Indeed, Miss Beekman's friend, Prof. Abelard Samothrace, of Columbia University, probably would have admitted that just as the two had lived in the same house albeit at different levels on Fifth Avenue, so their forebears at some prehistoric period had, likely as not, occupied the same cave and had in company waded on frosty mornings the ice-skimmed swamps of Mittel Europa in pursuit of the cave bear, the mastodon and the woolly rhinoceros, and for afternoon relaxation had made up twosomes for hunting wives with stone clubs instead of mashies in their hairy prehensile hands.
Thus different kinds of use may produce opposite results. The cumulative inheritance of such effects would often be mischievous. The limbs of the sloth and the prehensile tail of the spider monkey would continually grow shorter, while the legs of the evolving elephant or rhinoceros might lengthen to an undesirable extent.
The Chinese boatmen are said to be able to pull an oar; the artisans of Bengal to weave, and the Carajas to steal fishhooks, by its help; though, after all, it must be recollected that the structure of its joints and the arrangement of its bones, necessarily render its prehensile action far less perfect than that of the thumb.
Like one class of forest animals, they have nothing but a prehensile tail; climb they must, or crawl.
When the sexes differ in more important structures, it is the male which is provided with special sense- organs for discovering the female, with locomotive organs for reaching her, and often with prehensile organs for holding her. These various structures for charming or securing the female are often developed in the male during only part of the year, namely the breeding-season.
He says, after speaking of the prehensile foot, common without a single exception to all the apes and lemurs, "It is difficult to see why the prehensile power should have been taken away" by the mere operation of Natural Selection. "It must certainly have been useful in climbing, and the case of the baboons shows that it is quite compatible with terrestrial locomotion.
A lesser man a devil-may-care fellow could have met the issue. Girard, practical, sensible, silent, was no mate for prettiness, plump and pink. He should have wedded a widow, who could have passed him a prehensile hawser and taken his soul in tow. The bride and groom rowed back, bedraggled, to the room over the store.
The white demon, which appeared to have the facility of snapping his bonds whenever so inclined, came sliding out of the darkness toward him, a malignant and menacing apparition, with a glow of animosity in two deep-set eyes and with a pair of prehensile lips curled back to display more teeth than by rights an alligator should have.
There's folks as make bad butter and trusten to the salt t' hide it." Mrs. Poyser's attention was here diverted by the appearance of Molly, carrying a large jug, two small mugs, and four drinking-cans, all full of ale or small beer an interesting example of the prehensile power possessed by the human hand.
The curved claws of the unheeding anteater fitted around the trunk and the strong prehensile tail flattened against the bark, so that the creature seemed to put forth no more exertion than if walking along a fallen log. Now and then it stopped and daintily picked at a bit of termite nest. With such side-shows it was sometimes difficult to concentrate on the Attas.