Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel.

The Evolution of Man — Volume 1 online

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blood-cells of the other. But this does not happen when human blood is
mixed with that of the anthropoid ape. As we know from many other
experiments that the mixture of two different kinds of blood is only
possible without injury in the case of two closely related animals of
the same family, we have another proof of the close
blood-relationship, in the literal sense of the word, of man and the
anthropoid ape.

(FIGURE 1.203. Lar or white-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar or
albimanus), from the Indian mainland (From Brehm.)

FIGURE 1.204. Young orang (Satyrus orang), asleep.)

The existing anthropoid apes are only a small remnant of a large
family of eastern apes (or Catarrhinae), from which man was evolved
about the end of the Tertiary period. They fall into two geographical
groups - the Asiatic and the African anthropoids. In each group we can
distinguish two genera. The oldest of these four genera is the gibbon
Hylobates, Figure 1.203); there are from eight to twelve species of it
in the East Indies. I made observations of four of them during my
voyage in the East Indies (1901), and had a specimen of the ash-grey
gibbon (Hylobates leuciscus) living for several months in the garden
of my house in Java. I have described the interesting habits of this
ape (regarded by the Malays as the wild descendant of men who had lost
their way) in my Malayischen Reisebriefen (chapter 11).
Psychologically, he showed a good deal of resemblance to the children
of my Malay hosts, with whom he played and formed a very close

(FIGURE 1.205. Wild orang (Dyssatyrus auritius). (From R. Fick and

The second, larger and stronger, genus of Asiatic anthropoid ape is
the orang (Satyrus); he is now found only in the islands of Borneo and
Sumatra. Selenka, who has published a very thorough Study of the
Development and Cranial Structure of the Anthropoid Apes (1899),
distinguishes ten races of the orang, which may, however, also be
regarded as "local varieties or species." They fall into two
sub-genera or genera: one group, Dissatyrus (orang-bentang, Figure
1.205), is distinguished for the strength of its limbs, and the
formation of very peculiar and salient cheek-pads in the elderly male;
these are wanting in the other group, the ordinary orang-outang

(FIGURE 1.206. The bald-headed chimpanzee (Anthropithecus calvus).
Female. This fresh species, described by Frank Beddard in 1897 as
Troglodytes calvus, differs considerably from the ordinary A. niger
Figure 1.207) in the structure of the head, the colouring, and the
absence of hair in parts.)

Several species have lately been distinguished in the two genera of
the black African anthropoid apes (chimpanzee and gorilla). In the
genus Anthropithecus (or Anthropopithecus, formerly Troglodytes), the
bald-headed chimpanzee, A. calvus (Figure 1.206), and the gorilla-like
A. mafuca differ very strikingly from the ordinary Anthropithecus
niger (Figure 1.207), not only in the size and proportion of many
parts of the body, but also in the peculiar shape of the head,
especially the ears and lips, and in the hair and colour. The
controversy that still continues as to whether these different forms
of chimpanzee and orang are "merely local varieties" or "true species"
is an idle one; as in all such disputes of classifiers there is an
utter absence of clear ideas as to what a species really is.

Of the largest and most famous of all the anthropoid apes, the
gorilla, Paschen has lately discovered a giant-form in the interior of
the Cameroons, which seems to differ from the ordinary species
(Gorilla gina Figure 1.208), not only by its unusual size and
strength, but also by a special formation of the skull. This giant
gorilla (Gorilla gigas, Figure 1.209) is six feet eight inches long;
the span of its great arms is about nine feet; its powerful chest is
twice as broad as that of a strong man.

(FIGURE 1.207. Female chimpanzee (Anthropithecus niger). (From Brehm.)

FIGURE 1.208. Female gorilla. (From Brehm.)

FIGURE 1.209. Male giant-gorilla (Gorilla gigas), from Yaunde, in the
interior of the Cameroons. killed by H. Paschen, stuffed by Umlauff.)

The whole structure of this huge anthropoid ape is not merely very
similar to that of man, but it is substantially the same. "The same
200 bones, arranged in the same way, form our internal skeleton; the
same 300 muscles effect our movements; the same hair covers our skin;
the same groups of ganglionic cells compose the ingenious mechanism of
our brain; the same four-chambered heart is the central pump of our
circulation." The really existing differences in the shape and size of
the various parts are explained by differences in their growth, due to
adaptation to different habits of life and unequal use of the various
organs. This of itself proves morphologically the descent of man from
the ape. We will return to the point in Chapter 2.23. But I wanted to
point already to this important solution of "the question of
questions," because that agreement in the formation of the embryonic
membranes and in foetal circulation which I have described affords a
particularly weighty proof of it. It is the more instructive as even
cenogenetic structures may in certain circumstances have a high
phylogenetic value. In conjunction with the other facts, it affords a
striking confirmation of our biogenetic law.

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