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have almost always small curved horns which are white, not black, as in the still more primitive Irish breed. Most of these distinctive traits offer neither advantages nor disadvantages either to the sheep or its owner. They are nonadaptive or
FIG. 49.–Polled Welsh sheep, a primitive type, lean and scant wooled. (After Youatt.) indifferent characters. These characters are therefore associated with the hereditary traits of the original stock. They are preserved through segregation and they are lost when herds from different counties freely intermingle. Free interbreeding would give a new and relatively uniform race of sheep over the whole area occupied by these separate breeds.
At this point we may conceive that (2) conscious selection of the more desirable individuals appears. Through its agency, Hampshire, Shropshire, Cheviot, and Southdown sheep alike, and the others in their degree, tend toward larger size, more wool, plumper bodies, earlier maturity, greater docility, greater fertility, or whatever virtues the average shepherd may prize in a sheep. While in race traits, the breeds (uncrossed) tend to diverge from one another, in these adaptive qualities, their tendency is to run parallel-or even to converge toward greater resemblance.
With conscious selection (3), there is first a tendency to emphasize the qualities of desirable breeds. If, for example,
Fig. 50.-Typical Southdown ewe. (After Shaw.)
the Hampshire is a favorite breed, the individuals showing most distinctly black ears, legs, and face will be preferred by breeders to those having these parts pale. Again, new points of special excellence will appear in the breed and these will be deliberately emphasized, and perhaps by continuous selection a new breed will be formed having one or more of these as a distinctive trait. According to Somerville, one may chalk out on a wall any form or type of sheep he may like, and then in time reproduce it through selective breeding.
In Nova Scotia, Mr. A. Graham Bell has developed a new breed of sheep by selection, its distinctive character being in the increased milk flow, with an increased number of teats.
At Chillenham, in England, is still preserved a herd of the original wild white English cattle, from which most or all of the British breeds are said to be descended. It is stated that Lord Cawdor has offered to reproduce this herd, by selection alone, in three or four generations, using the relatively primitive Welsh cattle as his base of operations.
In general, those characters which are usually affected by selection, whether natural or artificial, are characters of degree. They are matters of more or less, a greater or less degree of strength, swiftness, size, endurance, fertility, capacity to lay
on fat, docility, intelligence, or of whatever it may be. Under ordinary conditions these characters selected are not traits of quality. They do not represent a new thing, a new acquisition, but a different degree of development of an old one, or, at most, a change in their relative arrangement, an alteration of biological perspective. The characters which distinguish true breeds as well as true species are not of this order. They are in their essence qualitative and not quantitative. They are not, as a rule, adaptive. One set of species or race traits is as good as another, if the good qualities or adaptive qualities are represented in an equally
Fig. 52.-Heads of various British breeds of domestic cattle, showing variations in
shape of head and condition of horns. (After Romanes.)