Gabon Orangutan

Mystery Primate of Central Africa.

Variant name: AIZ 6624 (specimen catalog number).

Physical description: An unusually small variety of chimpanzee. Weight, 6 pounds. Dark, gray-brown skin on face, ears, back, and lateral portion of limbs. High, hairless forehead. Small face. Protuberant eyes. Narrow nose. Hands and feet small in relation to the body. Lacks thumbs and big toes.

Behavior: Said to travel in a group of 100.

Distribution: Gabon.

Significant sighting: A specimen was obtained in August 1957 by Phillip J. Carroll and sent to the Anthropological Institute of the University of Z├╝rich. It had fallen froma tree, injured itself, and died three weeks later. Carroll claimed it was with a group of 100 other chimps of the same size.

Probable explanation: The individual was a young Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) with severe deformities of the skull and skeleton.

Sources: Adolph H. Schultz, "Acrocephalo-Oligodactylism in a Wild Chimpanzee," Journal ofAnatomy 92 (1958): 568-579; Ivan T. Sanderson, Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life (Philadelphia: Chilton, 1961), p. 186; Michael K. Diamond, "Setting the Record Straight on the 'Gabun Orangutan,"' Pursuit, no. 48 (Fall 1979): 142-145.

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