascar and South-Eastern
Africa. It measures about eleven inches in length,[147] and more than
three feet in expanse of wing. As in all species of the typical genus
_Pteropus_, of which it is the sole representative in the Indian
peninsula, the tail in _P. medius_ is entirely deficient, the tongue
is of moderate size, and the molar teeth well developed--five on each
side in the upper, and six in the lower jaw; the nostrils project, and
are separated by a deep notch; the wing-membranes spring from the sides
of the back, and are attached to the back of the first joint of the
second toe; and the head and nape of the neck are covered with fur of a
different colour from that of the rest of the upper part of the body.
The latter is blackish or dark brown, with scattered greyish hairs.
The nape of the neck and shoulders, the chest, and upper part of the
abdomen are variable in colour from reddish-yellow or straw-colour to
dingy rusty brown, the fur of the under surface being darker than that
of the nape, and all the light tints darker in the females than in
the males. The latter have usually a tuft of stiff hairs, of a light
reddish-yellow colour, on each side of the neck. The ears, which are
nearly naked, are acutely pointed, with the outer border concave just
below the tip; the wing-membrane is dark brown, hairy beneath towards
the body.

This species is referred to by nearly all writers on Indian zoology;
but their accounts of its general habits agree closely with those given
by Sir James Tennent, and already quoted. The Bats feed on fruits of
various kinds, except oranges, according to Mr. Jerdon, and besides
figs they are especially fond of the anonads, particularly the fruit of
_Gualteria longifolia_, the soft parts of which they devour, rejecting
the kernels, with which the ground under the trees is speedily covered.
According to Mr. F. Day, the fruit of the wild almond (_Terminalia
catappa_) is also a favourite article of diet with them, and he adds,
“they sometimes carry off the almonds into the verandahs of houses,
where they extract the kernels, and in so doing frighten nervous people
into the belief that robbers are endeavouring to effect an entrance.”
In search of these and other favourite fruits, they often fly to
great distances during the night, returning with the dawn to their
sleeping-places, when a scene of confusion takes place, which has been
described as follows by Mr. Tickell:--“From the arrival of the first
comer, until the sun is high above the horizon, a scene of incessant
wrangling and contention is enacted among them, as each endeavours to
secure a higher and better place, or to eject a neighbour from too
close vicinage. In these struggles the Bats hook themselves along the
branches, scrambling about hand over hand with some speed, biting each
other severely, striking out with the long claw of the thumb, shrieking
and cackling without intermission. Each new arrival is compelled to
fly several times round the tree, being threatened from all points;
and when he eventually hooks on he has to go through a series of
combats, and be probably ejected two or three times, before he makes
good his tenure.” No doubt these squabbles are rendered more violent by
the disgracefully dissipated habits in which the Bats indulge during
their nocturnal expeditions, for, according to Mr. Francis Day and
other observers, “they often pass the night drinking the toddy from
the chatties in the cocoa-nut trees, which results either in their
returning home in the early morning in a state of extreme and riotous
intoxication, or in being found the next day at the foot of the trees
sleeping off the effects of their midnight debauch.”

[Illustration: COLLARED FRUIT BAT WITH YOUNG. (_From the Proceedings of
the Zoological Society._)]

The flesh is said by Colonel Sykes to be delicate, and without
disagreeable flavour; but he states that the only persons in Western
India who eat these Bats are the Portuguese residents. According to Mr.
Jerdon, however, many classes in the Madras presidency also eat them.


This, which is the largest of all known Bats, is an inhabitant of the
great islands of the Eastern Archipelago, especially Java and Sumatra,
where it exists in immense numbers. The species is also said to occur
in the Philippine Islands and in Malacca. It is nearly allied to the
Indian Fruit Bat, but grows to a larger size, attaining a length of
about fourteen inches, and an expanse of wing of four feet and upwards.
The colour varies considerably, but is generally brownish-black on the
back, with the top of the head and the neck reddish-yellow, and tinged
with chestnut-brown beneath. The muzzle, ears, and wing-membranes
are black; the ears are shorter than in the Indian species, and the
outer margin is less concave towards the tip; and the wing-membranes
originate on the sides of the body at a greater distance from the
centre of the back. Some of the varieties have been described as
distinct species; two especially, in which the fur is entirely black,
figure in the catalogues under the names of _Pteropus Pluto_ and _P.

