Page:Descent of Man 1875.djvu/541

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Chap. XVIII.
Mammals—Choice in Pairing.

without any apparent cause taking to another, that various artifices have to be habitually used. The famous Monarque, for instance, would never consciously look at the dam of Gladiateur, and a trick had to be practised. We can partly see the reason why valuable race-horse stallions, which are in such demand as to be exhausted, should be so particular in their choice. Mr. Blenkiron has never known a mare reject a horse; but this has occurred in Mr. Wright's stable, so that the mare had to be cheated. Prosper Lucas[1] quotes various statements from French authorities, and remarks, "On voit des étalons qui's'éprennent d'une jument, et négligent toutes les autres." He gives, on the authority of Baëlen, similar facts in regard to bulls; and Mr. H. Reeks assures me that a famous short-horn bull belonging to his father "invariably refused to be matched with a black cow." Hoffberg, in describing the domesticated reindeer of Lapland says, "Fœminæ majores et fortiores mares præ cæteris admittunt, ad eos confugiunt, a junioribus agitatæ, qui hos in fugam conjiciunt."[2] A clergyman, who has bred many pigs, asserts that sows often reject one boar and immediately accept another.

From these facts there can be no doubt that, with most of our domesticated quadrupeds, strong individual antipathies and preferences are frequently exhibited, and much more commonly by the female than by the male. This being the case, it is improbable that the unions of quadrupeds in a state of nature should be left to mere chance. It is much more probable that the females are allured or excited by particular males, who possess certain characters in a higher degree than other males; but what these characters are, we can seldom or never discover with certainty.


Secondary Sexual Characters of Mammalscontinued.

Voice—Remarkable sexual peculiarities in seals—Odour—Development of the hair—Colour of the hair and skin—Anomalous case of the female being more ornamented than the male—Colour and ornaments due to sexual selection—Colour acquired for the sake of protection—Colour, though common to both sexes, often due to sexual selection—On the disappearance of spots and stripes in adult quadrupeds—On the colours and ornaments of the Quadrumana—Summary.

Quadrupeds use their voices for various purposes, as a signal of danger, as a call from one member of a troop to another, or from the mother to her lost offspring, or from the latter for protection

  1. 'Traité de l'Héréd. Nat.' tom. ii. 1850, p. 296.
  2. 'Amœnitates Acad.' vol. iv. 1788, p. 160.