The Descent Of Man

Chapter VII



The nature and value of specific characters–Application to the races of
man–Arguments in favour of, and opposed to, ranking the so-called races of
man as district species–Sub-species–Monogenists and polygenists–
Convergence of character–Numerous points of resemblance in body and mind
between the most distinct races of man–The state of man when he first
spread over the earth–Each race not descended from a single pair–The
extinction of races–The formation of races–The effects of crossing–
Slight influence of the direct action of the conditions of life–Slight or
no influence of natural selection–Sexual selection.

Sexual selection is a form of natural selection in which organism of one biological sex chooses their mating partner of another biological sex. The theory of natural selection was put forward by English scientist Charles Darwin in 1871, he felt natural selection alone is not capable of nonendurance of adaptation for certain species. Click Qprofit System trading to know more.

It is not my intention here to describe the several so-called races of men;
but I am about to enquire what is the value of the differences between them
under a classificatory point of view, and how they have originated. In
determining whether two or more allied forms ought to be ranked as species
or varieties, naturalists are practically guided by the following
considerations; namely, the amount of difference between them, and whether
such differences relate to few or many points of structure, and whether
they are of physiological importance; but more especially whether they are
constant. Constancy of character is what is chiefly valued and sought for
by naturalists. Whenever it can be shewn, or rendered probable, that the
forms in question have remained distinct for a long period, this becomes an
argument of much weight in favour of treating them as species. Even a
slight degree of sterility between any two forms when first crossed, or in
their offspring, is generally considered as a decisive test of their
specific distinctness; and their continued persistence without blending
within the same area, is usually accepted as sufficient evidence, either of
some degree of mutual sterility, or in the case of animals of some mutual
repugnance to pairing.

Independently of fusion from intercrossing, the complete absence, in a
well-investigated region, of varieties linking together any two closely-
allied forms, is probably the most important of all the criterions of their
specific distinctness; and this is a somewhat different consideration from
mere constancy of character, for two forms may be highly variable and yet
not yield intermediate varieties. Geographical distribution is often
brought into play unconsciously and sometimes consciously; so that forms
living in two widely separated areas, in which most of the other
inhabitants are specifically distinct, are themselves usually looked at as
distinct; but in truth this affords no aid in distinguishing geographical
races from so-called good or true species.

Now let us apply these generally-admitted principles to the races of man,
viewing him in the same spirit as a naturalist would any other animal. In
regard to the amount of difference between the races, we must make some
allowance for our nice powers of discrimination gained by the long habit of
observing ourselves. In India, as Elphinstone remarks, although a newly-
arrived European cannot at first distinguish the various native races, yet
they soon appear to him extremely dissimilar (1. ‘History of India,’ 1841,
vol. i. p. 323. Father Ripa makes exactly the same remark with respect to
the Chinese.); and the Hindoo cannot at first perceive any difference
between the several European nations. Even the most distinct races of man
are much more like each other in form than would at first be supposed;
certain negro tribes must be excepted, whilst others, as Dr. Rohlfs writes
to me, and as I have myself seen, have Caucasian features. This general
similarity is well shewn by the French photographs in the Collection
Anthropologique du Museum de Paris of the men belonging to various races,
the greater number of which might pass for Europeans, as many persons to
whom I have shewn them have remarked. Nevertheless, these men, if seen
alive, would undoubtedly appear very distinct, so that we are clearly much
influenced in our judgment by the mere colour of the skin and hair, by
slight differences in the features, and by expression.

There is, however, no doubt that the various races, when carefully compared
and measured, differ much from each other,–as in the texture of the hair,
the relative proportions of all parts of the body (2. A vast number of
measurements of Whites, Blacks, and Indians, are given in the
‘Investigations in the Military and Anthropolog. Statistics of American
Soldiers,’ by B.A. Gould, 1869, pp. 298-358; ‘On the capacity of the
lungs,’ p. 471. See also the numerous and valuable tables, by Dr.
Weisbach, from the observations of Dr. Scherzer and Dr. Schwarz, in the
‘Reise der Novara: Anthropolog. Theil,’ 1867.), the capacity of the lungs,
the form and capacity of the skull, and even in the convolutions of the
brain. (3. See, for instance, Mr. Marshall’s account of the brain of a
Bushwoman, in ‘Philosophical Transactions,’ 1864, p. 519.) But it would be
an endless task to specify the numerous points of difference. The races
differ also in constitution, in acclimatisation and in liability to certain
diseases. Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly
as it would appear in their emotional, but partly in their intellectual
faculties. Every one who has had the opportunity of comparison, must have
been struck with the contrast between the taciturn, even morose, aborigines
of S. America and the light-hearted, talkative negroes. There is a nearly
similar contrast between the Malays and the Papuans (4. Wallace, ‘The
Malay Archipelago,’ vol. ii. 1869, p. 178.), who live under the same
physical conditions, and are separated from each other only by a narrow
space of sea.

We will first consider the arguments which may be advanced in favour of
classing the races of man as distinct species, and then the arguments on
the other side. If a naturalist, who had never before seen a Negro,
Hottentot, Australian, or Mongolian, were to compare them, he would at once
perceive that they differed in a multitude of characters, some of slight
and some of considerable importance. On enquiry he would find that they
were adapted to live under widely different climates, and that they
differed somewhat in bodily constitution and mental disposition. If he
were then told that hundreds of similar specimens could be brought from the
same countries, he would assuredly declare that they were as good species
as many to which he had been in the habit of affixing specific names. This
conclusion would be greatly strengthened as soon as he had ascertained that
these forms had all retained the same character for many centuries; and
that negroes, apparently identical with existing negroes, had lived at
least 4000 years ago. (5. With respect to the figures in the famous
Egyptian caves of Abou-Simbel, M. Pouchet says (‘The Plurality of the Human
Races,’ Eng. translat., 1864, p. 50), that he was far from finding
recognisable representations of the dozen or more nations which some
authors believe that they can recognise. Even some of the most strongly-
marked races cannot be identified with that degree of unanimity which might
have been expected from what has been written on the subject. Thus Messrs.
Nott and Gliddon (‘Types of Mankind,’ p. 148), state that Rameses II., or
the Great, has features superbly European; whereas Knox, another firm
believer in the specific distinctness of the races of man (‘Races of Man,’
1850, p. 201), speaking of young Memnon (the same as Rameses II., as I am
informed by Mr. Birch), insists in the strongest manner that he is
identical in character with the Jews of Antwerp. Again, when I looked at
the statue of Amunoph III., I agreed with two officers of the
establishment, both competent judges, that he had a strongly-marked negro
type of features; but Messrs. Nott and Gliddon (ibid. p. 146, fig. 53),
describe him as a hybrid, but not of “negro intermixture.”) He would also
hear, on the authority of an excellent observer, Dr. Lund (6. As quoted by
Nott and Gliddon, ‘Types of Mankind,’ 1854, p. 439. They give also
corroborative evidence; but C. Vogt thinks that the subject requires
further investigation.), that the human skulls found in the caves of
Brazil, entombed with many extinct mammals, belonged to the same type as
that now prevailing throughout the American Continent.

Our naturalist would then perhaps turn to geographical distribution, and he
would probably declare that those forms must be distinct species, which
differ not only in appearance, but are fitted for hot, as well as damp or
dry countries, and for the Artic regions. He might appeal to the fact that
no species in the group next to man–namely, the Quadrumana, can resist a
low temperature, or any considerable change of climate; and that the
species which come nearest to man have never been reared to maturity, even
under the temperate climate of Europe. He would be deeply impressed with
the fact, first noticed by Agassiz (7. ‘Diversity of Origin of the Human
Races,’ in the ‘Christian Examiner,’ July 1850.), that the different races
of man are distributed over the world in the same zoological provinces, as
those inhabited by undoubtedly distinct species and genera of mammals.
This is manifestly the case with the Australian, Mongolian, and Negro races
of man; in a less well-marked manner with the Hottentots; but plainly with
the Papuans and Malays, who are separated, as Mr. Wallace has shewn, by
nearly the same line which divides the great Malayan and Australian
zoological provinces. The Aborigines of America range throughout the
Continent; and this at first appears opposed to the above rule, for most of
the productions of the Southern and Northern halves differ widely: yet
some few living forms, as the opossum, range from the one into the other,
as did formerly some of the gigantic Edentata. The Esquimaux, like other
Arctic animals, extend round the whole polar regions. It should be
observed that the amount of difference between the mammals of the several
zoological provinces does not correspond with the degree of separation
between the latter; so that it can hardly be considered as an anomaly that
the Negro differs more, and the American much less from the other races of
man, than do the mammals of the African and American continents from the
mammals of the other provinces. Man, it may be added, does not appear to
have aboriginally inhabited any oceanic island; and in this respect, he
resembles the other members of his class.

In determining whether the supposed varieties of the same kind of domestic
animal should be ranked as such, or as specifically distinct, that is,
whether any of them are descended from distinct wild species, every
naturalist would lay much stress on the fact of their external parasites
being specifically distinct. All the more stress would be laid on this
fact, as it would be an exceptional one; for I am informed by Mr. Denny
that the most different kinds of dogs, fowls, and pigeons, in England, are
infested by the same species of Pediculi or lice. Now Mr. A. Murray has
carefully examined the Pediculi collected in different countries from the
different races of man (8. ‘Transactions of the Royal Society of
Edinburgh,’ vol. xxii, 1861, p. 567.); and he finds that they differ, not
only in colour, but in the structure of their claws and limbs. In every
case in which many specimens were obtained the differences were constant.
The surgeon of a whaling ship in the Pacific assured me that when the
Pediculi, with which some Sandwich Islanders on board swarmed, strayed on
to the bodies of the English sailors, they died in the course of three or
four days. These Pediculi were darker coloured, and appeared different
from those proper to the natives of Chiloe in South America, of which he
gave me specimens. These, again, appeared larger and much softer than
European lice. Mr. Murray procured four kinds from Africa, namely, from
the Negroes of the Eastern and Western coasts, from the Hottentots and
Kaffirs; two kinds from the natives of Australia; two from North and two
from South America. In these latter cases it may be presumed that the
Pediculi came from natives inhabiting different districts. With insects
slight structural differences, if constant, are generally esteemed of
specific value: and the fact of the races of man being infested by
parasites, which appear to be specifically distinct, might fairly be urged
as an argument that the races themselves ought to be classed as distinct

Our supposed naturalist having proceeded thus far in his investigation,
would next enquire whether the races of men, when crossed, were in any
degree sterile. He might consult the work (9. ‘On the Phenomena of
Hybridity in the Genus Homo,’ Eng. translat., 1864.) of Professor Broca, a
cautious and philosophical observer, and in this he would find good
evidence that some races were quite fertile together, but evidence of an
opposite nature in regard to other races. Thus it has been asserted that
the native women of Australia and Tasmania rarely produce children to
European men; the evidence, however, on this head has now been shewn to be
almost valueless. The half-castes are killed by the pure blacks: and an
account has lately been published of eleven half-caste youths murdered and
burnt at the same time, whose remains were found by the police. (10. See
the interesting letter by Mr. T.A. Murray, in the ‘Anthropological Review,’
April 1868, p. liii. In this letter Count Strzelecki’s statement that
Australian women who have borne children to a white man, are afterwards
sterile with their own race, is disproved. M. A. de Quatrefages has also
collected (Revue des Cours Scientifiques, March, 1869, p. 239), much
evidence that Australians and Europeans are not sterile when crossed.)
Again, it has often been said that when mulattoes intermarry, they produce
few children; on the other hand, Dr. Bachman, of Charleston (11. ‘An
Examination of Prof. Agassiz’s Sketch of the Nat. Provinces of the Animal
World,’ Charleston, 1855, p. 44.), positively asserts that he has known
mulatto families which have intermarried for several generations, and have
continued on an average as fertile as either pure whites or pure blacks.
Enquiries formerly made by Sir C. Lyell on this subject led him, as he
informs me, to the same conclusion. (12. Dr. Rohlfs writes to me that he
found the mixed races in the Great Sahara, derived from Arabs, Berbers, and
Negroes of three tribes, extraordinarily fertile. On the other hand, Mr.
Winwood Reade informs me that the Negroes on the Gold Coast, though
admiring white men and mulattoes, have a maxim that mulattoes should not
intermarry, as the children are few and sickly. This belief, as Mr. Reade
remarks, deserves attention, as white men have visited and resided on the
Gold Coast for four hundred years, so that the natives have had ample time
to gain knowledge through experience.) In the United States the census for
the year 1854 included, according to Dr. Bachman, 405,751 mulattoes; and
this number, considering all the circumstances of the case, seems small;
but it may partly be accounted for by the degraded and anomalous position
of the class, and by the profligacy of the women. A certain amount of
absorption of mulattoes into negroes must always be in progress; and this
would lead to an apparent diminution of the former. The inferior vitality
of mulattoes is spoken of in a trustworthy work (13. ‘Military and
Anthropological Statistics of American Soldiers,’ by B.A. Gould, 1869, p.
319.) as a well-known phenomenon; and this, although a different
consideration from their lessened fertility, may perhaps be advanced as a
proof of the specific distinctness of the parent races. No doubt both
animal and vegetable hybrids, when produced from extremely distinct
species, are liable to premature death; but the parents of mulattoes cannot
be put under the category of extremely distinct species. The common Mule,
so notorious for long life and vigour, and yet so sterile, shews how little
necessary connection there is in hybrids between lessened fertility and
vitality; other analogous cases could be cited.

Even if it should hereafter be proved that all the races of men were
perfectly fertile together, he who was inclined from other reasons to rank
them as distinct species, might with justice argue that fertility and
sterility are not safe criterions of specific distinctness. We know that
these qualities are easily affected by changed conditions of life, or by
close inter-breeding, and that they are governed by highly complex laws,
for instance, that of the unequal fertility of converse crosses between the
same two species. With forms which must be ranked as undoubted species, a
perfect series exists from those which are absolutely sterile when crossed,
to those which are almost or completely fertile. The degrees of sterility
do not coincide strictly with the degrees of difference between the parents
in external structure or habits of life. Man in many respects may be
compared with those animals which have long been domesticated, and a large
body of evidence can be advanced in favour of the Pallasian doctrine (14.
The ‘Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication,’ vol. ii. p. 109.
I may here remind the reader that the sterility of species when crossed is
not a specially-acquired quality, but, like the incapacity of certain trees
to be grafted together, is incidental on other acquired differences. The
nature of these differences is unknown, but they relate more especially to
the reproductive system, and much less so to external structure or to
ordinary differences in constitution. One important element in the
sterility of crossed species apparently lies in one or both having been
long habituated to fixed conditions; for we know that changed conditions
have a special influence on the reproductive system, and we have good
reason to believe (as before remarked) that the fluctuating conditions of
domestication tend to eliminate that sterility which is so general with
species, in a natural state, when crossed. It has elsewhere been shewn by
me (ibid. vol. ii. p. 185, and ‘Origin of Species,’ 5th edit. p. 317), that
the sterility of crossed species has not been acquired through natural
selection: we can see that when two forms have already been rendered very
sterile, it is scarcely possible that their sterility should be augmented
by the preservation or survival of the more and more sterile individuals;
for, as the sterility increases, fewer and fewer offspring will be produced
from which to breed, and at last only single individuals will be produced
at the rarest intervals. But there is even a higher grade of sterility
than this. Both Gartner and Kolreuter have proved that in genera of
plants, including many species, a series can be formed from species which,
when crossed, yield fewer and fewer seeds, to species which never produce a
single seed, but yet are affected by the pollen of the other species, as
shewn by the swelling of the germen. It is here manifestly impossible to
select the more sterile individuals, which have already ceased to yield
seeds; so that the acme of sterility, when the germen alone is affected,
cannot have been gained through selection. This acme, and no doubt the
other grades of sterility, are the incidental results of certain unknown
differences in the constitution of the reproductive system of the species
which are crossed.), that domestication tends to eliminate the sterility
which is so general a result of the crossing of species in a state of
nature. From these several considerations, it may be justly urged that the
perfect fertility of the intercrossed races of man, if established, would
not absolutely preclude us from ranking them as distinct species.

Independently of fertility, the characters presented by the offspring from
a cross have been thought to indicate whether or not the parent-forms ought
to be ranked as species or varieties; but after carefully studying the
evidence, I have come to the conclusion that no general rules of this kind
can be trusted. The ordinary result of a cross is the production of a
blended or intermediate form; but in certain cases some of the offspring
take closely after one parent-form, and some after the other. This is
especially apt to occur when the parents differ in characters which first
appeared as sudden variations or monstrosities. (15. ‘The Variation of
Animals,’ etc., vol. ii. p. 92.) I refer to this point, because Dr. Rohlfs
informs me that he has frequently seen in Africa the offspring of negroes
crossed with members of other races, either completely black or completely
white, or rarely piebald. On the other hand, it is notorious that in
America mulattoes commonly present an intermediate appearance.

We have now seen that a naturalist might feel himself fully justified in
ranking the races of man as distinct species; for he has found that they
are distinguished by many differences in structure and constitution, some
being of importance. These differences have, also, remained nearly
constant for very long periods of time. Our naturalist will have been in
some degree influenced by the enormous range of man, which is a great
anomaly in the class of mammals, if mankind be viewed as a single species.
He will have been struck with the distribution of the several so-called
races, which accords with that of other undoubtedly distinct species of
mammals. Finally, he might urge that the mutual fertility of all the races
has not as yet been fully proved, and even if proved would not be an
absolute proof of their specific identity.

On the other side of the question, if our supposed naturalist were to
enquire whether the forms of man keep distinct like ordinary species, when
mingled together in large numbers in the same country, he would immediately
discover that this was by no means the case. In Brazil he would behold an
immense mongrel population of Negroes and Portuguese; in Chiloe, and other
parts of South America, he would behold the whole population consisting of
Indians and Spaniards blended in various degrees. (16. M. de Quatrefages
has given (‘Anthropological Review,’ Jan. 1869, p. 22), an interesting
account of the success and energy of the Paulistas in Brazil, who are a
much crossed race of Portuguese and Indians, with a mixture of the blood of
other races.) In many parts of the same continent he would meet with the
most complex crosses between Negroes, Indians, and Europeans; and judging
from the vegetable kingdom, such triple crosses afford the severest test of
the mutual fertility of the parent forms. In one island of the Pacific he
would find a small population of mingled Polynesian and English blood; and
in the Fiji Archipelago a population of Polynesian and Negritos crossed in
all degrees. Many analogous cases could be added; for instance, in Africa.
Hence the races of man are not sufficiently distinct to inhabit the same
country without fusion; and the absence of fusion affords the usual and
best test of specific distinctness.

Our naturalist would likewise be much disturbed as soon as he perceived
that the distinctive characters of all the races were highly variable.
This fact strikes every one on first beholding the negro slaves in Brazil,
who have been imported from all parts of Africa. The same remark holds
good with the Polynesians, and with many other races. It may be doubted
whether any character can be named which is distinctive of a race and is
constant. Savages, even within the limits of the same tribe, are not
nearly so uniform in character, as has been often asserted. Hottentot
women offer certain peculiarities, more strongly marked than those
occurring in any other race, but these are known not to be of constant
occurrence. In the several American tribes, colour and hairiness differ
considerably; as does colour to a certain degree, and the shape of the
features greatly, in the Negroes of Africa. The shape of the skull varies
much in some races (17. For instance, with the aborigines of America and
Australia, Prof. Huxley says (‘Transact. Internat. Congress of Prehist.
Arch.’ 1868, p. 105), that the skulls of many South Germans and Swiss are
“as short and as broad as those of the Tartars,” etc.); and so it is with
every other character. Now all naturalists have learnt by dearly bought
experience, how rash it is to attempt to define species by the aid of
inconstant characters.

But the most weighty of all the arguments against treating the races of man
as distinct species, is that they graduate into each other, independently
in many cases, as far as we can judge, of their having intercrossed. Man
has been studied more carefully than any other animal, and yet there is the
greatest possible diversity amongst capable judges whether he should be
classed as a single species or race, or as two (Virey), as three
(Jacquinot), as four (Kant), five (Blumenbach), six (Buffon), seven
(Hunter), eight (Agassiz), eleven (Pickering), fifteen (Bory St. Vincent),
sixteen (Desmoulins), twenty-two (Morton), sixty (Crawfurd), or as sixty-
three, according to Burke. (18. See a good discussion on this subject in
Waitz, ‘Introduction to Anthropology,’ Eng. translat., 1863, pp. 198-208,
227. I have taken some of the above statements from H. Tuttle’s ‘Origin
and Antiquity of Physical Man,’ Boston, 1866, p. 35.) This diversity of
judgment does not prove that the races ought not to be ranked as species,
but it shews that they graduate into each other, and that it is hardly
possible to discover clear distinctive characters between them.

Every naturalist who has had the misfortune to undertake the description of
a group of highly varying organisms, has encountered cases (I speak after
experience) precisely like that of man; and if of a cautious disposition,
he will end by uniting all the forms which graduate into each other, under
a single species; for he will say to himself that he has no right to give
names to objects which he cannot define. Cases of this kind occur in the
Order which includes man, namely in certain genera of monkeys; whilst in
other genera, as in Cercopithecus, most of the species can be determined
with certainty. In the American genus Cebus, the various forms are ranked
by some naturalists as species, by others as mere geographical races. Now
if numerous specimens of Cebus were collected from all parts of South
America, and those forms which at present appear to be specifically
distinct, were found to graduate into each other by close steps, they would
usually be ranked as mere varieties or races; and this course has been
followed by most naturalists with respect to the races of man.
Nevertheless, it must be confessed that there are forms, at least in the
vegetable kingdom (19. Prof. Nageli has carefully described several
striking cases in his ‘Botanische Mittheilungen,’ B. ii. 1866, ss. 294-369.
Prof. Asa Gray has made analogous remarks on some intermediate forms in the
Compositae of N. America.), which we cannot avoid naming as species, but
which are connected together by numberless gradations, independently of

Some naturalists have lately employed the term “sub-species” to designate
forms which possess many of the characteristics of true species, but which
hardly deserve so high a rank. Now if we reflect on the weighty arguments
above given, for raising the races of man to the dignity of species, and
the insuperable difficulties on the other side in defining them, it seems
that the term “sub-species” might here be used with propriety. But from
long habit the term “race” will perhaps always be employed. The choice of
terms is only so far important in that it is desirable to use, as far as
possible, the same terms for the same degrees of difference. Unfortunately
this can rarely be done: for the larger genera generally include closely-
allied forms, which can be distinguished only with much difficulty, whilst
the smaller genera within the same family include forms that are perfectly
distinct; yet all must be ranked equally as species. So again, species
within the same large genus by no means resemble each other to the same
degree: on the contrary, some of them can generally be arranged in little
groups round other species, like satellites round planets. (20. ‘Origin
of Species,’ 5th edit. p. 68.)

The question whether mankind consists of one or several species has of late
years been much discussed by anthropologists, who are divided into the two
schools of monogenists and polygenists. Those who do not admit the
principle of evolution, must look at species as separate creations, or in
some manner as distinct entities; and they must decide what forms of man
they will consider as species by the analogy of the method commonly pursued
in ranking other organic beings as species. But it is a hopeless endeavour
to decide this point, until some definition of the term “species” is
generally accepted; and the definition must not include an indeterminate
element such as an act of creation. We might as well attempt without any
definition to decide whether a certain number of houses should be called a
village, town, or city. We have a practical illustration of the difficulty
in the never-ending doubts whether many closely-allied mammals, birds,
insects, and plants, which represent each other respectively in North
America and Europe, should be ranked as species or geographical races; and
the like holds true of the productions of many islands situated at some
little distance from the nearest continent.

Those naturalists, on the other hand, who admit the principle of evolution,
and this is now admitted by the majority of rising men, will feel no doubt
that all the races of man are descended from a single primitive stock;
whether or not they may think fit to designate the races as distinct
species, for the sake of expressing their amount of difference. (21. See
Prof. Huxley to this effect in the ‘Fortnightly Review,’ 1865, p. 275.)
With our domestic animals the question whether the various races have
arisen from one or more species is somewhat different. Although it may be
admitted that all the races, as well as all the natural species within the
same genus, have sprung from the same primitive stock, yet it is a fit
subject for discussion, whether all the domestic races of the dog, for
instance, have acquired their present amount of difference since some one
species was first domesticated by man; or whether they owe some of their
characters to inheritance from distinct species, which had already been
differentiated in a state of nature. With man no such question can arise,
for he cannot be said to have been domesticated at any particular period.

During an early stage in the divergence of the races of man from a common
stock, the differences between the races and their number must have been
small; consequently as far as their distinguishing characters are
concerned, they then had less claim to rank as distinct species than the
existing so-called races. Nevertheless, so arbitrary is the term of
species, that such early races would perhaps have been ranked by some
naturalists as distinct species, if their differences, although extremely
slight, had been more constant than they are at present, and had not
graduated into each other.

