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- THE DESCENT OF MAN - 50/165 -


unusually early age in one species of the family, and likewise common to both sexes in this one species alone.

In several kinds of antelopes, only the males are provided with horns, whilst in the greater number both sexes bear horns. With respect to the period of development, Mr. Blyth informs me that there was at one time in the Zoological Gardens a young koodoo (Ant. strepsiceros), of which the males alone are horned, and also the young of a closely-allied species, the eland (Ant. oreas), in which both sexes are horned. Now it is in strict conformity with our rule, that in the young male koodoo, although ten months old, the horns were remarkably small, considering the size ultimately attained by them; whilst in the young male eland, although only three months old, the horns were already very much larger than in the koodoo. It is also a noticeable fact that in the prong-horned antelope (40. Antilocapra Americana. I have to thank Dr. Canfield for information with respect to the horns of the female: see also his paper in 'Proceedings of the Zoological Society,' 1866, p. 109. Also Owen, 'Anatomy of Vertebrates,' vol. iii. p. 627), only a few of the females, about one in five, have horns, and these are in a rudimentary state, though sometimes above four inches long: so that as far as concerns the possession of horns by the males alone, this species is in an intermediate condition, and the horns do not appear until about five or six months after birth. Therefore in comparison with what little we know of the development of the horns in other antelopes, and from what we do know with respect to the horns of deer, cattle, etc., those of the prong-horned antelope appear at an intermediate period of life,--that is, not very early, as in cattle and sheep, nor very late, as in the larger deer and antelopes. The horns of sheep, goats, and cattle, which are well developed in both sexes, though not quite equal in size, can be felt, or even seen, at birth or soon afterwards. (41. I have been assured that the horns of the sheep in North Wales can always be felt, and are sometimes even an inch in length, at birth. Youatt says ('Cattle,' 1834, p. 277), that the prominence of the frontal bone in cattle penetrates the cutis at birth, and that the horny matter is soon formed over it.) Our rule, however, seems to fail in some breeds of sheep, for instance merinos, in which the rams alone are horned; for I cannot find on enquiry (42. I am greatly indebted to Prof. Victor Carus for having made enquiries for me, from the highest authorities, with respect to the merino sheep of Saxony. On the Guinea coast of Africa there is, however, a breed of sheep in which, as with merinos, the rams alone bear horns; and Mr. Winwood Reade informs me that in one case observed by him, a young ram, born on Feb. 10th, first shewed horns on March 6th, so that in this instance, in conformity with rule, the development of the horns occurred at a later period of life than in Welsh sheep, in which both sexes are horned.), that the horns are developed later in life in this breed than in ordinary sheep in which both sexes are horned. But with domesticated sheep the presence or absence of horns is not a firmly fixed character; for a certain proportion of the merino ewes bear small horns, and some of the rams are hornless; and in most breeds hornless ewes are occasionally produced.

Dr. W. Marshall has lately made a special study of the protuberances so common on the heads of birds (43. 'Uber die knochernen Schadelhocker der Vogel,' in the 'Niederland. Archiv fur Zoologie,' B.i. Heft 2, 1872.), and he comes to the following conclusion:--that with those species in which they are confined to the males, they are developed late in life; whereas with those species in which they are common to the two sexes, they are developed at a very early period. This is certainly a striking confirmation of my two laws of inheritance.

In most of the species of the splendid family of the Pheasants, the males differ conspicuously from the females, and they acquire their ornaments at a rather late period of life. The eared pheasant (Crossoptilon auritum), however, offers a remarkable exception, for both sexes possess the fine caudal plumes, the large ear-tufts and the crimson velvet about the head; I find that all these characters appear very early in life in accordance with rule. The adult male can, however, be distinguished from the adult female by the presence of spurs; and conformably with our rule, these do not begin to be developed before the age of six months, as I am assured by Mr. Bartlett, and even at this age, the two sexes can hardly be distinguished. (44. In the common peacock (Pavo cristatus) the male alone possesses spurs, whilst both sexes of the Java Peacock (P. muticus) offer the unusual case of being furnished with spurs. Hence I fully expected that in the latter species they would have been developed earlier in life than in the common peacock; but M. Hegt of Amsterdam informs me, that with young birds of the previous year, of both species, compared on April 23rd, 1869, there was no difference in the development of the spurs. The spurs, however, were as yet represented merely by slight knobs or elevations. I presume that I should have been informed if any difference in the rate of development had been observed subsequently.) The male and female Peacock differ conspicuously from each other in almost every part of their plumage, except in the elegant head-crest, which is common to both sexes; and this is developed very early in life, long before the other ornaments, which are confined to the male. The wild-duck offers an analogous case, for the beautiful green speculum on the wings is common to both sexes, though duller and somewhat smaller in the female, and it is developed early in life, whilst the curled tail-feathers and other ornaments of the male are developed later. (45. In some other species of the Duck family the speculum differs in a greater degree in the two sexes; but I have not been able to discover whether its full development occurs later in life in the males of such species, than in the male of the common duck, as ought to be the case according to our rule. With the allied Mergus cucullatus we have, however, a case of this kind: the two sexes differ conspicuously in general plumage, and to a considerable degree in the speculum, which is pure white in the male and greyish-white in the female. Now the young males at first entirely resemble the females, and have a greyish-white speculum, which becomes pure white at an earlier age than that at which the adult male acquires his other and more strongly-marked sexual differences: see Audubon, 'Ornithological Biography,' vol. iii. 1835, pp. 249-250.) Between such extreme cases of close sexual resemblance and wide dissimilarity, as those of the Crossoptilon and peacock, many intermediate ones could be given, in which the characters follow our two rules in their order of development.

