The Variation of Animals and Plants HTML version
Duck - Goose - Peacock - Turkey - Guinea-Fowl - Canary-
Bird - Gold-Fish - River-Bees - Silk-Moths
DUCKS, SEVERAL BREEDS OF — PROGRESS OF DOMESTICATION — ORIGIN OF FROM
THE COMMON WILD-DUCK — DIFFERENCES IN THE DIFFERENT BREEDS —
OSTEOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES — EFFECTS OF USE AND DISUSE ON THE LIMB-BONES.
GOOSE, ANCIENTLY DOMESTICATED — LITTLE VARIATION OF — SEBASTOPOL BREED.
PEACOCK, ORIGIN OF BLACK-SHOULDERED BREED.
TURKEY,BREEDS OF — CROSSED WITH THE UNITED STATES SPECIES — EFFECTS OF
GUINEA-FOWL, CANARY-BIRD, GOLD-FISH, HIVE-BEES.
SILK-MOTHS, SPECIES AND BREEDS OF — ANCIENTLY DOMESTICATED — CARE IN
THEIR SELECTION — DIFFERENCES IN THE DIFFERENT RACES — IN THE EGG,
CATERPILLAR, AND COCOON STATES — INHERITANCE OF CHARACTERS — IMPERFECT
WINGS — LOST INSTINCTS — CORRELATED CHARACTERS.
I will, as in previous cases, first briefly describe the chief domestic breeds of the duck:—
BREED 1. Common Domestic Duck.—Varies much in colour and in proportions, and differs in instincts
and disposition from the wild duck. There are several sub-breeds:—(1) The Aylesbury, of great size, white,
with pale-yellow beak and legs; abdominal dermal sack largely developed. (2) The Rouen, of great size,
coloured like the wild duck, with green or mottled beak; dermal sack largely developed. (3) Tufted Duck,
with a large top-knot of fine downy feathers, supported on a fleshy mass, with the skull perforated beneath.
The top-knot in a duck which I imported from Holland was two and a half inches in diameter. (4) Labrador
(or Canadian, or Buenos Ayres, or East Indian); plumage entirely black; beak broader, relatively to its
length, than in the wild duck; eggs slightly tinted with black. This sub-breed perhaps ought to be ranked as
a breed; it includes two sub-varieties, one as large as the common domestic duck, which I have kept alive,
and the other smaller and often capable of flight. I presume it is this latter sub-variety which has been
described in France as flying well, being rather wild, and when cooked having the flavour of the wild duck;
nevertheless this sub-variety is polygamous, like other domesticated ducks and unlike the wild duck. These
black Labrador ducks breed true; but a case is given by Dr. Turral of the French sub-variety producing
young with some white feathers on the head and neck, and with an ochre-coloured patch on the breast.
BREED 2. Hook-billed Duck.—This bird presents an extraordinary appearance from the downward
curvature of the beak. The head is often tufted. The common colour is white, but some are coloured like
wild ducks. It is an ancient breed, having been noticed in 1676. It shows its prolonged domestication by
almost incessantly laying eggs, like the fowls which are called everlasting layers.
BREED 3. Call Duck.—Remarkable from its small size, and from the extraordinary loquacity of the
female. Beak short. These birds are either white, or coloured like the wild duck.
BREED 4. Penguin Duck.—This is the most remarkable of all the breeds, and seems to have originated in
the Malayan archipelago. It walks with its body extremely erect, and with its thin neck stretched straight
upwards. Beak rather short. Tail upturned, including only 18 feathers. Femur and metatarsus elongated.