It is however possible, though far from probable, that the early
progenitors of man might formerly have diverged much in character, until
they became more unlike each other than any now existing races; but that
subsequently, as suggested by Vogt (22. ‘Lectures on Man,’ Eng. translat.,
1864, p. 468.), they converged in character. When man selects the
offspring of two distinct species for the same object, he sometimes induces
a considerable amount of convergence, as far as general appearance is
concerned. This is the case, as shewn by von Nathusius (23. ‘Die Rassen
des Schweines,’ 1860, s. 46. ‘Vorstudien fur Geschichte,’ etc.,
Schweinesschadel, 1864, s. 104. With respect to cattle, see M. de
Quatrefages, ‘Unite de l’Espece Humaine,’ 1861, p. 119.), with the improved
breeds of the pig, which are descended from two distinct species; and in a
less marked manner with the improved breeds of cattle. A great anatomist,
Gratiolet, maintains that the anthropomorphous apes do not form a natural
sub-group; but that the orang is a highly developed gibbon or
semnopithecus, the chimpanzee a highly developed macacus, and the gorilla a
highly developed mandrill. If this conclusion, which rests almost
exclusively on brain-characters, be admitted, we should have a case of
convergence at least in external characters, for the anthropomorphous apes
are certainly more like each other in many points, than they are to other
apes. All analogical resemblances, as of a whale to a fish, may indeed be
said to be cases of convergence; but this term has never been applied to
superficial and adaptive resemblances. It would, however, be extremely
rash to attribute to convergence close similarity of character in many
points of structure amongst the modified descendants of widely distinct
beings. The form of a crystal is determined solely by the molecular
forces, and it is not surprising that dissimilar substances should
sometimes assume the same form; but with organic beings we should bear in
mind that the form of each depends on an infinity of complex relations,
namely on variations, due to causes far too intricate to be followed,–on
the nature of the variations preserved, these depending on the physical
conditions, and still more on the surrounding organisms which compete with
each,–and lastly, on inheritance (in itself a fluctuating element) from
innumerable progenitors, all of which have had their forms determined
through equally complex relations. It appears incredible that the modified
descendants of two organisms, if these differed from each other in a marked
manner, should ever afterwards converge so closely as to lead to a near
approach to identity throughout their whole organisation. In the case of
the convergent races of pigs above referred to, evidence of their descent
from two primitive stocks is, according to von Nathusius, still plainly
retained, in certain bones of their skulls. If the races of man had
descended, as is supposed by some naturalists, from two or more species,
which differed from each other as much, or nearly as much, as does the
orang from the gorilla, it can hardly be doubted that marked differences in
the structure of certain bones would still be discoverable in man as he now

Although the existing races of man differ in many respects, as in colour,
hair, shape of skull, proportions of the body, etc., yet if their whole
structure be taken into consideration they are found to resemble each other
closely in a multitude of points. Many of these are of so unimportant or
of so singular a nature, that it is extremely improbable that they should
have been independently acquired by aboriginally distinct species or races.
The same remark holds good with equal or greater force with respect to the
numerous points of mental similarity between the most distinct races of
man. The American aborigines, Negroes and Europeans are as different from
each other in mind as any three races that can be named; yet I was
incessantly struck, whilst living with the Feugians on board the “Beagle,”
with the many little traits of character, shewing how similar their minds
were to ours; and so it was with a full-blooded negro with whom I happened
once to be intimate.

He who will read Mr. Tylor’s and Sir J. Lubbock’s interesting works (24.
Tylor’s ‘Early History of Mankind,’ 1865: with respect to gesture-
language, see p. 54. Lubbock’s ‘Prehistoric Times,’ 2nd edit. 1869.) can
hardly fail to be deeply impressed with the close similarity between the
men of all races in tastes, dispositions and habits. This is shewn by the
pleasure which they all take in dancing, rude music, acting, painting,
tattooing, and otherwise decorating themselves; in their mutual
comprehension of gesture-language, by the same expression in their
features, and by the same inarticulate cries, when excited by the same
emotions. This similarity, or rather identity, is striking, when
contrasted with the different expressions and cries made by distinct
species of monkeys. There is good evidence that the art of shooting with
bows and arrows has not been handed down from any common progenitor of
mankind, yet as Westropp and Nilsson have remarked (25. ‘On Analogous
Forms of Implements,’ in ‘Memoirs of Anthropological Society’ by H.M.
Westropp. ‘The Primitive Inhabitants of Scandinavia,’ Eng. translat.,
edited by Sir J. Lubbock, 1868, p. 104.), the stone arrow-heads, brought
from the most distant parts of the world, and manufactured at the most
remote periods, are almost identical; and this fact can only be accounted
for by the various races having similar inventive or mental powers. The
same observation has been made by archaeologists (26. Westropp ‘On
Cromlechs,’ etc., ‘Journal of Ethnological Soc.’ as given in ‘Scientific
Opinion,’ June 2nd, 1869, p. 3.) with respect to certain widely-prevalent
ornaments, such as zig-zags, etc.; and with respect to various simple
beliefs and customs, such as the burying of the dead under megalithic
structures. I remember observing in South America (27. ‘Journal of
Researches: Voyage of the “Beagle,”‘ p. 46.), that there, as in so many
other parts of the world, men have generally chosen the summits of lofty
hills, to throw up piles of stones, either as a record of some remarkable
event, or for burying their dead.

Now when naturalists observe a close agreement in numerous small details of
habits, tastes, and dispositions between two or more domestic races, or
between nearly-allied natural forms, they use this fact as an argument that
they are descended from a common progenitor who was thus endowed; and
consequently that all should be classed under the same species. The same
argument may be applied with much force to the races of man.

As it is improbable that the numerous and unimportant points of resemblance
between the several races of man in bodily structure and mental faculties
(I do not here refer to similar customs) should all have been independently
acquired, they must have been inherited from progenitors who had these same
characters. We thus gain some insight into the early state of man, before
he had spread step by step over the face of the earth. The spreading of
man to regions widely separated by the sea, no doubt, preceded any great
amount of divergence of character in the several races; for otherwise we
should sometimes meet with the same race in distinct continents; and this
is never the case. Sir J. Lubbock, after comparing the arts now practised
by savages in all parts of the world, specifies those which man could not
have known, when he first wandered from his original birthplace; for if
once learnt they would never have been forgotten. (28. ‘Prehistoric
Times,’ 1869, p. 574.) He thus shews that “the spear, which is but a
development of the knife-point, and the club, which is but a long hammer,
are the only things left.” He admits, however, that the art of making fire
probably had been already discovered, for it is common to all the races now
existing, and was known to the ancient cave-inhabitants of Europe. Perhaps
the art of making rude canoes or rafts was likewise known; but as man
existed at a remote epoch, when the land in many places stood at a very
different level to what it does now, he would have been able, without the
aid of canoes, to have spread widely. Sir J. Lubbock further remarks how
improbable it is that our earliest ancestors could have “counted as high as
ten, considering that so many races now in existence cannot get beyond
four.” Nevertheless, at this early period, the intellectual and social
faculties of man could hardly have been inferior in any extreme degree to
those possessed at present by the lowest savages; otherwise primeval man
could not have been so eminently successful in the struggle for life, as
proved by his early and wide diffusion.

From the fundamental differences between certain languages, some
philologists have inferred that when man first became widely diffused, he
was not a speaking animal; but it may be suspected that languages, far less
perfect than any now spoken, aided by gestures, might have been used, and
yet have left no traces on subsequent and more highly-developed tongues.
Without the use of some language, however imperfect, it appears doubtful
whether man’s intellect could have risen to the standard implied by his
dominant position at an early period.

Whether primeval man, when he possessed but few arts, and those of the
rudest kind, and when his power of language was extremely imperfect, would
have deserved to be called man, must depend on the definition which we
employ. In a series of forms graduating insensibly from some ape-like
creature to man as he now exists, it would be impossible to fix on any
definite point where the term “man” ought to be used. But this is a matter
of very little importance. So again, it is almost a matter of indifference
whether the so-called races of man are thus designated, or are ranked as
species or sub-species; but the latter term appears the more appropriate.
Finally, we may conclude that when the principle of evolution is generally
accepted, as it surely will be before long, the dispute between the
monogenists and the polygenists will die a silent and unobserved death.

One other question ought not to be passed over without notice, namely,
whether, as is sometimes assumed, each sub-species or race of man has
sprung from a single pair of progenitors. With our domestic animals a new
race can readily be formed by carefully matching the varying offspring from
a single pair, or even from a single individual possessing some new
character; but most of our races have been formed, not intentionally from a
selected pair, but unconsciously by the preservation of many individuals
which have varied, however slightly, in some useful or desired manner. If
in one country stronger and heavier horses, and in another country lighter
and fleeter ones, were habitually preferred, we may feel sure that two
distinct sub-breeds would be produced in the course of time, without any
one pair having been separated and bred from, in either country. Many
races have been thus formed, and their manner of formation is closely
analogous to that of natural species. We know, also, that the horses taken
to the Falkland Islands have, during successive generations, become smaller
and weaker, whilst those which have run wild on the Pampas have acquired
larger and coarser heads; and such changes are manifestly due, not to any
one pair, but to all the individuals having been subjected to the same
conditions, aided, perhaps, by the principle of reversion. The new sub-
breeds in such cases are not descended from any single pair, but from many
individuals which have varied in different degrees, but in the same general
manner; and we may conclude that the races of man have been similarly
produced, the modifications being either the direct result of exposure to
different conditions, or the indirect result of some form of selection.
But to this latter subject we shall presently return.


The partial or complete extinction of many races and sub-races of man is
historically known. Humboldt saw in South America a parrot which was the
sole living creature that could speak a word of the language of a lost
tribe. Ancient monuments and stone implements found in all parts of the
world, about which no tradition has been preserved by the present
inhabitants, indicate much extinction. Some small and broken tribes,
remnants of former races, still survive in isolated and generally
mountainous districts. In Europe the ancient races were all, according to
Shaaffhausen (29. Translation in ‘Anthropological Review,’ Oct. 1868, p.
431.), “lower in the scale than the rudest living savages”; they must
therefore have differed, to a certain extent, from any existing race. The
remains described by Professor Broca from Les Eyzies, though they
unfortunately appear to have belonged to a single family, indicate a race
with a most singular combination of low or simious, and of high
characteristics. This race is “entirely different from any other, ancient
or modern, that we have heard of.” (30. ‘Transactions, International
Congress of Prehistoric Archaeology’ 1868, pp. 172-175. See also Broca
(tr.) in ‘Anthropological Review,’ Oct. 1868, p. 410.) It differed,
therefore, from the quaternary race of the caverns of Belgium.

Man can long resist conditions which appear extremely unfavourable for his
existence. (31. Dr. Gerland, ‘Ueber das Aussterben der Naturvolker,’
1868, s. 82.) He has long lived in the extreme regions of the North, with
no wood for his canoes or implements, and with only blubber as fuel, and
melted snow as drink. In the southern extremity of America the Fuegians
survive without the protection of clothes, or of any building worthy to be
called a hovel. In South Africa the aborigines wander over arid plains,
where dangerous beasts abound. Man can withstand the deadly influence of
the Terai at the foot of the Himalaya, and the pestilential shores of
tropical Africa.

Extinction follows chiefly from the competition of tribe with tribe, and
race with race. Various checks are always in action, serving to keep down
the numbers of each savage tribe,–such as periodical famines, nomadic
habits and the consequent deaths of infants, prolonged suckling, wars,
accidents, sickness, licentiousness, the stealing of women, infanticide,
and especially lessened fertility. If any one of these checks increases in
power, even slightly, the tribe thus affected tends to decrease; and when
of two adjoining tribes one becomes less numerous and less powerful than
the other, the contest is soon settled by war, slaughter, cannibalism,
slavery, and absorption. Even when a weaker tribe is not thus abruptly
swept away, if it once begins to decrease, it generally goes on decreasing
until it becomes extinct. (32. Gerland (ibid. s. 12) gives facts in
support of this statement.)

When civilised nations come into contact with barbarians the struggle is
short, except where a deadly climate gives its aid to the native race. Of
the causes which lead to the victory of civilised nations, some are plain
and simple, others complex and obscure. We can see that the cultivation of
the land will be fatal in many ways to savages, for they cannot, or will
not, change their habits. New diseases and vices have in some cases proved
highly destructive; and it appears that a new disease often causes much
death, until those who are most susceptible to its destructive influence
are gradually weeded out (33. See remarks to this effect in Sir H.
Holland’s ‘Medical Notes and Reflections,’ 1839, p. 390.); and so it may be
with the evil effects from spirituous liquors, as well as with the
unconquerably strong taste for them shewn by so many savages. It further
appears, mysterious as is the fact, that the first meeting of distinct and
separated people generates disease. (34. I have collected (‘Journal of
Researches: Voyage of the “Beagle,”‘ p. 435) a good many cases bearing on
this subject; see also Gerland, ibid. s. 8. Poeppig speaks of the “breath
of civilisation as poisonous to savages.”) Mr. Sproat, who in Vancouver
Island closely attended to the subject of extinction, believed that changed
habits of life, consequent on the advent of Europeans, induces much ill
health. He lays, also, great stress on the apparently trifling cause that
the natives become “bewildered and dull by the new life around them; they
lose the motives for exertion, and get no new ones in their place.” (35.
Sproat, ‘Scenes and Studies of Savage Life,’ 1868, p. 284.)

The grade of their civilisation seems to be a most important element in the
success of competing nations. A few centuries ago Europe feared the
inroads of Eastern barbarians; now any such fear would be ridiculous. It
is a more curious fact, as Mr. Bagehot has remarked, that savages did not
formerly waste away before the classical nations, as they now do before
modern civilised nations; had they done so, the old moralists would have
mused over the event; but there is no lament in any writer of that period
over the perishing barbarians. (36. Bagehot, ‘Physics and Politics,’
‘Fortnightly Review,’ April 1, 1868, p. 455.) The most potent of all the
causes of extinction, appears in many cases to be lessened fertility and
ill-health, especially amongst the children, arising from changed
conditions of life, notwithstanding that the new conditions may not be
injurious in themselves. I am much indebted to Mr. H.H. Howorth for having
called my attention to this subject, and for having given me information
respecting it. I have collected the following cases.

When Tasmania was first colonised the natives were roughly estimated by
some at 7000 and by others at 20,000. Their number was soon greatly
reduced, chiefly by fighting with the English and with each other. After
the famous hunt by all the colonists, when the remaining natives delivered
themselves up to the government, they consisted only of 120 individuals
(37. All the statements here given are taken from ‘The Last of the
Tasmanians,’ by J. Bonwick, 1870.), who were in 1832 transported to
Flinders Island. This island, situated between Tasmania and Australia, is
forty miles long, and from twelve to eighteen miles broad: it seems
healthy, and the natives were well treated. Nevertheless, they suffered
greatly in health. In 1834 they consisted (Bonwick, p. 250) of forty-seven
adult males, forty-eight adult females, and sixteen children, or in all of
111 souls. In 1835 only one hundred were left. As they continued rapidly
to decrease, and as they themselves thought that they should not perish so
quickly elsewhere, they were removed in 1847 to Oyster Cove in the southern
part of Tasmania. They then consisted (Dec. 20th, 1847) of fourteen men,
twenty-two women and ten children. (38. This is the statement of the
Governor of Tasmania, Sir W. Denison, ‘Varieties of Vice-Regal Life,’ 1870,
vol. i. p. 67.) But the change of site did no good. Disease and death
still pursued them, and in 1864 one man (who died in 1869), and three
elderly women alone survived. The infertility of the women is even a more
remarkable fact than the liability of all to ill-health and death. At the
time when only nine women were left at Oyster Cove, they told Mr. Bonwick
(p. 386), that only two had ever borne children: and these two had
together produced only three children!

With respect to the cause of this extraordinary state of things, Dr. Story
remarks that death followed the attempts to civilise the natives. “If left
to themselves to roam as they were wont and undisturbed, they would have
reared more children, and there would have been less mortality.” Another
careful observer of the natives, Mr. Davis, remarks, “The births have been
few and the deaths numerous. This may have been in a great measure owing
to their change of living and food; but more so to their banishment from
the mainland of Van Diemen’s Land, and consequent depression of spirits”
(Bonwick, pp. 388, 390).

Similar facts have been observed in two widely different parts of
Australia. The celebrated explorer, Mr. Gregory, told Mr. Bonwick, that in
Queensland “the want of reproduction was being already felt with the
blacks, even in the most recently settled parts, and that decay would set
in.” Of thirteen aborigines from Shark’s Bay who visited Murchison River,
twelve died of consumption within three months. (39. For these cases, see
Bonwick’s ‘Daily Life of the Tasmanians,’ 1870, p. 90: and the ‘Last of
the Tasmanians,’ 1870, p. 386.)

The decrease of the Maories of New Zealand has been carefully investigated
by Mr. Fenton, in an admirable Report, from which all the following
statements, with one exception, are taken. (40. ‘Observations on the
Aboriginal Inhabitants of New Zealand,’ published by the Government, 1859.)
The decrease in number since 1830 is admitted by every one, including the
natives themselves, and is still steadily progressing. Although it has
hitherto been found impossible to take an actual census of the natives,
their numbers were carefully estimated by residents in many districts. The
result seems trustworthy, and shows that during the fourteen years,
previous to 1858, the decrease was 19.42 per cent. Some of the tribes,
thus carefully examined, lived above a hundred miles apart, some on the
coast, some inland; and their means of subsistence and habits differed to a
certain extent (p. 28). The total number in 1858 was believed to be
53,700, and in 1872, after a second interval of fourteen years, another
census was taken, and the number is given as only 36,359, shewing a
decrease of 32.29 per cent! (41. ‘New Zealand,’ by Alex. Kennedy, 1873,
p. 47.) Mr. Fenton, after shewing in detail the insufficiency of the
various causes, usually assigned in explanation of this extraordinary
decrease, such as new diseases, the profligacy of the women, drunkenness,
wars, etc., concludes on weighty grounds that it depends chiefly on the
unproductiveness of the women, and on the extraordinary mortality of the
young children (pp. 31, 34). In proof of this he shews (p. 33) that in
1844 there was one non-adult for every 2.57 adults; whereas in 1858 there
was only one non-adult for every 3.27 adults. The mortality of the adults
is also great. He adduces as a further cause of the decrease the
inequality of the sexes; for fewer females are born than males. To this
latter point, depending perhaps on a widely distinct cause, I shall return
in a future chapter. Mr. Fenton contrasts with astonishment the decrease
in New Zealand with the increase in Ireland; countries not very dissimilar
in climate, and where the inhabitants now follow nearly similar habits.
The Maories themselves (p. 35) “attribute their decadence, in some measure,
to the introduction of new food and clothing, and the attendant change of
habits”; and it will be seen, when we consider the influence of changed
conditions on fertility, that they are probably right. The diminution
began between the years 1830 and 1840; and Mr. Fenton shews (p. 40) that
about 1830, the art of manufacturing putrid corn (maize), by long steeping
in water, was discovered and largely practised; and this proves that a
change of habits was beginning amongst the natives, even when New Zealand
was only thinly inhabited by Europeans. When I visited the Bay of Islands
in 1835, the dress and food of the inhabitants had already been much
modified: they raised potatoes, maize, and other agricultural produce, and
exchanged them for English manufactured goods and tobacco.

It is evident from many statements in the life of Bishop Patteson (42.
‘Life of J.C. Patteson,’ by C.M. Younge, 1874; see more especially vol. i.
p. 530.), that the Melanesians of the New Hebrides and neighbouring
archipelagoes, suffered to an extraordinary degree in health, and perished
in large numbers, when they were removed to New Zealand, Norfolk Island,
and other salubrious places, in order to be educated as missionaries.

The decrease of the native population of the Sandwich Islands is as
notorious as that of New Zealand. It has been roughly estimated by those
best capable of judging, that when Cook discovered the Islands in 1779, the
population amounted to about 300,000. According to a loose census in 1823,
the numbers then were 142,050. In 1832, and at several subsequent periods,
an accurate census was officially taken, but I have been able to obtain
only the following returns:
Native Population         Annual rate of decrease
per cent., assuming it to
(Except during 1832 and     have been uniform between
1836, when the few         the successive censuses;
foreigners in the islands    these censuses being taken
Year        were included.)             at irregular intervals.

1832             130,313
1836             108,579
1853             71,019
1860             67,084
1866             58,765
1872             51,531

We here see that in the interval of forty years, between 1832 and 1872, the
population has decreased no less than sixty-eight per cent.! This has been
attributed by most writers to the profligacy of the women, to former bloody
wars, and to the severe labour imposed on conquered tribes and to newly
introduced diseases, which have been on several occasions extremely
destructive. No doubt these and other such causes have been highly
efficient, and may account for the extraordinary rate of decrease between
the years 1832 and 1836; but the most potent of all the causes seems to be
lessened fertility. According to Dr. Ruschenberger of the U.S. Navy, who
visited these islands between 1835 and 1837, in one district of Hawaii,
only twenty-five men out of 1134, and in another district only ten out of
637, had a family with as many as three children. Of eighty married women,
only thirty-nine had ever borne children; and “the official report gives an
average of half a child to each married couple in the whole island.” This
is almost exactly the same average as with the Tasmanians at Oyster Cove.
Jarves, who published his History in 1843, says that “families who have
three children are freed from all taxes; those having more, are rewarded by
gifts of land and other encouragements.” This unparalleled enactment by
the government well shews how infertile the race had become. The Rev. A.
Bishop stated in the Hawaiian ‘Spectator’ in 1839, that a large proportion
of the children die at early ages, and Bishop Staley informs me that this
is still the case, just as in New Zealand. This has been attributed to the
neglect of the children by the women, but it is probably in large part due
to innate weakness of constitution in the children, in relation to the
lessened fertility of their parents. There is, moreover, a further
resemblance to the case of New Zealand, in the fact that there is a large
excess of male over female births: the census of 1872 gives 31,650 males
to 25,247 females of all ages, that is 125.36 males for every 100 females;
whereas in all civilised countries the females exceed the males. No doubt
the profligacy of the women may in part account for their small fertility;
but their changed habits of life is a much more probable cause, and which
will at the same time account for the increased mortality, especially of
the children. The islands were visited by Cook in 1779, Vancouver in 1794,
and often subsequently by whalers. In 1819 missionaries arrived, and found
that idolatry had been already abolished, and other changes effected by the
king. After this period there was a rapid change in almost all the habits
of life of the natives, and they soon became “the most civilised of the
Pacific Islanders.” One of my informants, Mr. Coan, who was born on the
islands, remarks that the natives have undergone a greater change in their
habits of life in the course of fifty years than Englishmen during a
thousand years. From information received from Bishop Staley, it does not
appear that the poorer classes have ever much changed their diet, although
many new kinds of fruit have been introduced, and the sugar-cane is in
universal use. Owing, however, to their passion for imitating Europeans,
they altered their manner of dressing at an early period, and the use of
alcoholic drinks became very general. Although these changes appear
inconsiderable, I can well believe, from what is known with respect to
animals, that they might suffice to lessen the fertility of the natives.
(43. The foregoing statements are taken chiefly from the following works:
Jarves’ ‘History of the Hawaiian Islands,’ 1843, pp. 400-407. Cheever,
‘Life in the Sandwich Islands,’ 1851, p. 277. Ruschenberger is quoted by
Bonwick, ‘Last of the Tasmanians,’ 1870, p. 378. Bishop is quoted by Sir
E. Belcher, ‘Voyage Round the World,’ 1843, vol. i. p. 272. I owe the
census of the several years to the kindness of Mr. Coan, at the request of
Dr. Youmans of New York; and in most cases I have compared the Youmans
figures with those given in several of the above-named works. I have
omitted the census for 1850, as I have seen two widely different numbers

Lastly, Mr. Macnamara states (44. ‘The Indian Medical Gazette,’ Nov. 1,
1871, p. 240.) that the low and degraded inhabitants of the Andaman
Islands, on the eastern side of the Gulf of Bengal, are “eminently
susceptible to any change of climate: in fact, take them away from their
island homes, and they are almost certain to die, and that independently of
diet or extraneous influences.” He further states that the inhabitants of
the Valley of Nepal, which is extremely hot in summer, and also the various
hill-tribes of India.

The Descent Of Man

Chapter XVII



The law of battle–Special weapons, confined to the males–Cause of absence
of weapons in the female–Weapons common to both sexes, yet primarily
acquired by the male–Other uses of such weapons–Their high importance–
Greater size of the male–Means of defence–On the preference shown by
either sex in the pairing of quadrupeds.

With mammals the male appears to win the female much more through the law
of battle than through the display of his charms. The most timid animals,
not provided with any special weapons for fighting, engage in desperate
conflicts during the season of love. Two male hares have been seen to
fight together until one was killed; male moles often fight, and sometimes
with fatal results; male squirrels engage in frequent contests, “and often
wound each other severely”; as do male beavers, so that “hardly a skin is
without scars.” (1. See Waterton’s account of two hares fighting,
‘Zoologist,’ vol. i. 1843, p. 211. On moles, Bell, ‘Hist. of British
Quadrupeds,’ 1st ed., p. 100. On squirrels, Audubon and Bachman,
Viviparous Quadrupeds of N. America, 1846, p. 269. On beavers, Mr. A.H.
Green, in ‘Journal of Linnean Society, Zoology,’ vol. x. 1869, p. 362.) I
observed the same fact with the hides of the guanacoes in Patagonia; and on
one occasion several were so absorbed in fighting that they fearlessly
rushed close by me. Livingstone speaks of the males of the many animals in
Southern Africa as almost invariably shewing the scars received in former

The law of battle prevails with aquatic as with terrestrial mammals. It is
notorious how desperately male seals fight, both with their teeth and
claws, during the breeding-season; and their hides are likewise often
covered with scars. Male sperm-whales are very jealous at this season; and
in their battles “they often lock their jaws together, and turn on their
sides and twist about”; so that their lower jaws often become distorted.
(2. On the battles of seals, see Capt. C. Abbott in ‘Proc. Zool. Soc.’
1868, p. 191; Mr. R. Brown, ibid. 1868, p. 436; also L. Lloyd, ‘Game Birds
of Sweden,’ 1867, p. 412; also Pennant. On the sperm-whale see Mr. J.H.
Thompson, in ‘Proc. Zool. Soc.’ 1867, p. 246.)