As most insects emerge from the pupal state in a mature condition, it is doubtful whether the period of development can determine the transference of their characters to one or to both sexes. But we do not know that the coloured scales, for instance, in two species of butterflies, in one of which the sexes differ in colour, whilst in the other they are alike, are developed at the same relative age in the cocoon. Nor do we know whether all the scales are simultaneously developed on the wings of the same species of butterfly, in which certain coloured marks are confined to one sex, whilst others are common to both sexes. A difference of this kind in the period of development is not so improbable as it may at first appear; for with the Orthoptera, which assume their adult state, not by a single metamorphosis, but by a succession of moults, the young males of some species at first resemble the females, and acquire their distinctive masculine characters only at a later moult. Strictly analogous cases occur at the successive moults of certain male crustaceans.

We have as yet considered the transference of characters, relatively to their period of development, only in species in a natural state; we will now turn to domesticated animals, and first touch on monstrosities and diseases. The presence of supernumerary digits, and the absence of certain phalanges, must be determined at an early embryonic period--the tendency to profuse bleeding is at least congenital, as is probably colour-blindness-- yet these peculiarities, and other similar ones, are often limited in their transmission to one sex; so that the rule that characters, developed at an early period, tend to be transmitted to both sexes, here wholly fails. But this rule, as before remarked, does not appear to be nearly so general as the converse one, namely, that characters which appear late in life in one sex are transmitted exclusively to the same sex. From the fact of the above abnormal peculiarities becoming attached to one sex, long before the sexual functions are active, we may infer that there must be some difference between the sexes at an extremely early age. With respect to sexually-limited diseases, we know too little of the period at which they originate, to draw any safe conclusion. Gout, however, seems to fall under our rule, for it is generally caused by intemperance during manhood, and is transmitted from the father to his sons in a much more marked manner than to his daughters.

In the various domestic breeds of sheep, goats, and cattle, the males differ from their respective females in the shape or development of their horns, forehead, mane, dewlap, tail, and hump on the shoulders; and these peculiarities, in accordance with our rule, are not fully developed until a rather late period of life. The sexes of dogs do not differ, except that in certain breeds, especially in the Scotch deer-hound, the male is much larger and heavier than the female; and, as we shall see in a future chapter, the male goes on increasing in size to an unusually late period of life, which, according to rule, will account for his increased size being transmitted to his male offspring alone. On the other hand, the tortoise- shell colour, which is confined to female cats, is quite distinct at birth, and this case violates the rule. There is a breed of pigeons in which the males alone are streaked with black, and the streaks can be detected even in the nestlings; but they become more conspicuous at each successive moult, so that this case partly opposes and partly supports the rule. With the English Carrier and Pouter pigeons, the full development of the wattle and the crop occurs rather late in life, and conformably with the rule, these characters are transmitted in full perfection to the males alone. The following cases perhaps come within the class previously alluded to, in which both sexes have varied in the same manner at a rather late period of life, and have consequently transferred their new characters to both sexes at a corresponding late period; and if so, these cases are not opposed to our rule:--there exist sub-breeds of the pigeon, described by Neumeister (46. 'Das Ganze der Taubenzucht,' 1837, ss. 21, 24. For the case of the streaked pigeons, see Dr. Chapuis, 'Le pigeon voyageur Belge,' 1865, p. 87.), in which both sexes change their colour during two or three moults (as is likewise the case with the Almond Tumbler); nevertheless, these changes, though occurring rather late in life, are common to both sexes. One variety of the Canary-bird, namely the London Prize, offers a nearly analogous case.

With the breeds of the Fowl the inheritance of various characters by one or both sexes, seems generally determined by the period at which such characters are developed. Thus in all the many breeds in which the adult male differs greatly in colour from the female, as well as from the wild parent-species, he differs also from the young male, so that the newly- acquired characters must have appeared at a rather late period of life. On the other hand, in most of the breeds in which the two sexes resemble each other, the young are coloured in nearly the same manner as their parents, and this renders it probable that their colours first appeared early in life. We have instances of this fact in all black and white breeds, in which the young and old of both sexes are alike; nor can it be maintained that there is something peculiar in a black or white plumage, which leads to its transference to both sexes; for the males alone of many natural species are either black or white, the females being differently coloured. With the so-called Cuckoo sub-breeds of the fowl, in which the feathers are transversely pencilled with dark stripes, both sexes and the chickens are coloured in nearly the same manner. The laced plumage of the Sebright bantam is the same in both sexes, and in the young chickens the wing- feathers are distinctly, though imperfectly laced. Spangled Hamburgs, however, offer a partial exception; for the two sexes, though not quite alike, resemble each other more closely than do the sexes of the aboriginal parent-species; yet they acquire their characteristic plumage late in life, for the chickens are distinctly pencilled. With respect to other characters besides colour, in the wild-parent species and in most of the domestic breeds, the males alone possess a well-developed comb; but in the young of the Spanish fowl it is largely developed at a very early age, and, in accordance with this early development in the male, it is of unusual size in the adult female. In the Game breeds pugnacity is developed at a wonderfully early age, of which curious proofs could be given; and this


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