Punch,  47 (1864), 89.

Zoological Recreation



Letter, Spoof


Evolution, Human Development, Instinct, Human Species, Animal Development

    Begins by insisting that the 'interest excited by the late swimming matches' revives the 'controversy about Man's place in nature', which he thinks may be answered by Richard Owen and Thomas H Huxley (whose Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature greatly fuelled the controversy). Noting that animals can be distinguished from man by 'deficiencies' as well as 'endowments' and 'instinct by want of reason', the author argues that if, unlike man, 'quadrupeds swim naturally', then this is an 'essential difference between Simia and Homo'. He urges that this can be tested by plunging 'the orang-outang into the hippopotamus's tank' at the Zoological Society Gardens. In a postscript, he admits being hasty in assuming that no humans can swim, and wonders if babies can perform this task.

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