i. p. 262.

We here encounter a great difficulty. How can the contraction of the unstriped and involuntary _arrectores pili_ have been co-ordinated with that of various voluntary muscles for the same special purpose? If we could believe that the arrectores primordially had been voluntary muscles, and had since lost their stripes and become involuntary, the case would be comparatively simple. I am not, however, aware that there is any evidence in favour of this view; although the reversed transition would not have presented any great difficulty, as the voluntary muscles are in an unstriped condition in the embryos of the higher animals, and in the larvae of some crustaceans. Moreover in the deeper layers of the skin of adult birds, the muscular network is, according to Leydig,[20] in a transitional condition; the fibres exhibiting only indications of transverse striation.

Another explanation seems possible. We may admit that originally the _arrectores pili_ were slightly acted on in a direct manner, under the influence of rage and terror, by the disturbance of the nervous system; as is undoubtedly the case with our so-called _goose-skin_ before a fever-fit. Animals have been repeatedly excited by rage and terror during many generations; and consequently the direct effects of the disturbed nervous system on the dermal appendages will almost certainly have been increased through habit and through the tendency of nerve-force to pass readily along accustomed channels. We shall find this view of the force of habit strikingly confirmed in a future chapter, where it will be shown that the hair of the insane is affected in an extraordinary manner, owing to their repeated accesses of fury and terror. As soon as with animals the power of erection had thus been strengthened or increased, they must often have seen the hairs or feathers erected in rival and enraged males, and the bulk of their bodies thus increased. In this case it appears possible that they might have wished to make themselves appear larger and more terrible to their enemies, by voluntarily assuming a threatening attitude and uttering harsh cries; such attitudes and utterances after a time becoming through habit instinctive. In this manner actions performed by the contraction of voluntary muscles might have been combined for the same special purpose with those effected by involuntary muscles. It is even possible that animals, when excited and dimly conscious of some change in the state of their hair, might act on it by repeated exertions of their attention and will; for we have reason to believe that the will is able to influence in an obscure manner the action of some unstriped or involuntary muscles, as in the period of the peristaltic movements of the intestines, and in the contraction of the bladder. Nor must we overlook the part which variation and natural selection may have played; for the males which succeeded in making themselves appear the most terrible to their rivals, or to their other enemies, if not of overwhelming power, will on an average have left more offspring to inherit their characteristic qualities, whatever these may be and however first acquired, than have other males.

[20] `Lehrbuch der Histologie,' 1857, s. 82.

_The inflation of the body, and other means of exciting fear in an enemy_.--Certain Amphibians and Reptiles, which either have no spines to erect, or no muscles by which they can be erected, enlarge themselves when alarmed or angry by inhaling air. This is well known to be the case with toads and frogs. The latter animal is made, in AEsop's fable of the `Ox and the Frog,' to blow itself up from vanity and envy until it burst. This action must have been observed during the most ancient times, as, according to Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood,[21] the word _toad_ expresses in all the languages of Europe the habit of swelling. It has been observed with some of the exotic species in the Zoological Gardens; and Dr. Gunther believes that it is general throughout the group. Judging from analogy, the primary purpose probably was to make the body appear as large and frightful as possible to an enemy; but another, and perhaps more important secondary advantage is thus gained. When frogs are seized by snakes, which are their chief enemies, they enlarge themselves wonderfully; so that if the snake be of small size, as Dr.

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Charles Darwin

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