Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/388

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to the nonrequirement of independent movement, grown together to form the single lip which we now possess; but the line of junction is not perfect, and so the furrow results; and sometimes there is a distinct scar down the middle of the furrow. The possession of this furrowed upper lip by children is one of the strongest pieces of evidence against the descent of man from any catarrhine, and in favor of his descent from platyrrhines, or from lemurs through the intervention of platyrrhinelike ancestors, of which there are no exact living representatives.

Another feature of a child's face is capable of similar explanation as a vestigial relic of its ancestors' other modes of life. The pouchlike cheeks of a baby are particularly noticeable, and they may be especially remarked in the representation of cherubs adorning ecclesiastical monuments. In such connection it savors of sacrilege to suggest that these inflated baby-cheeks, so much admired by all mothers, and regarded by churchmen as particular features of a hypothetical higher sort of beings—angels—are really the attributes of a lower order, and are the vestiges of cheek-pouches, possessed for storing away food, as in Cercopithecus, a monkey in which this habit of storing may be observed at the Zoölogical Gardens, if visitors feed it.

There is no need to enter into embryological or anatomical details concerning the characters for which children are indebted to monkeys. They possess in common with their adults a rudimentary tail hidden beneath the skin; but this is not a fact that every one can verify on the instant. Yet those who have the care of children can easly see for themselves the scar which the loss of the tail has still left on children's bodies—a scar which is curiously similar to what would obtain after amputation of a tail. Just at the base of the vertebral column—exactly where the tail would protrude through the flesh if it were functionally active—is a deep circular depression, sufficient almost for the insertion of the little finger. In young babies it is very noticeable; and nurses, while wondering what purpose it serves, abuse it as a place which is difficult to wash. In older children it gradually becomes shallower; and in those about five or seven years old it may or may not be shown. That it marks the place where a tail formerly protruded in our ancestors there can be no doubt from its shape and its position. I was curious to see if the anthropoid apes, which share with man this loss or rather atrophy of the tail, also exhibited this tail-mark; and I was interested to notice, in an adult female gorilla in the British Museum, that the tail-mark was as large as a florin. Its persistence to the adult stage in the case of the gorilla and its earlier loss in man is probably accounted for b} the latter having attained a more perfect upright carriage of the body, and therefore a consequent in-