But even in this case the belief is not grounded on sufficient evidence; for the two main types, namely, S. scrofa and indicus, have not been distinguished. The young, as we have just seen, reacquire their longitudinal stripes, and the boars invariably reassume their tusks. They revert also in the general shape of their bodies, and in the length of their legs and muzzles, to the state of the wild animal, as might have been expected from the amount of exercise which they are compelled to take in search of food. In Jamaica the feral pigs do not acquire the full size of the European wild boar, "never attaining a greater height than 20 inches at the shoulder." In various countries they reassume their original bristly covering, but in different degrees, dependent on the climate; thus, according to Roulin, the semi-feral pigs in the hot valleys of New Granada are very scantily clothed; whereas, on the Paramos, at the height of 7000 to 8000 feet, they acquire a thick covering of wool lying under the bristles, like that on the truly wild pigs of France. These pigs on the Paramos are small and stunted. The wild boar of India is said to have the bristles at the end of its tail arranged like the plumes of an arrow, whilst the European boar has a simple tuft; and it is a curious fact that many, but not all, of the feral pigs in Jamaica, derived from a Spanish stock, have a plumed tail. (3/29. Gosse 'Jamaica' page 386 with a quotation from Williamson 'Oriental Field Sports.' Also Col. Hamilton Smith in 'Naturalist Library' volume 9 page 94.) With respect to colour, feral pigs generally revert to that of the wild boar; but in certain parts of S. America, as we have seen, some of the semi-feral pigs have a curious white band across their stomachs; and in certain other hot places the pigs are red, and this colour has likewise occasionally been observed in the feral pigs of Jamaica. From these several facts we see that with pigs when feral there is a strong tendency to revert to the wild type; but that this tendency is largely governed by the nature of the climate, amount of exercise, and other causes of change to which they have been subjected.

The last point worth notice is that we have unusually good evidence of breeds of pigs now keeping perfectly true, which have been formed by the crossing of several distinct breeds. The Improved Essex pigs, for instance, breed very true; but there is no doubt that they largely owe their present excellent qualities to crosses originally made by Lord Western with the Neapolitan race, and to subsequent crosses with the Berkshire breed (this also having been improved by Neapolitan crosses), and likewise, probably, with the Sussex breed. (3/30. S. Sidney's edition of 'Youatt on the Pig' 1860 pages 7, 26, 27, 29, 30.) In breeds thus formed by complex crosses, the most careful and unremitting selection during many generations has been found to be indispensable. Chiefly in consequence of so much crossing, some well-known breeds have undergone rapid changes; thus, according to Nathusius (3/31. 'Schweineschadel' s 140.), the Berkshire breed of 1780 is quite different from that of 1810; and, since this latter period, at least two distinct forms have borne the same name.


Domestic cattle are certainly the descendants of more than one wild form, in the same manner as has been shown to be the case with our dogs and pigs. Naturalists have generally made two main divisions of cattle: the humped kinds inhabiting tropical countries, called in India Zebus, to which the specific name of Bos indicus has been given; and the common non-humped cattle, generally included under the name of Bos taurus. The humped cattle were domesticated, as may be seen on the Egyptian monuments, at least as early as the twelfth dynasty, that is 2100 B.C. They differ from common cattle in various osteological characters, even in a greater degree, according to Rutimeyer (3/32. 'Die Fauna der Pfahlbauten' 1861 s. 109, 149, 222. See also Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 'Mem. du Mus.

The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication V1 Page 51

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Charles Darwin

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