The Kalong (see next page) was the first of the Indian Frugivorous
Bats to be made known to European naturalists in modern times. It was
described under the name of _Vespertilio admirabilis_, by Bontius,
in his “Historia Naturalis Indiæ Orientalis.” The species was also
described and figured by Seba and other naturalists of the seventeenth
century; but Linnæus, by a curious blunder, confused the references to
this and allied species with the stories told of the American Vampire
Bats, and described these Eastern fruit-eating forms as constituting a
species under the name of _Vespertilio vampyrus_, the natural history
of which he summed up in the following queer paragraph:--“Noctu
haurit sanguinem dormientium servorum, cristas gallorum et lacrymas
palmarum, phlebotomus felicissimus in pleuritide!” (By night it sucks
the blood of sleeping slaves, the combs of cocks, and the juice of
palm-trees, a capital lancet in pleurisy!) In its habits it closely
resembles its Indian ally, resorting in great numbers to particular
trees for the purpose of sleeping through the day, and starting forth
at sundown in search of the fruits on which it feeds. Dr. Horsfield
describes them as presenting a singular spectacle in their dormitories.
“Ranged in succession with the head downwards,” he says, “the membrane
contracted about the body, and often in close contact, they have little
resemblance to living beings, and by a person not accustomed to their
economy are readily mistaken for a part of the tree, or for a fruit of
uncommon size suspended from its branches.” He adds that they occasion
“incalculable mischief, attacking and devouring indiscriminately every
kind of fruit, from the abundant and useful cocoa-nut which surrounds
every dwelling of the meanest peasantry, to the rare and most delicate
productions which are cultivated with care by princes and chiefs of
distinction.” In his history of Sumatra, Mr. Marsden states that he has
observed very large flights of these Bats passing at a great height
in the air, as if migrating from one country to another; and he adds
that Captain Forrest noticed them crossing the Straits of Sunda from
Java Head to Mount Pugong. The flesh of this species is eaten by the
inhabitants of the countries where it abounds, who thus get some return
for the mischief it does in their gardens and plantations. Its specific
name (_edulis_) refers to this circumstance. Its name among the natives
of Java is Kalong, and with the Malays of Sumatra and of the peninsula
of Malacca Kaluwang, or Kluang.


It will be unnecessary to do more than refer to a few of the numerous
species of _Pteropus_ inhabiting the islands of the Eastern seas, as
their habits in all cases are almost exactly alike, and it would be
useless to attempt the bare description of a number of closely-allied
species. The Nicobar and Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal have
their peculiar species (_P. nicobaricus_), about the same size as the
Indian Fruit Bat, but of which the females and young males are usually
black all over, whilst the male has a reddish or chestnut-coloured
tippet. The Philippine Islands have a rather remarkable species, the
Maned Fruit Bat (_P. jubatus_), the head of which is shown in one of
our illustrations on the next page. Japan possesses a smaller form
(_P. dasymallus_), about eight inches long, which is characterised by
the woolly nature of its fur, as indicated in its specific name. Those
islands of the Eastern Archipelago from Celebes to New Guinea and the
Solomon Islands which, according to Mr. Wallace, belong to the great
Australian region, are abundantly supplied with fruit-eating Bats, such
as the Grey Fruit Bat (_P. griseus_, see next page), a small species
which inhabits Timor and Amboyna. The small islands scattered over the
ocean to the east also possess their peculiar species.

[Illustration: KALONG.]


The northern and eastern parts of Australia are inhabited by a large
species of _Pteropus_, the Grey-headed Fruit Bat (_P. poliocephalus_).
This Bat measures about a foot long, and has an expanse of wing of
about three feet. The head, cheeks, and throat are ash-grey, with a
few scattered black hairs; the nape, part of the front of the neck,
and the shoulders are bright reddish-brown, and separated by a black
band from the grey fur of the body. These Bats, according to Dr.
Bennett, are found in great numbers about Moreton Bay and the northern
districts of New South Wales. They could be observed “hanging in dense
clusters from the uppermost branches of the lofty gum and other trees,
which often bend so much under the weight, that the spectator is in
momentary expectation of their breaking off with a crash, and falling
to the ground encumbered with their heavy load of Bats.” The same
observer remarks that, although their regular activity is crepuscular
and nocturnal, they occasionally seek food for a short time during the
day, and he adds when seen flying about the trees in the daytime they
resemble rooks so closely as to have been frequently mistaken for those
birds. Since the cultivation of fruit has been carried on extensively
in New South Wales and Queensland, these Bats have been found to do a
vast amount of injury to the plantations.

