Page images

are Myiopithecus, Cercopithecus, Cercocebus, Theropithecus, and Cynocephalus ; the Oriental genera, Macacus, and Cynopithecus.

Myiopithecus (1 species), consisting of the talapoin monkey of West Africa, differs from the other African monkeys in the structure of the last molar tooth; in the large ears, short face, and wide internasal septum; in this respect, as well as in its grace and gentleness, resembling some of the American monkeys.

Cercopithecus (24 species), contains all the more graceful and prettily coloured monkeys of tropical Africa, and comprises the guenons, the white-nosed, and the green monkeys. They range from the Gambia to the Congo, and from Abyssinia to the Zambesi.

Cercocebus (5 species), the mangabeys, of West Africa, are very closely allied to the eastern genus Macacus.

Theropithecus (2 species), including the gelada of Abyssinia and an allied species, resemble in form the baboons, but have the nostrils placed as in the last genus.

Cynocephalus (10 species), the baboons, are found in all parts of Africa. They consist of animals which vary much in appearance, but which agree in having an elongated dog-like muzzle with terminal nostrils, and being of terrestrial habits. Some of the baboons are of very large size, the mandrill (C. maimon) being only inferior to the orang and gorilla.

Macacus (25 species), is the commonest form of eastern monkey, and is found in every part of the Oriental region, as well as in North Africa, Gibraltar, Thibet, North China, and Japan ; and one of the commonest species, M. cynomolgus, has extended its range from Java eastward to the extremity of Timor. The tail varies greatly in length, and in the Gibraltar monkey (M. innus) is quite absent. A remarkable species clothed with very thick fur, has lately been discovered in the snowy mountains of eastern Thibet.

Cynopithecus (? 2 sp.).-This genus consists of a black baboonlike Ape, inhabiting Celebes, Batchian, and the Philippine Islands; but perhaps introduced by man into the latter islands and into Batchian. It is doubtful if there is more than one species. The tail of this animal is a fleshy tubercle, the nostrils as in Macacus, but the muzzle is very prominent; and the

development of the maxillary bones into strong lateral ridges corresponds to the structure of the most typical baboons. This species extends further east than any other quadrumanous animal.

FAMILY 4.-CEBIDÆ. (10 Genera, 78 Species.)

[blocks in formation]

The Cebidæ, which comprehend all the larger American Monkeys, differ from those of the Old World by having an additional molar tooth in each jaw, and a broad nasal septum; while they have neither cheek-pouches nor ischial callosities, and the thumb is never completely opposable. Some have prehensile tails, especially adapting them for an arboreal life. They are divided into four sub-families, Cebinæ, Mycetinæ, Pitheciinæ, and Nyctipithecinæ. The Cebidæ are strictly confined to the forest regions of tropical America, from the southern part of Mexico to about the parallel of 30° South Latitude. The distribution of the genera is as follows :

Sub-family, Cebinæ.—Cebus (18 sp.), is the largest genus of American monkeys, and ranges from Costa Rica to Paraguay. They are commonly called sapajous. Lagothrix (5 sp.), the woolly monkeys, are rather larger and less active than the preceding; they are confined to the forests of the Upper Amazon Valley, and along the slopes of the Andes to Venezuela and Bolivia. Ateles (14 sp.), the spider monkeys, have very long limbs and tail. They range over the whole area of the family, and occur on the west side of the Equatorial Andes and on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. Eriodes (3 sp.), are somewhat intermediate between the last two genera, and are confined to the eastern parts of Brazil south of the equator. The three last mentioned genera have very powerful prehensile tails, the end being bare beneath ; whereas the species of Cebus have the tail

completely covered with hair, although prehensile, and therefore not so perfect a grasping organ.

Sub-family, Mycetinæ, consists of but a single genus, Mycetes (10 sp.), the howling monkeys, characterized by having a hollow bony vessel in the throat formed by an enlargement of the hyoid bone, which enables them to produce a wonderful howling noise. They are large, heavy animals, with a powerful and perfect prehensile tail. They range from East Guatemala to Paraguay. (Plate XIV., vol. ii., p. 24.)