All male animals which are furnished with special weapons for fighting, are
well known to engage in fierce battles. The courage and the desperate
conflicts of stags have often been described; their skeletons have been
found in various parts of the world, with the horns inextricably locked
together, shewing how miserably the victor and vanquished had perished.
(3. See Scrope (‘Art of Deer-stalking,’ p. 17) on the locking of the horns
with the Cervus elaphus. Richardson, in ‘Fauna Bor. Americana,’ 1829, p.
252, says that the wapiti, moose, and reindeer have been found thus locked
together. Sir. A. Smith found at the Cape of Good Hope the skeletons of
two gnus in the same condition.) No animal in the world is so dangerous as
an elephant in must. Lord Tankerville has given me a graphic description
of the battles between the wild bulls in Chillingham Park, the descendants,
degenerated in size but not in courage, of the gigantic Bos primigenius.
In 1861 several contended for mastery; and it was observed that two of the
younger bulls attacked in concert the old leader of the herd, overthrew and
disabled him, so that he was believed by the keepers to be lying mortally
wounded in a neighbouring wood. But a few days afterwards one of the young
bulls approached the wood alone; and then the “monarch of the chase,” who
had been lashing himself up for vengeance, came out and, in a short time,
killed his antagonist. He then quietly joined the herd, and long held
undisputed sway. Admiral Sir B.J. Sulivan informs me that, when he lived
in the Falkland Islands, he imported a young English stallion, which
frequented the hills near Port William with eight mares. On these hills
there were two wild stallions, each with a small troop of mares; “and it is
certain that these stallions would never have approached each other without
fighting. Both had tried singly to fight the English horse and drive away
his mares, but had failed. One day they came in TOGETHER and attacked him.
This was seen by the capitan who had charge of the horses, and who, on
riding to the spot, found one of the two stallions engaged with the English
horse, whilst the other was driving away the mares, and had already
separated four from the rest. The capitan settled the matter by driving
the whole party into the corral, for the wild stallions would not leave the

Male animals which are provided with efficient cutting or tearing teeth for
the ordinary purposes of life, such as the carnivora, insectivora, and
rodents, are seldom furnished with weapons especially adapted for fighting
with their rivals. The case is very different with the males of many other
animals. We see this in the horns of stags and of certain kinds of
antelopes in which the females are hornless. With many animals the canine
teeth in the upper or lower jaw, or in both, are much larger in the males
than in the females, or are absent in the latter, with the exception
sometimes of a hidden rudiment. Certain antelopes, the musk-deer, camel,
horse, boar, various apes, seals, and the walrus, offer instances. In the
females of the walrus the tusks are sometimes quite absent. (4. Mr.
Lamont (‘Seasons with the Sea-Horses,’ 1861, p. 143) says that a good tusk
of the male walrus weighs 4 pounds, and is longer than that of the female,
which weighs about 3 pounds. The males are described as fighting
ferociously. On the occasional absence of the tusks in the female, see Mr.
R. Brown, ‘Proceedings, Zoological Society,’ 1868, p. 429.) In the male
elephant of India and in the male dugong (5. Owen, ‘Anatomy of
Vertebrates,’ vol. iii. p. 283.) the upper incisors form offensive weapons.
In the male narwhal the left canine alone is developed into the well-known,
spirally-twisted, so-called horn, which is sometimes from nine to ten feet
in length. It is believed that the males use these horns for fighting
together; for “an unbroken one can rarely be got, and occasionally one may
be found with the point of another jammed into the broken place.” (6. Mr.
R. Brown, in ‘Proc. Zool. Soc.’ 1869, p. 553. See Prof. Turner, in
‘Journal of Anat. and Phys.’ 1872, p. 76, on the homological nature of
these tusks. Also Mr. J.W. Clarke on two tusks being developed in the
males, in ‘Proceedings of the Zoological Society,’ 1871, p. 42.) The tooth
on the opposite side of the head in the male consists of a rudiment about
ten inches in length, which is embedded in the jaw; but sometimes, though
rarely, both are equally developed on the two sides. In the female both
are always rudimentary. The male cachalot has a larger head than that of
the female, and it no doubt aids him in his aquatic battles. Lastly, the
adult male ornithorhynchus is provided with a remarkable apparatus, namely
a spur on the foreleg, closely resembling the poison-fang of a venomous
snake; but according to Harting, the secretion from the gland is not
poisonous; and on the leg of the female there is a hollow, apparently for
the reception of the spur. (7. Owen on the cachalot and Ornithorhynchus,
ibid. vol. iii. pp. 638, 641. Harting is quoted by Dr. Zouteveen in the
Dutch translation of this work, vol. ii. p. 292.)

When the males are provided with weapons which in the females are absent,
there can be hardly a doubt that these serve for fighting with other males;
and that they were acquired through sexual selection, and were transmitted
to the male sex alone. It is not probable, at least in most cases, that
the females have been prevented from acquiring such weapons, on account of
their being useless, superfluous, or in some way injurious. On the
contrary, as they are often used by the males for various purposes, more
especially as a defence against their enemies, it is a surprising fact that
they are so poorly developed, or quite absent, in the females of so many
animals. With female deer the development during each recurrent season of
great branching horns, and with female elephants the development of immense
tusks, would be a great waste of vital power, supposing that they were of
no use to the females. Consequently, they would have tended to be
eliminated in the female through natural selection; that is, if the
successive variations were limited in their transmission to the female sex,
for otherwise the weapons of the males would have been injuriously
affected, and this would have been a greater evil. On the whole, and from
the consideration of the following facts, it seems probable that when the
various weapons differ in the two sexes, this has generally depended on the
kind of transmission which has prevailed.

As the reindeer is the one species in the whole family of Deer, in which
the female is furnished with horns, though they are somewhat smaller,
thinner, and less branched than in the male, it might naturally be thought
that, at least in this case, they must be of some special service to her.
The female retains her horns from the time when they are fully developed,
namely, in September, throughout the winter until April or May, when she
brings forth her young. Mr. Crotch made particular enquiries for me in
Norway, and it appears that the females at this season conceal themselves
for about a fortnight in order to bring forth their young, and then
reappear, generally hornless. In Nova Scotia, however, as I hear from Mr.
H. Reeks, the female sometimes retains her horns longer. The male on the
other hand casts his horns much earlier, towards the end of November. As
both sexes have the same requirements and follow the same habits of life,
and as the male is destitute of horns during the winter, it is improbable
that they can be of any special service to the female during this season,
which includes the larger part of the time during which she is horned. Nor
is it probable that she can have inherited horns from some ancient
progenitor of the family of deer, for, from the fact of the females of so
many species in all quarters of the globe not having horns, we may conclude
that this was the primordial character of the group. (8. On the structure
and shedding of the horns of the reindeer, Hoffberg, ‘Amoenitates Acad.’
vol. iv. 1788, p. 149. See Richardson, ‘Fauna Bor. Americana,’ p. 241, in
regard to the American variety or species: also Major W. Ross King, ‘The
Sportsman in Canada,’ 1866, p. 80.

The horns of the reindeer are developed at a most unusually early age; but
what the cause of this may be is not known. The effect has apparently been
the transference of the horns to both sexes. We should bear in mind that
horns are always transmitted through the female, and that she has a latent
capacity for their development, as we see in old or diseased females. (9.
Isidore Geoffroy St.-Hilaire, ‘Essais de Zoolog. Generale,’ 1841, p. 513.
Other masculine characters, besides the horns, are sometimes similarly
transferred to the female; thus Mr. Boner, in speaking of an old female
chamois (‘Chamois Hunting in the Mountains of Bavaria,’ 1860, 2nd ed., p.
363), says, “not only was the head very male-looking, but along the back
there was a ridge of long hair, usually to be found only in bucks.”)
Moreover the females of some other species of deer exhibit, either normally
or occasionally, rudiments of horns; thus the female of Cervulus moschatus
has “bristly tufts, ending in a knob, instead of a horn”; and “in most
specimens of the female wapiti (Cervus canadensis) there is a sharp bony
protuberance in the place of the horn.” (10. On the Cervulus, Dr. Gray,
‘Catalogue of Mammalia in the British Museum,’ part iii. p. 220. On the
Cervus canadensis or wapiti, see Hon. J.D. Caton, ‘Ottawa Academy of Nat.
Sciences,’ May 1868, p. 9.) From these several considerations we may
conclude that the possession of fairly well-developed horns by the female
reindeer, is due to the males having first acquired them as weapons for
fighting with other males; and secondarily to their development from some
unknown cause at an unusually early age in the males, and their consequent
transference to both sexes.

Turning to the sheath-horned ruminants: with antelopes a graduated series
can be formed, beginning with species, the females of which are completely
destitute of horns–passing on to those which have horns so small as to be
almost rudimentary (as with the Antilocapra americana, in which species
they are present in only one out of four or five females (11. I am
indebted to Dr. Canfield for this information; see also his paper in the
‘Proceedings of the Zoological Society,’ 1866, p. 105.))–to those which
have fairly developed horns, but manifestly smaller and thinner than in the
male and sometimes of a different shape (12. For instance the horns of the
female Ant. euchore resemble those of a distinct species, viz. the Ant.
dorcas var. Corine, see Desmarest, ‘Mammalogie,’ p. 455.),–and ending with
those in which both sexes have horns of equal size. As with the reindeer,
so with antelopes, there exists, as previously shewn, a relation between
the period of the development of the horns and their transmission to one or
both sexes; it is therefore probable that their presence or absence in the
females of some species, and their more or less perfect condition in the
females of other species, depends, not on their being of any special use,
but simply on inheritance. It accords with this view that even in the same
restricted genus both sexes of some species, and the males alone of others,
are thus provided. It is also a remarkable fact that, although the females
of Antilope bezoartica are normally destitute of horns, Mr. Blyth has seen
no less than three females thus furnished; and there was no reason to
suppose that they were old or diseased.

In all the wild species of goats and sheep the horns are larger in the male
than in the female, and are sometimes quite absent in the latter. (13.
Gray, ‘Catalogue of Mammalia, the British Museum,’ part iii. 1852, p. 160.)
In several domestic breeds of these two animals, the males alone are
furnished with horns; and in some breeds, for instance, in the sheep of
North Wales, though both sexes are properly horned, the ewes are very
liable to be hornless. I have been informed by a trustworthy witness, who
purposely inspected a flock of these same sheep during the lambing season,
that the horns at birth are generally more fully developed in the male than
in the female. Mr. J. Peel crossed his Lonk sheep, both sexes of which
always bear horns, with hornless Leicesters and hornless Shropshire Downs;
and the result was that the male offspring had their horns considerably
reduced, whilst the females were wholly destitute of them. These several
facts indicate that, with sheep, the horns are a much less firmly fixed
character in the females than in the males; and this leads us to look at
the horns as properly of masculine origin.

With the adult musk-ox (Ovibos moschatus) the horns of the male are larger
than those of the female, and in the latter the bases do not touch. (14.
Richardson, ‘Fauna Bor. Americana,’ p. 278.) In regard to ordinary cattle
Mr. Blyth remarks: “In most of the wild bovine animals the horns are both
longer and thicker in the bull than in the cow, and in the cow-banteng (Bos
sondaicus) the horns are remarkably small, and inclined much backwards. In
the domestic races of cattle, both of the humped and humpless types, the
horns are short and thick in the bull, longer and more slender in the cow
and ox; and in the Indian buffalo, they are shorter and thicker in the
bull, longer and more slender in the cow. In the wild gaour (B. gaurus)
the horns are mostly both longer and thicker in the bull than in the cow.”
(15. ‘Land and Water,’ 1867, p. 346.) Dr. Forsyth Major also informs me
that a fossil skull, believed to be that of the female Bos etruscus, has
been found in Val d’Arno, which is wholly without horns. In the Rhinoceros
simus, as I may add, the horns of the female are generally longer but less
powerful than in the male; and in some other species of rhinoceros they are
said to be shorter in the female. (16. Sir Andrew Smith, ‘Zoology of S.
Africa,’ pl. xix. Owen, ‘Anatomy of Vertebrates,’ vol. iii. p. 624.) From
these various facts we may infer as probable that horns of all kinds, even
when they are equally developed in the two sexes, were primarily acquired
by the male in order to conquer other males, and have been transferred more
or less completely to the female.

The effects of castration deserve notice, as throwing light on this same
point. Stags after the operation never renew their horns. The male
reindeer, however, must be excepted, as after castration he does renew
them. This fact, as well as the possession of horns by both sexes, seems
at first to prove that the horns in this species do not constitute a sexual
character (17. This is the conclusion of Seidlitz, ‘Die Darwinsche
Theorie,’ 1871, p. 47.); but as they are developed at a very early age,
before the sexes differ in constitution, it is not surprising that they
should be unaffected by castration, even if they were aboriginally acquired
by the male. With sheep both sexes properly bear horns; and I am informed
that with Welch sheep the horns of the males are considerably reduced by
castration; but the degree depends much on the age at which the operation
is performed, as is likewise the case with other animals. Merino rams have
large horns, whilst the ewes “generally speaking are without horns”; and in
this breed castration seems to produce a somewhat greater effect, so that
if performed at an early age the horns “remain almost undeveloped.” (18.
I am much obliged to Prof. Victor Carus, for having made enquiries for me
in Saxony on this subject. H. von Nathusius (‘Viehzucht,’ 1872, p. 64)
says that the horns of sheep castrated at an early period, either
altogether disappear or remain as mere rudiments; but I do not know whether
he refers to merinos or to ordinary breeds.) On the Guinea coast there is
a breed in which the females never bear horns, and, as Mr. Winwood Reade
informs me, the rams after castration are quite destitute of them. With
cattle, the horns of the males are much altered by castration; for instead
of being short and thick, they become longer than those of the cow, but
otherwise resemble them. The Antilope bezoartica offers a somewhat
analogous case: the males have long straight spiral horns, nearly parallel
to each other, and directed backwards; the females occasionally bear horns,
but these when present are of a very different shape, for they are not
spiral, and spreading widely, bend round with the points forwards. Now it
is a remarkable fact that, in the castrated male, as Mr. Blyth informs me,
the horns are of the same peculiar shape as in the female, but longer and
thicker. If we may judge from analogy, the female probably shews us, in
these two cases of cattle and the antelope, the former condition of the
horns in some early progenitor of each species. But why castration should
lead to the reappearance of an early condition of the horns cannot be
explained with any certainty. Nevertheless, it seems probable, that in
nearly the same manner as the constitutional disturbance in the offspring,
caused by a cross between two distinct species or races, often leads to the
reappearance of long-lost characters (19. I have given various experiments
and other evidence proving that this is the case, in my ‘Variation of
Animals and Plants under Domestication,’ vol. ii. 1868, pp. 39-47.); so
here, the disturbance in the constitution of the individual, resulting from
castration, produces the same effect.

The tusks of the elephant, in the different species or races, differ
according to sex, nearly as do the horns of ruminants. In India and
Malacca the males alone are provided with well-developed tusks. The
elephant of Ceylon is considered by most naturalists as a distinct race,
but by some as a distinct species, and here “not one in a hundred is found
with tusks, the few that possess them being exclusively males.” (20. Sir
J. Emerson Tennent, ‘Ceylon,’ 1859, vol. ii. p. 274. For Malacca, ‘Journal
of Indian Archipelago,’ vol. iv. p. 357.) The African elephant is
undoubtedly distinct, and the female has large well-developed tusks, though
not so large as those of the male.

These differences in the tusks of the several races and species of
elephants–the great variability of the horns of deer, as notably in the
wild reindeer–the occasional presence of horns in the female Antilope
Bezoartica, and their frequent absence in the female of Antilocapra
americana–the presence of two tusks in some few male narwhals–the
complete absence of tusks in some female walruses–are all instances of the
extreme variability of secondary sexual characters, and of their liability
to differ in closely-allied forms.

Although tusks and horns appear in all cases to have been primarily
developed as sexual weapons, they often serve other purposes. The elephant
uses his tusks in attacking the tiger; according to Bruce, he scores the
trunks of trees until they can be thrown down easily, and he likewise thus
extracts the farinaceous cores of palms; in Africa he often uses one tusk,
always the same, to probe the ground and thus ascertain whether it will
bear his weight. The common bull defends the herd with his horns; and the
elk in Sweden has been known, according to Lloyd, to strike a wolf dead
with a single blow of his great horns. Many similar facts could be given.
One of the most curious secondary uses to which the horns of an animal may
be occasionally put is that observed by Captain Hutton (21. ‘Calcutta
Journal of Natural History,’ vol. ii, 1843, p. 526.) with the wild goat
(Capra aegagrus) of the Himalayas and, as it is also said with the ibex,
namely that when the male accidentally falls from a height he bends inwards
his head, and by alighting on his massive horns, breaks the shock. The
female cannot thus use her horns, which are smaller, but from her more
quiet disposition she does not need this strange kind of shield so much.

Each male animal uses his weapons in his own peculiar fashion. The common
ram makes a charge and butts with such force with the bases of his horns,
that I have seen a powerful man knocked over like a child. Goats and
certain species of sheep, for instance the Ovis cycloceros of Afghanistan
(22. Mr. Blyth, in ‘Land and Water,’ March, 1867, p. 134, on the authority
of Capt. Hutton and others. For the wild Pembrokeshire goats, see the
‘Field,’ 1869, p. 150.), rear on their hind legs, and then not only butt,
but “make a cut down and a jerk up, with the ribbed front of their
scimitar-shaped horn, as with a sabre. When the O. cycloceros attacked a
large domestic ram, who was a noted bruiser, he conquered him by the sheer
novelty of his mode of fighting, always closing at once with his adversary,
and catching him across the face and nose with a sharp drawing jerk of the
head, and then bounding out of the way before the blow could be returned.”
In Pembrokeshire a male goat, the master of a flock which during several
generations had run wild, was known to have killed several males in single
combat; this goat possessed enormous horns, measuring thirty-nine inches in
a straight line from tip to tip. The common bull, as every one knows,
gores and tosses his opponent; but the Italian buffalo is said never to use
his horns: he gives a tremendous blow with his convex forehead, and then
tramples on his fallen enemy with his knees–an instinct which the common
bull does not possess. (23. M. E.M. Bailly, “Sur l’usage des cornes,”
etc., .Annal des Sciences Nat.’ tom. ii. 1824, p. 369.) Hence a dog who
pins a buffalo by the nose is immediately crushed. We must, however,
remember that the Italian buffalo has been long domesticated, and it is by
no means certain that the wild parent-form had similar horns. Mr. Bartlett
informs me that when a female Cape buffalo (Bubalus caffer) was turned into
an enclosure with a bull of the same species, she attacked him, and he in
return pushed her about with great violence. But it was manifest to Mr.
Bartlett that, had not the bull shewn dignified forbearance, he could
easily have killed her by a single lateral thrust with his immense horns.
The giraffe uses his short, hair-covered horns, which are rather longer in
the male than in the female, in a curious manner; for, with his long neck,
he swings his head to either side, almost upside down, with such force that
I have seen a hard plank deeply indented by a single blow.

[Fig. 63. Oryx leucoryx, male (from the Knowsley Menagerie).]

With antelopes it is sometimes difficult to imagine how they can possibly
use their curiously-shaped horns; thus the springboc (Ant. euchore) has
rather short upright horns, with the sharp points bent inwards almost at
right angles, so as to face each other; Mr. Bartlett does not know how they
are used, but suggests that they would inflict a fearful wound down each
side of the face of an antagonist. The slightly-curved horns of the Oryx
leucoryx (Fig. 63) are directed backwards, and are of such length that
their points reach beyond the middle of the back, over which they extend in
almost parallel lines. Thus they seem singularly ill-fitted for fighting;
but Mr. Bartlett informs me that when two of these animals prepare for
battle, they kneel down, with their beads between their fore legs, and in
this attitude the horns stand nearly parallel and close to the ground, with
the points directed forwards and a little upwards. The combatants then
gradually approach each other, and each endeavours to get the upturned
points under the body of the other; if one succeeds in doing this, he
suddenly springs up, throwing up his head at the same time, and can thus
wound or perhaps even transfix his antagonist. Both animals always kneel
down, so as to guard as far as possible against this manoeuvre. It has
been recorded that one of these antelopes has used his horn with effect
even against a lion; yet from being forced to place his head between the
forelegs in order to bring the points of the horns forward, he would
generally be under a great disadvantage when attacked by any other animal.
It is, therefore, not probable that the horns have been modified into their
present great length and peculiar position, as a protection against beasts
of prey. We can however see that, as soon as some ancient male progenitor
of the Oryx acquired moderately long horns, directed a little backwards, he
would be compelled, in his battles with rival males, to bend his head
somewhat inwards or downwards, as is now done by certain stags; and it is
not improbable that he might have acquired the habit of at first
occasionally and afterwards of regularly kneeling down. In this case it is
almost certain that the males which possessed the longest horns would have
had a great advantage over others with shorter horns; and then the horns
would gradually have been rendered longer and longer, through sexual
selection, until they acquired their present extraordinary length and

With stags of many kinds the branches of the horns offer a curious case of
difficulty; for certainly a single straight point would inflict a much more
serious wound than several diverging ones. In Sir Philip Egerton’s museum
there is a horn of the red-deer (Cervus elaphus), thirty inches in length,
with “not fewer than fifteen snags or branches”; and at Moritzburg there is
still preserved a pair of antlers of a red-deer, shot in 1699 by Frederick
I., one of which bears the astonishing number of thirty-three branches and
the other twenty-seven, making altogether sixty branches. Richardson
figures a pair of antlers of the wild reindeer with twenty-nine points.
(24. On the horns of red-deer, Owen, ‘British Fossil Mammals,’ 1846, p.
478; Richardson on the horns of the reindeer, ‘Fauna Bor. Americana,’ 1829,
p. 240. I am indebted to Prof. Victor Carus, for the Moritzburg case.)
From the manner in which the horns are branched, and more especially from
deer being known occasionally to fight together by kicking with their fore-
feet (25. Hon. J.D. Caton (‘Ottawa Acad. of Nat. Science,’ May 1868, p. 9)
says that the American deer fight with their fore-feet, after “the question
of superiority has been once settled and acknowledged in the herd.”
Bailly, ‘Sur l’Usage des cornes,’ ‘Annales des Sciences Nat.’ tom. ii.
1824, p. 371.), M. Bailly actually comes to the conclusion that their horns
are more injurious than useful to them. But this author overlooks the
pitched battles between rival males. As I felt much perplexed about the
use or advantage of the branches, I applied to Mr. McNeill of Colonsay, who
has long and carefully observed the habits of red-deer, and he informs me
that he has never seen some of the branches brought into use, but that the
brow antlers, from inclining downwards, are a great protection to the
forehead, and their points are likewise used in attack. Sir Philip Egerton
also informs me both as to red-deer and fallow-deer that, in fighting, they
suddenly dash together, and getting their horns fixed against each other’s
bodies, a desperate struggle ensues. When one is at last forced to yield
and turn round, the victor endeavours to plunge his brow antlers into his
defeated foe. It thus appears that the upper branches are used chiefly or
exclusively for pushing and fencing. Nevertheless in some species the
upper branches are used as weapons of offence; when a man was attacked by a
wapiti deer (Cervus canadensis) in Judge Caton’s park in Ottawa, and
several men tried to rescue him, the stag “never raised his head from the
ground; in fact he kept his face almost flat on the ground, with his nose
nearly between his fore feet, except when he rolled his head to one side to
take a new observation preparatory to a plunge.” In this position the ends
of the horns were directed against his adversaries. “In rolling his head
he necessarily raised it somewhat, because his antlers were so long that he
could not roll his head without raising them on one side, while, on the
other side they touched the ground.” The stag by this procedure gradually
drove the party of rescuers backwards to a distance of 150 or 200 feet; and
the attacked man was killed. (26. See a most interesting account in the
Appendix to Hon. J.D. Caton’s paper, as above quoted.)

[Fig. 64. Strepsiceros Kudu (from Sir Andrew Smith’s ‘Zoology of South

Although the horns of stags are efficient weapons, there can, I think be no
doubt that a single point would have been much more dangerous than a
branched antler; and Judge Caton, who has had large experience with deer,
fully concurs in this conclusion. Nor do the branching horns, though
highly important as a means of defence against rival stags, appear
perfectly well adapted for this purpose, as they are liable to become
interlocked. The suspicion has therefore crossed my mind that they may
serve in part as ornaments. That the branched antlers of stags as well as
the elegant lyrated horns of certain antelopes, with their graceful double
curvature (Fig. 64), are ornamental in our eyes, no one will dispute. If,
then, the horns, like the splendid accoutrements of the knights of old, add
to the noble appearance of stags and antelopes, they may have been modified
partly for this purpose, though mainly for actual service in battle; but I
have no evidence in favour of this belief.

