Nature PastCast, June 1876: Gorillas, man-eating monsters?
This year, Nature celebrates its 150th birthday. To mark this anniversary we’re rebroadcasting episodes from our PastCast series, highlighting key moments in the history of science.
According to the fables of early explorers, the gorilla was a terrible, man-eating monster. It was also thought to be man’s closest relative in the animal kingdom. Naturally, scientists and the public alike wanted to see these fierce beasts for themselves. But in the mid-nineteenth century, as the evolution debate heated up, getting a live gorilla to Europe from Africa was extremely difficult. In 1876, the pages of Nature report the arrival in England of a young specimen.
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