30 MAY 1925, Page 17

THE MIND OF APES [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—I have just read the review in your issue of April 4th of Professor Kiihler's book on The Mentality of Apes.

I must confess that I have made no special study of this subject, but so far as I know one point has escaped notice and might possibly repay scientific research. This is the extent to which apes are capable of seeing pictures. For seventeen years I owned one of the humbler members of the monkey family, a Longtailed Guenon from the Sudan. She would often sit on the arm of my chair while I was reading, usually fondling the furry monkey doll on which pathetically she lavished unremitting mother-care and affection. On one occasion as soon as she saw illustrations of small silver coins she tried to pick them from the page just as she would invariably pick up real coins. Another time, when I turned the page and revealed a vivid illustration in colour of a tropical serpent among branches, she instantly uttered the sharp note of alarm very rarely heard and provoked only by horror and fear, as when on country rambles she encountered a live snake or large worm, or when as a discip- linary measure she was confronted with a stuffed crocodile.

On the other hand, I have heard that members of primitive human races can make nothing of pictures.—I am, Sir, &c., L. M. RUSSELL.

Boswell, British Columbia.