Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/415

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411
THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

as I have witnessed with deer, & as is known to be the case with the wary chamois & with wild ducks. Brehm gives a curious account of the instinctive dread of snakes which his monkeys exhibited; but their curiosity was so great that they would not desist, in a most human fashion, from occasionally satiating their horror by lifting up the lid of the box, in which the snakes were kept, & peeping at them. I was so much surprised at this account, that I took a well stuffed & coiled up snake into the monkey House at the Zoological Gardens, & the excitement there caused was one of the most curious spectacles which I ever beheld. Three species of Cercopithecus were most alarmed; they darted about their cages & uttered sharp signal-cries of danger, which were apparently understood by the other monkeys. A few young monkeys and an old Anubis baboon took no notice. I then placed the stuffed snake on the ground in one of the large compartments, & after a time all the monkeys, staring intently, collected around it forming a large circle & presenting a most I have witnessed this with deer, and so it is with the wary chamois, and with some kinds of wild-ducks. Brehm gives a curious account of the instinctive dread which his monkeys exhibited towards snakes; but their curiosity was so great that they could not desist from occasionally satiating their horror in a most human fashion, by lifting up the lid of the box in which the snakes were kept. I was so much surprised at his account, that I took a stuffed and coiled-up snake into the monkey house at the Zoological Gardens, and the excitement thus caused was one of the most curious spectacles I ever beheld. Three species of Cercopithecus were the most alarmed; they dashed about their cages and uttered sharp signal-cries of danger, which were understood by the other monkeys. A few young monkeys and one old Anubis baboon alone took no notice of the snake. I 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.