(FIGURE 1. DUN DEVONSHIRE PONY, with shoulder, spinal, and leg stripes.)

[This tendency in the horse to become striped is in several respects an interesting fact. Horses of all colours, of the most diverse breeds, in various parts of the world, often have a dark stripe extending along the spine, from the mane to the tail; but this is so common that I need enter into no particulars. (2/33. Some details are given in 'The Farrier' 1828 pages 452, 455. One of the smallest ponies I ever saw, of the colour of a mouse, had a conspicuous spinal stripe. A small Indian chestnut pony had the same stripe, as had a remarkably heavy chestnut cart-horse. Race-horses often have the spinal stripe.) Occasionally horses are transversely barred on the legs, chiefly on the under side; and more rarely they have a distinct stripe on the shoulder, like that on the shoulder of the ass, or a broad dark patch representing a stripe. Before entering on any details I must premise that the term dun-coloured is vague, and includes three groups of colours, viz., that between cream-colour and reddish-brown, which graduates into light-bay or light-chestnut--this, I believe is often called fallow-dun; secondly, leaden or slate-colour or mouse-dun, which graduates into an ash-colour; and, lastly, dark-dun, between brown and black. In England I have examined a rather large, lightly-built, fallow-dun Devonshire pony (Figure 1), with a conspicuous stripe along the back, with light transverse stripes on the under sides of its front legs, and with four parallel stripes on each shoulder. Of these four stripes the posterior one was very minute and faint; the anterior one, on the other hand, was long and broad, but interrupted in the middle, and truncated at its lower extremity, with the anterior angle produced into a long tapering point. I mention this latter fact because the shoulder-stripe of the ass occasionally presents exactly the same appearance. I have had an outline and description sent to me of a small, purely-bred, light fallow-dun Welch pony, with a spinal stripe, a single transverse stripe on each leg, and three shoulder-stripes; the posterior stripe corresponding with that on the shoulder of the ass was the longest, whilst the two anterior parallel stripes, arising from the mane, decreased in length, in a reversed manner as compared with the shoulder-stripes on the above-described Devonshire pony. I have seen a bright fallow-dun cob, with its front legs transversely barred on the under sides in the most conspicuous manner; also a dark- leaden mouse-coloured pony with similar leg stripes, but much less conspicuous; also a bright fallow-dun colt, fully three-parts thoroughbred, with very plain transverse stripes on the legs; also a chestnut-dun cart- horse with a conspicuous spinal stripe, with distinct traces of shoulder- stripes, but none on the legs; I could add other cases. My son made a sketch for me of a large, heavy, Belgian cart-horse, of a fallow-dun, with a conspicuous spinal stripe, traces of leg-stripes, and with two parallel (three inches apart) stripes about seven or eight inches in length on both shoulders. I have seen another rather light cart-horse, of a dirty dark cream-colour, with striped legs, and on one shoulder a large ill-defined dark cloudy patch, and on the opposite shoulder two parallel faint stripes. All the cases yet mentioned are duns of various tints; but Mr. W.W. Edwards has seen a nearly thoroughbred chestnut horse which had the spinal stripe, and distinct bars on the legs; and I have seen two bay carriage-horses with black spinal stripes; one of these horses had on each shoulder a light shoulder-stripe, and the other had a broad back ill-defined stripe, running obliquely half-way down each shoulder; neither had leg-stripes.

The most interesting case which I have met with occurred in a colt of my own breeding. A bay mare (descended from a dark-brown Flemish mare by a light grey Turcoman horse) was put to Hercules, a thoroughbred dark bay, whose sire (Kingston) and dam were both bays.

The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication V1 Page 39

19th Century English Literature

Charles Darwin

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Charles Darwin

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