MONKEY

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MONKEY (simia, Linn.). The monkey tribe forms by far the largest portion of the great order of quadrumana, and, in addition to hands on all the extremities, with long and flexible fingers and opposable thumbs, they generally possess also the following characteristics:The incisor teeth are four in each jaw, and their molars resemble those of man: these are five in number on each side of each jaw in the monkeys of the old continent, and in one tribe of the new; the remainder of the American species have a sixth. The canines vary in size, from a powerful tusk to a trifling projection beyond their other teeth. The nails of all their fingers, as well as those of the thumbs, are invariably fiV and expanded. The head is subject to great variations, in some approaching the human in form, and passing through every intermediate gradation, till it becomes as flat as that of the dog. But of all their organs there is none which exhibits so remarkable a discrepancy as the tail: this is wholly wanting in some; forms a mere rudiment in others; is short and tapering in a third group; moderately long and cylindrical in a fourth; in a fifth, extremely long, and covered with hair; whilst, again, in another group, it is long, denuded of hair beneath and at tip, and prehensile. On these characters naturalists have made several classifications of them, each differing from the other as to the value of certain distinctions. The following is that given by Cuvier, in the last edition of his R&gne Animal;