An interesting case has lately been published, from which it appears that
the horns of a deer in one district in the United States are now being
modified through sexual and natural selection. A writer in an excellent
American Journal (27. The ‘American Naturalist,’ Dec. 1869, p. 552.) says,
that he has hunted for the last twenty-one years in the Adirondacks, where
the Cervus virginianus abounds. About fourteen years ago he first heard of
SPIKE-HORN BUCKS. These became from year to year more common; about five
years ago he shot one, and afterwards another, and now they are frequently
killed. “The spike-horn differs greatly from the common antler of the C.
virginianus. It consists of a single spike, more slender than the antler,
and scarcely half so long, projecting forward from the brow, and
terminating in a very sharp point. It gives a considerable advantage to
its possessor over the common buck. Besides enabling him to run more
swiftly through the thick woods and underbrush (every hunter knows that
does and yearling bucks run much more rapidly than the large bucks when
armed with their cumbrous antlers), the spike-horn is a more effective
weapon than the common antler. With this advantage the spike-horn bucks
are gaining upon the common bucks, and may, in time, entirely supersede
them in the Adirondacks. Undoubtedly, the first spike-horn buck was merely
an accidental freak of nature. But his spike-horns gave him an advantage,
and enabled him to propagate his peculiarity. His descendants having a
like advantage, have propagated the peculiarity in a constantly increasing
ratio, till they are slowly crowding the antlered deer from the region they
inhabit.” A critic has well objected to this account by asking, why, if
the simple horns are now so advantageous, were the branched antlers of the
parent-form ever developed? To this I can only answer by remarking, that a
new mode of attack with new weapons might be a great advantage, as shewn by
the case of the Ovis cycloceros, who thus conquered a domestic ram famous
for his fighting power. Though the branched antlers of a stag are well
adapted for fighting with his rivals, and though it might be an advantage
to the prong-horned variety slowly to acquire long and branched horns, if
he had to fight only with others of the same kind, yet it by no means
follows that branched horns would be the best fitted for conquering a foe
differently armed. In the foregoing case of the Oryx leucoryx, it is
almost certain that the victory would rest with an antelope having short
horns, and who therefore did not need to kneel down, though an oryx might
profit by having still longer horns, if he fought only with his proper

Male quadrupeds, which are furnished with tusks, use them in various ways,
as in the case of horns. The boar strikes laterally and upwards; the musk-
deer downwards with serious effect. (28. Pallas, ‘Spicilegia Zoologica,’
fasc. xiii. 1779, p. 18.) The walrus, though having so short a neck and so
unwieldy a body, “can strike either upwards, or downwards, or sideways,
with equal dexterity.” (29. Lamont, ‘Seasons with the Sea-Horses,’ 1861,
p. 141.) I was informed by the late Dr. Falconer, that the Indian elephant
fights in a different manner according to the position and curvature of his
tusks. When they are directed forwards and upwards he is able to fling a
tiger to a great distance–it is said to even thirty feet; when they are
short and turned downwards he endeavours suddenly to pin the tiger to the
ground and, in consequence, is dangerous to the rider, who is liable to be
jerked off the howdah. (30. See also Corse (‘Philosophical Transactions,’
1799, p. 212) on the manner in which the short-tusked Mooknah variety
attacks other elephants.)

Very few male quadrupeds possess weapons of two distinct kinds specially
adapted for fighting with rival males. The male muntjac-deer (Cervulus),
however, offers an exception, as he is provided with horns and exserted
canine teeth. But we may infer from what follows that one form of weapon
has often been replaced in the course of ages by another. With ruminants
the development of horns generally stands in an inverse relation with that
of even moderately developed canine teeth. Thus camels, guanacoes,
chevrotains, and musk-deer, are hornless, and they have efficient canines;
these teeth being “always of smaller size in the females than in the
males.” The Camelidae have, in addition to their true canines, a pair of
canine-shaped incisors in their upper jaws. (31. Owen, ‘Anatomy of
Vertebrates,’ vol. iii. p. 349.) Male deer and antelopes, on the other
hand, possess horns, and they rarely have canine teeth; and these, when
present, are always of small size, so that it is doubtful whether they are
of any service in their battles. In Antilope montana they exist only as
rudiments in the young male, disappearing as he grows old; and they are
absent in the female at all ages; but the females of certain other
antelopes and of certain deer have been known occasionally to exhibit
rudiments of these teeth. (32. See Ruppell (in ‘Proc. Zoolog. Soc.’ Jan.
12, 1836, p. 3) on the canines in deer and antelopes, with a note by Mr.
Martin on a female American deer. See also Falconer (‘Palaeont. Memoirs
and Notes,’ vol. i. 1868, p. 576) on canines in an adult female deer. In
old males of the musk-deer the canines (Pallas, ‘Spic. Zoolog.’ fasc. xiii.
1779, p. 18) sometimes grow to the length of three inches, whilst in old
females a rudiment projects scarcely half an inch above the gums.)
Stallions have small canine teeth, which are either quite absent or
rudimentary in the mare; but they do not appear to be used in fighting, for
stallions bite with their incisors, and do not open their mouths wide like
camels and guanacoes. Whenever the adult male possesses canines, now
inefficient, whilst the female has either none or mere rudiments, we may
conclude that the early male progenitor of the species was provided with
efficient canines, which have been partially transferred to the females.
The reduction of these teeth in the males seems to have followed from some
change in their manner of fighting, often (but not in the horse) caused by
the development of new weapons.

Tusks and horns are manifestly of high importance to their possessors, for
their development consumes much organised matter. A single tusk of the
Asiatic elephant–one of the extinct woolly species–and of the African
elephant, have been known to weigh respectively 150, 160, and 180 pounds;
and even greater weights have been given by some authors. (33. Emerson
Tennent, ‘Ceylon,’ 1859, vol. ii. p. 275; Owen, ‘British Fossil Mammals,’
1846, p. 245.) With deer, in which the horns are periodically renewed, the
drain on the constitution must be greater; the horns, for instance, of the
moose weigh from fifty to sixty pounds, and those of the extinct Irish elk
from sixty to seventy pounds–the skull of the latter weighing on an
average only five pounds and a quarter. Although the horns are not
periodically renewed in sheep, yet their development, in the opinion of
many agriculturists, entails a sensible loss to the breeder. Stags,
moreover, in escaping from beasts of prey are loaded with an additional
weight for the race, and are greatly retarded in passing through a woody
country. The moose, for instance, with horns extending five and a half
feet from tip to tip, although so skilful in their use that he will not
touch or break a twig when walking quietly, cannot act so dexterously
whilst rushing away from a pack of wolves. “During his progress he holds
his nose up, so as to lay the horns horizontally back; and in this attitude
cannot see the ground distinctly.” (34. Richardson, ‘Fauna Bor.
Americana,’ on the moose, Alces palmata, pp. 236, 237; on the expanse of
the horns, ‘Land and Water,’ 1869, p. 143. See also Owen, ‘British Fossil
Mammals,’ on the Irish elk, pp. 447, 455.) The tips of the horns of the
great Irish elk were actually eight feet apart! Whilst the horns are
covered with velvet, which lasts with red-deer for about twelve weeks, they
are extremely sensitive to a blow; so that in Germany the stags at this
time somewhat change their habits, and avoiding dense forests, frequent
young woods and low thickets. (35. ‘Forest Creatures,’ by C. Boner, 1861,
p. 60.) These facts remind us that male birds have acquired ornamental
plumes at the cost of retarded flight, and other ornaments at the cost of
some loss of power in their battles with rival males.

With mammals, when, as is often the case, the sexes differ in size, the
males are almost always larger and stronger. I am informed by Mr. Gould
that this holds good in a marked manner with the marsupials of Australia,
the males of which appear to continue growing until an unusually late age.
But the most extraordinary case is that of one of the seals (Callorhinus
ursinus), a full-grown female weighing less than one-sixth of a full-grown
male. (36. See the very interesting paper by Mr. J.A. Allen in ‘Bull.
Mus. Comp. Zoology of Cambridge, United States,’ vol. ii. No. 1, p. 82.
The weights were ascertained by a careful observer, Capt. Bryant. Dr. Gill
in ‘The American Naturalist,’ January, 1871, Prof. Shaler on the relative
size of the sexes of whales, ‘American Naturalist,’ January, 1873.) Dr.
Gill remarks that it is with the polygamous seals, the males of which are
well known to fight savagely together, that the sexes differ much in size;
the monogamous species differing but little. Whales also afford evidence
of the relation existing between the pugnacity of the males and their large
size compared with that of the female; the males of the right-whales do not
fight together, and they are not larger, but rather smaller, than their
females; on the other hand, male sperm-whales fight much together, and
their bodies are “often found scarred with the imprint of their rival’s
teeth,” and they are double the size of the females. The greater strength
of the male, as Hunter long ago remarked (37. ‘Animal Economy,’ p. 45.),
is invariably displayed in those parts of the body which are brought into
action in fighting with rival males–for instance, in the massive neck of
the bull. Male quadrupeds are also more courageous and pugnacious than the
females. There can be little doubt that these characters have been gained,
partly through sexual selection, owing to a long series of victories, by
the stronger and more courageous males over the weaker, and partly through
the inherited effects of use. It is probable that the successive
variations in strength, size, and courage, whether due to mere variability
or to the effects of use, by the accumulation of which male quadrupeds have
acquired these characteristic qualities, occurred rather late in life, and
were consequently to a large extent limited in their transmission to the
same sex.

From these considerations I was anxious to obtain information as to the
Scotch deer-hound, the sexes of which differ more in size than those of any
other breed (though blood-hounds differ considerably), or than in any wild
canine species known to me. Accordingly, I applied to Mr. Cupples, well
known for his success with this breed, who has weighed and measured many of
his own dogs, and who has with great kindness collected for me the
following facts from various sources. Fine male dogs, measured at the
shoulder, range from 28 inches, which is low, to 33 or even 34 inches in
height; and in weight from 80 pounds, which is light, to 120 pounds, or
even more. The females range in height from 23 to 27, or even to 28
inches; and in weight from 50 to 70, or even 80 pounds. (38. See also
Richardson’s ‘Manual on the Dog,’ p. 59. Much valuable information on the
Scottish deer-hound is given by Mr. McNeill, who first called attention to
the inequality in size between the sexes, in Scrope’s ‘Art of Deer-
Stalking.’ I hope that Mr. Cupples will keep to his intention of
publishing a full account and history of this famous breed.) Mr. Cupples
concludes that from 95 to 100 pounds for the male, and 70 for the female,
would be a safe average; but there is reason to believe that formerly both
sexes attained a greater weight. Mr. Cupples has weighed puppies when a
fortnight old; in one litter the average weight of four males exceeded that
of two females by six and a half ounces; in another litter the average
weight of four males exceeded that of one female by less than one ounce;
the same males when three weeks old, exceeded the female by seven and a
half ounces, and at the age of six weeks by nearly fourteen ounces. Mr.
Wright of Yeldersley House, in a letter to Mr. Cupples, says: “I have
taken notes on the sizes and weights of puppies of many litters, and as far
as my experience goes, dog-puppies as a rule differ very little from
bitches till they arrive at about five or six months old; and then the dogs
begin to increase, gaining upon the bitches both in weight and size. At
birth, and for several weeks afterwards, a bitch-puppy will occasionally be
larger than any of the dogs, but they are invariably beaten by them later.”
Mr. McNeill, of Colonsay, concludes that “the males do not attain their
full growth till over two years old, though the females attain it sooner.”
According to Mr. Cupples’ experience, male dogs go on growing in stature
till they are from twelve to eighteen months old, and in weight till from
eighteen to twenty-four months old; whilst the females cease increasing in
stature at the age of from nine to fourteen or fifteen months, and in
weight at the age of from twelve to fifteen months. From these various
statements it is clear that the full difference in size between the male
and female Scotch deer-hound is not acquired until rather late in life.
The males almost exclusively are used for coursing, for, as Mr. McNeill
informs me, the females have not sufficient strength and weight to pull
down a full-grown deer. From the names used in old legends, it appears, as
I hear from Mr. Cupples, that, at a very ancient period, the males were the
most celebrated, the females being mentioned only as the mothers of famous
dogs. Hence, during many generations, it is the male which has been
chiefly tested for strength, size, speed, and courage, and the best will
have been bred from. As, however, the males do not attain their full
dimensions until rather late in life, they will have tended, in accordance
with the law often indicated, to transmit their characters to their male
offspring alone; and thus the great inequality in size between the sexes of
the Scotch deer-hound may probably be accounted for.

[Fig. 65. Head of Common wild boar, in prime of life (from Brehm).]

The males of some few quadrupeds possess organs or parts developed solely
as a means of defence against the attacks of other males. Some kinds of
deer use, as we have seen, the upper branches of their horns chiefly or
exclusively for defending themselves; and the Oryx antelope, as I am
informed by Mr. Bartlett, fences most skilfully with his long, gently
curved horns; but these are likewise used as organs of offence. The same
observer remarks that rhinoceroses in fighting, parry each other’s sidelong
blows with their horns, which clatter loudly together, as do the tusks of
boars. Although wild boars fight desperately, they seldom, according to
Brehm, receive fatal wounds, as the blows fall on each other’s tusks, or on
the layer of gristly skin covering the shoulder, called by the German
hunters, the shield; and here we have a part specially modified for
defence. With boars in the prime of life (Fig. 65) the tusks in the lower
jaw are used for fighting, but they become in old age, as Brehm states, so
much curved inwards and upwards over the snout that they can no longer be
used in this way. They may, however, still serve, and even more
effectively, as a means of defence. In compensation for the loss of the
lower tusks as weapons of offence, those in the upper jaw, which always
project a little laterally, increase in old age so much in length and curve
so much upwards that they can be used for attack. Nevertheless, an old
boar is not so dangerous to man as one at the age of six or seven years.
(39. Brehm, ‘Thierleben,’ B. ii. ss. 729-732.)

[Fig. 66. Skull of the Babirusa Pig (from Wallace’s ‘Malay Archipelago’).]

In the full-grown male Babirusa pig of Celebes (Fig. 66), the lower tusks
are formidable weapons, like those of the European boar in the prime of
life, whilst the upper tusks are so long and have their points so much
curled inwards, sometimes even touching the forehead, that they are utterly
useless as weapons of attack. They more nearly resemble horns than teeth,
and are so manifestly useless as teeth that the animal was formerly
supposed to rest his head by hooking them on to a branch! Their convex
surfaces, however, if the head were held a little laterally, would serve as
an excellent guard; and hence, perhaps, it is that in old animals they “are
generally broken off, as if by fighting.” (40. See Mr. Wallace’s
interesting account of this animal, ‘The Malay Archipelago,’ 1869, vol. i.
p. 435.) Here, then, we have the curious case of the upper tusks of the
Babirusa regularly assuming during the prime of life a structure which
apparently renders them fitted only for defence; whilst in the European
boar the lower tusks assume in a less degree and only during old age nearly
the same form, and then serve in like manner solely for defence.

[Fig. 67. Head of female Aethopian wart-hog, from ‘Proc. Zool. Soc.’ 1869,
shewing the same characters as the male, though on a reduced scale.
N.B. When the engraving was first made, I was under the impression that it
represented the male.]

In the wart-hog (see Phacochoerus aethiopicus, Fig. 67) the tusks in the
upper jaw of the male curve upwards during the prime of life, and from
being pointed serve as formidable weapons. The tusks in the lower jaw are
sharper than those in the upper, but from their shortness it seems hardly
possible that they can be used as weapons of attack. They must, however,
greatly strengthen those in the upper jaw, from being ground so as to fit
closely against their bases. Neither the upper nor the lower tusks appear
to have been specially modified to act as guards, though no doubt they are
to a certain extent used for this purpose. But the wart-hog is not
destitute of other special means of protection, for it has, on each side of
the face, beneath the eyes, a rather stiff, yet flexible, cartilaginous,
oblong pad (Fig. 67), which projects two or three inches outwards; and it
appeared to Mr. Bartlett and myself, when viewing the living animal, that
these pads, when struck from beneath by the tusks of an opponent, would be
turned upwards, and would thus admirably protect the somewhat prominent
eyes. I may add, on the authority of Mr. Bartlett, that these boars when
fighting stand directly face to face.

Lastly, the African river-hog (Potomochoerus penicillatus) has a hard
cartilaginous knob on each side of the face beneath the eyes, which answers
to the flexible pad of the wart-hog; it has also two bony prominences on
the upper jaw above the nostrils. A boar of this species in the Zoological
Gardens recently broke into the cage of the wart-hog. They fought all
night long, and were found in the morning much exhausted, but not seriously
wounded. It is a significant fact, as shewing the purposes of the above-
described projections and excrescences, that these were covered with blood,
and were scored and abraded in an extraordinary manner.

Although the males of so many members of the pig family are provided with
weapons, and as we have just seen with means of defence, these weapons seem
to have been acquired within a rather late geological period. Dr. Forsyth
Major specifies (41. ‘Atti della Soc. Italiana di Sc. Nat.’ 1873, vol. xv.
fasc. iv.) several miocene species, in none of which do the tusks appear to
have been largely developed in the males; and Professor Rutimeyer was
formerly struck with this same fact.

The mane of the lion forms a good defence against the attacks of rival
lions, the one danger to which he is liable; for the males, as Sir A. Smith
informs me, engage in terrible battles, and a young lion dares not approach
an old one. In 1857 a tiger at Bromwich broke into the cage of a lion and
a fearful scene ensued: “the lion’s mane saved his neck and head from
being much injured, but the tiger at last succeeded in ripping up his
belly, and in a few minutes he was dead.” (42. ‘The Times,’ Nov. 10,
1857. In regard to the Canada lynx, see Audubon and Bachman, ‘Quadrupeds
of North America,’ 1846, p. 139.) The broad ruff round the throat and chin
of the Canadian lynx (Felis canadensis) is much longer in the male than in
the female; but whether it serves as a defence I do not know. Male seals
are well known to fight desperately together, and the males of certain
kinds (Otaria jubata) (43. Dr. Murie, on Otaria, ‘Proc. Zoolog. Soc.’
1869, p. 109. Mr. J.A. Allen, in the paper above quoted (p. 75), doubts
whether the hair, which is longer on the neck in the male than in the
female, deserves to be called a mane.) have great manes, whilst the females
have small ones or none. The male baboon of the Cape of Good Hope
(Cynocephalus porcarius) has a much longer mane and larger canine teeth
than the female; and the mane probably serves as a protection, for, on
asking the keepers in the Zoological Gardens, without giving them any clue
to my object, whether any of the monkeys especially attacked each other by
the nape of the neck, I was answered that this was not the case, except
with the above baboon. In the Hamadryas baboon, Ehrenberg compares the
mane of the adult male to that of a young lion, whilst in the young of both
sexes and in the female the mane is almost absent.

It appeared to me probable that the immense woolly mane of the male
American bison, which reaches almost to the ground, and is much more
developed in the males than in the females, served as a protection to them
in their terrible battles; but an experienced hunter told Judge Caton that
he had never observed anything which favoured this belief. The stallion
has a thicker and fuller mane than the mare; and I have made particular
inquiries of two great trainers and breeders, who have had charge of many
entire horses, and am assured that they “invariably endeavour to seize one
another by the neck.” It does not, however, follow from the foregoing
statements, that when the hair on the neck serves as a defence, that it was
originally developed for this purpose, though this is probable in some
cases, as in that of the lion. I am informed by Mr. McNeill that the long
hairs on the throat of the stag (Cervus elaphus) serve as a great
protection to him when hunted, for the dogs generally endeavour to seize
him by the throat; but it is not probable that these hairs were specially
developed for this purpose; otherwise the young and the females would have
been equally protected.


Before describing in the next chapter, the differences between the sexes in
voice, odours emitted, and ornaments, it will be convenient here to
consider whether the sexes exert any choice in their unions. Does the
female prefer any particular male, either before or after the males may
have fought together for supremacy; or does the male, when not a
polygamist, select any particular female? The general impression amongst
breeders seems to be that the male accepts any female; and this owing to
his eagerness, is, in most cases, probably the truth. Whether the female
as a general rule indifferently accepts any male is much more doubtful. In
the fourteenth chapter, on Birds, a considerable body of direct and
indirect evidence was advanced, shewing that the female selects her
partner; and it would be a strange anomaly if female quadrupeds, which
stand higher in the scale and have higher mental powers, did not generally,
or at least often, exert some choice. The female could in most cases
escape, if wooed by a male that did not please or excite her; and when
pursued by several males, as commonly occurs, she would often have the
opportunity, whilst they were fighting together, of escaping with some one
male, or at least of temporarily pairing with him. This latter contingency
has often been observed in Scotland with female red-deer, as I am informed
by Sir Philip Egerton and others. (44. Mr. Boner, in his excellent
description of the habits of the red-deer in Germany (‘Forest Creatures,’
1861, p. 81) says, “while the stag is defending his rights against one
intruder, another invades the sanctuary of his harem, and carries off
trophy after trophy.” Exactly the same thing occurs with seals; see Mr.
J.A. Allen, ibid. p. 100.)

It is scarcely possible that much should be known about female quadrupeds
in a state of nature making any choice in their marriage unions. The
following curious details on the courtship of one of the eared seals
(Callorhinus ursinus) are given (45. Mr. J.A. Allen in ‘Bull. Mus. Comp.
Zoolog. of Cambridge, United States,’ vol. ii. No. 1, p. 99.) on the
authority of Capt. Bryant, who had ample opportunities for observation. He
says, “Many of the females on their arrival at the island where they breed
appear desirous of returning to some particular male, and frequently climb
the outlying rocks to overlook the rookeries, calling out and listening as
if for a familiar voice. Then changing to another place they do the same
again…As soon as a female reaches the shore, the nearest male goes down
to meet her, making meanwhile a noise like the clucking of a hen to her
chickens. He bows to her and coaxes her until he gets between her and the
water so that she cannot escape him. Then his manner changes, and with a
harsh growl he drives her to a place in his harem. This continues until
the lower row of harems is nearly full. Then the males higher up select
the time when their more fortunate neighbours are off their guard to steal
their wives. This they do by taking them in their mouths and lifting them
over the heads of the other females, and carefully placing them in their
own harem, carrying them as cats do their kittens. Those still higher up
pursue the same method until the whole space is occupied. Frequently a
struggle ensues between two males for the possession of the same female,
and both seizing her at once pull her in two or terribly lacerate her with
their teeth. When the space is all filled, the old male walks around
complacently reviewing his family, scolding those who crowd or disturb the
others, and fiercely driving off all intruders. This surveillance always
keeps him actively occupied.”

As so little is known about the courtship of animals in a state of nature,
I have endeavoured to discover how far our domesticated quadrupeds evince
any choice in their unions. Dogs offer the best opportunity for
observation, as they are carefully attended to and well understood. Many
breeders have expressed a strong opinion on this head. Thus, Mr. Mayhew
remarks, “The females are able to bestow their affections; and tender
recollections are as potent over them as they are known to be in other
cases, where higher animals are concerned. Bitches are not always prudent
in their loves, but are apt to fling themselves away on curs of low degree.
If reared with a companion of vulgar appearance, there often springs up
between the pair a devotion which no time can afterwards subdue. The
passion, for such it really is, becomes of a more than romantic endurance.”
Mr. Mayhew, who attended chiefly to the smaller breeds, is convinced that
the females are strongly attracted by males of a large size. (46. ‘Dogs:
their Management,’ by E. Mayhew, M.R.C.V.S., 2nd ed., 1864, pp. 187-192.)
The well-known veterinary Blaine states (47. Quoted by Alex. Walker, ‘On
Intermarriage,’ 1838, p. 276; see also p. 244.) that his own female pug dog
became so attached to a spaniel, and a female setter to a cur, that in
neither case would they pair with a dog of their own breed until several
weeks had elapsed. Two similar and trustworthy accounts have been given me
in regard to a female retriever and a spaniel, both of which became
enamoured with terrier-dogs.

Mr. Cupples informs me that he can personally vouch for the accuracy of the
following more remarkable case, in which a valuable and wonderfully-
intelligent female terrier loved a retriever belonging to a neighbour to
such a degree, that she had often to be dragged away from him. After their
permanent separation, although repeatedly shewing milk in her teats, she
would never acknowledge the courtship of any other dog, and to the regret
of her owner never bore puppies. Mr. Cupples also states, that in 1868, a
female deerhound in his kennel thrice produced puppies, and on each
occasion shewed a marked preference for one of the largest and handsomest,
but not the most eager, of four deerhounds living with her, all in the
prime of life. Mr. Cupples has observed that the female generally favours a
dog whom she has associated with and knows; her shyness and timidity at
first incline her against a strange dog. The male, on the contrary, seems
rather inclined towards strange females. It appears to be rare when the
male refuses any particular female, but Mr. Wright, of Yeldersley House, a
great breeder of dogs, informs me that he has known some instances; he
cites the case of one of his own deerhounds, who would not take any notice
of a particular female mastiff, so that another deerhound had to be
employed. It would be superfluous to give, as I could, other instances,
and I will only add that Mr. Barr, who has carefully bred many bloodhounds,
states that in almost every instance particular individuals of opposite
sexes shew a decided prefered.

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin

Written May 1st, 1881.


‘The Effects of Cross and Self-Fertilisation’ was published in
the autumn of 1876; and the results there arrived at explain, as
I believe, the endless and wonderful contrivances for the
transportal of pollen from one plant to another of the same
species. I now believe, however, chiefly from the observations
of Hermann Muller, that I ought to have insisted more strongly
than I did on the many adaptations for self-fertilisation; though
I was well aware of many such adaptations. A much enlarged
edition of my ‘Fertilisation of Orchids’,
English naturalist Charles Darwin wrote the book ‘Fertilization of Orchid’ in 1862. It took ten years to complete this book, this book explains about the how insects take part in the fertilization of British and foreign orchids and good effects of intercrossing. The observations presented in the book was slowly collected for many years. Click Learn More Here to know about the book. was published in 1877.

