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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/385

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371
BABIES AND MONKEYS.

BABIES AND MONKEYS.
By S. S. BUCKMAN.

IT is still a matter of scientific discussion whether man is descended from catarrhine or platyrrhine monkeys, or from the Lemuroidea; but there is little question that his ancestors were monkeylike, that they were decidedly prognathous, that they were covered with hair, that they had long tails, that they were arboreal, and that they used both the pedes and manus as hands—the former more than the latter. Man's ancestors, therefore, were very much like monkeys—they were simial or simioid, "monkeylike"; and could he see them at the present day, an unzoölogical critic would probably call them "monkeys" without much cavil.

The Latin word simus (Greek σιμός), whence our term "simia, monkey," means literally, "flat or snub nosed." This very feature, so striking in monkeys as to have become a name for all of them, is very remarkable in our babies. Viewed in profile, a baby's nose will appear to make a concave curve, the nostrils being obliquely truncate. The length of the nose is only equal to the breadth across the nostrils, and those are remarkably large, parted by a broad septum. During life nothing changes more than the nose. As the baby grows into a child the length of the nose increases faster than the breadth, so the snub-nosed baby grows into a more or less long-nosed and, it may be, hooknosed adult. The snub nose remains a marked feature for a longer or shorter period of life—this is a matter of sex and parentage or race; but the change is gradual and imperceptible, generally more expeditious in the male than in the female, correlated with various other characters, such as intellectual attainments or weak constitution, and producing somewhat different results. The change, however, in the shape of the nose is one that continues throughout life. During maturity and senescence the bridge of the nose tends, as it did during childhood, to become more and more prominent: often it will become more and more convex, so that extreme old age may frequently develop an aquiline nose, even in some cases to produce the nut-cracker type of nose-meeting-chin so noticeable in old people.

It is only by a study of the face in profile, and of the face of the same individual at different ages of life, that the above changes can be properly noticed. The three-quarter photographs which we leave behind at the present day, faked up by the photographer's art, will be useless to the men of the future as records to tell what manner of people we were. With lapse of time, the widening of the family circle, and the various incidents