Sub-family, Pitheciinæ, the sakis, have a non-prehensile bushy tail. Pithecia (7 sp.), has the tail of moderate length; while Brachiurus (5 sp.) has it very short. Both appear to be restricted to the great equatorial forests of South America.

Sub-family, Nyctipithecine, are small and elegant monkeys, with long, hairy, non-prehensile tails. Nyctipithecus (5 sp.), the night-monkeys or douroucoulis, have large eyes, nocturnal habits, and are somewhat lemurine in their appearance. They range from Nicaragua to the Amazon and eastern Peru. Saimiris or Chrysothrix (3 sp.), the squirrel-monkeys, are beautiful and active little creatures, found in most of the tropical forests from Costa Rica to Brazil and Bolivia. Callithrix (11 sp.), are somewhat intermediate between the last two genera, and are found all over South America from Panama to the southern limits of the great forests.

FAMILY 5.—HAPALIDÆ. (2 Genera, 32 Species.)

[blocks in formation]

The Hapalidæ, or marmosets, are very small monkeys, which differ from the true Cebidæ in the absence of one premolar tooth, while they possess the additional molar tooth; so that while they have the same number of teeth (thirty-two) as the Old World monkeys, they differ from them even more than do the

Cebidæ. The thumb is not at all opposable, and all the fingers are armed with sharp claws. The hallux, or thumb-like great toe, is very small; the tail is long and not prehensile. The two genera Hapale (9 sp.), and Midas (24 sp.), are of doubtful value, though some naturalists have still further sub-divided them. They are confined to the tropical forests of South America, and are most abundant in the districts near the equator.


FAMILY 6.—LEMURIDÆ. (11 Genera, 53 Species.)

[blocks in formation]

The Lemuridæ, comprehending all the animals usually termed Lemurs and many of their allies, are divided by Professor Mivart --who has carefully studied the group-into four sub-families and eleven genera, as follows :

Sub-family Indrisinæ, consisting of the genus Indris (5 sp.), is confined to Madagascar.

Sub-family Lemurinæ, contains five genera, viz. :-Lemur, (15 sp.); Hapalemur (2 sp.); Microcebus (4 sp.); Chirogaleus (5 sp.); and Lepilemur (2 sp.) ;-all confined to Madagascar.

Sub-family Nycticebinæ, contains four genera, viz. :-Nycticebus (3 sp.)—small, short-tailed, nocturnal animals, called slow-lemurs,

- range from East Bengal to South China, and to Borneo and Java; Loris (1 sp.)-a very small, tail-less, nocturnal lemur, which inhabits Madras, Malabar, and Ceylon; Perodicticus (1 sp.) -the potto a small lemur with almost rudimentary forefinger, found at Sierra Leone (Plate V., vol. i., p. 264); Arctocebus (1 sp.)—the angwantibo, - another extraordinary form in which the forefinger is quite absent and the first toe armed with a long claw,-inhabits Old Calabar.

Sub-family Galaginæ, contains only the genus Galago (14 sp.), which is confined to the African continent, ranging from Senegal and Fernando Po to Zanzibar and Natal.

FAMILY 7.–TARSIIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

[blocks in formation]

The curious Tarsius spectrum, which constitutes this family, inhabits Sumatra, Banca, and Borneo, and is also found in some parts of Celebes, which would bring it into the Australian region; but this island is altogether so anomalous that we can only consider its productions to have somewhat more affinity with the Australian than the Oriental region, but hardly to belong to either. The Tarsier is a small, long-tailed, nocturnal animal, of curious structure and appearance; and it forms the only link of connection with the next family, which it resembles in the extraordinary development of the toes, one of which is much larger and more slender than the rest. (Plate VIII., vol i. p. 337.)

FAMILY 8.—CHIROMYIDÆ. (1 Genus, 1 Species.)

[blocks in formation]

The Aye-aye, (Chiromys), the sole representative of this family, is confined to the island of Madagascar. It was for a long time very imperfectly known, and was supposed to belong to the Rodentia ; but it has now been ascertained to be an exceedingly specialized form of the Lemuroid type, and must be considered to be one of the most extraordinary of the mammalia, now inhabiting the globe. (Plate VI., vol. i., p. 278.)

« EelmineJätka »