Mr. Gould, speaking of this Bat, says, “The enormous number that may
be seen sleeping pendent from the trees in the more secluded parts of
the forest are beyond conception. It is not surprising, therefore,
that the settlers whose abodes may be in the neighbourhood of one of
these colonies should find their peach-orchards devastated in a single
night. Indeed, no one of the native animals is more troublesome to the
settlers than this large Bat, which, resorting to the fruit-grounds
by night, when it is impossible to protect them from its attacks,
commits the most fearful havoc.” Like the Indian species, this Bat is
exceedingly fond of the wild fig.




Mr. Gould described and figured from Northern Australia a large species
of Fruit Bat of a sombre colour, with a reddish-brown neck-spot, which
he identified with the _Pteropus funereus_ of Timor, a supposed species
which is now regarded as a mere colour-variety of the Great Kalong. The
Australian Bat is described by Professor Peters as a distinct species
under the above name. It is about nine inches in length. We have the
following observations upon its mode of occurrence and habits:--Mr.
Gilbert found it to be extremely abundant in the Coburg peninsula.
During the day the Bats were seen suspended in great numbers from the
upper branches of the mangroves overhanging the creeks. They constantly
emit a very strong and disagreeable odour, which is perceptible at a
considerable distance. At night they become exceedingly active, and
while flying about in quest of food they utter a loud, trembling, but
shrill whistle.

Dr. Leichardt, in his expedition from Moreton Bay to Port Essington,
found this Bat an excellent article of food. According to him it feeds
upon fruit and the honey of various flowers. After it had fed upon the
flowers of the so-called tea-tree, he found it to be unusually fat and
delicate; while those Bats which had been revelling among the blossoms
of the gum-trees were not so fat, and had a strong unpleasant odour.
In the neighbourhood of the River Roper the Bats occurred in myriads,
suspended in thick clusters on the highest trees in the shady and moist
parts of the valley. They started from their repose as the travellers
passed, and the flapping of their great leathery wings produced a sound
like that of a hail-storm.


The so-called Mascarene Islands, Mauritius and Bourbon, those specks
in the great Indian ocean which, when first discovered, harboured so
many curious birds, also furnished one of the earliest known species
of Fruit Bats, the Roussette (_Pteropus vulgaris_, see next page),
which was described by Gesner and Clusius. This species, which is said
to occur also in Madagascar, and even on the mainland of Africa, is
about eight and a half inches long, and three feet in expanse of wing.
The muzzle, forehead, and cheeks are rusty red; the crown of the head,
the nape, and the sides and front of the neck yellowish-red; and two
longitudinal bands of the same colour run parallel to each other down
the middle of the back, separated by a strip of blackish chestnut,
which, with the similarly coloured shoulders, forms a sort of cross;
the sides of the back are rusty red, and the lower surface of the body
black. It is probably to the generally reddish tinge of its fur that
this species owes its French name of Roussette, which has been extended
in its application to the whole of the Frugivorous Bats.


The majority of the African Fruit Bats belong to genera which have
been separated from the old genus _Pteropus_. Thus we have several
species of _Cynonycteris_ (_Xantharpyia_ and _Eleutherura_ of the late
Dr. Gray), in which the characters are generally those of _Pteropus_,
but there is a short tail more or less enclosed in the interfemoral
membrane, and the basal portion of the thumb is joined to the index
finger by a membrane. To this genus belongs the Egyptian species
already referred to (_Cynonycteris ægyptiaca_), representations of
which occur on Egyptian monuments (see page 269). This species is about
five and a half inches long, with an expanse of wing of eighteen or
twenty inches; the tail is rather more than half an inch long, and the
basal half of it is enclosed in the interfemoral membrane; the ears are
rather long, rounded at the tips, and naked; the upper surface of the
body is pale greyish-brown, becoming yellowish on the sides and the
hairy part of the arms, and the lower surface is whitish. These Bats
are found abundantly in Egypt, where they dwell amongst the ruins of
its ancient edifices, and in the dark chambers of the Pyramids. They
also occur in Senegambia in Western Africa, and in Syria.


