Parthagica Directory 08

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Parthagica Directory 08

In Borneo, the Orang-Utan of the Malays goes by the name of "_Mias_" among the Dyaks, who distinguish several kinds as _Mias Pappan_, or _Zimo_, _Mias Kassu_, and _Mias Rambi_. Whether these are distinct species, however, or whether they are mere races, and how far any of them are identical with the Sumatran Orang, as Mr. Wallace thinks the Mias Pappan to be, are problems which are at present undecided; and the variability of these great apes is so extensive that the settlement of the question is a matter of great difficulty. Of the form called "Mias Pappan," Mr. Wallace observes: "It is known by its large size, and by the lateral expansion of the face into fatty protuberances, or ridges, over the temporal muscles, which have been mistermed callosites, as they are perfectly soft, smooth, and flexible. Five of this form, measured by me, varied only from 4 feet 1 inch to 4 feet 2 inches in height, from the heel to the crown of the head, the girth of the body from 3 feet to 3 feet 71/2 inches, and the extent of the outstretched arms from 7 feet 2 inches to 7 feet 6 inches; the width of the face from 10 to 131/4 inches. The color and length of the hair varied in different individuals, and in different parts of the same individual; some possessed a rudimentary nail on the great toe, others none at all; but they otherwise present no external differences on which to establish even varieties of a species.

That day we went over eleven successive hill ranges and crossed as many little streamlets between them. My men were terribly downhearted. We had with us a Mauser and two hundred cartridges, but although we did nothing all day long but look for something to kill we never heard a sound of a living animal. Only one day at the beginning of our fast did I see a big _mutum_--larger than a big turkey. The bird had never seen a human being, and sat placidly perched on the branch of a tree, looking at us with curiosity, singing gaily. I tried to fire with the Mauser at the bird, which was only about seven or eight metres away, but cartridge after cartridge missed fire. I certainly spent not less than twenty minutes constantly replenishing the magazine, and not a single cartridge went off. They had evidently absorbed so much moisture on our many accidents in the river and in the heavy rain-storms we had had of late, that they had become useless.

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