Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/451

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with the teeth, which is not uncommon among brutal men of some countries considered civilized. But the foot seems at first very different from a man's, although here again every bone and the determining muscle (peroneus longus) of the foot of man are present. The foot is set more obliquely on the leg and the big-toe is farther from the rest, proportionally shorter and weaker, and, above all, more flexible. Certainly these important differences are connected with its mode of life, which is more arboreal than that of man.

With its foot the gorilla can steady itself in climbing and hold fast to objects from which the rigid foot of man would slide away. Still our feet are not wholly unfit for grasping, and you may have noticed barefooted boys cutting up "monkey-shines" on trees with entire safety to themselves, though not to the complete satisfaction of their parents. The female gorilla seems to consider her young one safe when he is up the tree; but the anxious human mother does not feel easy until the child is on the ground again. Circumstances thus alter cases throughout the range of experience. Again, we are familiar with the fact that men who have lost their arms often learn to write and perform other actions with their feet. But, notwithstanding these important differences between the feet of the gorilla and our own, there is again the greater difference to be considered between the hands and feet of the lower monkeys and those of the gorilla. The thumb ceases to be opposable in the American monkeys, and is again reduced to a mere rudiment covered by the skin in the spider-monkey. Indeed, we may say that, looking through the succession of simian forms, from below up, there is a constant increase of the characters which prepare us for man. And the gorilla exhibits these in their fullest development. From the gorilla it is indeed easy to predicate man—much easier than to suppose the gorilla from the lowest monkeys.

Another interesting man-ape is the chimpanzee (Chimpanza niger). Many living specimens have been brought to Europe and lately to New York from Africa, where it inhabits the same territory as the gorilla. It is a smaller species than the gorilla, the head proportionately larger and less prognathic, the arm shorter. The foot is more hand-like, and there is a slight difference in the dentition. In running, the chimpanzee goes on all-fours, but in walking or carrying anything the position it assumes is nearly erect. In captivity the chimpanzee has developed most amiable qualities. It has been taught to sit at table, and even to conform to what we esteem good manners. It becomes passionately fond of its keeper, clinging to him, and refusing to be separated on any occasion. It is extremely kind to children, showing no trickish or malicious temper, even endeavoring to amuse them, and induce them to play. As long as there is light in the room the chimpanzee will sit up at night; as soon as the light is withdrawn it goes to sleep, lying stretched out with its hands under its head if the temperature is pleasant, but, if cold, cowering together like a human being under similar