Gorillas & Chimpanzees

Gorillas & Chimpanzees

Author:
R. L. Garner
Author:
R. L. Garner
Format:
epub
language:
English

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Author: Garner, R. L. (Richard Lynch), 1848-1920
Garner
R. L. (Richard Lynch)
1848-1920 — Travel
Gorilla
Chimpanzees
Gabon — Description and travel
Gorillas & Chimpanzees
Transcriber added tile, author’s name, and publishing information to some versions of the original cover, which is shown below. All modifications have been placed in the Public Domain.


Gorillas & Chimpanzees


R. L. Garner.


Gorillas & Chimpanzees
By
R. L. Garner
Illustrated
London
Osgood, McIlvaine & Co.
45 Albemarle Street, W.
1896


To
MY FAITHFUL AND GENEROUS FRIEND
MR. ADOLPH STROHM
WHO HAS GIVEN ME
LIBERAL AID AND UNSWERVING ENCOURAGEMENT
AND TO MY KIND AND STEADFAST FRIEND
MR. JAMES A. DEEMIN
WITH WHOM I SHARED SOME OF THE HARDSHIPS OF TRAVEL
AND A FEW OF THE JOYS OF THE HUNT
THIS VOLUME IS
GRATEFULLY DEDICATED BY
ITS AUTHOR


PREFACE

The present work is the natural product of some years devoted to a study of the speech and habits of monkeys. It has led up to the special study of the great apes. The matter contained herein is chiefly a record of the facts tabulated during recent years in that field of research.
The aim in view is to convey to the casual reader a more correct idea than now prevails concerning the physical, mental, and social habits of these apes.
The favourable conditions under which the writer has been placed, in the study of these animals in the freedom of their native jungle, have not hitherto been enjoyed by any other student of Nature.
A careful aim to avoid all technical terms and scientific phraseology has been adhered to, and the subject treated in a simple style. Tedious details are relieved by an ample supply of anecdotes taken from the writer’s own observations, and most of them are the acts of his own pets or of apes in a wild state. The author has refrained from rash deductions and abstruse theories, but has sought to place the animals here treated in their true light, believing that to dignify the apes is not to degrade man, but to exalt him even more.
It is hoped that a more perfect knowledge of these animals may bring man into closer fellowship and deeper sympathy with Nature, and cause him to realise that all creatures think and feel in some degree, however small.
THE AUTHOR.


CONTENTS

CHAP.   PAGE
  PREFACE vii
I MAN AND APE COMPARED 1
II CAGED IN AN AFRICAN JUNGLE 14
III DAILY LIFE AND SCENES IN THE JUNGLE 22
IV THE CHIMPANZEE 36
V PHYSICAL, SOCIAL, AND MENTAL QUALITIES 46
VI THE SPEECH OF CHIMPANZEES 66
VII THE CAPTURE AND CHARACTER OF MOSES 76
VIII THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MOSES 92
IX AARON 102
X AARON AND ELISHEBA 116
XI THE DEATH OF AARON AND ELISHEBA 136
XII OTHER CHIMPANZEES 144
XIII OTHER KULU-KAMBAS 176
XIV GORILLAS 188
XV HABITS OF THE GORILLA 213
XVI OTHELLO AND OTHER GORILLAS 234
XVII OTHER APES 252
XVIII THE TREATMENT OF APES IN CAPTIVITY 262

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

    Page
Portrait of R. L. Garner Frontispiece
Waiting and Watching in the Cage To face 16
Starting for a Stroll 22
Preparing for the Night 30
In the Jungle 42
A Stroll in the Jungle 54
The Edge of the Jungle 62
Trading Station in the Interior 102
Plain and Edge of the Forest 108
A Native Canoe 118
Aaron and Elisheba 132
Native Village at Moile​—​Interior of Nyanza 146
Consul II. Riding a Tricycle 164
Consul II. In Full Dress 170
Native Village at Glass Gaboon 180
Natives Skinning a Gorilla 191
Skulls of Gorillas​—​Front and Side Views   199–202
Young Gorilla Walking To face 208
Native Carrier Boy 222
Native Women of the Interior 230

