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from each other, and from other species of the same genus, in several trifling respects, they often differ in an extreme degree in some one part, both when compared one with another, and more especially when compared with all the species in nature to which they are nearest allied. With these exceptions (and with that of the perfect fertility of varieties when crossed,—a subject hereafter to be discussed), domestic races of the same species differ from each other in the same manner as, only in most cases in a lesser degree than, do closelyallied species of the same genus in a state of nature. I think this must be admitted, when we find that there are hardly any domestic races, either amongst animals or plants, which have not been ranked by competent judges as mere varieties, and by other competent judges as the descendants of aboriginally distinct species. If any marked distinction existed between domestic races and species, this source of doubt could not so perpetually recur. It has often been stated that domestic races do not differ from each other in characters of generic value. I think it could be shown that this statement is hardly correct; but naturalists differ widely in determining what characters are of generic value; all such valuations being at present empirical. Moreover, on the view of the origin of genera which I shall presently give, we have no right to expect often to meet with generic differences in our domesticated productions. When we attempt to estimate the amount of structural difference between the domestic races of the same species, we are soon involved in doubt, from not knowing whether they have descended from one or several parentspecies. This point, if it could be cleared up, would be interesting; if, for instance, it could be shown that the greyhound, bloodhound, terrier, spaniel, and bull-dog, which we all know propagate their kind so truly, were the offspring of any single species, then such facts would have great weight in making us doubt about the immutability of the many very closely allied natural species—for instance, of the many foxes—inhabiting different quarters of the world. I do not believe, as we shall presently see, that the whole amount of difference between the several breeds of the dog has been produced under domestication; I believe that some small part of the difference is due to their being descended from distinct species. In the case of some other domesticated species, there is presumptive, or even strong evidence, that all the breeds have descended from a single wild stock. 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 or guinea-fowl, or the small power of endurance of warmth by the reindeer, or of cold by the common camel, prevented their domestication? 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 vary on an average as largely as the parent species of our existing domesticated productions have varied. In the case of most of our anciently domesticated animals and plants, I do not think it is possible to come to any definite conclusion, whether they have descended from one or several wild species. The argument mainly relied on by those who believe in the multiple origin of our domestic animals is, that we find in the most ancient records, more especially on the monuments of Egypt, much diversity in the breeds; and that some of the breeds closely resemble, perhaps are identical with, those still existing. Even if this latter fact were found more strictly and generally true than seems to me to be the case, what does it show, but that some of our breeds originated there, four or five thousand years ago? But Mr. Horner's researches have rendered it in some degree probable that man sufficiently civilized to have manufactured pottery existed in the valley of the Nile thirteen or fourteen thousand years ago; and who will pretend to say how long before these ancient periods, savages, like those of Tierra del Fuego or Australia, who possess a semi-domestic dog, may not have existed in Egypt? The whole subject must, I think, remain vague; nevertheless, I may, without here entering on any details, state that, from geographical and other considerations, I think it highly probable that our domestic dogs have descended from several wild species. Knowing, as we do, that savages are very fond of taming animals, it seems to me unlikely, in the case of the dog-genus, which is distributed in a wild state throughout the world, that since man first appeared one single species alone should have been domesticated. In regard to sheep and goats I can form no opinion. I should think, from facts communicated to me by Mr. Blyth, on the habits, voice, and constitution, &c., of the humped Indian cattle, that these had descended from a different aboriginal stock from our European cattle; and several competent judges believe that these latter have had more than one wild parent. With respect to horses, from reasons which I cannot give here, I am doubtfully inclined to believe, in opposition to several authors, that all the races have descended from one wild stock. Mr. Blyth, whose opinion, from his large and varied stores of knowledge, I should value more than that of almost any one, thinks that all the breeds of poultry have proceeded from the common wild Indian fowl (Gallus bankiva). In regard to ducks and rabbits, the breeds of which differ considerably from each other in structure, I do not doubt that they have all descended from the common wild duck and rabbit. 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. One author believes that there formerly existed in Great Britain eleven wild species of sheep peculiar to it! When we bear in mind that Britain has now hardly one peculiar mammal, and France but few distinct from those of Germany and conversely, 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 have originated in Europe; for whence could they have been derived, as these several countries do not possess a number of peculiar species as distinct parent-stocks? So it is in India. Even in the case of the domestic dogs of the whole world, which I fully admit have probably descended from several wild species, I cannot doubt that there has been an immense amount of inherited variation. Who can believe that animals closely resembling the Italian greyhound, the bloodhound, the bull-dog, or Blenheim spaniel, &c.—so unlike all wild Canidae —ever existed freely in a state of nature? It has often been loosely said that all our races of dogs have

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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, bull-dog,
&c., in the wild state. Moreover, the possibility of
making distinct races by crossing has been greatly ex-
aggerated. There can be no doubt that a race may be
modified by occasional crosses, if aided by the careful
selection of those individual mongrels, which present any
desired character; but that a race could be obtained
nearly intermediate between two extremely different
races or species, I can hardly believe. Sir J. Sebright
expressly experimentised for this object, and failed. The
offspring from the first cross between two pure breeds
is tolerably and sometimes (as I have found with
pigeons) extremely uniform, and everything seems simple
enough; but when these mongrels are crossed one with
another for several generations, hardly two of them will
be alike, and then the extreme difficulty, or rather utter
hopelessness, of the task becomes apparent. Certainly,
a breed intermediate between two very distinct breeds
could not be got without extreme care and long-con-
tinued selection; nor can I find a single case on record
of a permanent race having been thus formed.
On the Breeds of the Domestie Pigeon.—Believing
that it is always best to study some special group, I
have, after deliberation, taken up domestic pigeons.
I have kept every breed which I could purchase or
obtain, and have been most kindly favoured with
skins from several quarters of the world, more espe-
cially by the Hon. W. Elliot from India, and by the
Hon. C. Murray from Persia. Many treatises in dif.
ferent languages have been published on pigeons, and
some of them are very important, as being of con-

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