It is amazing how much knowledge is around us and how easily it is obtained. For instance, in this busy world, we do not have enough time to watch all the movies and shows that are offered on the television, so we record them on the DVR. This last month, while scanning the list on the DVR, up popped the movie, The Legend of Tarzan, so I thought why not enjoy a night of swinging through the trees. There was a line in the movie where Tarzan explains that the Great Apes, the Mangani, are not Gorillas. That was an interesting fact. Well, a few weeks later, the new nature show Dynasties premiered and it was about chimpanzees, but these chimps were large and looked like the apes that raised Tarzan. Were they the Mangani tribe of apes that Edgar Rice Burroughs described in Tarzan of the Apes? This sounded like an interesting conundrum. So, where does one go to investigate such questions? The Internet, of course! Well, the amount of information on the Mangani was amazing – people from all walks of life have taken this conundrum very seriously. The dictionary defines the noun ape as: “a group of anthropoids (anatomically resembling humans), primates characterized by long arms, a broad chest, and the absence of a tail… two families, great ape, which includes the chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan and lesser apes, which includes the gibbon and siamang.” There is no mention of Mangani. Does that mean they never existed? Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote 24 Tarzan Science Fiction/Adventure books. He described Tarzan’s family of apes as being more intelligent than the other primates of the jungle. Their language was quite evolved. Did you ever wonder why they called him Tarzan? In their language, “tar” meant white and “zan” was the word for skin. Very clever. They walked mostly upright, they ate meat, fruit and vegetables and used tools in everyday life. The reason Kala (Tarzan’s ape mother) took Tarzan from the tree house was because she had lost her infant. She cared for him, carrying him around and pre-chewing his food for him when he was a baby. She was bright enough to know that he was special and not of her kind. Does this sound like Mr. Burroughs was trying to make these creatures more humanlike than other species of apes? The Mangani are purely fictional, a creation of Mr. Burroughs’ mind. It is amazing how creative he was and how many other series of books he published. When you have a few moments, spend some time on the Internet and explore the adventurous books of Edgar Rice Burroughs. You just might enjoy entering the different realms that he created.
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.