GORILLAS AND CHIMPANZEES


CHAPTER I
MAN AND APE COMPARED

Monkeys have always been a subject of idle interest to old and young; but they have usually served to amuse the masses more than to instruct them, until within recent years.
Now that science has brought them within the field of careful research, and made them an object of serious study, it has invested them with a certain dignity in the esteem of mankind, and imparted to them a new aspect among animals.
There is no other creature that so charms and fascinates the beholder as do these little effigies of the human race. The simple and the wise are alike impressed with their human look and manner; children and patriarchs with equal delight watch them with surprise; but now that the search-light of science is being thrown into every nook and crevice of nature, human interest in them is multiplied many fold, while the savants of all civilised lands are struggling with the problem of their possible relationship to man.
Pursuant to the desire of learning as much as possible about their natural habits, faculties, and resources, they are being studied from every available point of view, and every characteristic compared in detail to the corresponding one in man. Hence, in order to appreciate more fully the value of the lessons to be drawn from the contents of this volume, we must know the relative planes in the scale of nature that man and monkeys occupy, wherefore we shall begin our task by comparing them in a general way; but as the scope of this work is restricted mainly to the great apes, the comparison will likewise be confined to that subject, except in so far as to define the relations of man and ape to monkeys.
Since monkeys differ among themselves so widely, it is evident that all of them cannot in the same degree resemble man. And as the degree of interest in them as a subject of comparative study is approximately measured by the degree of their likeness to man, it is apparent that all cannot be regarded as of equal interest. But since each forms an integral part of the scale of nature, they are of equal importance in tracing out the continuity of the order to which they belong.
The vast family of simians has perhaps the widest range of types of any single family of mammals. Beginning with the great apes, which so closely resemble man in size, form and structure, they descend by degrees along the scale till they end in the little marmosets, which are almost on the level of rodents. But the descent is so gradual that it is difficult to draw a sharp line of demarcation at any point between the two extremes. There is, however, now an effort being made to separate this family into smaller groups, but the lines between them must be dim and wavering, and the literature of the past has a tendency to retard the effort.
We shall not digress from the trend of our subject, however, at this time, to discuss the problems with which zoology may have to contend in the future, but will accept the current system and proceed.
All the varied types that belong to the simian family are, in the common order of speech, known as monkeys, but the term thus used is so broad in its meaning as to include all the forms of that vast group, wherefore it is vague and obscure, for some of these resemble man more than they resemble each other. The name should only be applied to those having tails and short faces, but there is a small group, which have no tails at all, that are properly known as apes. While they are all simians, they are not all monkeys. It is with this small group, without tails, that we propose chiefly to deal. We select them because of their likeness to man, and having noted the similitude, the result may be compared with other types of the same order. There are only four of these apes, but as a whole they resemble man in so many essential details that they are called “anthropoid,” or “man-like apes.” They differ from each other in certain respects, almost as much as any one of them differs from man. The four apes alluded to, are the chimpanzee, the gorilla, the orang and the gibbon.
As the skeleton is the framework of the physical structure, it will serve as the basis upon which to build up the comparison, and as the chimpanzee is the nearest approach to man, we select him as the highest type of the simian, and use him as the standard.
The skeleton of the chimpanzee may be said to be exactly the same as that of man, but the assertion must be qualified by a few facts which are of minor importance, but since they are facts we cannot ignore them.
The general plan, purpose and principle are the same in each. There is no part of the one that is not duplicated in the other, and there is no function discharged by any part of the one that is not discharged by the like part of the other. The chief point in which they differ is in the structure of one bone.
Near the base of the spinal column is a certain bone called the sacrum. It is a constituent part of the column, but in its singular form and structure somewhat differs from the corresponding bone in man. The general outline of this bone in the plane of the hips is that of an isosceles triangle. It fits in between the two large bones that spread out towards the hips, and articulate with the thighbones.

PELVIS OF CHIMPANZEE

A Sacrum.
B Fourth lumbar vertebra.
C Coccyx.
D Ilium or hip-bone.
E Femur or thigh-bone.

