Thursday, February 24


No other member in the whole class of mammals is coloured in so extraordinary a manner as the adult male mandrill (C. mormon). The face at this age becomes of a fine blue, with the ridge and tip of the nose of the most brilliant red. According to some authors, the face is also marked with whitish stripes, and is shaded in parts with black, but the colours appear to be variable. On the forehead there is a crest of hair, and on the chin a yellow beard. "Toutes les parties superiéures de leurs cuisses et le grand espace nu de leurs fesses sont également colorés du rouge le plus vif, avec un mélange de bleu qui ne manque réellement pas d'élégance." When the animal is excited all the naked parts become much more vividly tinted. Several authors have used the strongest expressions in describing these resplendent colours, which they compare with those of the most brilliant birds.

-- Charles Darwin Descent of Man