Re: AAT Questions...sweat

Ralph L Holloway (
Thu, 6 Jul 1995 11:15:35 -0400

Excuse me, but PD takes Schaller's observations and calls it anecdotal?
And then substitutes Elaine Morgan as the source for Gorillas not being
able to sweat. As an old fart, I rember reading something on these sweat
glands in an old Buettner-Janusch edited volume "Evolutionary and Genetic
Bioology of the Primates", vol 1, 1963, NY: Academic Press. Sure enough,
there was a chapter by William Montagna and Richard Ellis, called "The
Skin of Primates" and the subsection on Sweat Glanmds makes it clear that
while the human animal is unique in having so many eccrine glands, it is
hardly the case that the higher primates are without them. They
(including gorilla) have fewer of them. See in particular p.194 "The
gorilla, the chimpanzee, and to a lesser extent the orangutan also have
an axillary organ, but this is not so extensive as that of man. The other
primates have no such accumulation of eccroine and apocrine glands in the
'cavum axillae'. In simian forms, however, there is a curious
preferential concentration of eccrine and apocrine glands in the anterior
chest, extending onto the gular region and often the flexor surface of
the arms. The macaques, mangabeys, brachiating monkeys and the gibbons,
and even some of the Hapilidae have rich concentrations of glands in
these regions. The orangutan and the spider monkeyys have, in addition, a
sternal pit, which consists of an aggregate of apocrine glands that open
into a central duct just anterior to the sternum (Wislocki and Schultz,
1925). Perhaps the concentration of apocrine glands on the anterior chest
has some pertinence to the evolution of the axillary organ." P. 194.
"In summarizing, let one remember that the more primitive primates
have only apocrine glands over the body surface, and they have glands on
the volar surfaces of the pes and manus which resemble eccrine glands. In
phylogenetically more "advanced" forms, boith eccrine and apocrine glands
attain the characteristic features of the glands of man."
More discussion of similarities between higher primates and humans
can be found on p.193. Next, there are the references, which I advise the
ATT's to read. In short, the older information, at least, is thoroughly
congruent with Goerge Schaller's obervations of sweating by gorillas. Any
more anecdotes, Mr. Dooley?