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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/511

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507
ZOOLOGICAL LAWS

The kiang of the Himalaya had no dangerous enemy until man was armed with a rifle. In Africa the zebras have had only two formidable foes—man and the lion. It is asserted by the most experienced hunters that the gaudy livery of the zebra makes him conspicuous from afar, whether he is on the mountain, on the plain or in the shade of a tree. His brilliant color, therefore, really exposes him to man. But it will be said that it is well adapted to conceal him at night, at which time the lion seeks his prey. Yet as the best authorities hold that the lion hunts entirely by scent, the coloration of the zebra affords him no protection against his inveterate foe.

I have shown that in horses the colors—such as bay, black, gray and white—accompany certain well-defined inward qualities. But as black is most certainly not a primitive horse color, it follows that coat colors may be intimately connected with certain other characteristics quite irrespective of protective coloring. Again, as the variation in the size and shape of the ears and hoofs of the asses and zebras can not be set down to protective coloring, but must be due to other causes, there is no reason why variations in color should not be ascribed to similar causes.

The argument based on the analogy of the horse family and the tigers, and on that of the natives of the New World, may be applied to the races of Africa. Next to the Mediterranean lie the Berbers and their Hamitic congeners, who are regarded as part of the Eurafrican species by Sergi and his school. But the Berbers are not all of the typical Mediterranean physique. The blond Berbers of the highlands of Rif in Northwest Morocco and of the Atlas have long been well known. In the region lower down and in western Tunis the occurrence of the xanthochrous type seems much less frequent, whilst farther east it practically disappears.

It is certain that there was a fair-haired element in Libya long before Home conquered Carthage or the Vandals had passed into the ken of history. Callimachus testifies to the existence of blond Berbers in the third century B.C. We may hold, then, with Sergi and others that the blond element in the Berbers is not a survival from invasions of Vandals or Goths, or from Roman colonists, but that they rather owe their fair complexions and light-colored eyes to the circumstance that they were cradled in a cool mountainous region, and not along the low-lying border of the Mediterranean like their dark-colored relations whose language and customs they share.

If, then, some of those who speak Hamitic are fair, and have been fair for centuries before Christ, as Sergi himself admits, whilst others are dark, there is no reason why some of the peoples who speak Aryan might not be dark whilst others are blond.

The Berbers and their Hamitic congeners shade off on the south