Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Barbary Ape

Barbary Ape (Macacus inuus), a tailless Macaque (q.v.), sometimes made the type of a genus, with the name Inuus ecaudatus, interesting as being the only species of monkey now living in Europe, though only at Gibraltar. It is about 30 inches long, standing somewhat less at the shoulder; the upper surface is yellowish brown, deepening on the head and round the cheeks, the under parts are whitish, and the face, ears, and other hairless parts flesh coloured. The Barbary Apes, or Magots, as they are sometimes called, are found in the mountainous parts of North Africa, where they assemble in troops, like baboons, and descend to plunder plantations and gardens. When young, these animals are very playful and gentle, and can be taught a number of tricks, but as they grow old they become morose and vicious. There is a colony of Barbary Apes on the Rock of Gibraltar, probably the descendants of some who wandered northwards before Europe and Africa were separated by the straits. They feed on roots and bulbs, which they dig up from the broken ground, for there are no fruit trees to plunder. It is said that the garrison was saved by these apes from surprise by the Spaniards during the celebrated siege. The attacking party had to pass a place where a number of these animals were collected, and startled them. Their cries roused the British soldiers, who were soon ready to repel the intended attack. In return for this service General Elliott, the commander, never allowed these monkeys to be molested. The Barbary Ape is also noteworthy as being the subject of the dissections of Galen, from which he learnt all that served for anatomy till Vesalius, in the 16th century, placed that science on a firm basis.