About half-way from the centre to the edge, along each side, is a row of four round holes. Across the surface of the bone is a dim transverse line between each pair of holes, from which it appears that five smaller sections of the column have anchylosed or grown into each other to form the sacrum, and the holes coincide with the open spaces between the lateral processes of the other bones of the column above.
In the chimpanzee, this bone has the same general form as in man, but instead of four holes in each row it has five, connected by transverse lines in the same way, indicating that six of the segments are united instead of five; but to compensate for this the ape has one vertebra less in the section of the column just above it, in that portion called the lumbar. In it man has five, while the ape has but four. But counting the whole number of bones in the spinal column, and regarding each segment of the sacrum as a distinct bone, which to all intents it is, the sum of the bones in each column is exactly the same.
Although this appears to be a fixed and constant character, it cannot be esteemed as a matter of great importance, since the same thing has been known to occur in the human skeleton, and the reverse has been known in some specimens of the apes, but has never been observed in the chimpanzee. In this respect he appears to be more constant than man so far as we know at present.
As the greatest strains of the spinal column are laid upon that part in which the sacrum is located, there is a tendency for these segments to unite in order to meet the demand, and since there is the least flexure in that part, the cartilages that lie between them ossify and become rigid. The erect posture of man allows more room in the loins for the fifth vertebra to move, and thus it is prevented from uniting with the segment below it, which is held firmly in place by the two large bones mentioned, while the crouching habit of the ape presses that vertebra firmly against the other, confining it between the two large bones and thus reducing its movement, wherefore the same result follows as with the other sections below.
Another bone that may be said to differ in structure is that known as the sternum or breastbone; it is the thin, soft bone to which the ribs are joined in the front of the body. In the young of both man and ape it is a mere cartilage which slowly ossifies from the top downward. The process appears to begin at different centres, the largest nucleus being at the top. There appear to be five of these centres. The bone never becomes quite hard in either man or ape, but always remains somewhat porous, and even in advanced age the outline of the lower part is not defined by a smooth, sharp line, but is irregular in contour and merges or blends into the cartilages that hold the ribs in place.
In man, this bone in maturity is usually found in two segments, while in the ape it varies. In some specimens it is the same as in man, while in others it is found to be in four or five segments. But the sternum in each is always regarded as one bone, and is developed from one continuous cartilage. The separate parts are never considered distinct bones. The reason that it is found in separate sections in the ape is doubtless due to the stooping habit of the animal, by which the bone is constantly flexed and alternately straightened. In man this bone varies to a great extent.
With these trifling exceptions in point of structures alone, the skeletons of man and ape may be truly said to be exact counterparts of each other, having the same number of bones, of the same general type arranged in the same order and articulated in the same manner. The corresponding bone in each is the same in design and purpose. The frame of the ape is much more massive in its proportions than that of man, but while this is true of some kinds of ape the reverse is true of others. The average height of the adult chimpanzee is about 63 inches.
In man the sacrum is more curved in the plane of the hips than it is in the ape, while the bones of the digits in man are straighter. The arms of man are shorter than the legs, while in the ape these features are reversed.
In the cranial types, it is readily seen that the skull of man is nearly round and the face is vertical, while the skull of the ape is elongated and the face receding. These facts deserve more notice than the mere mention of their being so.
In the whole scheme of nature certain laws obtain in the projection of skulls. The angle between the plane of the face and the spinal axis is co-ordinate to the angle between the spinal axis and the perpendicular.
To be more exact, the spine of a snake is in a horizontal line, and the face occupies a plane of the same kind. At the other end of the scale is man, whose spine is in a vertical line, and his face occupies a like plane. Between these two extremes are types which tend in various degrees, from the lower to the higher form, and just in proportion as the spinal axis approaches a vertical line from one side, the plane of the face approaches it from the other.
In accord with this fact it will be observed that the foramen or hole in the base of the skull through which the spinal cord passes is adjusted closer and closer to the centre of the base of the skull as the spine becomes erect. In man, whose spinal column is erect, the hole is in the centre of the base; in the reptile, whose spine is horizontal, the hole is at the extreme end of the base. In the ape the spinal axis is at an angle with the vertical line, and the plane of the face conforms to a similar one. In keeping with this law it will be seen in all animals that just in the same degree as the angles widen, the foramen is removed from the centre of the base towards the occiput.
It may be noted here, however, that the facial angle is never exactly the same as the spinal angle. The facial plane of the reptile is not quite horizontal, nor that of man quite vertical, but the ratios of angularity are constant. Even the habit of rearing modifies to some extent this character, but it is only the normal pose of the animal that determines the exact limit of it.
In keeping with these facts it will be observed that as the angle between the chin and the spine widens, the lower jaws project, and the chin recedes or flattens, and in a like degree the voice is modified. The chin of man forms a right angle, but in the reptile it is quite lost. In the former the vocal powers are superior to that of all other animals, but as we descend the scale they are reduced in scope and degraded in quality, until in the lowest reptiles they become a mere hiss or squeak.
By a careful study of the voices together with the skulls of animals, it is found that the gnathic index can be relied upon as a vocal index. The ape has the smallest angle between the spinal axis and the facial plane, and has the greatest vocal range and purest voice of any other animal below man. Among the apes the gibbon has the smallest angle, and he also has the best vocal qualities of any other ape.
The contour of the skull in all parts conforms to the angle of its projection from the spinal axis. It is depressed and elongated in proportion as the angle increases: the brain cavity is narrowed in a like proportion to its length, and the brain, of course, is modified in the same manner.
The brain of the ape resembles that organ in man

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