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- The Evolution of Man, V.1. - 54/54 -


over, and the human embryo enters into the world as the independent individual. The umbilical cord (Figure 1.196 al), in which these large blood-vessels pass from the embryo to the placenta, comes away, together with the latter, in the after-birth, and with the use of the lungs begins an entirely new form of circulation, which is confined to the body of the infant.

(FIGURE 1.202. Boat-shaped embryo of the dog, from the ventral side, magnified about ten times. In front under the forehead we can see the first pair of gill-arches; underneath is the S-shaped heart, at the sides of which are the auditory vesicles. The heart divides behind into the two vitelline veins, which expand in the germinative area (which is torn off all round). On the floor of the open belly lie, between the protovertebrae, the primitive aortas, from which five pairs of vitelline arteries are given off. (From Bischoff.))

There is a great phylogenetic significance in the perfect agreement which we find between man and the anthropoid apes in these important features of embryonic circulation, and the special construction of the placenta and the umbilical cord. We must infer from it a close blood-relationship of man and the anthropomorphic apes--a common descent of them from one and the same extinct group of lower apes. Huxley's "pithecometra-principle" applies to these ontogenetic features as much as to any other morphological relations: "The differences in construction of any part of the body are less between man and the anthropoid apes than between the latter and the lower apes."

This important Huxleian law, the chief consequence of which is "the descent of man from the ape," has lately been confirmed in an interesting and unexpected way from the side of the experimental physiology of the blood. The experiments of Hans Friedenthal at Berlin have shown that human blood, mixed with the blood of lower apes, has a poisonous effect on the latter; the serum of the one destroys the 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 friendship.

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

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 (Eusatyrus).

(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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