Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/447

This page has been validated.

the arms are proportionally longer, and the legs shorter, than in the average man. The face is very human from the structure and position of the eyes and ears. A tail, external to the rump, is entirely wanting. The body is covered with sparse and soft hair, except the face, toes, palms, and soles, which are bare. The species which has been written about the most, and about which, strange to say, we know the least, is the gorilla (Gorilla Savagei). Whether this ape was the species called by this name two thousand years ago by Hanno is doubtful and of no importance.

Wilson and Savage, two American missionaries, seem to have been the first, in 1846 and 1847, to bring us certain information of this comparatively near relative of ours. I do not think that we are grateful for the discovery. Generally speaking, we could have dispensed with this satire upon ourselves, although we have no responsibility in the case. At any rate, we can appreciate one value of missionary labor. American missionaries, by their intelligence and perseverance, have given us invaluable information from time to time concerning countries difficult of access, and their strange inhabitants.

PSM V13 D447 Head of young male gorilla.jpg
Fig. 1.—Head of Young Male Gorilla from Hamburg Museum. (From a photograph of alcoholic specimen.)

Since this discovery of the gorilla, the animal has been written about by several travelers. The accounts of personal encounter furnished by Du Chaillu are now known to be largely fanciful; and Win-