In this same year ‘The Different Forms of Flowers, etc.,’
appeared, and in 1880 a second edition. This book consists
chiefly of the several papers on Heterostyled flowers originally
published by the Linnean Society, corrected, with much new matter
added, together with observations on some other cases in which
the same plant bears two kinds of flowers. As before remarked,
no little discovery of mine ever gave me so much pleasure as the
making out the meaning of heterostyled flowers. The results of
crossing such flowers in an illegitimate manner, I believe to be
very important, as bearing on the sterility of hybrids; although
these results have been noticed by only a few persons.

In 1879, I had a translation of Dr. Ernst Krause’s ‘Life of
Erasmus Darwin’ published, and I added a sketch of his character
and habits from material in my possession. Many persons have
been much interested by this little life, and I am surprised that
only 800 or 900 copies were sold.

In 1880 I published, with [my son] Frank’s assistance, our ‘Power
of Movement in Plants.’ This was a tough piece of work. The
book bears somewhat the same relation to my little book on
‘Climbing Plants,’ which ‘Cross-Fertilisation’ did to the
‘Fertilisation of Orchids;’ for in accordance with the principle
of evolution it was impossible to account for climbing plants
having been developed in so many widely different groups unless
all kinds of plants possess some slight power of movement of an
analogous kind. This I proved to be the case; and I was further
led to a rather wide generalisation, viz. that the great and
important classes of movements, excited by light, the attraction
of gravity, etc., are all modified forms of the fundamental
movement of circumnutation. It has always pleased me to exalt
plants in the scale of organised beings; and I therefore felt an
especial pleasure in showing how many and what admirably well
adapted movements the tip of a root possesses.

I have now (May 1, 1881) sent to the printers the MS. of a little
book on ‘The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Action of
Worms.’ This is a subject of but small importance; and I know
not whether it will interest any readers (Between November 1881
and February 1884, 8500 copies have been sold.), but it has
interested me. It is the completion of a short paper read before
the Geological Society more than forty years ago, and has revived
old geological thoughts.

I have now mentioned all the books which I have published, and
these have been the milestones in my life, so that little remains
to be said. I am not conscious of any change in my mind during
the last thirty years, excepting in one point presently to be
mentioned; nor, indeed, could any change have been expected
unless one of general deterioration. But my father lived to his
eighty-third year with his mind as lively as ever it was, and all
his faculties undimmed; and I hope that I may die before my mind
fails to a sensible extent. I think that I have become a little
more skilful in guessing right explanations and in devising
experimental tests; but this may probably be the result of mere
practice, and of a larger store of knowledge. I have as much
difficulty as ever in expressing myself clearly and concisely;
and this difficulty has caused me a very great loss of time; but
it has had the compensating advantage of forcing me to think long
and intently about every sentence, and thus I have been led to
see errors in reasoning and in my own observations or those of

There seems to be a sort of fatality in my mind leading me to put
at first my statement or proposition in a wrong or awkward form.
Formerly I used to think about my sentences before writing them
down; but for several years I have found that it saves time to
scribble in a vile hand whole pages as quickly as I possibly can,
contracting half the words; and then correct deliberately.
Sentences thus scribbled down are often better ones than I could
have written deliberately.

Having said thus much about my manner of writing, I will add that
with my large books I spend a good deal of time over the general
arrangement of the matter. I first make the rudest outline in
two or three pages, and then a larger one in several pages, a few
words or one word standing for a whole discussion or series of
facts. Each one of these headings is again enlarged and often
transferred before I begin to write in extenso. As in several of
my books facts observed by others have been very extensively
used, and as I have always had several quite distinct subjects in
hand at the same time, I may mention that I keep from thirty to
forty large portfolios, in cabinets with labelled shelves, into
which I can at once put a detached reference or memorandum. I
have bought many books, and at their ends I make an index of all
the facts that concern my work; or, if the book is not my own,
write out a separate abstract, and of such abstracts I have a
large drawer full. Before beginning on any subject I look to all
the short indexes and make a general and classified index, and by
taking the one or more proper portfolios I have all the
information collected during my life ready for use.

I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the
last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond
it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray,
Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great
pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in
Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also
said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very
great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a
line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and
found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also
almost lost my taste for pictures or music. Music generally sets
me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on,
instead of giving me pleasure. I retain some taste for fine
scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it
formerly did. On the other hand, novels which are works of the
imagination, though not of a very high order, have been for years
a wonderful relief and pleasure to me, and I often bless all
novelists. A surprising number have been read aloud to me, and I
like all if moderately good, and if they do not end unhappily–
against which a law ought to be passed. A novel, according to my
taste, does not come into the first class unless it contains some
person whom one can thoroughly love, and if a pretty woman all
the better.

This curious and lamentable loss of the higher aesthetic tastes
is all the odder, as books on history, biographies, and travels
(independently of any scientific facts which they may contain),
and essays on all sorts of subjects interest me as much as ever
they did. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for
grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why
this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain
alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. A
man with a mind more highly organised or better constituted than
mine, would not, I suppose, have thus suffered; and if I had to
live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry
and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps
the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept
active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of
happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and
more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional
part of our nature.

My books have sold largely in England, have been translated into
many languages, and passed through several editions in foreign
countries. I have heard it said that the success of a work
abroad is the best test of its enduring value. I doubt whether
this is at all trustworthy; but judged by this standard my name
ought to last for a few years. Therefore it may be worth while
to try to analyse the mental qualities and the conditions on
which my success has depended; though I am aware that no man can
do this correctly.

I have no great quickness of apprehension or wit which is so
remarkable in some clever men, for instance, Huxley. I am
therefore a poor critic: a paper or book, when first read,
generally excites my admiration, and it is only after
considerable reflection that I perceive the weak points. My
power to follow a long and purely abstract train of thought is
very limited; and therefore I could never have succeeded with
metaphysics or mathematics. My memory is extensive, yet hazy:
it suffices to make me cautious by vaguely telling me that I have
observed or read something opposed to the conclusion which I am
drawing, or on the other hand in favour of it; and after a time I
can generally recollect where to search for my authority. So
poor in one sense is my memory, that I have never been able to
remember for more than a few days a single date or a line of

Some of my critics have said, “Oh, he is a good observer, but he
has no power of reasoning!” I do not think that this can be
true, for the ‘Origin of Species’ is one long argument from the
beginning to the end, and it has convinced not a few able men.
No one could have written it without having some power of
reasoning. I have a fair share of invention, and of common sense
or judgment, such as every fairly successful lawyer or doctor
must have, but not, I believe, in any higher degree.

On the favourable side of the balance, I think that I am superior
to the common run of men in noticing things which easily escape
attention, and in observing them carefully. My industry has been
nearly as great as it could have been in the observation and
collection of facts. What is far more important, my love of
natural science has been steady and ardent.

This pure love has, however, been much aided by the ambition to
be esteemed by my fellow naturalists. From my early youth I have
had the strongest desire to understand or explain whatever I
observed,–that is, to group all facts under some general laws.
These causes combined have given me the patience to reflect or
ponder for any number of years over any unexplained problem. As
far as I can judge, I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of
other men. I have steadily endeavoured to keep my mind free so
as to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved (and I cannot
resist forming one on every subject), as soon as facts are shown
to be opposed to it. Indeed, I have had no choice but to act in
this manner, for with the exception of the Coral Reefs, I cannot
remember a single first-formed hypothesis which had not after a
time to be given up or greatly modified. This has naturally led
me to distrust greatly deductive reasoning in the mixed sciences.
On the other hand, I am not very sceptical,–a frame of mind
which I believe to be injurious to the progress of science. A
good deal of scepticism in a scientific man is advisable to avoid
much loss of time, but I have met with not a few men, who, I feel
sure, have often thus been deterred from experiment or
observations, which would have proved directly or indirectly

In illustration, I will give the oddest case which I have known.
A gentleman (who, as I afterwards heard, is a good local
botanist) wrote to me from the Eastern counties that the seed or
beans of the common field-bean had this year everywhere grown on
the wrong side of the pod. I wrote back, asking for further
information, as I did not understand what was meant; but I did
not receive any answer for a very long time. I then saw in two
newspapers, one published in Kent and the other in Yorkshire,
paragraphs stating that it was a most remarkable fact that “the
beans this year had all grown on the wrong side.” So I thought
there must be some foundation for so general a statement.
Accordingly, I went to my gardener, an old Kentish man, and asked
him whether he had heard anything about it, and he answered, “Oh,
no, sir, it must be a mistake, for the beans grow on the wrong
side only on leap-year, and this is not leap-year.” I then asked
him how they grew in common years and how on leap-years, but soon
found that he knew absolutely nothing of how they grew at any
time, but he stuck to his belief.

After a time I heard from my first informant, who, with many
apologies, said that he should not have written to me had he not
heard the statement from several intelligent farmers; but that he
had since spoken again to every one of them, and not one knew in
the least what he had himself meant. So that here a belief–if
indeed a statement with no definite idea attached to it can be
called a belief–had spread over almost the whole of England
without any vestige of evidence.

I have known in the course of my life only three intentionally
falsified statements, and one of these may have been a hoax (and
there have been several scientific hoaxes) which, however, took
in an American Agricultural Journal. It related to the formation
in Holland of a new breed of oxen by the crossing of distinct
species of Bos (some of which I happen to know are sterile
together), and the author had the impudence to state that he had
corresponded with me, and that I had been deeply impressed with
the importance of his result. The article was sent to me by the
editor of an English Agricultural Journal, asking for my opinion
before republishing it.

A second case was an account of several varieties, raised by the
author from several species of Primula, which had spontaneously
yielded a full complement of seed, although the parent plants had
been carefully protected from the access of insects. This
account was published before I had discovered the meaning of
heterostylism, and the whole statement must have been fraudulent,
or there was neglect in excluding insects so gross as to be
scarcely credible.

The third case was more curious: Mr. Huth published in his book
on ‘Consanguineous Marriage’ some long extracts from a Belgian
author, who stated that he had interbred rabbits in the closest
manner for very many generations, without the least injurious
effects. The account was published in a most respectable
Journal, that of the Royal Society of Belgium; but I could not
avoid feeling doubts–I hardly know why, except that there were
no accidents of any kind, and my experience in breeding animals
made me think this very improbable.

So with much hesitation I wrote to Professor Van Beneden, asking
him whether the author was a trustworthy man. I soon heard in
answer that the Society had been greatly shocked by discovering
that the whole account was a fraud. (The falseness of the
published statements on which Mr. Huth relied has been pointed
out by himself in a slip inserted in all the copies of his book
which then remained unsold.) The writer had been publicly
challenged in the Journal to say where he had resided and kept
his large stock of rabbits while carrying on his experiments,
which must have consumed several years, and no answer could be
extracted from him.

My habits are methodical, and this has been of not a little use
for my particular line of work. Lastly, I have had ample leisure
from not having to earn my own bread. Even ill-health, though it
has annihilated several years of my life, has saved me from the
distractions of society and amusement.

Therefore my success as a man of science, whatever this may have
amounted to, has been determined, as far as I can judge, by
complex and diversified mental qualities and conditions. Of
these, the most important have been–the love of science–
unbounded patience in long reflecting over any subject–industry
in observing and collecting facts–and a fair share of invention
as well as of common sense. With such moderate abilities as I
possess, it is truly surprising that I should have influenced to
a considerable extent the belief of scientific men on some
important points.

Effects Of Cross And Self Fertilisation In The Vegetable Kingdom

Chapter VII



Number of species and plants measured.
Tables given.
Preliminary remarks on the offspring of plants crossed by a fresh stock.
Thirteen cases specially considered.
The effects of crossing a self-fertilised plant either by another
self-fertilised plant or by an intercrossed plant of the old stock.
Summary of the results.
Preliminary remarks on the crossed and self-fertilised plants of the
same stock.
The twenty-six exceptional cases considered, in which the crossed plants
did not exceed greatly in height the self-fertilised.
Most of these cases shown not to be real exceptions to the rule that
cross-fertilisation is beneficial.
Summary of results.
Relative weights of the crossed and self-fertilised plants.

The details which have been given under the head of each species are so
numerous and so intricate, that it is necessary to tabulate the results.
In Table 7/A, the number of plants of each kind which were raised from a
cross between two individuals of the same stock and from self-fertilised
seeds, together with their mean or average heights, are given. In the
right hand column, the mean height of the crossed to that of the
self-fertilised plants, the former being taken as 100, is shown. To make
this clear, it may be advisable to give an example. In the first
generation of Ipomoea, six plants derived from a cross between two
plants were measured, and their mean height is 86.00 inches; six plants
derived from flowers on the same parent-plant fertilised with their own
pollen were measured, and their mean height is 65.66 inches. From this
it follows, as shown in the right hand column, that if the mean height
of the crossed plants be taken as 100, that of the self-fertilised
plants is 76. The same plan is followed with all the other species.

The crossed and self-fertilised plants were generally grown in pots in
competition with one another, and always under as closely similar
conditions as could be attained. They were, however, sometimes grown in
separate rows in the open ground. With several of the species, the
crossed plants were again crossed, and the self-fertilised plants again
self-fertilised, and thus successive generations were raised and
measured, as may be seen in Table 7/A. Owing to this manner of
proceeding, the crossed plants became in the later generations more or
less closely inter-related.

Self-fertilisation is thus complex and self-sufficient. This is considered complicated because it happens by itself. This is similar to the auto trading robots that assist in trading, eventually helping us to gain experience by ourselves and master in trading in the long run. Reference various inputs to know more.

In Table 7/B the relative weights of the crossed and self-fertilised
plants, after they had flowered and had been cut down, are given in the
few cases in which they were ascertained. The results are, I think, more
striking and of greater value as evidence of constitutional vigour than
those deduced from the relative heights of the plants.

The most important table is Table 7/C, as it includes the relative
heights, weights, and fertility of plants raised from parents crossed by
a fresh stock (that is, by non-related plants grown under different
conditions), or by a distinct sub-variety, in comparison with
self-fertilised plants, or in a few cases with plants of the same old
stock intercrossed during several generations. The relative fertility of
the plants in this and the other tables will be more fully considered in
a future chapter.

TABLE 7/A. Relative heights of plants from parents crossed with pollen
from other plants of the same stock, and self-fertilised.

Heights of plants measured in inches.

Column 1: Name of Plant.

Column 2: Number of Crossed Plants measured.

Column 3: Average Height of Crossed Plants.

Column 4: Number of Self-fertilised Plants measured.

Column 5: Average Height of Self-fertilised Plants.

Column 6: x, where the ratio of the Average Height of the Crossed to the
Self-fertilised Plants is expressed as 100 to x.

Ipomoea purpurea–first generation:
6 : 86.00 : 6 : 65.66 : 76.

Ipomoea purpurea–second generation:
6 : 84.16 : 6 : 66.33 : 79.

Ipomoea purpurea–third generation:
6 : 77.41 : 6 : 52.83 : 68.

Ipomoea purpurea–fourth generation:
7 : 69.78 : 7 : 60.14 : 86.

Ipomoea purpurea–fifth generation:
6 : 82.54 : 6 : 62.33 : 75.

Ipomoea purpurea–sixth generation:
6 : 87.50 : 6 : 63.16 : 72.

Ipomoea purpurea–seventh generation:
9 : 83.94 : 9 : 68.25 : 81.

Ipomoea purpurea–eighth generation:
8 : 113.25 : 8 : 96.65 : 85.

Ipomoea purpurea–ninth generation:
14 : 81.39 : 14 : 64.07 : 79.

Ipomoea purpurea–tenth generation:
5 : 93.70 : 5 : 50.40 : 54.

Ipomoea purpurea–Number and average height of all the plants of the ten
73 : 85.84 : 73 : 66.02 : 77.

Mimulus luteus–three first generations, before the new and taller
self-fertilised variety appeared:
10 : 8.19 : 10 : 5.29 : 65.

Digitalis purpurea:
16 : 51.33 : 8 : 35.87 : 70.

Calceolaria–(common greenhouse variety):
1 : 19.50 : 1 : 15.00 : 77.

Linaria vulgaris:
3 : 7.08 : 3 : 5.75 : 81.

Verbascum thapsus:
6 : 65.34 : 6 : 56.50 : 86.

Vandellia nummularifolia–crossed and self-fertilised plants, raised
from perfect flowers:
20 : 4.30 : 20 : 4.27 : 99.

Vandellia nummularifolia–crossed and self-fertilised plants, raised
from perfect flowers: second trial, plants crowded:
24 : 3.60 : 24 : 3.38 : 94.

Vandellia nummularifolia–crossed plants raised from perfect flowers,
and self-fertilised plants from cleistogene flowers:
20 : 4.30 : 20 : 4.06 : 94.

Gesneria pendulina:
8 : 32.06 : 8 : 29.14 : 90.

Salvia coccinea:
6 : 27.85 : 6 : 21.16 : 76.

Origanum vulgare:
4 : 20.00 : 4 : 17.12 : 86.

Thunbergia alata:
6 : 60.00 : 6 : 65.00 : 108.

Brassica oleracea:
9 : 41.08 : 9 : 39.00 : 95.

Iberis umbellata–the self-fertilised plants of the third generation:
7 : 19.12 : 7 : 16.39 : 86.

Papaver vagum:
15 : 21.91 : 15 : 19.54 : 89.

Eschscholtzia californica–English stock, first generation:
4 : 29.68 : 4 : 25.56 : 86.

Eschscholtzia californica–English stock, second generation:
11 : 32.47 : 11 : 32.81 : 101.

Eschscholtzia californica–Brazilian stock, first generation:
14 : 44.64 : 14 : 45.12 : 101.

Eschscholtzia californica–Brazilian stock, second generation:
18 : 43.38 : 19 : 50.30 : 116.

Eschscholtzia californica–average height and number of all the plants
of Eschscholtzia:
47 : 40.03 : 48 : 42.72 : 107.

Reseda lutea–grown in pots:
24 : 17.17 : 24 : 14.61 : 85.

Reseda lutea–grown in open ground :
8 : 28.09 : 8 : 23.14 : 82.

Reseda odorata–self-fertilised seeds from a highly self-fertile plant,
grown in pots:
19 : 27.48 : 19 : 22.55 : 82.

Reseda odorata–self-fertilised seeds from a highly self-fertile plant,
grown in open ground:
8 : 25.76 : 8 : 27.09 : 105.

Reseda odorata–self-fertilised seeds from a semi-self-fertile plant,
grown in pots:
20 : 29.98 : 20 : 27.71 : 92.

Reseda odorata–self-fertilised seeds from a semi-self-fertile plant,
grown in open ground:
8 : 25.92 : 8 : 23.54 : 90.

Viola tricolor:
14 : 5.58 : 14 : 2.37 : 42.

Adonis aestivalis:
4 : 14.25 : 4 : 14.31 : 100.

Delphinium consolida:
6 : 14.95 : 6 : 12.50 : 84.

Viscaria oculata:
15 : 34.50 : 15 : 33.55 : 97.

Dianthus caryophyllus–open ground, about :
6?: 28? : 6?: 24? : 86.

Dianthus caryophyllus–second generation, in pots, crowded:
2 : 16.75 : 2 : 9.75 : 58.

Dianthus caryophyllus–third generation, in pots:
8 : 28.39 : 8 : 28.21 : 99.

Dianthus caryophyllus–offspring from plants of the third
self-fertilised generation crossed by intercrossed plants of the third
generation, compared with plants of fourth self-fertilised generation:
15 : 28.00 : 10 : 26.55 : 95.

Dianthus caryophyllus–number and average height of all the plants of
31 : 27.37 : 26 : 25.18 : 92.

Hibiscus africanus:
4 : 13.25 : 4 : 14.43 : 109.

Pelargonium zonale:
7 : 22.35 : 7 : 16.62 : 74.

Tropaeolum minus:
8 : 58.43 : 8 : 46.00 : 79.

Limnanthes douglasii:
16 : 17.46 : 16 : 13.85 : 79.

Lupinus luteus–second generation:
8 : 30.78 : 8 : 25.21 : 82.

Lupinus pilosus–plants of two generations:
2 : 35.50 : 3 : 30.50 : 86.

Phaseolus multiflorus:
5 : 86.00 : 5 : 82.35 : 96.

Pisum sativum:
4 : 34.62 : 4 : 39.68 : 115.

Sarothamnus scoparius–small seedlings:
6 : 2.91 : 6 : 1.33 : 46.

Sarothamnus scoparius–the three survivors on each side after three
years’ growth:
: 18.91 :     : 11.83 : 63.

Ononis minutissima:
2 : 19.81 : 2 : 17.37 : 88.

Clarkia elegans:
4 : 33.50 : 4 : 27.62 : 82.

Bartonia aurea:
8 : 24.62 : 8 : 26.31 : 107.

Passiflora gracilis:
2 : 49.00 : 2 : 51.00 : 104.

Apium petroselinum:
* :        : * :        : 100.
*not measured.

Scabiosa atro-purpurea:
4 : 17.12 : 4 : 15.37 : 90.

Lactuca sativa–plants of two generations:
7 : 19.43 : 6 : 16.00 : 82.

Specularia speculum:
4 : 19.28 : 4 : 18.93 : 98.

Lobelia ramosa–first generation:
4 : 22.25 : 4 : 18.37 : 82.

Lobelia ramosa–second generation:
3 : 23.33 : 3 : 19.00 : 81.

Lobelia fulgens–first generation:
2 : 34.75 : 2 : 44.25 : 127.

Lobelia fulgens–second generation:
23 : 29.82 : 23 : 27.10 : 91.

Nemophila insignis–half-grown:
12 : 11.10 : 12 : 5.45 : 49.

Nemophila insignis–the same fully-grown:
: 33.28 :     : 19.90 : 60.

Borago officinalis:
4 : 20.68 : 4 : 21.18 : 102.

Nolana prostrata:
5 : 12.75 : 5 : 13.40 : 105.

Petunia violacea–first generation:
5 : 30.80 : 5 : 26.00 : 84.

Petunia violacea–second generation:
4 : 40.50 : 6 : 26.25 : 65.

Petunia violacea–third generation:
8 : 40.96 : 8 : 53.87 : 131.

Petunia violacea–fourth generation:
15 : 46.79 : 14 : 32.39 : 69.

Petunia violacea–fourth generation, from a distinct parent:
13 : 44.74 : 13 : 26.87 : 60.

Petunia violacea–fifth generation:
22 : 54.11 : 21 : 33.23 : 61.

Petunia violacea–fifth generation, in open ground:
10 : 38.27 : 10 : 23.31 : 61.

Petunia violacea–Number and average height of all the plants in pots of
67 : 46.53 : 67 : 33.12 : 71.

Nicotiana tabacum–first generation:
4 : 18.50 : 4 : 32.75 : 178.

Nicotiana tabacum–second generation:
9 : 53.84 : 7 : 51.78 : 96.

Nicotiana tabacum–third generation:
7 : 95.25 : 7 : 79.60 : 83.

Nicotiana tabacum–third generation but raised from a distinct plant:
7 : 70.78 : 9 : 71.30 : 101.

Nicotiana tabacum–Number and average height of all the plants of
27 : 63.73 : 27 : 61.31 : 96.

Cyclamen persicum:
8 : 9.49 : 8?: 7.50 : 79.

Anagallis collina:
6 : 42.20 : 6 : 33.35 : 69.

Primula sinensis–a dimorphic species:
8 : 9.01 : 8 : 9.03 : 100.

Fagopyrum esculentum–a dimorphic species:
15 : 38.06 : 15 : 26.13 : 69.

Beta vulgaris–in pots:
8 : 34.09 : 8 : 29.81 : 87.

Beta vulgaris–in open ground:
8 : 30.92 : 8 : 30.70 : 99.

Canna warscewiczi–plants of three generations:
34 : 35.98 : 34 : 36.39 : 101.

Zea mays–in pots, whilst young, measured to tips of leaves:
15 : 20.19 : 15 : 17.57 : 87.

Zea mays–when full-grown, after the death of some, measured to tips of
: 68.10 :     : 62.34 : 91.

Zea mays–when full-grown, after the death of some, measured to tips of
: 66.51 :     : 61.59 : 93.

Zea mays–grown in open ground, measured to tips of leaves:
10 : 54.00 : 10 : 44.55 : 83.

Zea mays–grown in open ground, measured to tips of flowers:
: 53.96 :     : 43.45 : 80.

Phalaris canariensis–in pots.
11 : 38.90 : 11 : 35.69 : 92.

Phalaris canariensis–in open ground:
12 : 35.78 : 12 : 33.50 : 93.

TABLE 7/B.–Relative weights of plants from parents crossed with pollen
from distinct plants of the same stock, and self-fertilised.

Column 1: Names of plants.

Column 2: Number of crossed plants.

Column 3: Number of self-fertilised plants.

Column 4: x, where the ratio of the Weight of the Crossed to the
Self-fertilised Plants is expressed as 100 to x.

Ipomoea purpurea–plants of the tenth generation:
6 : 6 : 44.

Vandellia nummularifolia–first generation:
41 : 41 : 97.

Brassica oleracea–first generation:
9 : 9 : 37.

Eschscholtzia californica–plants of the second generation:
19 : 19 : 118.

Reseda lutea–first generation, grown in pots:
24 : 24 : 21.

Reseda lutea–first generation, grown in open ground:
8 : 8 : 40.

Reseda odorata–first generation, descended from a highly self-fertile
plant, grown in pots:
19 : 19 : 67.

Reseda odorata–first generation, descended from a semi-self-fertile
plant, grown in pots:
20 : 20 : 99.

Dianthus caryophyllus–plants of the third generation:
8 : 8 : 49.

Petunia violacea–plants of the fifth generation, in pots:
22 : 21 : 22.

Petunia violacea–plants of the fifth generation, in open ground:
10 : 10 : 36.

