Pygmy Gorilla

Unknown Primate of Central Africa.

Scientific names: Gorilla mayéma, given by Edmond Alix and Aimé Bouvier in 1877; re-described as Pseudogorilla mayéma in 1913 by Daniel G. Elliot; renamed Gorilla (Pseudogorilla) ellioti by Serge Frechkop in 1943.

Physical description: Smaller than a gorilla but larger than a chimpanzee. Small head. No sagittal crest. Prominent forehead. Long hair on the back. Shorter shoulder bone. Slender and less muscular forearm, hand, lower leg, and foot.

Distribution: Cabinda and Gabon; specimens were not found in Maniema National Park of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as once thought.

Present status: Not currently recognized as a distinct species. Alix and Bouvier's specimen was merely a small, female Lowland gorilla ( Gorilla gorilla), and Elliot based his description on an immature male and a mature female without a sagittal crest.

Sources: Edmond Alix and Aimé Bouvier, "Sur un nouvel anthropoïde (Gorilla mayéma)," Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France 2 (1877): 488-490; Daniel G. Elliot, A Review of the Primates (New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1913); Bernard Heuvelmans, Les bêtes humaines d'Afrique (Paris: Plon, 1980), pp. 441-451; Colin P. Groves, "The Case of the Pygmy Gorilla: A Cautionary Tale for Cryptozoology," Cryptozoology 4 (1985): 37-44.


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