1902 Encyclopedia > Ape > The Reproductive Organs of the Ape

(Part 27)


(C) The Anatomy of Apes (cont.)

The Generative [Reproductive] Organs of the Ape

The generative organs are in common with the other parts of the body, formed on the same model as in the human species. The penis is pendulous, i.e., hangs freely, instead of being (as in the dog) bound to the ventral surface of the abdomen. The prepuce, however, is without a fraenum. The testes are relatively large, and descend into a scrotum. In some species, however, they do not descend so much as they do in man, but remain just outside the inguinal ring, and are thus placed rather beside than beneath the penis. These parts, as has been said, are brightly coloured in some of the lower Simiadae. The penis is furnished with a bone in all the apes below the Anthropoid ones, and probably in the latter also, since the chimpanzee has one about one-third of an inch long and gristly at each end.

In all apes the uterus is single, and not two horned; but it is more elongated relatively in monkeys than in the human species. The clitoris is well-developed, but boneless in the Simiadae, and is large even in Troglodytes niger. In the Cebidae it contains a bone; and in some genera, especially in the Cebinae, it is enormously developed, so as to be very easily mistaken for a penis. In Ateles, however, its length is mainly due to its extremely elongated prepuce.

The placenta of apes is discoidal an deciduate, and is generally bilobed. Sometimes, however, as in Mycetes, it is single. It is especially thick in proportion in the Hapalinae. In the Simiadae there is but one umbilical vein, but in the Cebidae there are two.

Gestation in the lower Simiadae lasts about seven months, but in the Hapalinae only three months.

Menstrustion occurs periodically, but the excretion is less sanguineous than in the human species. In the lower Simiadae it is chiefly manifested by a turgescence of the external organs, which may extend widely in the parts adjacent, and even beneath the tail.

Lactation lasts, in the better known forms, for an average of six months, and the young are carried at the breast in a very human attitude.

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