W. L. Martin,[10] who has particularly attended to their expression, states.

[10] `Natural History of Mammalia,' 1841, vol. 1. pp. 383, 410.

Young Orangs, when tickled, likewise grin and make a chuckling sound; and Mr. Martin says that their eyes grow brighter. As soon as their laughter ceases, an expression may be detected passing over their faces, which, as Mr. Wallace remarked to me, may be called a smile. I have also noticed something of the same kind with the chimpanzee. Dr. Duchenne--and I cannot quote a better authority--informs me that he kept a very tame monkey in his house for a year; and when he gave it during meal-times some choice delicacy, he observed that the corners of its mouth were slightly raised; thus an expression of satisfaction, partaking of the nature of an incipient smile, and resembling that often seen on the face of main, could be plainly perceived in this animal.

The _Cebus azarae_,[11] when rejoiced at again seeing a beloved person, utters a peculiar tittering (_kichernden_) sound. It also expresses agreeable sensations, by drawing back the corners of its mouth, without producing any sound. Rengger calls this movement laughter, but it would be more appropriately called a smile. The form of the mouth is different when either pain or terror is expressed, and high shrieks are uttered. Another species of _Cebus_ in the Zoological Gardens (_C. hypoleucus_) when pleased, makes a reiterated shrill note, and likewise draws back the corners of its mouth, apparently through the contraction of the same muscles as with us. So does the Barbary ape (_Inuus ecaudatus_) to an extraordinary degree; and I observed in this monkey that the skin of the lower eyelids then became much wrinkled. At the same time it rapidly moved its lower jaw or lips in a spasmodic manner, the teeth being exposed; but the noise produced was hardly more distinct than that which we sometimes call silent laughter. Two of the keepers affirmed that this slight sound was the animal's laughter, and when I expressed some doubt on this head (being at the time quite inexperienced), they made it attack or rather threaten a hated Entellus monkey, living in the same compartment. Instantly the whole expression of the face of the Inuus changed; the mouth was opened much more widely, the canine teeth were more fully exposed, and a hoarse barking noise was uttered.

[11] Rengger (`Sagetheire von Paraquay', 1830, s. 46) kept these monkeys in confinement for seven years in their native country of Paraguay.

The Anubis baboon (_Cynocephalus anubis_) was first insulted and put into a furious rage, as was easily done, by his keeper, who then made friends with him and shook hands. As the reconciliation was effected the baboon rapidly moved up and down his jaws and lips, and looked pleased. When we laugh heartily, a similar movement, or quiver, may be observed more or less distinctly in our jaws; but with man the muscles of the chest are more particularly acted on, whilst with this baboon, and with some other monkeys, it is the muscles of the jaws and lips which are spasmodically affected.

I have already had occasion to remark on the curious manner in which two or three species of Alacacus and the _Cynopithecus niger_ draw back their ears and utter a slight jabbering noise, when they are pleased by being caressed. With the Cynopithecus (fig. 17), the corners of the mouth are at the same time drawn backwards and upwards, so that the teeth are exposed. Hence this expression would never be recognized by a stranger as one of pleasure. The crest of long hairs on the forehead is depressed, and apparently the whole skin of the head drawn backwards. The eyebrows are thus raised a little, and the eyes assume a staring appearance. The lower eyelids also become slightly wrinkled; but this wrinkling is not conspicuous, owing to the permanent transverse furrows on the face.

_Painful emotions and sensations_.--With monkeys the expression of slight pain, or of any painful emotion, such as grief, vexation, jealousy, &c., is not easily distinguished from that of moderate anger; and these states of mind readily and quickly pass into each other. Grief, however, with some species is certainly exhibited by weeping. A woman, who sold a monkey to the Zoological Society, believed to have come from Borneo (_Macacus maurus_ or _M.

The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals Page 55

19th Century English Literature

Charles Darwin

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

Charles Darwin

All Pages of This Book