Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/35

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25
MONKEYS.

have no cheek-pouches, but always have very long tails. They are true forest monkeys, very active, and of a shy disposition. The most remarkable of these is the long-nosed monkey of Borneo, which is very large, of a pale-brown color, and distinguished by possessing a long, pointed, fleshy nose, totally unlike that of all other monkeys. Another interesting species is the black and white entellus monkey of India, called "Hanuman" by the Hindoos, and considered sacred by them. These animals are petted and fed, and at some of the temples numbers of them come every day for the food which the priests, as well as the people, provide for them.

The next group of Eastern monkeys are the Macaques, which are more like baboons, and often run upon the ground. They are more bold and vicious than the others. All have cheek-pouches, and though some have long tails, in others the tail is short, or reduced to a mere stump. In some few this stump is so very short that there appears to be no tail, as in the magot of North Africa and Gibraltar, and in an allied species that inhabits Japan.

American Monkeys.—The monkeys which inhabit America form three very distinct groups: 1. The Sapajous, which have prehensile or grasping tails; 2. The Sagouins, which have ordinary tails, either long or short; and, 3. The Marmosets, very small creatures, with sharp claws, long tails, which are not prehensile, and a smaller number of teeth than all other American monkeys. Each of these three groups contains several sub-groups, or genera, which often differ remarkably from each other, and from all the monkeys of the Old World.

We will begin with the howling monkeys, which are the largest found in America, and are celebrated for the loud voice of the males. Often in the great forests of the Amazon, or Orinoco, a tremendous noise is heard in the night or early morning, as if a great assemblage of wild beasts were all roaring and screaming together. The noise may be heard for miles, and it is louder and more piercing than that of any other animals, yet it is all produced by a single male howler sitting on the branches of some lofty tree. They are enabled to make this extraordinary noise by means of an organ that is possessed by no other animal. The. lower jaw is unusually deep, and this makes room for a hollow bony vessel about the size of a large walnut, situated under the root of the tongue, and having an opening into the windpipe by which the animal can force air into it. This increases the power of its voice, acting something like the hollow case of a violin, and producing those marvelous rolling and reverberating sounds which caused the celebrated traveler Waterton to declare that they were such as might have had their origin in the infernal regions. The howlers are large and stout-bodied monkeys with bearded faces, and very strong and powerfully grasping tails. They inhabit the wildest forests; they are very shy, and are seldom taken captive, though they are less active than many other American monkeys.