Imágenes de páginas

coast. One of them, Kirk's Colobus (C. kirki) so far as has yet been ascertained, has been only met with in the island of Zanzibar, where, however, it is said to be now nearly extinct. Another well-marked species, the Guereza (C. guereza), is peculiar for its long-haired flanks and tail. It was originally discovered in Abyssinia, but is represented by closely allied forms in British East Africa and on the Niger and Upper Congo.

The Guenons, or long-tailed Monkeys of the genus Cercopithecus, which we now come to, are likewise entirely confined to the Ethiopian Region, and being exclusivel inhabitants of forests, are naturally most numerous in the wooded districts of the west coast and in the great wooded valley of the Congo. They are very numerous in species, as many as forty different kinds having been discriminated, but are mostly confined to small specific areas, not more than one or two species as a rule occurring in the same district. Allied to the Guenons are the Mangabeys (Cercocebus) with about six known species, which has nearly the same area of distribution.

Both Guenons and Mangabeys do well in captivity, and are always well represented in the Zoological Society's monkey-house, where they have, in some cases, bred young

As many as twenty-four different species of Cercopithecus will be found registered in the Zoological Society's Catalogues, and amongst them are some of the most beautiful and brightly coloured of the Quadrumana, such as the Diana Monkey (C. diana) and Brazza's Monkey (C. brazzæ).

In the Oriental Region the corresponding form of monkey is the Macaque (Macacus), about fifteen species of which are distributed over Southern Asia and its islands



down to Wallace's Line. Some of these have a wide range, such as the Pig-tailed Macaque (M. nemestrinus) and the Crab-eating Macaque (M. cynomolgus), which occur in most of the large islands of the Indian Archipelago, as well as in the Malay Peninsula, but others are very limited in their specific areas. The Macaques ascend high in the Himalayas, M. rhesus or some of its allied forms going up to at least 10,000 feet above the sea-level. Moreover, two other nearly allied species of this genus are found to the north of the Himalayas, far beyond the limits of the Oriental Region. These are the Hairy-eared Macaque (M. lasiotis) of Szechuen, and the Tcheli Monkey (M. tcheliensis) of Manchuria. The latter inhabits the mountains of Yung-Ling, north of Pekin, in latitude 41° North, where the thermometer frequently descends to 10° below

An example of this rare monkey, which has been living in the Zoological Society's menagerie since June 1886, is always kept in a cage in the open air. A third species of Macaque (M. speciosus) is found in Japan, where it is the sole representative of the order Quadrumana. It is stated to be found all over the island of Hondo or Nippon up to 41° N. lat., and if this be the case, has a higher range north than any other monkey now existing, except perhaps the Tcheli Monkey just spoken of.

In the western part of the Palæarctic Region, a single species of Macaque is also found.

This is the Barbary Ape (M. inuus), which frequents in the scrubby gorges of the mountains of Morocco and Algeria, and is also a wellknown inhabitant of the Rock of Gibraltar. But whether it is an aboriginal denizen of “The Rock” or has been introduced by man is somewhat doubtful. At the present time, being carefully protected by the authorities there, it is said to be increasing in numbers.

It appears, therefore, that at least three or four species of Macaque must be considered as inhabitants of the Palæarctic Region, while the remainder are confined to the Oriental Region.

The series of Catarrhine, or Old World Monkeys, is closed by the Baboons, of which three genera are now usually recognized, one from the Oriental and two from the Ethiopian Region, The Oriental form of Baboons is the Black Baboon of Celebes (Cynopithecus niger)—a feeble representative of its African relatives in the most distant borders of the Oriental Region. The Black Baboon is stated to be also found in Batchian and the Philippines, but may possibly have been introduced by man into these localities. In Africa the Gelada Baboon (Theropithecus), with two somewhat doubtfully distinct species, is restricted to the mountains of Abyssinia, while the true Baboons (Cynocephalus) are spread over the greater part of the Ethiopian Region. Of the eleven or twelve species of Cynocephalus usually recognized, the best known perhaps is the Arabian Baboon (C. hamadryas)—the Sacred Monkey of the ancient Egyptians, the likeness of which is of frequent occurrence among the engravings on the Egyptian temples and tombs. Besides the south-west portion of the Arabian Peninsula it inhabits also Abyssinia and extends into Upper Nubia. Another wellknown Baboon is the Chacma (C. porcarius) of the Cape Colony. The proverbial unsightliness of the Baboons reaches its acme in the Mandrill (C. mormon) and Drill (C. leucophæus) both from West Africa.


The Cebidæ, or Platyrrhine Monkeys, which we will now consider, are not so numerous as their cousins of the Old World, only from fifty to sixty species being usually recognized, although many of these are not very perfectly distinguished. They are also confined to much narrower limits than the monkeys of the Old World, being entirely restricted to the warmer portions of the Neotropical region, and, being purely arboreal in their habits, to those parts of it which are covered by dense forests. Their northern limit is Guatemala and the adjacent districts of Southern Mexico, the most northern locality for monkeys in the New World positively ascertained being about 23° N. lat., in the State of San Louis Potosi. This, it may be observed, is in striking contrast to the northern range of the Quadrumana of the Old World, which, as has been shown, extends to 41° N. lat. To the west of the Andes of South America monkeys are only found as far south as the Gulf of Guayaquil, the arid and treeless nature of the whole southern portion of the west coast being quite unsuitable for forest-loving animals. To the east of the Andes, however, monkeys extend all over the vast forests of the valleys of the Orinoco and Amazon and as far south as the wooded districts of Paraguay and the adjoining provinces of the Argentine Republic. Burmeister includes three species of Cebidæ in his list of the mammals of the La Plata States.

The New World Monkeys are usually divided into about nine genera, amongst which the Spider-Monkeys, (Ateles) occupy the highest position. The Spider-Monkeys number about ten species, which are distributed over the whole area occupied by the family as above described, being most numerous, perhaps, in the great forests of Amazonia. Closely allied to Ateles are the Woolly SpiderMonkeys of the genus Brachyteles, which are confined to the forests of South-eastern Brazil. They have been divided into three species, but the prevailing opinion amongst modern naturalists is, that these are really only varying forms of one species.

The typical genus Cebus, which follows next in the series, numbers some eighteen or twenty species, many of which, however, are very imperfectly discriminated. This genus also has an extensive range, extending from Nicaragua to Paraguay, but being most numerously represented in Amazonia. With Cebus we close the first and most highly organized group of the New World Monkeys which constitute the first sub-family Cebidæ.

The second sub-family of the Cebide, the Mycetinæ, contains only the single genus Mycetes with about six species, commonly known as Howlers, from their extraordinary voices, produced by a specially modified vocal organ. The Howlers have also a wide distribution in the New World, one species, M. villosus, being found as far north as Guatemala, whilst another, M. niger, occurs in Paraguay

The third sub-family of American Monkeys contains only two genera—the long and bushy-tailed Sakis (Pithecia) and the short-tailed Ouakaris (Brachyurus). Contrary to what is the case in the previous sub-families, the generic area of this group is much constricted, being confined to the basins of the Orinoco and Amazon and to Guiana, which is surrounded by them. The five or six known species of

« AnteriorContinuar »