1902 Encyclopedia > Ape > Ape: Family I - Simiadae, Sub-Family 3: Cynopithecinae. Macaques. Baboons.

(Part 7)


(B) Apes Classified by Family, Sub-Family and Genera (cont.)

Ape: Family I - Simiadae, Sub-Family 3: Cynopithecinae. Macaques. Baboons.

We now come to the concluding genera of the apes of the Old World, together forming the third sub-family Cynopithecinae. This is a very natural group, but one exceedingly difficult to subdivide in a satisfactory manner, because the different characters gradually alter as we pass from round-headed, long tailed, and comparatively slender monkeys to dog-faced, short-tailed, and massive baboons. All the Cynopithecinae agree in having pretty well-developed thumbs and a single stomach, as also in having the sides of the face distensible, serving as pockets wherein food may be temporarily stored, and technically called "cheek pouches." The hair is often annulated. The ischiatic callosities are larger than in the forms hitherto noticed, and in some kinds these parts become greatly swollen at the period of sexual excitement, the enlargement extending sometimes (as in Macaccus cyclopis) even to the tail. The male external generative organs tend to assume a bright and varied coloration, which is often accompanied with vivid hues on and about the face, by common consent, the Cynopithecinae are divided into at least three genera, and by some naturalists (e.g. M. Isidore Geoffroy St Hilaire) they have been divided into as many as seven.

The first genus, Cercopithecus, includes those species of the sub-family, which by their length of tail and comparative slenderness, most nearly approach the members of the preceding sub-family. Many of the species (e.g. the Diana and white-nosed monkeys) are very attractive animals. Commonly the Cercopitheci have four tubercles to the last lower molar. The talapoin monkey (C. talapoin) has been made the type of a separate genus (Miopithecus), because it has but three such tubercles, while the mangabeys and white-eyelid monkeys (C. aethiops, collaris, and fuliginosus) have been separated off into a genus Cercocebus, because in them the last lower molar has fire tubercles. All the Cercopitheci (including Miopithecus and Cercocebus) are African forms.

Besides those already mentioned, the following species have been described by authors:-- Nictitans, Petaurista, Cephus, Mona, Monoides, Diana, Labiatus, Leucampyx, Pygerythrus, Lalandii, Sabaeus, Cynosurus, Ruber, Pyrrhonotus, Callitrichus, Rufoviridis, Albigena, Erythrogaster, Werneri, Melanogenys, Ludio, Erythrarchus, Ochraceus, Flavidus, Lunulatus, and Erxlebenii.

The next genus, Macacus, is Asiatic, with the exception of the Barbary ape, or magot (M. inuus), which is found in Northern Africa and on the Rock of Gibraltar. Already in some of the Cercopitheci, notably in the mangabeys, the muzzle has acquired a greater prolongation. This becomes still more marked in the Macaci. It is this greater production of muzzle, the greater size in the ischiatic callosities, the frequent shortness of the tail, and the different geographical distribution, which can alone be given as differentiating these animals from thecercopitheci. In some kinds the tail is long. Occasionally (as in the wanderoo, M. silenus) it is tufted at the end and short. Sometimes, as in M. nemestrinus, it is very short, and occasionally, as in M. inuus, it is absent. On account of this absence of tail, this species has sometimes been made the type of a distinct genus, Inuus.

Tibet Macaque image

Fig. 6 -- The Thibet [Tibet] Macaque (Macacus thibetanus). From Milne-Edwaards's Recherches des Mammifères, pl. 34.

Another species, M. niger (from Celebes and Batchian), has, on account of the much greater production of its muzzle, been made the type of another genus, termed Cynopithecus.

The Macaci presents with the most northern forms of apes, namely, that of Gibraltar, and M. speciosus of Japan. Father David has lately brought from Moupin, in Thibet [Tibet], a new species (M. thibetanus) which inhabits snowy mountains, and is clothed suitably for such a habitat, in thick and dense fur.

In addition to the Macaci already mentioned, we may name the pecies Sinicus, Pileatus, Aureus, Cynomolgus, Silenus, Rhesus, Nemestrinus, Thibetanus, Ochreatus, Palpebrosus, Brunneus, Rufescens, Rheso-similis, Erythraeus, Cristatus, Tcheliensis, Cyclopis, Inornatus, Sancti-johannis, Lasiotus, Assamensis, Maurus, Philippinensis, and Nigrescens.

The remaining apes of the Old World are the baboons, which are entirely confined to Africa, and to that part of Asia which is zoologically African, namely, Arabia. These animals which constitute the genus Cynocephalus, have the characters of the Macaci still further developed in having still larger callosities, and a muzzle so extremely produced as to give the head the appearance of that of a dog, whence their generic name. The general form has also here become very massive, and the limbs being sub-equal in length, the appearance, like the locomotion, is quadrupedal. But the baboons have not only the muzzle so greatly produced, they have also the nostrils terminal in position like those of a hound and unlike what we have yet met with. The species C. gelada of Abyssinia and C. obscurus form exceptions to this condition, as they have the nostrils placed as in the Macaci, on which account they have been made the type of a distinct genus, Theropithecus.

Babuin Baboon image

Fig. 7 -- The Babuin Baboon (Cynocephalus babuin). From Archives du Museum, vol. ii, pl. 34.

In the other Cynocephali, the tail may be moderately long, as in C. hamadryas, or very short, as in the mandrill, C. mormon. In the last-named species we again meet with much bulk of body, as it exceeds the chimpanzee in this respect. It is also remarkable for its bright coloration, the cheeks being brilliant blue, the nose vermilion, and the beard golden-yellow.

Other species described are Sphinx, Olivaceus, Babuin, Anubis, Obscurus, Doguera, Porcarius, and Leucophaeus.

The baboons are the least arboreal and the least frugivorous of the Old World apes, some species, e.g., the chacma of Southern Africa (C. porcarius), living habitually amidst rocks, and feeding on eggs, large insects, and scorpions, as well as on vegetables food.

In the whole series of Old World apes we find the same number of different kinds of teeth as in man, the dental formula being --


or thirty-two teeth in all. again, in the whole series the two nostrils are divided the one from the other by a narrow septum; and if the skull be examined, a long bony tube (the meatus auditorius externus) is seen to lead inwards on each side to the internal ear. Moreover, the thumbs, when present, are always more or less opposable to the other fingers.

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