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OriginOfSpecies - 475 Rows
Column Type #Values Column Stats
id int(11) 475 Column Stats
subject varchar(80) 14 Column Stats
title varchar(250) 139 Column Stats
ordinal int(11) 30 Column Stats
description text 474 Column Stats

475 rows, page 5 of 119 (4/p)
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01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-06 - Difficulty of distinguishing between Varieties and Species 20 It has often been assumed that man has chosen for domestication animals and plants having an extraordinary inherent tendency to vary, and likewise to withstand diverse climates.

I do not dispute that these capacities have added largely to the value of most of our domesticated productions: but how could a savage possibly know, when he first tamed an animal, whether it would vary in succeeding generations, and whether it would endure other climates?

Has the little variability of the ass and goose, or the small power of endurance of warmth by the reindeer, or of cold by the common camel, prevented their domestication?

donkey (ass)
donkey (ass)

reindeer
reindeer

goose
goose

camel
camel

Snow Goose
Snow Goose

Snow Goose
Snow Goose


I cannot doubt that if other animals and plants, equal in number to our domesticated productions, and belonging to equally diverse classes and countries, were taken from a state of nature, and could be made to breed for an equal number of generations under domestication, they would on an average vary as largely as the parent species of our existing domesticated productions have varied.
01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-07 - Origin of Domestic Varieties from one or more Species 60 The doctrine of the origin of our several domestic races from several aboriginal stocks, has been carried to an absurd extreme by some authors.

They believe that every race which breeds true, let the distinctive characters be ever so slight, has had its wild prototype.

At this rate there must have existed at least a score of species of wild cattle, as many sheep, and several goats, in Europe alone, and several even within Great Britain.

cattle
cattle

sheep
sheep

goat
goat

Europe
Europe

England
England


One author believes that there formerly existed eleven wild species of sheep peculiar to Great Britain!

When we bear in mind that Britain has now not one peculiar mammal, and France but few distinct from those of Germany, and so with Hungary, Spain, &c., but that each of these kingdoms possesses several peculiar breeds of cattle, sheep, &c., we must admit that many domestic breeds must have originated in Europe; for whence otherwise could they have been derived?

So it is in India. Even in the case of the breeds of the domestic dog throughout the world, which I admit are descended from several wild species, it cannot be doubted that there has been an immense amount of inherited variation; for who will believe that animals closely resembling the Italian greyhound, the bloodhound, the bull-dog, pug-dog, or Blenheim spaniel, &c.- so unlike all wild Canidae ever existed in a state of nature?

greyhound
greyhound

bloodhound
bloodhound

bulldog
bulldog

pugdog
pugdog

spaniel
spaniel
01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-07 - Origin of Domestic Varieties from one or more Species 70 It has often been loosely said that all our races of dogs have been produced by the crossing of a few aboriginal species; but by crossing we can only get forms in some degree intermediate between their parents; and if we account for our several domestic races by this process, we must admit the former existence of the most extreme forms, as the Italian greyhound, bloodhound, bulldog, &c., in the wild state.

greyhound
greyhound

bloodhound
bloodhound


Moreover, the possibility of making distinct races by crossing has been greatly exaggerated. Many cases are on record, showing that a race may be modified by occasional crosses, if aided by the careful selection of the individuals which present the desired character; but to obtain a race intermediate between two quite distinct races, would be very difficult. Sir J. Sebright expressly experimented with this object and failed.

The offspring from the first cross between two pure breeds is tolerably and sometimes (as I have found with pigeons) quite uniform in character, and everything seems simple enough; but when these mongrels are crossed one with another for several generations, hardly two of them are alike and then the difficulty of the task becomes manifest.

pigeon
pigeon
01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-07 - Origin of Domestic Varieties from one or more Species 30 Since the discovery of flint tools in the superficial formations of many parts of the world, all geologists believe that barbarian man existed at an enormously remote period;

flint
flint


and we know that at the present day there is hardly a tribe so barbarous, as not to have domesticated at least the dog.

The origin of most of our domestic animals will probably for ever remain vague.

But I may here state, that, looking to the domestic dogs of the whole world, I have, after a laborious collection of all known facts, come to the conclusion that several wild species of Canidae have been tamed, and that their blood, in some cases mingled together, flows in the veins of our domestic breeds. In regard to sheep and goats I can form no decided opinion.

dog
dog

sheep
sheep

goat
goat