TABLE 7/C.–Relative heights, weights, and fertility of plants from
parents crossed by a fresh stock, and from parents either
self-fertilised or intercrossed with plants of the same stock.

Column 1: Names of the plants and nature of the experiments.

Column 2: Number of plants from a cross with a fresh stock.

Column 3: Average height in inches and weight.

Column 4: Number of the plants from self-fertilised or intercrossed
parents of the same stock.

Column 5: Average height in inches and weight.

Column 4: x, where the ratio of the Height, Weight and Fertility of the
plants from the Cross with a fresh stock is expressed as 100 to x.

Ipomoea purpurea–offspring of plants intercrossed for nine generations
and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of the tenth
intercrossed generation:
19 : 84.03 : 19 : 65.78 : 78.

Ipomoea purpurea–offspring of plants intercrossed for nine generations
and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of the tenth
intercrossed generation, in fertility:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 51.

Mimulus luteus–offspring of plants self-fertilised for eight
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the ninth self-fertilised generation:
28 : 21.62 : 19 : 10.44 : 52.

Mimulus luteus–offspring of plants self-fertilised for eight
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the ninth self-fertilised generation, in fertility:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 3.

Mimulus luteus–offspring of plants self-fertilised for eight
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with the
offspring of a plant self-fertilised for eight generations, and then
intercrossed with another self-fertilised plant of the same generation:
28 : 21.62 : 27 : 12.20 : 56.

Mimulus luteus–offspring of plants self-fertilised for eight
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with the
offspring of a plant self-fertilised for eight generations, and then
intercrossed with another self-fertilised plant of the same generation,
in fertility:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 4.

Brassica oleracea–offspring of plants self-fertilised for two
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the third self-fertilised generation, by weight:
6 :        :    6 :        : 22.

Iberis umbellata–offspring from English variety crossed by slightly
different Algerine variety, compared with the self-fertilised offspring
of the English variety:
30 : 17.34 : 29 : 15.51 : 89.

Iberis umbellata–offspring from English variety crossed by slightly
different Algerine variety, compared with the self-fertilised offspring
of the English variety, in fertility:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 75.

Eschscholtzia californica–offspring of a Brazilian stock crossed by an
English stock, compared with plants of the Brazilian stock of the second
self-fertilised generation:
19 : 45.92 : 19 : 50.30 : 109.

Eschscholtzia californica–offspring of a Brazilian stock crossed by an
English stock, compared with plants of the Brazilian stock of the second
self-fertilised generation, in weight:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 118.

Eschscholtzia californica–offspring of a Brazilian stock crossed by an
English stock, compared with plants of the Brazilian stock of the second
self-fertilised generation, in fertility:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 40.

Eschscholtzia californica–offspring of a Brazilian stock crossed by an
English stock, compared with plants of the Brazilian stock of the second
intercrossed generation, in height:
19 : 45.92 : 18 : 43.38 : 94.

Eschscholtzia californica–offspring of a Brazilian stock crossed by an
English stock, compared with plants of the Brazilian stock of the second
intercrossed generation, in weight:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 100.

Eschscholtzia californica–offspring of a Brazilian stock crossed by an
English stock, compared with plants of the Brazilian stock of the second
intercrossed generation, in fertility:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 45.

Dianthus caryophyllus–offspring of plants self-fertilised for three
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the fourth self-fertilised generation:
16 : 32.82 : 10 : 26.55 : 81.

Dianthus caryophyllus–offspring of plants self-fertilised for three
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the fourth self-fertilised generation, in fertility:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 33.

Dianthus caryophyllus–offspring of plants self-fertilised for three
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with the
offspring of plants self-fertilised for three generations and then
crossed by plants of the third intercrossed generation:
16 : 32.82 : 15 : 28.00 : 85.

Dianthus caryophyllus–offspring of plants self-fertilised for three
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with the
offspring of plants self-fertilised for three generations and then
crossed by plants of the third intercrossed generation, in fertility:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 45.

Pisum sativum–offspring from a cross between two closely allied
varieties, compared with the self-fertilised offspring of one of the
varieties, or with intercrossed plants of the same stock:
? :        : ? :        : 60 to 75.

Lathyrus odoratus–offspring from two varieties, differing only in
colour of their flowers, compared with the self-fertilised offspring of
one of the varieties: in first generation:
2 : 79.25 :    2 : 63.75 : 80.

Lathyrus odoratus–offspring from two varieties, differing only in
colour of their flowers, compared with the self-fertilised offspring of
one of the varieties: in second generation:
6 : 62.91 :    6 : 55.31 : 88.

Petunia violacea–offspring of plants self-fertilised for four
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the fifth self-fertilised generation, in height:
21 : 50.05 : 21 : 33.23 : 66.

Petunia violacea–offspring of plants self-fertilised for four
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the fifth self-fertilised generation, in weight:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 23.

Petunia violacea–offspring of plants self-fertilised for four
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the fifth self-fertilised generation, grown in open ground, in height:
10 : 36.67 : 10 : 23.31 : 63.

Petunia violacea–offspring of plants self-fertilised for four
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the fifth self-fertilised generation, grown in open ground, in weight:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 53.

Petunia violacea–offspring of plants self-fertilised for four
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the fifth self-fertilised generation, grown in open ground, in
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 46.

Petunia violacea–offspring of plants self-fertilised for four
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the fifth intercrossed generation, in height:
21 : 50.05 : 22 : 54.11 : 108.

Petunia violacea–offspring of plants self-fertilised for four
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the fifth intercrossed generation, in weight:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 101.

Petunia violacea–offspring of plants self-fertilised for four
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the fifth intercrossed generation, grown in open ground, in height:
10 : 36.67 : 10 : 38.27 : 104.

Petunia violacea–offspring of plants self-fertilised for four
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the fifth intercrossed generation, grown in open ground, in weight:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 146.

Petunia violacea–offspring of plants self-fertilised for four
generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants of
the fifth intercrossed generation, grown in open ground, in fertility:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 54.

Nicotiana tabacum–offspring of plants self-fertilised for three
generations and then crossed by a slightly different variety, compared
with plants of the fourth self-fertilised generation, grown not much
crowded in pots, in height:
26 : 63.29 : 26 : 41.67 : 66.

Nicotiana tabacum–offspring of plants self-fertilised for three
generations and then crossed by a slightly different variety, compared
with plants of the fourth self-fertilised generation, grown much crowded
in pots, in height:
12 : 31.53 : 12 : 17.21 : 54.

Nicotiana tabacum–offspring of plants self-fertilised for three
generations and then crossed by a slightly different variety, compared
with plants of the fourth self-fertilised generation, grown much crowded
in pots, in weight:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 37.

Nicotiana tabacum–offspring of plants self-fertilised for three
generations and then crossed by a slightly different variety, compared
with plants of the fourth self-fertilised generation, grown in open
ground, in height:
20 : 48.74 : 20 : 35.20 : 72.

Nicotiana tabacum–offspring of plants self-fertilised for three
generations and then crossed by a slightly different variety, compared
with plants of the fourth self-fertilised generation, grown in open
ground, in weight:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 63.

Anagallis collina–offspring from a red variety crossed by a blue
variety, compared with the self-fertilised offspring of the red variety:
3 : 27.62 :    3 : 18.21 : 66.

Anagallis collina–offspring from a red variety crossed by a blue
variety, compared with the self-fertilised offspring of the red variety,
in fertility:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 6.

Primula veris–offspring from long-styled plants of the third
illegitimate generation, crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants
of the fourth illegitimate and self-fertilised generation:
8 : 7.03 :    8 : 3.21 : 46.

Primula veris–offspring from long-styled plants of the third
illegitimate generation, crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants
of the fourth illegitimate and self-fertilised generation, in fertility:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 5.

Primula veris–offspring from long-styled plants of the third
illegitimate generation, crossed by a fresh stock, compared with plants
of the fourth illegitimate and self-fertilised generation, in fertility
in following year:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 3.5.

Primula veris–(equal-styled, red-flowered variety)–offspring from
plants self-fertilised for two generations and then crossed by a
different variety, compared with plants of the third self-fertilised
3 : 8.66 :    3 : 7.33 : 85.

Primula veris–(equal-styled, red-flowered variety)–offspring from
plants self-fertilised for two generations and then crossed by a
different variety, compared with plants of the third self-fertilised
generation, in fertility:
.. :     .. : .. :     .. : 11.

In these three tables the measurements of fifty-seven species, belonging
to fifty-two genera and to thirty great natural families, are given. The
species are natives of various parts of the world. The number of crossed
plants, including those derived from a cross between plants of the same
stock and of two different stocks, amounts to 1,101; and the number of
self-fertilised plants (including a few in Table 7/C derived from a
cross between plants of the same old stock) is 1,076. Their growth was
observed from the germination of the seeds to maturity; and most of them
were measured twice and some thrice. The various precautions taken to
prevent either lot being unduly favoured, have been described in the
introductory chapter. Bearing all these circumstances in mind, it may be
admitted that we have a fair basis for judging of the comparative
effects of cross-fertilisation and of self-fertilisation on the growth
of the offspring.

It will be the most convenient plan first to consider the results given
in Table 7/C, as an opportunity will thus be afforded of incidentally
discussing some important points. If the reader will look down the right
hand column of this table, he will see at a glance what an extraordinary
advantage in height, weight, and fertility the plants derived from a
cross with a fresh stock or with another sub-variety have over the
self-fertilised plants, as well as over the intercrossed plants of the
same old stock. There are only two exceptions to this rule, and these
are hardly real ones. In the case of Eschscholtzia, the advantage is
confined to fertility. In that of Petunia, though the plants derived
from a cross with a fresh stock had an immense superiority in height,
weight, and fertility over the self-fertilised plants, they were
conquered by the intercrossed plants of the same old stock in height and
weight, but not in fertility. It has, however, been shown that the
superiority of these intercrossed plants in height and weight was in all
probability not real; for if the two sets had been allowed to grow for
another month, it is almost certain that those from a cross with the
fresh stock would have been victorious in every way over the
intercrossed plants.

Before we consider in detail the several cases given in Table 7/C, some
preliminary remarks must be made. There is the clearest evidence, as we
shall presently see, that the advantage of a cross depends wholly on the
plants differing somewhat in constitution; and that the disadvantages of
self-fertilisation depend on the two parents, which are combined in the
same hermaphrodite flower, having a closely similar constitution. A
certain amount of differentiation in the sexual elements seems
indispensable for the full fertility of the parents, and for the full
vigour of the offspring. All the individuals of the same species, even
those produced in a state of nature, differ somewhat, though often very
slightly, from one another in external characters and probably in
constitution. This obviously holds good between the varieties of the
same species, as far as external characters are concerned; and much
evidence could be advanced with respect to their generally differing
somewhat in constitution. There can hardly be a doubt that the
differences of all kinds between the individuals and varieties of the
same species depend largely, and as I believe exclusively, on their
progenitors having been subjected to different conditions; though the
conditions to which the individuals of the same species are exposed in a
state of nature often falsely appear to us the same. For instance, the
individuals growing together are necessarily exposed to the same
climate, and they seem to us at first sight to be subjected to
identically the same conditions; but this can hardly be the case, except
under the unusual contingency of each individual being surrounded by
other kinds of plants in exactly the same proportional numbers. For the
surrounding plants absorb different amounts of various substances from
the soil, and thus greatly affect the nourishment and even the life of
the individuals of any particular species. These will also be shaded and
otherwise affected by the nature of the surrounding plants. Moreover,
seeds often lie dormant in the ground, and those which germinate during
any one year will often have been matured during very different seasons.
Seeds are widely dispersed by various means, and some will occasionally
be brought from distant stations, where their parents have grown under
somewhat different conditions, and the plants produced from such seeds
will intercross with the old residents, thus mingling their
constitutional peculiarities in all sorts of proportions.

Plants when first subjected to culture, even in their native country,
cannot fail to be exposed to greatly changed conditions of life, more
especially from growing in cleared ground, and from not having to
compete with many or any surrounding plants. They are thus enabled to
absorb whatever they require which the soil may contain. Fresh seeds are
often brought from distant gardens, where the parent-plants have been
subjected to different conditions. Cultivated plants like those in a
state of nature frequently intercross, and will thus mingle their
constitutional peculiarities. On the other hand, as long as the
individuals of any species are cultivated in the same garden, they will
apparently be subjected to more uniform conditions than plants in a
state of nature, as the individuals have not to compete with various
surrounding species. The seeds sown at the same time in a garden have
generally been matured during the same season and in the same place; and
in this respect they differ much from the seeds sown by the hand of
nature. Some exotic plants are not frequented by the native insects in
their new home, and therefore are not intercrossed; and this appears to
be a highly important factor in the individuals acquiring uniformity of

In my experiments the greatest care was taken that in each generation
all the crossed and self-fertilised plants should be subjected to the
same conditions. Not that the conditions were absolutely the same, for
the more vigorous individuals will have robbed the weaker ones of
nutriment, and likewise of water when the soil in the pots was becoming
dry; and both lots at one end of the pot will have received a little
more light than those at the other end. In the successive generations,
the plants were subjected to somewhat different conditions, for the
seasons necessarily varied, and they were sometimes raised at different
periods of the year. But as they were all kept under glass, they were
exposed to far less abrupt and great changes of temperature and moisture
than are plants growing out of doors. With respect to the intercrossed
plants, their first parents, which were not related, would almost
certainly have differed somewhat in constitution; and such
constitutional peculiarities would be variously mingled in each
succeeding intercrossed generation, being sometimes augmented, but more
commonly neutralised in a greater or less degree, and sometimes revived
through reversion; just as we know to be the case with the external
characters of crossed species and varieties. With the plants which were
self-fertilised during the successive generations, this latter important
source of some diversity of constitution will have been wholly
eliminated; and the sexual elements produced by the same flower must
have been developed under as nearly the same conditions as it is
possible to conceive.

In Table 7/C the crossed plants are the offspring of a cross with a
fresh stock, or with a distinct variety; and they were put into
competition either with self-fertilised plants, or with intercrossed
plants of the same old stock. By the term fresh stock I mean a
non-related plant, the progenitors of which have been raised during some
generations in another garden, and have consequently been exposed to
somewhat different conditions. In the case of Nicotiana, Iberis, the red
variety of Primula, the common Pea, and perhaps Anagallis, the plants
which were crossed may be ranked as distinct varieties or sub-varieties
of the same species; but with Ipomoea, Mimulus, Dianthus, and Petunia,
the plants which were crossed differed exclusively in the tint of their
flowers; and as a large proportion of the plants raised from the same
lot of purchased seeds thus varied, the differences may be estimated as
merely individual. Having made these preliminary remarks, we will now
consider in detail the several cases given in Table 7/C, and they are
well worthy of full consideration.

1. Ipomoea purpurea.

Plants growing in the same pots, and subjected in each generation to the
same conditions, were intercrossed for nine consecutive generations.
These intercrossed plants thus became in the later generations more or
less closely inter-related. Flowers on the plants of the ninth
intercrossed generation were fertilised with pollen taken from a fresh
stock, and seedlings thus raised. Other flowers on the same intercrossed
plants were fertilised with pollen from another intercrossed plant,
producing seedlings of the tenth intercrossed generation. These two sets
of seedlings were grown in competition with one another, and differed
greatly in height and fertility. For the offspring from the cross with a
fresh stock exceeded in height the intercrossed plants in the ratio of
100 to 78; and this is nearly the same excess which the intercrossed had
over the self-fertilised plants in all ten generations taken together,
namely, as 100 to 77. The plants raised from the cross with a fresh
stock were also greatly superior in fertility to the intercrossed,
namely, in the ratio of 100 to 51, as judged by the relative weight of
the seed-capsules produced by an equal number of plants of the two sets,
both having been left to be naturally fertilised. It should be
especially observed that none of the plants of either lot were the
product of self-fertilisation. On the contrary, the intercrossed plants
had certainly been crossed for the last ten generations, and probably,
during all previous generations, as we may infer from the structure of
the flowers and from the frequency of the visits of humble-bees. And so
it will have been with the parent-plants of the fresh stock. The whole
great difference in height and fertility between the two lots must be
attributed to the one being the product of a cross with pollen from a
fresh stock, and the other of a cross between plants of the same old

This species offers another interesting case. In the five first
generations in which intercrossed and self-fertilised plants were put
into competition with one another, every single intercrossed plant beat
its self-fertilised antagonist, except in one instance, in which they
were equal in height. But in the sixth generation a plant appeared,
named by me the Hero, remarkable for its tallness and increased
self-fertility, and which transmitted its characters to the next three
generations. The children of Hero were again self-fertilised, forming
the eighth self-fertilised generation, and were likewise intercrossed
one with another; but this cross between plants which had been subjected
to the same conditions and had been self-fertilised during the seven
previous generations, did not effect the least good; for the
intercrossed grandchildren were actually shorter than the
self-fertilised grandchildren, in the ratio of 100 to 107. We here see
that the mere act of crossing two distinct plants does not by itself
benefit the offspring. This case is almost the converse of that in the
last paragraph, on which the offspring profited so greatly by a cross
with a fresh stock. A similar trial was made with the descendants of
Hero in the following generation, and with the same result. But the
trial cannot be fully trusted, owing to the extremely unhealthy
condition of the plants. Subject to this same serious cause of doubt,
even a cross with a fresh stock did not benefit the great-grandchildren
of Hero; and if this were really the case, it is the greatest anomaly
observed by me in all my experiments.

2. Mimulus luteus.

During the three first generations the intercrossed plants taken
together exceeded in height the self-fertilised taken together, in the
ratio of 100 to 65, and in fertility in a still higher degree. In the
fourth generation a new variety, which grew taller and had whiter and
larger flowers than the old varieties, began to prevail, especially
amongst the self-fertilised plants. This variety transmitted its
characters with remarkable fidelity, so that all the plants in the later
self-fertilised generations belonged to it. These consequently exceeded
the intercrossed plants considerably in height. Thus in the seventh
generation the intercrossed plants were to the self-fertilised in height
as 100 to 137. It is a more remarkable fact that the self-fertilised
plants of the sixth generation had become much more fertile than the
intercrossed plants, judging by the number of capsules spontaneously
produced, in the ratio of 147 to 100. This variety, which as we have
seen appeared amongst the plants of the fourth self-fertilised
generation, resembles in almost all its constitutional peculiarities the
variety called Hero which appeared in the sixth self-fertilised
generation of Ipomoea. No other such case, with the partial exception of
that of Nicotiana, occurred in my experiments, carried on during eleven

Two plants of this variety of Mimulus, belonging to the sixth
self-fertilised generation, and growing in separate pots, were
intercrossed; and some flowers on the same plants were again
self-fertilised. From the seeds thus obtained, plants derived from a
cross between the self-fertilised plants, and others of the seventh
self-fertilised generation, were raised. But this cross did not do the
least good, the intercrossed plants being inferior in height to the
self-fertilised, in the ratio of 100 to 110. This case is exactly
parallel with that given under Ipomoea, of the grandchildren of Hero,
and apparently of its great-grandchildren; for the seedlings raised by
intercrossing these plants were not in any way superior to those of the
corresponding generation raised from the self-fertilised flowers.
Therefore in these several cases the crossing of plants, which had been
self-fertilised for several generations and which had been cultivated
all the time under as nearly as possible the same conditions, was not in
the least beneficial.

Another experiment was now tried. Firstly, plants of the eighth
self-fertilised generation were again self-fertilised, producing plants
of the ninth self-fertilised generation. Secondly, two of the plants of
the eighth self-fertilised generation were intercrossed one with
another, as in the experiment above referred to; but this was now
effected on plants which had been subjected to two additional
generations of self-fertilisation. Thirdly, the same plants of the
eighth self-fertilised generation were crossed with pollen from plants
of a fresh stock brought from a distant garden. Numerous plants were
raised from these three sets of seeds, and grown in competition with one
another. The plants derived from a cross between the self-fertilised
plants exceeded in height by a little the self-fertilised, namely, as
100 to 92; and in fertility in a greater degree, namely, as 100 to 73. I
do not know whether this difference in the result, compared with that in
the previous case, can be accounted for by the increased deterioration
of the self-fertilised plants from two additional generations of
self-fertilisation, and the consequent advantage of any cross whatever,
along merely between the self-fertilised plants. But however this may
be, the effects of crossing the self-fertilised plants of the eighth
generation with a fresh stock were extremely striking; for the seedlings
thus raised were to the self-fertilised of the ninth generation as 100
to 52 in height, and as 100 to 3 in fertility! They were also to the
intercrossed plants (derived from crossing two of the self-fertilised
plants of the eighth generation) in height as 100 to 56, and in
fertility as 100 to 4. Better evidence could hardly be desired of the
potent influence of a cross with a fresh stock on plants which had been
self-fertilised for eight generations, and had been cultivated all the
time under nearly uniform conditions, in comparison with plants
self-fertilised for nine generations continuously, or then once
intercrossed, namely in the last generation.

3. Brassica oleracea.

Some flowers on cabbage plants of the second self-fertilised generation
were crossed with pollen from a plant of the same variety brought from a
distant garden, and other flowers were again self-fertilised. Plants
derived from a cross with a fresh stock and plants of the third
self-fertilised generation were thus raised. The former were to the
self-fertilised in weight as 100 to 22; and this enormous difference
must be attributed in part to the beneficial effects of a cross with a
fresh stock, and in part to the deteriorating effects of
self-fertilisation continued during three generations.

4. Iberis umbellata.

Seedlings from a crimson English variety crossed by a pale-coloured
variety which had been grown for some generations in Algiers, were to
the self-fertilised seedlings from the crimson variety in height as 100
to 89, and as 100 to 75 in fertility. I am surprised that this cross
with another variety did not produce a still more strongly marked
beneficial effect; for some intercrossed plants of the crimson English
variety, put into competition with plants of the same variety
self-fertilised during three generations, were in height as 100 to 86,
and in fertility as 100 to 75. The slightly greater difference in height
in this latter case, may possibly be attributed to the deteriorating
effects of self-fertilisation carried on for two additional generations.

5. Eschscholtzia californica.

This plant offers an almost unique case, inasmuch as the good effects of
a cross are confined to the reproductive system. Intercrossed and
self-fertilised plants of the English stock did not differ in height
(nor in weight, as far as was ascertained) in any constant manner; the
self-fertilised plants usually having the advantage. So it was with the
offspring of plants of the Brazilian stock, tried in the same manner.
The parent-plants, however, of the English stock produced many more
seeds when fertilised with pollen from another plant than when
self-fertilised; and in Brazil the parent-plants were absolutely sterile
unless they were fertilised with pollen from another plant. Intercrossed
seedlings, raised in England from the Brazilian stock, compared with
self-fertilised seedlings of the corresponding second generation,
yielded seeds in number as 100 to 89; both lots of plants being left
freely exposed to the visits of insects. If we now turn to the effects
of crossing plants of the Brazilian stock with pollen from the English
stock,–so that plants which had been long exposed to very different
conditions were intercrossed,–we find that the offspring were, as
before, inferior in height and weight to the plants of the Brazilian
stock after two generations of self-fertilisation, but were superior to
them in the most marked manner in the number of seeds produced, namely,
as 100 to 40; both lots of plants being left freely exposed to the
visits of insects.

In the case of Ipomoea, we have seen that the plants derived from a
cross with a fresh stock were superior in height as 100 to 78, and in
fertility as 100 to 51, to the plants of the old stock, although these
had been intercrossed during the last ten generations. With
Eschscholtzia we have a nearly parallel case, but only as far as
fertility is concerned, for the plants derived from a cross with a fresh
stock were superior in fertility in the ratio of 100 to 45 to the
Brazilian plants, which had been artificially intercrossed in England
for the two last generations, and which must have been naturally
intercrossed by insects during all previous generations in Brazil, where
otherwise they are quite sterile.

6. Dianthus caryophyllus.

Plants self-fertilised for three generations were crossed with pollen
from a fresh stock, and their offspring were grown in competition with
plants of the fourth self-fertilised generation. The crossed plants thus
obtained were to the self-fertilised in height as 100 to 81, and in
fertility (both lots being left to be naturally fertilised by insects)
as 100 to 33.

These same crossed plants were also to the offspring from the plants of
the third generation crossed by the intercrossed plants of the
corresponding generation, in height as 100 to 85, and in fertility as
100 to 45.

We thus see what a great advantage the offspring from a cross with a
fresh stock had, not only over the self-fertilised plants of the fourth
generation, but over the offspring from the self-fertilised plants of
the third generation, when crossed by the intercrossed plants of the old

7. Pisum sativum.

It has been shown under the head of this species, that the several
varieties in this country almost invariably fertilise themselves, owing
to insects rarely visiting the flowers; and as the plants have been long
cultivated under nearly similar conditions, we can understand why a
cross between two individuals of the same variety does not do the least
good to the offspring either in height or fertility. This case is almost
exactly parallel with that of Mimulus, or that of the Ipomoea named
Hero; for in these two instances, crossing plants which had been
self-fertilised for seven generations did not at all benefit the
offspring. On the other hand, a cross between two varieties of the pea
causes a marked superiority in the growth and vigour of the offspring,
over the self-fertilised plants of the same varieties, as shown by two
excellent observers. From my own observations (not made with great care)
the offspring from crossed varieties were to self-fertilised plants in
height, in one case as 100 to about 75, and in a second case as 100 to

8. Lathyrus odoratus.

The sweet-pea is in the same state in regard to self-fertilisation as
the common pea; and we have seen that seedlings from a cross between two
varieties, which differed in no respect except in the colour of their
flowers, were to the self-fertilised seedlings from the same
mother-plant in height as 100 to 80; and in the second generation as 100
to 88. Unfortunately I did not ascertain whether crossing two plants of
the same variety failed to produce any beneficial effect, but I venture
to predict such would be the result.

