The Variation of Animals and Plants HTML version
Chapter III: Pigs - Cattle - Sheep – Goats
PIGS BELONG TO TWO DISTINCT TYPES, SUS SCROFA AND INDICUS — TORFSCHWEIN —
JAPAN PIGS — FERTILITY OF CROSSED PIGS — CHANGES IN THE SKULL OF THE HIGHLY
CULTIVATED RACES — CONVERGENCE OF CHARACTER — GESTATION — SOLID-HOOFED
SWINE — CURIOUS APPENDAGES TO THE JAWS — DECREASE IN SIZE OF THE TUSKS —
YOUNG PIGS LONGITUDINALLY STRIPED — FERAL PIGS — CROSSED BREEDS.
CATTLE — ZEBU A DISTINCT SPECIES — EUROPEAN CATTLE PROBABLY DESCENDED
FROM THREE WILD FORMS — ALL THE RACES NOW FERTILE TOGETHER — BRITISH PARK
CATTLE — ON THE COLOUR OF THE ABORIGINAL SPECIES — CONSTITUTIONAL
DIFFERENCES — SOUTH AFRICAN RACES — SOUTH AMERICAN RACES — NIATA CATTLE
— ORIGIN OF THE VARIOUS RACES OF CATTLE.
SHEEP — REMARKABLE RACES OF — VARIATIONS ATTACHED TO THE MALE SEX —
ADAPTATIONS TO VARIOUS CONDITIONS — GESTATION OF — CHANGES IN THE WOOL —
GOATS — REMARKABLE VARIATIONS OF.
The breeds of the pig have recently been more closely studied, though much still remains
to be done, than those of almost any other domesticated animal. This has been effected by
Hermann von Nathusius in two admirable works, especially in the later one on the Skulls
of the several races, and by Rütimeyer in his celebrated Fauna of the ancient Swiss lake-
dwellings. Nathusius has shown that all the known breeds may be divided into two great
groups: one resembling in all important respects and no doubt descended from the
common wild boar; so that this may be called the Sus scrofa group. The other group
differs in several important and constant osteological characters; its wild parent-form is
unknown; the name given to it by Nathusius, according to the law of priority, is Sus
indicus, of Pallas. This name must now be followed, though an unfortunate one, as the
wild aboriginal does not inhabit India, and the best-known domesticated breeds have
been imported from Siam and China.
First for the Sus scrofa breeds, or those resembling the common wild boar. These still
exist, according to Nathusius ('Schweineschädel' s. 75), in various parts of central and
northern Europe; formerly every kingdom, and almost every province in Britain,
possessed its own native breed; but these are now everywhere rapidly disappearing, being
replaced by improved breeds crossed with the S. indicus form. The skull in the breeds of
the S. scrofa type resembles, in all important respects, that of the European wild boar; but
it has become ('Schweineschädel' s. 63-68) higher and broader relatively to its length; and
the hinder part is more upright. The differences, however, are all variable in degree. The
breeds which thus resemble S. scrofa in their essential skull characters differ
conspicuously from each other in other respects, as in the length of the ears and legs,
curvature of the ribs, colour, hairiness, size and proportions of the body.