How Gorillas Got Their Name

Learn something every day…

Gorilla – Wikipedia: “The American physician and missionary Thomas Staughton Savage and naturalist Jeffries Wyman first described the western gorilla (they called it Troglodytes gorilla) in 1847 from specimens obtained in Liberia. The name was derived from Greek Γόριλλαι (Gorillai), meaning ‘tribe of hairy women’, described by Hanno the Navigator, a Carthaginian navigator and possible visitor (circa 480 BC) to the area that later became Sierra Leone.”

Hanno was a fascinating person (as were many Carthaginians).

There’s even a crater on the moon named after him.

Here’s the source that started my Sunday afternoon rat-hole into the life of Hanno…

A History of Ancient Geography Among the Greeks and Romans: From the Earliest Ages Till the Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1 (on Google Books for free).

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