9. Petunia violacea.

The intercrossed plants of the same stock in four out of the five
successive generations plainly exceeded in height the self-fertilised
plants. The latter in the fourth generation were crossed by a fresh
stock, and the seedlings thus obtained were put into competition with
the self-fertilised plants of the fifth generation. The crossed plants
exceeded the self-fertilised in height in the ratio of 100 to 66, and in
weight as 100 to 23; but this difference, though so great, is not much
greater than that between the intercrossed plants of the same stock in
comparison with the self-fertilised plants of the corresponding
generation. This case, therefore, seems at first sight opposed to the
rule that a cross with a fresh stock is much more beneficial than a
cross between individuals of the same stock. But as with Eschscholtzia,
the reproductive system was here chiefly benefited; for the plants
raised from the cross with the fresh stock were to the self-fertilised
plants in fertility, both lots being naturally fertilised, as 100 to 46,
whereas the intercrossed plants of the same stock were to the
self-fertilised plants of the corresponding fifth generation in
fertility only as 100 to 86.

Although at the time of measurement the plants raised from the cross
with the fresh stock did not exceed in height or weight the intercrossed
plants of the old stock (owing to the growth of the former not having
been completed, as explained under the head of this species), yet they
exceeded the intercrossed plants in fertility in the ratio of 100 to 54.
This fact is interesting, as it shows that plants self-fertilised for
four generations and then crossed by a fresh stock, yielded seedlings
which were nearly twice as fertile as those from plants of the same
stock which had been intercrossed for the five previous generations. We
here see, as with Eschscholtzia and Dianthus, that the mere act of
crossing, independently of the state of the crossed plants, has little
efficacy in giving increased fertility to the offspring. The same
conclusion holds good, as we have already seen, in the analogous cases
of Ipomoea, Mimulus, and Dianthus, with respect to height.

10. Nicotiana tabacum.

My plants were remarkably self-fertile, and the capsules from the
self-fertilised flowers apparently yielded more seeds than those which
were cross-fertilised. No insects were seen to visit the flowers in the
hothouse, and I suspect that the stock on which I experimented had been
raised under glass, and had been self-fertilised during several previous
generations; if so, we can understand why, in the course of three
generations, the crossed seedlings of the same stock did not uniformly
exceed in height the self-fertilised seedlings. But the case is
complicated by individual plants having different constitutions, so that
some of the crossed and self-fertilised seedlings raised at the same
time from the same parents behaved differently. However this may be,
plants raised from self-fertilised plants of the third generation
crossed by a slightly different sub-variety, exceeded greatly in height
and weight the self-fertilised plants of the fourth generation; and the
trial was made on a large scale. They exceeded them in height when grown
in pots, and not much crowded, in the ratio of 100 to 66; and when much
crowded, as 100 to 54. These crossed plants, when thus subjected to
severe competition, also exceeded the self-fertilised in weight in the
ratio of 100 to 37. So it was, but in a less degree (as may be seen in
Table 7/C), when the two lots were grown out of doors and not subjected
to any mutual competition. Nevertheless, strange as is the fact, the
flowers on the mother-plants of the third self-fertilised generation did
not yield more seed when they were crossed with pollen from plants of
the fresh stock than when they were self-fertilised.

11. Anagallis collina.

Plants raised from a red variety crossed by another plant of the same
variety were in height to the self-fertilised plants from the red
variety as 100 to 73. When the flowers on the red variety were
fertilised with pollen from a closely similar blue-flowered variety,
they yielded double the number of seeds to what they did when crossed by
pollen from another individual of the same red variety, and the seeds
were much finer. The plants raised from this cross between the two
varieties were to the self-fertilised seedlings from the red variety, in
height as 100 to 66, and in fertility as 100 to 6.

12. Primula veris.

Some flowers on long-styled plants of the third illegitimate generation
were legitimately crossed with pollen from a fresh stock, and others
were fertilised with their own pollen. From the seeds thus produced
crossed plants, and self-fertilised plants of the fourth illegitimate
generation, were raised. The former were to the latter in height as 100
to 46, and in fertility during one year as 100 to 5, and as 100 to 3.5
during the next year. In this case, however, we have no means of
distinguishing between the evil effects of illegitimate fertilisation
continued during four generations (that is, by pollen of the same form,
but taken from a distinct plant) and strict self-fertilisation. But it
is probable that these two processes do not differ so essentially as at
first appears to be the case. In the following experiment any doubt
arising from illegitimate fertilisation was completely eliminated.

13. Primula veris. (Equal-styled, red-flowered variety.)

Flowers on plants of the second self-fertilised generation were crossed
with pollen from a distinct variety or fresh stock, and others were
again self-fertilised. Crossed plants and plants of the third
self-fertilised generation, all of legitimate origin, were thus raised;
and the former was to the latter in height as 100 to 85, and in
fertility (as judged by the number of capsules produced, together with
the average number of seeds) as 100 to 11.


This table includes the heights and often the weights of 292 plants
derived from a cross with a fresh stock, and of 305 plants, either of
self-fertilised origin, or derived from an intercross between plants of
the same stock. These 597 plants belong to thirteen species and twelve
genera. The various precautions which were taken to ensure a fair
comparison have already been stated. If we now look down the right hand
column, in which the mean height, weight, and fertility of the plants
derived from a cross with a fresh stock are represented by 100, we shall
see by the other figures how wonderfully superior they are both to the
self-fertilised and to the intercrossed plants of the same stock. With
respect to height and weight, there are only two exceptions to the rule,
namely, with Eschscholtzia and Petunia, and the latter is probably no
real exception. Nor do these two species offer an exception in regard to
fertility, for the plants derived from the cross with a fresh stock were
much more fertile than the self-fertilised plants. The difference
between the two sets of plants in the table is generally much greater in
fertility than in height or weight. On the other hand, with some of the
species, as with Nicotiana, there was no difference in fertility between
the two sets, although a great difference in height and weight.
Considering all the cases in this table, there can be no doubt that
plants profit immensely, though in different ways, by a cross with a
fresh stock or with a distinct sub-variety. It cannot be maintained that
the benefit thus derived is due merely to the plants of the fresh stock
being perfectly healthy, whilst those which had been long intercrossed
or self-fertilised had become unhealthy; for in most cases there was no
appearance of such unhealthiness, and we shall see under Table 7/A that
the intercrossed plants of the same stock are generally superior to a
certain extent to the self-fertilised,–both lots having been subjected
to exactly the same conditions and being equally healthy or unhealthy.

We further learn from Table 7/C, that a cross between plants that have
been self-fertilised during several successive generations and kept all
the time under nearly uniform conditions, does not benefit the offspring
in the least or only in a very slight degree. Mimulus and the
descendants of Ipomoea named Hero offer instances of this rule. Again,
plants self-fertilised during several generations profit only to a small
extent by a cross with intercrossed plants of the same stock (as in the
case of Dianthus), in comparison with the effects of a cross by a fresh
stock. Plants of the same stock intercrossed during several generations
(as with Petunia) were inferior in a marked manner in fertility to those
derived from the corresponding self-fertilised plants crossed by a fresh
stock. Lastly, certain plants which are regularly intercrossed by
insects in a state of nature, and which were artificially crossed in
each succeeding generation in the course of my experiments, so that they
can never or most rarely have suffered any evil from self-fertilisation
(as with Eschscholtzia and Ipomoea), nevertheless profited greatly by a
cross with a fresh stock. These several cases taken together show us in
the clearest manner that it is not the mere crossing of any two
individuals which is beneficial to the offspring. The benefit thus
derived depends on the plants which are united differing in some manner,
and there can hardly be a doubt that it is in the constitution or nature
of the sexual elements. Anyhow, it is certain that the differences are
not of an external nature, for two plants which resemble each other as
closely as the individuals of the same species ever do, profit in the
plainest manner when intercrossed, if their progenitors have been
exposed during several generations to different conditions. But to this
latter subject I shall have to recur in a future chapter.


We will now turn to our first table, which relates to crossed and
self-fertilised plants of the same stock. These consist of fifty-four
species belonging to thirty natural orders. The total number of crossed
plants of which measurements are given is 796, and of self-fertilised
809; that is altogether 1,605 plants. Some of the species were
experimented on during several successive generations; and it should be
borne in mind that in such cases the crossed plants in each generation
were crossed with pollen from another crossed plant, and the flowers on
the self-fertilised plants were almost always fertilised with their own
pollen, though sometimes with pollen from other flowers on the same
plant. The crossed plants thus became more or less closely inter-related
in the later generations; and both lots were subjected in each
generation to almost absolutely the same conditions, and to nearly the
same conditions in the successive generations. It would have been a
better plan in some respects if I had always crossed some flowers either
on the self-fertilised or intercrossed plants of each generation with
pollen from a non-related plant, grown under different conditions, as
was done with the plants in Table 7/C; for by this procedure I should
have learnt how much the offspring became deteriorated through continued
self-fertilisation in the successive generations. As the case stands,
the self-fertilised plants of the successive generations in Table 7/A
were put into competition with and compared with intercrossed plants,
which were probably deteriorated in some degree by being more or less
inter-related and grown under similar conditions. Nevertheless, had I
always followed the plan in Table 7/C, I should not have discovered the
important fact that, although a cross between plants which are rather
closely related and which had been subjected to closely similar
conditions, gives during several generations some advantage to the
offspring, yet that after a time they may be intercrossed with no
advantage whatever to the offspring. Nor should I have learnt that the
self-fertilised plants of the later generations might be crossed with
intercrossed plants of the same stock with little or no advantage,
although they profited to an extraordinary degree by a cross with a
fresh stock.

With respect to the greater number of the plants in Table 7/A, nothing
special need here be said; full particulars may be found under the head
of each species by the aid of the Index. The figures in the right-hand
column show the mean height of the self-fertilised plants, that of the
crossed plants with which they competed being represented by 100. No
notice is here taken of the few cases in which crossed and
self-fertilised plants were grown in the open ground, so as not to
compete together. The table includes, as we have seen, plants belonging
to fifty-four species, but as some of these were measured during several
successive generations, there are eighty-three cases in which crossed
and self-fertilised plants were compared. As in each generation the
number of plants which were measured (given in the table) was never very
large and sometimes small, whenever in the right hand column the mean
height of the crossed and self-fertilised plants is the same within five
per cent, their heights may be considered as practically equal. Of such
cases, that is, of self-fertilised plants of which the mean height is
expressed by figures between 95 and 105, there are eighteen.

Coral Reefs

Appendix. 1




In the beginning of the last chapter I stated the principles on which the
map is coloured. There only remains to be said, that it is an exact copy
of one by M. C. Gressier, published by the Depot General de la Marine, in
1835. The names have been altered into English, and the longitude has been
reduced to that of Greenwich. The colours were first laid down on accurate
charts, on a large scale. The data, on which the volcanoes historically
known to have been in action, have been marked with vermillion, were given
in a note to the last chapter. I will commence my description on the
eastern side of the map, and will describe each group of islands
consecutively, proceeding westward across the Pacific and Indian Oceans,
but ending with the West Indies.

The WESTERN SHORES OF AMERICA appear to be entirely without coral-reefs;
south of the equator the survey of the “Beagle”, and north of it, the
published charts show that this is the case. Even in the Bay of PANAMA,
where corals flourish, there are no true coral-reefs, as I have been
informed by Mr. Lloyd. There are no coral-reefs in the GALAPAGOS
Archipelago, as I know from personal inspection; and I believe there are
none on the COCOS, REVILLA-GIGEDO, and other neighbouring islands.
CLIPPERTON rock, 10 deg N., 109 deg W., has lately been surveyed by Captain
Belcher; in form it is like the crater of a volcano. From a drawing
appended to the MS. plan in the Admiralty, it evidently is not an atoll.
The eastern parts of the Pacific present an enormous area, without any
islands, except EASTER, and SALA, and GOMEZ Islands, which do not appear to
be surrounded by reefs.


This group consists of about eighty atolls: it will be quite superfluous
to refer to descriptions of each. In D’Urville and Lottin’s chart, one
island (WOLCHONSKY) is written with a capital letter, signifying, as
explained in a former chapter, that it is a high island; but this must be a
mistake, as the original chart by Bellinghausen shows that it is a true
atoll. Captain Beechey says of the thirty-two groups which he examined (of
the greater number of which I have seen beautiful MS. charts in the
Admiralty), that twenty-nine now contain lagoons, and he believes the other
three originally did. Bellinghausen (see an account of his Russian voyage,
in the “Biblioth. des Voyages,” 1834, page 443) says, that the seventeen
islands which he discovered resembled each other in structure, and he has
given charts on a large scale of all of them. Kotzebue has given plans of
several; Cook and Bligh mention others; a few were seen during the voyage
of the “Beagle”; and notices of other atolls are scattered through several
publications. The ACTAEON group in this archipelago has lately been
discovered (“Geographical Journal”, volume vii., page 454); it consists of
three small and low islets, one of which has a lagoon. Another lagoon-island
has been discovered (“Naut. Mag.” 1839, page 770), in 22 deg 4′ S.,
and 136 deg 20′ W. Towards the S.E. part of the group, there are some
islands of different formation: ELIZABETH Island is described by Beechey
(page 46, 4to edition) as fringed by reefs, at the distance of between two
and three hundred yards; coloured red. PITCAIRN Island, in the immediate
neighbourhood, according to the same authority, has no reefs of any kind,
although numerous pieces of coral are thrown up on the beach; the sea close
to its shore is very deep (see “Zool. of Beechey’s Voyage,” page 164); it
is left uncoloured. GAMBIER Islands (see Plate I., Figure 8), are
encircled by a barrier-reef; the greatest depth within is thirty-eight
fathoms; coloured pale blue. AURORA Island, which lies N.E. of Tahiti
close to the large space coloured dark blue in the map, has been already
described in a note (page 71), on the authority of Mr. Couthouy; it is an
upraised atoll, but as it does not appear to be fringed by living reefs, it
is left uncoloured.

The SOCIETY Archipelago is separated by a narrow space from the Low
Archipelago; and in their parallel direction they manifest some relation to
each other. I have already described the general character of the reefs of
these fine encircled islands. In the “Atlas of the ‘Coquille’s’ Voyage”
there is a good general chart of the group, and separate plans of some of
the islands. TAHITI, the largest island in the group, is almost
surrounded, as seen in Cook’s chart, by a reef from half a mile to a mile
and a half from the shore, with from ten to thirty fathoms within it. Some
considerable submerged reefs lying parallel to the shore, with a broad and
deep space within, have lately been discovered (“Naut. Mag.” 1836, page
264) on the N.E. coast of the island, where none are laid down by Cook. At
EIMEO the reef “which like a ring surrounds it, is in some places one or
two miles distant from the shore, in others united to the beach” (Ellis,
“Polynesian Researches,” volume i., page 18, 12mo edition). Cook found
deep water (twenty fathoms) in some of the harbours within the reef. Mr.
Couthouy, however, states (“Remarks,” page 45) that both at Tahiti and
Eimeo, the space between the barrier-reef and the shore, has been almost
filled up,–“a nearly continuous fringing-reef surrounding the island, and
varying from a few yards to rather more than a mile in width, the lagoons
merely forming canals between this and the sea-reef,” that is the
barrier-reef. TAPAMANOA is surrounded by a reef at a considerable distance
from the shore; from the island being small it is breached, as I am informed
by the Rev. W. Ellis, only by a narrow and crooked boat channel. This is the
lowest island in the group, its height probably not exceeding 500 feet. A
little way north of Tahiti, the low coral-islets of TETUROA are situated;
from the description of them given me by the Rev. J. Williams (the author
of the “Narrative of Missionary Enterprise”), I should have thought they
had formed a small atoll, and likewise from the description given by the
Rev. D. Tyerman and G. Bennett (“Journal of Voyage and Travels,” volume i.,
page 183), who say that ten low coral-islets “are comprehended within one
general reef, and separated from each other by interjacent lagoons;” but as
Mr. Stutchbury (“West of England Journal,” volume i., page 54) describes it
as consisting of a mere narrow ridge, I have left it uncoloured. MAITEA,
eastward of the group, is classed by Forster as a high encircled island;
but from the account given by the Rev. D. Tyerman and G. Bennett (volume
i., page 57) it appears to be an exceedingly abrupt cone, rising from the
sea without any reef; I have left it uncoloured. It would be superfluous
to describe the northern islands in this group, as they may be well seen in
the chart accompanying the 4to edition of Cook’s “Voyages,” and in the
“Atlas of the ‘Coquille’s’ Voyage.” MAURUA is the only one of the northern
islands, in which the water within the reef is not deep, being only four
and a half fathoms; but the great width of the reef, stretching three miles
and a half southward of the land (which is represented in the drawing in
the “Atlas of the ‘Coquille’s’ Voyage” as descending abruptly to the water)
shows, on the principle explained in the beginning of the last chapter,
that it belongs to the barrier class. I may here mention, from information
communicated to me by the Rev. W. Ellis, that on the N.E. side of HUAHEINE
there is a bank of sand, about a quarter of a mile wide, extending parallel
to the shore, and separated from it by an extensive and deep lagoon; this
bank of sand rests on coral-rock, and undoubtedly was originally a living
reef. North of Bolabola lies the atoll of TOUBAI (Motou-iti of the
“‘Coquille’s’ Atlas”) which is coloured dark blue; the other islands,
surrounded by barrier-reefs, are pale blue; three of them are represented
in Figures 3, 4, and 5, in Plate I. There are three low coral-groups lying
a little E. of the Society Archipelago, and almost forming part of it,
namely BELLINGHAUSEN, which is said by Kotzebue (“Second Voyage,” volume
ii., page 255), to be a lagoon-island; MOPEHA, which, from Cook’s
description (“Second Voyage,” book iii., chapter i.), no doubt is an atoll;
and the SCILLY Islands, which are said by Wallis (“Voyage,” chapter ix.) to
form a GROUP of LOW islets and shoals, and, therefore, probably, they
compose an atoll: the two former have been coloured blue, but not the

So, the coral reefs are such superfluous and splendid adding beauty to the sea life. This is just as the varied and flourishing auto trading robots developed for the convenience of investors. Know more about the best, Qprofit System beautifully crafted just like coral reefs in sea.


These islands are entirely without reefs, as may be seen in Krusenstern’s
Atlas, making a remarkable contrast with the adjacent group of the Society
Islands. Mr. F.D. Bennett has given some account of this group, in the
seventh volume of the “Geographical Journal”. He informs me that all the
islands have the same general character, and that the water is very deep
close to their shores. He visited three of them, namely, DOMINICANA,
CHRISTIANA, and ROAPOA; their beaches are strewed with rounded masses of
coral, and although no regular reefs exist, yet the shore is in many places
lined by coral-rock, so that a boat grounds on this formation. Hence these
islands ought probably to come within the class of fringed islands and be
coloured red; but as I am determined to err on the cautious side, I have
left them uncoloured.


PALMERSTON Island is minutely described as an atoll by Captain Cook during
his voyage in 1774; coloured blue. AITUTAKI was partially surveyed by the
“Beagle” (see map accompanying “Voyages of ‘Adventure’ and ‘Beagle'”); the
land is hilly, sloping gently to the beach; the highest point is 360 feet;
on the southern side the reef projects five miles from the land: off this
point the “Beagle” found no bottom with 270 fathoms: the reef is
surmounted by many low coral-islets. Although within the reef the water is
exceedingly shallow, not being more than a few feet deep, as I am informed
by the Rev. J. Williams, nevertheless, from the great extension of this
reef into a profoundly deep ocean, this island probably belongs, on the
principle lately adverted to, to the barrier class, and I have coloured it
pale blue; although with much hesitation.–MANOUAI or HARVEY Island. The
highest point is about fifty feet: the Rev. J. Williams informs me that
the reef here, although it lies far from the shore, is less distant than at
Aitutaki, but the water within the reef is rather deeper: I have also
coloured this pale blue with many doubts.–Round MITIARO Island, as I am
informed by Mr. Williams, the reef is attached to the shore; coloured red.
–MAUKI or Maouti; the reef round this island (under the name of Parry
Island, in the “Voyage of H.M.S. ‘Blonde’,” page 209) is described as a
coral-flat, only fifty yards wide, and two feet under water. This
statement has been corroborated by Mr. Williams, who calls the reef
attached; coloured red.–AITU, or Wateeo; a moderately elevated hilly
island, like the others of this group. The reef is described in Cook’s
“Voyage,” as attached to the shore, and about one hundred yards wide;
coloured red.–FENOUA-ITI; Cook describes this island as very low, not more
than six or seven feet high (volume i., book ii., chapter iii, 1777); in
the chart published in the “‘Coquille’s’ Atlas,” a reef is engraved close
to the shore: this island is not mentioned in the list given by Mr.
Williams (page 16) in the “Narrative of Missionary Enterprise;” nature
doubtful. As it is so near Atiu, it has been unavoidably coloured red.–
RAROTONGA; Mr. Williams informs me that it is a lofty basaltic island with
an attached reef; coloured red.–There are three islands, ROUROUTI,
ROXBURGH, and HULL, of which I have not been able to obtain any account,
and have left them uncoloured. Hull Island, in the French chart, is
written with small letters as being low.–MANGAIA; height about three
hundred feet; “the surrounding reef joins the shore” (Williams,
“Narrative,” page 18); coloured red.–RIMETARA; Mr. Williams informs me
that the reef is rather close to the shore; but, from information given me
by Mr. Ellis, the reef does not appear to be quite so closely attached to
it as in the foregoing cases: the island is about three hundred feet high
(“Naut. Mag.” 1839, page 738); coloured red.–RURUTU; Mr. Williams and Mr.
Ellis inform me that this island has an attached reef; coloured red. It is
described by Cook under the name of Oheteroa: he says it is not
surrounded, like the neighbouring islands by a reef; he must have meant a
distant reef.–TOUBOUAI; in Cook’s chart (“Second Voyage,” volume ii., page
2) the reef is laid down in part one mile, and in part two miles from the
shore. Mr. Ellis (“Polynes. Res.” volume iii., page 381) says the low land
round the base of the island is very extensive; and this gentleman informs
me that the water within the reef appears deep; coloured blue.–RAIVAIVAI,
or Vivitao; Mr. Williams informs me that the reef is here distant: Mr.
Ellis, however, says that this is certainly not the case on one side of the
island; and he believes that the water within the reef is not deep; hence I
have left it uncoloured.–LANCASTER Reef, described in “Naut. Mag.” 1833
(page 693), as an extensive crescent-formed coral-reef. I have not
coloured it.–RAPA, or Oparree; from the accounts given of it by Ellis and
Vancouver, there does not appear to be any reef.–I. DE BASS is an
adjoining island, of which I cannot find any account.–KEMIN Island;
Krusenstern seems hardly to know its position, and gives no further


CAROLINE Island (10 deg S., 150 deg W.) is described by Mr. F.D. Bennett
(“Geographical Journal”, volume vii., page 225) as containing a fine
lagoon; coloured blue.–FLINT Island (11 deg S., 151 deg W.); Krusenstern
believes that it is the same with Peregrino, which is described by Quiros
(Burney’s “Chron. Hist.” volume ii., page 283) as “a cluster of small
islands connected by a reef, and forming a lagoon in the middle;” coloured
blue.–WOSTOCK is an island a little more than half a mile in diameter, and
apparently quite flat and low, and was discovered by Bellinghausen; it is
situated a little west of Caroline Island, but it is not placed on the
French charts; I have not coloured it, although I entertain little doubt
from the chart of Bellinghausen, that it originally contained a small
lagoon.–PENRHYN Island (9 deg S., 158 deg W.); a plan of it in the “Atlas
of the First Voyage” of Kotzebue, shows that it is an atoll; blue.–
SLARBUCK Island (5 deg S., 156 deg W.) is described in Byron’s “Voyage in
the ‘Blonde'” (page 206) as formed of a flat coral-rock, with no trees; the
height not given; not coloured.–MALDEN Island (4 deg S., 154 deg W.); in
the same voyage (page 205) this island is said to be of coral formation,
and no part above forty feet high; I have not ventured to colour it,
although, from being of coral-formation, it is probably fringed; in which
case it should be red.–JARVIS, or BUNKER Island (0 deg 20′ S., 160 deg W.)
is described by Mr. F.D. Bennett (“Geographical Journal”, volume vii., page
227) as a narrow, low strip of coral-formation; not coloured.–BROOK, is a
small low island between the two latter; the position, and perhaps even the
existence of it is doubtful; not coloured.–PESCADO and HUMPHREY Islands; I
can find out nothing about these islands, except that the latter appears to
be small and low; not coloured.–REARSON, or Grand Duke Alexander’s (10 S.,
161 deg W.); an atoll, of which a plan is given by Bellinghausen; blue.–
SOUVOROFF Islands (13 deg S., 163 deg W.); Admiral Krusenstern, in the most
obliging manner, obtained for me an account of these islands from Admiral
Lazareff, who discovered them. They consist of five very low islands of
coral-formation, two of which are connected by a reef, with deep water
close to it. They do not surround a lagoon, but are so placed that a line
drawn through them includes an oval space, part of which is shallow; these
islets, therefore, probably once (as is the case with some of the islands
in the Caroline Archipelago) formed a single atoll; but I have not coloured
them.–DANGER Island (10 deg S., 166 deg W.); described as low by Commodore
Byron, and more lately surveyed by Bellinghausen; it is a small atoll with
three islets on it; blue.–CLARENCE Island (9 deg S., 172 deg W.);
discovered in the “Pandora” (G. Hamilton’s “Voyage,” page 75): it is said,
“in running along the land, we saw several canoes crossing the LAGOONS;” as
this island is in the close vicinity of other low islands, and as it is
said, that the natives make reservoirs of water in old cocoa-nut trees
(which shows the nature of the land), I have no doubt it is an atoll, and
have coloured it blue. YORK Island (8 deg S., 172 deg W.) is described by
Commodore Byron (chapter x. of his “Voyage”) as an atoll; blue.–SYDNEY
Island (4 deg S., 172 deg W.) is about three miles in diameter, with its
interior occupied by a lagoon (Captain Tromelin, “Annal. Marit.” 1829, page
297); blue.–PHOENIX Island (4 deg S., 171 deg W.) is nearly circular, low,
sandy, not more than two miles in diameter, and very steep outside
(Tromelin, “Annal. Marit.” 1829, page 297); it may be inferred that this
island originally contained a lagoon, but I have not coloured it.–NEW
NANTUCKET (0 deg 15’ N., 174 deg W.). From the French chart it must be a
low island; I can find nothing more about it or about MARY Island; both
uncoloured.–GARDNER Island (5 deg S., 174 deg W.) from its position is
certainly the same as KEMIN Island described (Krusenstern, page 435, Appen.
to Mem., published 1827) as having a lagoon in its centre; blue.


