Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/410

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398
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

answers to it the purpose of a hand. Wherever the monkey goes or climbs, that member is its support and its aid in climbing. If these apes are observed climbing, it is hard to tell what is tail and what foot; and they have been very aptly called spider-apes, because when they are hanging in the limbs they look like a big spider. They become very tame, but are much less lively and charming than the capuchin apes. They live on plants alone, and eat buds very readily, but never insects. "While of the howling apes mostly males are shot, among the quattas the females appear to be more numerous. Their tails be- ing tightly wrapped around the limbs, they do not fall from the trees when shot, but hang to them, sometimes till putrefaction sets in. For this reason the Indians of the interior shoot them with arrows that have been poisoned with the xcoura, the effect of which is to relax or paralyze the muscles, and insure a speedy fall of the animal.

The most docile of all the apes of Guiana, and the one that is most frequently taken to Europe, is the capuchin ape ( Cebus ajypella). It is called Jcesi-kesi in Surinam, macaque in Cayenne, meku by the Caribs, and pfxdti by the Arowaks. It appears in pairs, or in troops of not more than thirty individuals, among whom are always some old males, with hair standing out from their foreheads, as if the ani- mals had little horns. Their color is a dark olive-brown, a little lighter in the face. Their hands, feet, and hairy, winding tail are nearly black. They are about the size of a cat. They are very shy, and take quickly to flight whenever they perceive anything wrong. They have a peculiar flute-like call and whimper, which the Indians, having learned to imitate very deceptively, make a means of decoying them to be shot. They can often be heard in the woods, beating down nuts or conversing with one another. They live on fruit, birds' eggs, and perhaps young birds, too, but do not eat leaves or insects. If caught young they soon become tame, are very interesting, and attach them- selves to those who treat them well, with a patient affection which they manifest by caresses and tears. They are very fond of tobacco- smoke, and take great delight in rubbing their bodies with " the weed." There are several varieties of the capuchin ape. A light-colored, very docile kind ( Cebu8 fatuellus) is more abundant in the interior of the country. There are more males than females in this species.

The Pitheea Satanas, a handsome ape, living only in the mount- ainous interior, resembles the former species in figure, but is somewhat smaller, and has a bushy tail which hangs straight down. The Indians call it hill. It is rare, and I only knew of one specimen that lived for a few years in a tamed condition. Its back is yellowish brown, its face black, and its head, feet, and tail dark brown. It lives in small families of five or six individuals, and is not very active or hard to catch. I had a young female on the Maroni, but it soon died. I also had a male that had been shot and had recovered, but it never became tame, and died on board the vessel that was taking it to Amsterdam.