An abundant species of South Africa is the Hottentot Fruit Bat
(_Cynonycteris collaris_), specimens of which may be seen in the
Zoological Gardens, where they breed pretty freely. This species varies
considerably in colour, but usually displays various shades of reddish
or greyish-brown. The fur is less dense on the nape of the neck, which
in consequence generally has a rather bare appearance. This Bat occurs
at the Cape of Good Hope, in Caffraria, and in Mozambique.


These tailed Fruit Bats are represented in the East Indian region by
several species, which gives the genus _Cynonycteris_ a geographical
range from the Philippine Islands in the north-east to the Cape of Good
Hope in the south-west. The best-known Indian species (_Cynonycteris
amplexicaudata_), is nearly allied to the Egyptian form, but smaller,
being little more than four inches in length. Its fur is reddish-brown,
or brownish-red above, and so short upon the back that this part
appears nearly bare. The range of this Bat extends from the shores
of the Persian Gulf to the Philippine Islands, and it appears always
to haunt the coasts. As already stated this Bat is supposed by some
zoologists to feed on mollusca and other marine animals picked up on
the seashore.


[Illustration: ROUSSETTE.]

In the _Cynopteri_, which are small Fruit Bats inhabiting Southern
Asia and its islands, the characters are very similar to those of the
preceding genera, but the muzzle is considerably shorter and more
Dog-like, and one of the true molars is deficient, so that the whole
series of molar teeth contains four on each side in the upper, and
five on each side in the lower jaw. The most abundant species is the
_Cynopterus marginatus_ (see next page), which is about four inches
in length, and varies in colour through different shades of brown
and reddish-brown. It is specially distinguished by having the ears
surrounded by a white border. This Bat occurs in all parts of India,
in Ceylon, in Further India, and in the eastern islands to Celebes and
the Philippines. It is exceedingly common, and very destructive to
fruits, especially guavas, plantains, and mangoes. Mr. Dobson gives
the following account of the voracity of a specimen obtained by him at
Calcutta:--He gave it “a ripe banana, which, with the skin removed,
weighed exactly two ounces. The animal immediately, as if famished
with hunger, fell upon the fruit, seized it between the thumbs and the
index fingers, and took large mouthfuls out of it, opening the mouth
to the fullest extent with extreme voracity. In the space of three
hours the whole fruit was consumed. Next morning the Bat was killed,
and found to weigh one ounce, half the weight of the food eaten in
three hours! Indeed, the animal when eating seemed to be a kind of
living mill, the food passing from it almost as fast as devoured,
eating being performed alone for the sake of the pleasure of eating.”
It is hardly fair, perhaps, to apply the character of this disgusting
little gormandiser to his whole species, but no doubt if the rest of
his kind only approximate to his prowess, they must do incalculable
mischief in the plantations of fruit-trees. According to Captain
Hutton, these Bats travel long distances, as much as thirty or forty
miles in search of food, and back again the same night. This is most
strikingly shown in their frequenting the valleys of the Dehra Doon
and Nepaul to feed on the guavas growing there, as they are never seen
in these localities during the day, but arrive there during the fruit
season about midnight, and depart again before morning. “To reach
Dehra,” says Captain Hutton, “they must either cross the Sivalik range
of hills, from 3,000 to 3,500 feet high, or thread their way for miles
through the passes leading into the Doon, though even then we may ask
with amazement how, when they are approaching the Sivaliks, they can
tell that there is fruit some twenty miles in advance of them! To
reach the valley of Nepaul at 6,000 feet of elevation they must ascend
and descend the mountains; and yet, wonderful to say, they penetrate
no farther into the hills, neither do they descend from the Doon to
Mussooree, apparently instinctively knowing that they will find no
guavas farther in the hills! Almost equally astonishing is it that,
having thus feasted in the Doon and Nepaul, they should be able to
find their way