1902 Encyclopedia > Ape > Ape: Family II - Cebidae, Sub-Family 2: Mycetinae. Howling Monkeys.

(Part 10)


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

Ape: Family II - Cebidae, Sub-Family 2: Mycetinae. Howlng Monkeys.

The next sub-family of American apes is very distinct, consisting, as it does, of a single genus, Mycetes, composed of the howling monkeys.

These creatures are the most bulky of the American apes, and are those the muzzles of which are the most projecting. If the spider monkeys may be considered the analogical representatives of the gibbons, the howlers may similarly be esteemed those of the baboons.

They are sluggish, and apparently stupid animals, but have a wonderful power of voice, facilitated by an enormous distension of the body of the hyoid bone into a large, deep, bony cup, sheltered between the jaws, which are specially deep for that purpose. Into this cup is received one of the three or five sacs with which the larynx is provided.

The thyroid cartilage is very large.

The howlers have long, very prehensile tails, naked beneath towards the tips. Their thumbs are well developed.

Some of the species show much brilliance of colour, with bright red or golden hair on the flanks. There is, however, so much individual variation, or so many local varieties, that the species are as yet very little determined. The sexual difference in colour is great in one species -- the male being deep black, and the female pale straw colour.

Amongst the species described may be named -- Seniculus, Ursinus, Caraya, Rufimanus, Niger, Villosus, and Palliatus.

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