Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/203

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

Wyman[1] quotes Broca as saying that the measurements of these tibiæ resemble the ape, and, what is more striking, in a small number of instances "the bone is bent and is strongly convex forward, and its angles so rounded as to present the nearly oval section seen in the apes." The occurrence of these platycnemic tibiæ has been noticed by several investigators. They have been obtained from the mounds of Kentucky by Mr. Carr, Mr. Lyon, and Prof. Putnam. Prof. Wyman found them in Florida mounds. To Mr. Henry Gillman, of Detroit, science is indebted for the discovery of the flattest tibiae ever recorded, exceeding even those discovered in Europe. Mr. Gillman has opened a number of mounds along the Detroit and Rouge Rivers in Michigan, and assiduously studied the characters of these remains, which indicate a very ancient race of men. Many of these tibiæ he has sent to the Peabody Archæological Museum at Cambridge. Associated with these remarkable tibiæ he found large numbers of perforated humeri.

At the Detroit meeting of the Association, Prof. W. S. Barnard showed that the muscles which move the fingers and toes have been developed from one common muscle, and, in studying the various degrees of specialization of the muscles which move the hand and foot in the gorilla and lower apes, he finds that in the foot "man remains a creature of the past not modified by that which makes him a man, the brain. The hand has been modified and perfected by its services to the brain." Prof. Barnard also contributed another essay, entitled "Comparative Myology of Man and the Apes." From very careful studies he is led to believe that the relative position of the origin of the muscles is more constant than that of their insertions. In this examination he brings to light a muscle which Traill dissected in the higher apes, and which he called the scansorius, and this was supposed to have no representative in man.

Traill was followed by Wyman, Owen, Wilder, and Bischoff, who, in a controversy with Huxley, argued from this muscle against the simian origin of man. Mr. Barnard now shows that Traill was mistaken, and that other naturalists were misled by the weight of his authority. What Traill interpreted as the gluteus minimus is the piriformis, and what he figured as a new muscle separating the apes from man, the scansorius, is the homologue of our gluteus minimus.

From gradually accumulating data, in regard to microcephalic skulls, it would seem as if Carl Vogt were right in judging them to be cases of reversion. Prof. Wyman says, in regard to a microcephalic skull from Mauritius, that, "taking together the high temporal ridges, the union of the temporals with the frontals, the projection of the jaws, the narrow and retreating forehead, the small capacity, and the form and proportions of the nasal openings, the general resemblance to that of an ape is most striking, and seems to justify Vogt's expres-

  1. "Fourth Annual Report of the Peabody Archæological Museum."