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id int(11) 475 Column Stats
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01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-01 - Causes of Variability 30 I may add, that as some organisms breed freely under the most unnatural conditions (for instance, rabbits and ferrets kept in hutches), showing that their reproductive organs are not easily affected;

rabbit
rabbit

ferret
ferret


so will some animals and plants withstand domestication or cultivation, and vary very slightly- perhaps hardly more than in a state of nature. Some naturalists have maintained that all variations are connected with the act of sexual reproduction;

but this is certainly an error; for I have given in another work a long list of "sporting plants," as they are called by gardeners;- that is, of plants which have suddenly produced a single bud with a new and sometimes widely different character from that of the other buds on the same plant.

These bud variations, as they may be named, can be propagated by grafts, offsets, &c., and sometimes by seed.

graft
graft


They occur rarely under nature, but are far from rare under culture.

As a single bud out of the many thousands, produced year after year on the same tree under uniform conditions, has been known suddenly to assume a new character; and as buds on distinct trees, growing under different conditions, have sometimes yielded nearly the same variety- for instance, buds on peach-trees producing nectarines, and buds on common roses producing moss-roses- we clearly see that the nature of the conditions is of subordinate importance in comparison with the nature of the organism in determining each particular form of variation;-
bud
bud

tree
tree

peach
peach

nectarine
nectarine

rose
rose

Moss Rose
Moss Rose


perhaps of not more importance than the nature of the spark, by which a mass of combustible matter is ignited, has in determining the nature of the flames.
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01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-02 - Effects of Habit 10 Changed habits produce an inherited effect, as in the period of the flowering of plants when transported from one climate to another. With animals the increased use or disuse of parts has had a more marked influence; thus I find in the domestic duck that the bones of the wing weigh less and the bones of the leg more, in proportion to the whole skeleton, than do the same bones in the wild-duck;
duck
duck


and this change may be safely attributed to the domestic duck flying much less, and walking more, than its wild parents.
01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-02 - Effects of Habit 20 The great and inherited development of the udders in cows and goats in countries where they are habitually milked, in comparison with these organs in other countries, is probably another instance of the effects of use.
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Not one of our domestic animals can be named which has not in some country drooping ears; and the view which has been suggested that the drooping is due to disuse of the muscles of the ear, from the animals being seldom much alarmed, seems probable.
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01 - Variations Under Domestication 01-03 - correlation of Growth 10 Many laws regulate variation, some few of which can be dimly seen, and will hereafter be briefly discussed.

I will here only allude to what may be called correlated variation. Important changes in the embryo or larva will probably entail changes in the mature animal.

In monstrosities, the correlations between quite distinct parts are very curious; and many instances are given in Isidore Geoffroy St-Hilaire's great work on this subject.
Isidore Geoffroy Saint Hilaire
Isidore Geoffroy Saint Hilaire


Breeders believe that long limbs are almost always accompanied by an elongated head.

Some instances of correlation are quite whimsical: thus cats which are entirely white and have blue eyes are generally deaf;

but it has been lately stated by Mr. Tait that this is confined to the males.

Colour and constitutional peculiarities go together, of which many remarkable cases could be given amongst animals and plants.
From facts collected by Heusinger, it appears that white sheep and pigs are injured by certain plants, whilst dark-coloured individuals escape:

sheep
sheep

pig
pig