1902 Encyclopedia > Ape > Ape: Family II - Cebidae, Sub-Family 4: Nyctipithecinae. Night Apes. Squirrel Monkeys.

(Part 12)


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

Ape: Family II - Cebidae, Sub-Family 4: Nyctipithecinae. Night Apes. Squirrel Monkeys.

The next sub-family, Nyctipithecinae, contains three genera, which have a long but not prehensile tail, fairly-developed thumbs, and vertical lower incisor teeth. These animals are, in part at least, insectivorous.

Lemurine Night Ape image

Fig. 11 -- The Lemurine Night Ape (Nyctipethecus lemurinus). From Archives du Museum, vol. iv, pl. 2.

The typical genus, Nytipithecus, contains only the night-apes, or douroucoulis (N. felinus, lemurinus, oseryi, rufipes, and Spixii), which have, in harmony with their nocturnal habits, enormous eyes. The orbits, though closely approximated, are nevertheless separated by a complete bony system. The head is rounded, but greatly drawn out posteriorly. The nostrils are rather approximated.

The beautiful little squirrel monkey, or Saimiri, and three allied species (Ch. ustus, entomophagus, and Oerstedii), form the genus Chrysothrix. They are distinguished from all other apes by the great backward prolongation of the bony cranium, the orbits of which, though smaller than those of Nyctipithecus, are, nevertheless, separated, but by an imperfect bony septum.

Moloch Callithrix image

Fig. 12 -- The Moloch Callithrix (Callithrix moloch). From Archives du Museum, vol. iv, pl. 3.

A few other kinds of American apes, together forming the genus Callithrix, somewhat resemble the night apes, but that the eyes are much smaller, and the nostrils wider apart. They differ from Chrysothrix in having small canine teeth, and the tail furnished with long hairs. The species of this genus are-- Moloch, Personatus, Amictus, Gigo, Melanochir, Discolor, Donacophilus, Ornatus, and Castaneoventris.

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