Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/33

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25
MONKEYS.

tropics they become very abundant, and increase in numbers and variety as we approach the equator, where the climate is hot, moist, and equable, and where flowers, fruits, and insects are to be found throughout the year. Africa has about fifty-five different kinds, Asia and its islands about sixty, while America has one hundred and fourteen, or almost exactly the same as Asia and Africa together. Australia and its islands have no monkeys, nor has the great and luxuriant Island of New Guinea, whose magnificent forests seem so well adapted for them. We will now give a short account of the different kinds of monkeys inhabiting each of the tropical continents.

Africa possesses two of the great man-like apes—the gorilla and the chimpanzee, the former being the largest ape known, and the one which, on the whole, perhaps most resembles man, though its countenance is less human than that of the chimpanzee. Both are found in West Africa, near the equator, but they also inhabit the interior wherever there are great forests; and Dr. Schweinfurth states that the chimpanzee inhabits the country about the sources of the Shari River, in 28° east longitude and 4° north latitude.

The long-tailed monkeys of Africa are very numerous and varied. One group has no cheek-pouches and no thumb on the hand, and many of these have long, soft fur of varied colors. The most numerous group are the guenons, rather small, long-tailed monkeys, very active and lively, and often having their faces curiously marked with white or black, or ornamented with whiskers or other tufts of hair; and they all have large cheek-pouches and good-sized thumbs. Many of them are called green monkeys, from the greenish-yellow tint of their fur, and most of them are well-formed, pleasing animals. They are found only in tropical Africa.

The baboons are larger, but less numerous. They resemble dogs in the general form and the length of the face or snout, but they have hands with well-developed thumbs on both the fore and hind limbs; and this, with something in the expression of the face, and their habit of sitting up and using their hands in a very human fashion, at once shows that they belong to the monkey-tribe. Many of them are very ugly, and in their wild state they are the fiercest and most dangerous of monkeys. Some have the tail very long, others of medium length, while it is sometimes reduced to a mere stump, and all have large cheek-pouches and bare seat-pads. They are found all over Africa, from Egypt to the Cape of Good Hope; while one species, called the hamadryas, extends from Abyssinia across the Red Sea into Arabia, and is the only baboon found out of Africa. This species was known to the ancients, and it is often represented in Egyptian sculptures, while mummies of it have been found in the catacombs. The largest and most remarkable of all the baboons is the mandrill of West Africa, whose swollen and hog-like face is ornamented with stripes of vivid blue and scarlet. This animal has a tail scarcely two inches