Loys' Ape (Ameranthropoides loysi)
Loys’ Ape (Ameranthropoides loysi) is
the name of the large primate allegedly
Swiss geological explorer François De Loys deep in the South American
jungle. The only
evidence as to the existence of the creature is limited to de Loys’
a solitary black and white photograph. It was promoted to the French
scientific community by George Montandon as a previously unknown
species but is now generally dismissed as either the
misidentification of a spider monkey or a hoax.
François De Loys, led an
expedition from 1917 to 1920 in search of oil in an area along South
America’s Venezuelan-Colombian border. The expedition was a no-go
almost from day one: disease, natural disasters and native attacks
eventually reducing the member’s numbers from twenty to four.
no oil was found, they did allegedly find something else, a pair of
belligerent, tailless monkey-like creatures similar to spider monkeys
but much larger: 1.57 meters tall (compared to the largest spider
monkeys, which are just over a meter). According to de Loys, fearing
their lives, they shot and killed the female the male fleeing into
the brush. They then posed the female, propping its head up
with a stick,
and took a single photograph, before skinning the body intending to
keep it as proof of the encounter. (The body was apparently lost
following a mishap with the expedition's boat.)
It was in Europe, some years later, that George Montandon (an
anthropologist noted for his unorthodox if not downright racist views
on evolution) stumbled across the picture while perusing de Loys’
files, thought it was important, possibly a missing link  and
suggested a scientific name for the creature: Ameranthropoides loysi.
With the cat out of the bag so to speak de Loys finally announced his
findings in The Illustrated London News June 15, 1929, and three
scientific papers concerning the creature were published in French
Skeptics, however, soon began to draw issue with de Loys‘ story, the
prominent being Sir Arthur Keith, an anthropologist of some
stature, who suggested that de Loys was trying to pass off a common
spider monkey as a previously undiscovered primate (the photograph did
not reveal whether or not the creature had a tail, nor was it a good
indicator of its size).  Keith believed the animal was a black
spider monkey (Ateles
paniscus) which had been manipulated to appear
different. As a counter to Montandon he suggested calling it Ateles
While most later researchers have agreed that the
creature portrayed is a spider monkey, some such as cryptozoologist
Ivan T. Sanderson disagreed with Keith as to the species
suggesting the white-bellied spider
monkey (Ateles belzebuth) to
be a closer match.
Sanderson further noted that the region in which de Loys allegedly
encountered the apes had no history of any past human interaction with
oversized primates, belligerent or otherwise.
Many cryptozoologists believe
de Loys was merely a dupe, citing Montandon as the major architect of
ruse the photograph a tool to further his views on evolution.
Of those who do believe, some
suggest the creature to be a surviving member of Protopithecus
brasiliensis a large spider monkey from the Pleistocene,
or connect it
to the legend of the “Mono Grande” (Spanish for “large monkey“)
reported in the region later in the 20th century.
An American millionaire is purported to have offered a 50,000 dollar
reward for anyone producing a specimen: so far no takers.
 Alluding to a hypothetical form of animal assumed to have
connecting link between the anthropoid apes and humans.
An examination of the creature by De Loys had supposedly revealed it to
be large, lack the tail common to spider monkeys and possess 32 teeth
rather than the norm for New World monkeys of 36.
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