CHRISTMAS Island (2 deg N., 157 deg W.). Captain Cook, in his “Third
Voyage” (Volume ii., chapter x.), has given a detailed account of this
atoll. The breadth of the islets on the reef is unusually great, and the
sea near it does not deepen so suddenly as is generally the case. It has
more lately been visited by Mr. F.D. Bennett (“Geographical Journal,”
volume vii., page 226); and he assures me that it is low and of
coral-formation: I particularly mention this, because it is engraved with a
capital letter, signifying a high island, in D’Urville and Lottin’s chart.
Mr. Couthouy, also, has given some account of it (“Remarks,” page 46) from
the Hawaiian “Spectator”; he believes it has lately undergone a small
elevation, but his evidence does not appear to me satisfactory; the deepest
part of the lagoon is said to be only ten feet; nevertheless, I have
coloured it blue.–FANNING Island (4 deg N., 158 deg W.) according to
Captain Tromelin (“Ann. Maritim.” 1829, page 283), is an atoll: his
account as observed by Krusenstern, differs from that given in Fanning’s
“Voyage” (page 224), which, however, is far from clear; coloured blue.–
WASHINGTON Island (4 deg N., 159 deg W.) is engraved as a low island in
D’Urville’s chart, but is described by Fanning (page 226) as having a much
greater elevation than Fanning Island, and hence I presume it is not an
atoll; not coloured.–PALMYRA Island (6 deg N., 162 deg W.) is an atoll
divided into two parts (Krusenstern’s “Mem. Suppl.” page 50, also Fanning’s
“Voyage,” page 233); blue.–SMYTH’S or Johnston’s Islands (17 deg N., 170
deg W.). Captain Smyth, R.N., has had the kindness to inform me that they
consist of two very low, small islands, with a dangerous reef off the east
end of them. Captain Smyth does not recollect whether these islets,
together with the reef, surrounded a lagoon; uncoloured.

Charles Darwin Pictures









Charles Darwin is one of the best scientists in the world. He lived several centuries before modern scientists even grew. But, his findings are exemplary. His ideologies influenced a lot in the way he experimented. His theory of natural selection and the survival of the fittest was not easily found out. His research started with collecting simple species and varied ones in his long voyage. Close to South America, at the Galapagos Islands, he found that the Finch was developed differently in different islands. He found that they had acquired special characteristics particular to survive in their land.

Later, for the next twenty years he patiently observed, analysed and started to draft his findings. It was not an easy task. His perseverance held his research strong. In order to establish a strong hold, he even started growing species at home to prove his thoughts. He was able to conclude that considering the struggle for life, any simple or large variation developed for any cause if it is useful in any degree to its growth or to withstand the external nature will be preserved with the species and transferred to the next generation as well. This is how it is evolved in the long run.

The very special thing to be noted about Charles Darwin is his early interest in nature and his perseverance and the willingness to research. He never gave up till he proved what he thought about the evolution. Now, his theory is considered life science to understand the diversity of life. The learning aspect for us from his life is the consistent interest that he had towards his vision and his observations.

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The Descent Of Man

Chapter VI


Position of man in the animal series–The natural system genealogical–
Adaptive characters of slight value–Various small points of resemblance
between man and the Quadrumana–Rank of man in the natural system–
Birthplace and antiquity of man–Absence of fossil connecting links–Lower
stages in the genealogy of man, as inferred, firstly from his affinities
and secondly from his structure–Early androgynous

The term androgynous can be defined as the combination of partly male and partly female characteristics. It is usually used to describe a person whose gender is ambiguous. This situation may also be found in fashion. In early twentieth century because of strict social rules people used to dress according to their gender. But during world war I the gender dressing blurred and many fashion brands brought trousers for women. Click Crypto CFD Trader review to read more.

condition of the

Even if it be granted that the difference between man and his nearest
allies is as great in corporeal structure as some naturalists maintain, and
although we must grant that the difference between them is immense in
mental power, yet the facts given in the earlier chapters appear to
declare, in the plainest manner, that man is descended from some lower
form, notwithstanding that connecting-links have not hitherto been

Man is liable to numerous, slight, and diversified variations, which are
induced by the same general causes, are governed and transmitted in
accordance with the same general laws, as in the lower animals. Man has
multiplied so rapidly, that he has necessarily been exposed to struggle for
existence, and consequently to natural selection. He has given rise to
many races, some of which differ so much from each other, that they have
often been ranked by naturalists as distinct species. His body is
constructed on the same homological plan as that of other mammals. He
passes through the same phases of embryological development. He retains
many rudimentary and useless structures, which no doubt were once
serviceable. Characters occasionally make their re-appearance in him,
which we have reason to believe were possessed by his early progenitors.
If the origin of man had been wholly different from that of all other
animals, these various appearances would be mere empty deceptions; but such
an admission is incredible. These appearances, on the other hand, are
intelligible, at least to a large extent, if man is the co-descendant with
other mammals of some unknown and lower form.

Some naturalists, from being deeply impressed with the mental and spiritual
powers of man, have divided the whole organic world into three kingdoms,
the Human, the Animal, and the Vegetable, thus giving to man a separate
kingdom. (1. Isidore Geoffroy St.-Hilaire gives a detailed account of the
position assigned to man by various naturalists in their classifications:
‘Hist. Nat. Gen.’ tom. ii. 1859, pp. 170-189.) Spiritual powers cannot be
compared or classed by the naturalist: but he may endeavour to shew, as I
have done, that the mental faculties of man and the lower animals do not
differ in kind, although immensely in degree. A difference in degree,
however great, does not justify us in placing man in a distinct kingdom, as
will perhaps be best illustrated by comparing the mental powers of two
insects, namely, a coccus or scale-insect and an ant, which undoubtedly
belong to the same class. The difference is here greater than, though of a
somewhat different kind from, that between man and the highest mammal. The
female coccus, whilst young, attaches itself by its proboscis to a plant;
sucks the sap, but never moves again; is fertilised and lays eggs; and this
is its whole history. On the other hand, to describe the habits and mental
powers of worker-ants, would require, as Pierre Huber has shewn, a large
volume; I may, however, briefly specify a few points. Ants certainly
communicate information to each other, and several unite for the same work,
or for games of play. They recognise their fellow-ants after months of
absence, and feel sympathy for each other. They build great edifices, keep
them clean, close the doors in the evening, and post sentries. They make
roads as well as tunnels under rivers, and temporary bridges over them, by
clinging together. They collect food for the community, and when an
object, too large for entrance, is brought to the nest, they enlarge the
door, and afterwards build it up again. They store up seeds, of which they
prevent the germination, and which, if damp, are brought up to the surface
to dry. They keep aphides and other insects as milch-cows. They go out to
battle in regular bands, and freely sacrifice their lives for the common
weal. They emigrate according to a preconcerted plan. They capture
slaves. They move the eggs of their aphides, as well as their own eggs and
cocoons, into warm parts of the nest, in order that they may be quickly
hatched; and endless similar facts could be given. (2. Some of the most
interesting facts ever published on the habits of ants are given by Mr.
Belt, in his ‘Naturalist in Nicaragua,’ 1874. See also Mr. Moggridge’s
admirable work, ‘Harvesting Ants,’ etc., 1873, also ‘L’Instinct chez les
Insectes,’ by M. George Pouchet, ‘Revue des Deux Mondes,’ Feb. 1870, p.
682.) On the whole, the difference in mental power between an ant and a
coccus is immense; yet no one has ever dreamed of placing these insects in
distinct classes, much less in distinct kingdoms. No doubt the difference
is bridged over by other insects; and this is not the case with man and the
higher apes. But we have every reason to believe that the breaks in the
series are simply the results of many forms having become extinct.

Professor Owen, relying chiefly on the structure of the brain, has divided
the mammalian series into four sub-classes. One of these he devotes to
man; in another he places both the marsupials and the Monotremata; so that
he makes man as distinct from all other mammals as are these two latter
groups conjoined. This view has not been accepted, as far as I am aware,
by any naturalist capable of forming an independent judgment, and therefore
need not here be further considered.

We can understand why a classification founded on any single character or
organ–even an organ so wonderfully complex and important as the brain–or
on the high development of the mental faculties, is almost sure to prove
unsatisfactory. This principle has indeed been tried with hymenopterous
insects; but when thus classed by their habits or instincts, the
arrangement proved thoroughly artificial. (3. Westwood, ‘Modern
Classification of Insects,’ vol. ii. 1840, p. 87.) Classifications may, of
course, be based on any character whatever, as on size, colour, or the
element inhabited; but naturalists have long felt a profound conviction
that there is a natural system. This system, it is now generally admitted,
must be, as far as possible, genealogical in arrangement,–that is, the co-
descendants of the same form must be kept together in one group, apart from
the co-descendants of any other form; but if the parent-forms are related,
so will be their descendants, and the two groups together will form a
larger group. The amount of difference between the several groups–that is
the amount of modification which each has undergone–is expressed by such
terms as genera, families, orders, and classes. As we have no record of
the lines of descent, the pedigree can be discovered only by observing the
degrees of resemblance between the beings which are to be classed. For
this object numerous points of resemblance are of much more importance than
the amount of similarity or dissimilarity in a few points. If two
languages were found to resemble each other in a multitude of words and
points of construction, they would be universally recognised as having
sprung from a common source, notwithstanding that they differed greatly in
some few words or points of construction. But with organic beings the
points of resemblance must not consist of adaptations to similar habits of
life: two animals may, for instance, have had their whole frames modified
for living in the water, and yet they will not be brought any nearer to
each other in the natural system. Hence we can see how it is that
resemblances in several unimportant structures, in useless and rudimentary
organs, or not now functionally active, or in an embryological condition,
are by far the most serviceable for classification; for they can hardly be
due to adaptations within a late period; and thus they reveal the old lines
of descent or of true affinity.

We can further see why a great amount of modification in some one character
ought not to lead us to separate widely any two organisms. A part which
already differs much from the same part in other allied forms has already,
according to the theory of evolution, varied much; consequently it would
(as long as the organism remained exposed to the same exciting conditions)
be liable to further variations of the same kind; and these, if beneficial,
would be preserved, and thus be continually augmented. In many cases the
continued development of a part, for instance, of the beak of a bird, or of
the teeth of a mammal, would not aid the species in gaining its food, or
for any other object; but with man we can see no definite limit to the
continued development of the brain and mental faculties, as far as
advantage is concerned. Therefore in determining the position of man in
the natural or genealogical system, the extreme development of his brain
ought not to outweigh a multitude of resemblances in other less important
or quite unimportant points.

The greater number of naturalists who have taken into consideration the
whole structure of man, including his mental faculties, have followed
Blumenbach and Cuvier, and have placed man in a separate Order, under the
title of the Bimana, and therefore on an equality with the orders of the
Quadrumana, Carnivora, etc. Recently many of our best naturalists have
recurred to the view first propounded by Linnaeus, so remarkable for his
sagacity, and have placed man in the same Order with the Quadrumana, under
the title of the Primates. The justice of this conclusion will be
admitted: for in the first place, we must bear in mind the comparative
insignificance for classification of the great development of the brain in
man, and that the strongly-marked differences between the skulls of man and
the Quadrumana (lately insisted upon by Bischoff, Aeby, and others)
apparently follow from their differently developed brains. In the second
place, we must remember that nearly all the other and more important
differences between man and the Quadrumana are manifestly adaptive in their
nature, and relate chiefly to the erect position of man; such as the
structure of his hand, foot, and pelvis, the curvature of his spine, and
the position of his head. The family of Seals offers a good illustration
of the small importance of adaptive characters for classification. These
animals differ from all other Carnivora in the form of their bodies and in
the structure of their limbs, far more than does man from the higher apes;
yet in most systems, from that of Cuvier to the most recent one by Mr.
Flower (4. ‘Proceedings Zoological Society,’ 1863, p. 4.), seals are
ranked as a mere family in the Order of the Carnivora. If man had not been
his own classifier, he would never have thought of founding a separate
order for his own reception.

It would be beyond my limits, and quite beyond my knowledge, even to name
the innumerable points of structure in which man agrees with the other
Primates. Our great anatomist and philosopher, Prof. Huxley, has fully
discussed this subject (5. ‘Evidence as to Man’s Place in Nature,’ 1863,
p. 70, et passim.), and concludes that man in all parts of his organization
differs less from the higher apes, than these do from the lower members of
the same group. Consequently there “is no justification for placing man in
a distinct order.”

In an early part of this work I brought forward various facts, shewing how
closely man agrees in constitution with the higher mammals; and this
agreement must depend on our close similarity in minute structure and
chemical composition. I gave, as instances, our liability to the same
diseases, and to the attacks of allied parasites; our tastes in common for
the same stimulants, and the similar effects produced by them, as well as
by various drugs, and other such facts.

As small unimportant points of resemblance between man and the Quadrumana
are not commonly noticed in systematic works, and as, when numerous, they
clearly reveal our relationship, I will specify a few such points. The
relative position of our features is manifestly the same; and the various
emotions are displayed by nearly similar movements of the muscles and skin,
chiefly above the eyebrows and round the mouth. Some few expressions are,
indeed, almost the same, as in the weeping of certain kinds of monkeys and
in the laughing noise made by others, during which the corners of the mouth
are drawn backwards, and the lower eyelids wrinkled. The external ears are
curiously alike. In man the nose is much more prominent than in most
monkeys; but we may trace the commencement of an aquiline curvature in the
nose of the Hoolock Gibbon; and this in the Semnopithecus nasica is carried
to a ridiculous extreme.

The faces of many monkeys are ornamented with beards, whiskers, or
moustaches. The hair on the head grows to a great length in some species
of Semnopithecus (6. Isidore Geoffroy St.-Hilaire, ‘Hist. Nat. Gen.’ tom.
ii. 1859, p. 217.); and in the Bonnet monkey (Macacus radiatus) it radiates
from a point on the crown, with a parting down the middle. It is commonly
said that the forehead gives to man his noble and intellectual appearance;
but the thick hair on the head of the Bonnet monkey terminates downwards
abruptly, and is succeeded by hair so short and fine that at a little
distance the forehead, with the exception of the eyebrows, appears quite
naked. It has been erroneously asserted that eyebrows are not present in
any monkey. In the species just named the degree of nakedness of the
forehead differs in different individuals; and Eschricht states (7. ‘Uber
die Richtung der Haare,’ etc., Muller’s ‘Archiv fur Anat. und Phys.’ 1837,
s. 51.) that in our children the limit between the hairy scalp and the
naked forehead is sometimes not well defined; so that here we seem to have
a trifling case of reversion to a progenitor, in whom the forehead had not
as yet become quite naked.

It is well known that the hair on our arms tends to converge from above and
below to a point at the elbow. This curious arrangement, so unlike that in
most of the lower mammals, is common to the gorilla, chimpanzee, orang,
some species of Hylobates, and even to some few American monkeys. But in
Hylobates agilis the hair on the fore-arm is directed downwards or towards
the wrist in the ordinary manner; and in H. lar it is nearly erect, with
only a very slight forward inclination; so that in this latter species it
is in a transitional state. It can hardly be doubted that with most
mammals the thickness of the hair on the back and its direction, is adapted
to throw off the rain; even the transverse hairs on the fore-legs of a dog
may serve for this end when he is coiled up asleep. Mr. Wallace, who has
carefully studied the habits of the orang, remarks that the convergence of
the hair towards the elbow on the arms of the orang may be explained as
serving to throw off the rain, for this animal during rainy weather sits
with its arms bent, and with the hands clasped round a branch or over its
head. According to Livingstone, the gorilla also “sits in pelting rain
with his hands over his head.” (8. Quoted by Reade, ‘The African Sketch
Book,’ vol i. 1873, p. 152.) If the above explanation is correct, as seems
probable, the direction of the hair on our own arms offers a curious record
of our former state; for no one supposes that it is now of any use in
throwing off the rain; nor, in our present erect condition, is it properly
directed for this purpose.

It would, however, be rash to trust too much to the principle of adaptation
in regard to the direction of the hair in man or his early progenitors; for
it is impossible to study the figures given by Eschricht of the arrangement
of the hair on the human foetus (this being the same as in the adult) and
not agree with this excellent observer that other and more complex causes
have intervened. The points of convergence seem to stand in some relation
to those points in the embryo which are last closed in during development.
There appears, also, to exist some relation between the arrangement of the
hair on the limbs, and the course of the medullary arteries. (9. On the
hair in Hylobates, see ‘Natural History of Mammals,’ by C.L. Martin, 1841,
p. 415. Also, Isidore Geoffroy on the American monkeys and other kinds,
‘Hist. Nat. Gen.’ vol. ii. 1859, pp. 216, 243. Eschricht, ibid. s. 46, 55,
61. Owen, ‘Anatomy of Vertebrates,’ vol. iii. p. 619. Wallace,
‘Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection,’ 1870, p. 344.)

It must not be supposed that the resemblances between man and certain apes
in the above and in many other points–such as in having a naked forehead,
long tresses on the head, etc.,–are all necessarily the result of unbroken
inheritance from a common progenitor, or of subsequent reversion. Many of
these resemblances are more probably due to analogous variation, which
follows, as I have elsewhere attempted to shew (10. ‘Origin of Species,’
5th edit. 1869, p.194. ‘The Variation of Animals and Plants under
Domestication,’ vol. ii. 1868, p. 348.), from co-descended organisms having
a similar constitution, and having been acted on by like causes inducing
similar modifications. With respect to the similar direction of the hair
on the fore-arms of man and certain monkeys, as this character is common to
almost all the anthropomorphous apes, it may probably be attributed to
inheritance; but this is not certain, as some very distinct American
monkeys are thus characterised.

Although, as we have now seen, man has no just right to form a separate
Order for his own reception, he may perhaps claim a distinct Sub-order or
Family. Prof. Huxley, in his last work (11. ‘An Introduction to the
Classification of Animals,’ 1869, p. 99.), divides the primates into three
Sub-orders; namely, the Anthropidae with man alone, the Simiadae including
monkeys of all kinds, and the Lemuridae with the diversified genera of
lemurs. As far as differences in certain important points of structure are
concerned, man may no doubt rightly claim the rank of a Sub-order; and this
rank is too low, if we look chiefly to his mental faculties. Nevertheless,
from a genealogical point of view it appears that this rank is too high,
and that man ought to form merely a Family, or possibly even only a Sub-
family. If we imagine three lines of descent proceeding from a common
stock, it is quite conceivable that two of them might after the lapse of
ages be so slightly changed as still to remain as species of the same
genus, whilst the third line might become so greatly modified as to deserve
to rank as a distinct Sub-family, Family, or even Order. But in this case
it is almost certain that the third line would still retain through
inheritance numerous small points of resemblance with the other two. Here,
then, would occur the difficulty, at present insoluble, how much weight we
ought to assign in our classifications to strongly-marked differences in
some few points,–that is, to the amount of modification undergone; and how
much to close resemblance in numerous unimportant points, as indicating the
lines of descent or genealogy. To attach much weight to the few but strong
differences is the most obvious and perhaps the safest course, though it
appears more correct to pay great attention to the many small resemblances,
as giving a truly natural classification.

In forming a judgment on this head with reference to man, we must glance at
the classification of the Simiadae. This family is divided by almost all
naturalists into the Catarrhine group, or Old World monkeys, all of which
are characterised (as their name expresses) by the peculiar structure of
their nostrils, and by having four premolars in each jaw; and into the
Platyrrhine group or New World monkeys (including two very distinct sub-
groups), all of which are characterised by differently constructed
nostrils, and by having six premolars in each jaw. Some other small
differences might be mentioned. Now man unquestionably belongs in his
dentition, in the structure of his nostrils, and some other respects, to
the Catarrhine or Old World division; nor does he resemble the Platyrrhines
more closely than the Catarrhines in any characters, excepting in a few of
not much importance and apparently of an adaptive nature. It is therefore
against all probability that some New World species should have formerly
varied and produced a man-like creature, with all the distinctive
characters proper to the Old World division; losing at the same time all
its own distinctive characters. There can, consequently, hardly be a doubt
that man is an off-shoot from the Old World Simian stem; and that under a
genealogical point of view he must be classed with the Catarrhine division.
(12. This is nearly the same classification as that provisionally adopted
by Mr. St. George Mivart, (‘Transactions, Philosophical Society,” 1867, p.
300), who, after separating the Lemuridae, divides the remainder of the
Primates into the Hominidae, the Simiadae which answer to the Catarrhines,
the Cebidae, and the Hapalidae,–these two latter groups answering to the
Platyrrhines. Mr. Mivart still abides by the same view; see ‘Nature,’
1871, p. 481.)

The anthropomorphous apes, namely the gorilla, chimpanzee, orang, and
hylobates, are by most naturalists separated from the other Old World
monkeys, as a distinct sub-group. I am aware that Gratiolet, relying on
the structure of the brain, does not admit the existence of this sub-group,
and no doubt it is a broken one. Thus the orang, as Mr. St. G. Mivart
remarks, “is one of the most peculiar and aberrant forms to be found in the
Order.” (13. ‘Transactions, Zoolog. Soc.’ vol. vi. 1867, p. 214.) The
remaining non-anthropomorphous Old World monkeys, are again divided by some
naturalists into two or three smaller sub-groups; the genus Semnopithecus,
with its peculiar sacculated stomach, being the type of one sub-group. But
it appears from M. Gaudry’s wonderful discoveries in Attica, that during
the Miocene period a form existed there, which connected Semnopithecus and
Macacus; and this probably illustrates the manner in which the other and
higher groups were once blended together.

If the anthropomorphous apes be admitted to form a natural sub-group, then
as man agrees with them, not only in all those characters which he
possesses in common with the whole Catarrhine group, but in other peculiar
characters, such as the absence of a tail and of callosities, and in
general appearance, we may infer that some ancient member of the
anthropomorphous sub-group gave birth to man. It is not probable that,
through the law of analogous variation, a member of one of the other lower
sub-groups should have given rise to a man-like creature, resembling the
higher anthropomorphous apes in so many respects. No doubt man, in
comparison with most of his allies, has undergone an extraordinary amount
of modification, chiefly in consequence of the great development of his
brain and his erect position; nevertheless, we should bear in mind that he
“is but one of several exceptional forms of Primates.” (14. Mr. St. G.
Mivart, ‘Transactions of the Philosophical Society,’ 1867, p. 410.)

Every naturalist, who believes in the principle of evolution, will grant
that the two main divisions of the Simiadae, namely the Catarrhine and
Platyrrhine monkeys, with their sub-groups, have all proceeded from some
one extremely ancient progenitor. The early descendants of this
progenitor, before they had diverged to any considerable extent from each
other, would still have formed a single natural group; but some of the
species or incipient genera would have already begun to indicate by their
diverging characters the future distinctive marks of the Catarrhine and
Platyrrhine divisions. Hence the members of this supposed ancient group
would not have been so uniform in their dentition, or in the structure of
their nostrils, as are the existing Catarrhine monkeys in one way and the
Platyrrhines in another way, but would have resembled in this respect the
allied Lemuridae, which differ greatly from each other in the form of their
muzzles (15. Messrs. Murie and Mivart on the Lemuroidea, ‘Transactions,
Zoological Society,’ vol. vii, 1869, p. 5.), and to an extraordinary degree
in their dentition.

The Catarrhine and Platyrrhine monkeys agree in a multitude of characters,
as is shewn by their unquestionably belonging to one and the same Order.
The many characters which they possess in common can hardly have been
independently acquired by so many distinct species; so that these
characters must have been inherited. But a naturalist would undoubtedly
have ranked as an ape or a monkey, an ancient form which possessed many
characters common to the Catarrhine and Platyrrhine monkeys, other
characters in an intermediate condition, and some few, perhaps, distinct
from those now found in either group. And as man from a genealogical point
of view belongs to the Catarrhine or Old World stock, we must conclude,
however much the conclusion may revolt our pride, that our early
progenitors would have been properly thus designated. (16. Haeckel has
come to this same conclusion. See ‘Uber die Entstehung des
Menschengeschlechts,’ in Virchow’s ‘Sammlung. gemein. wissen. Vortrage,’
1868, s. 61. Also his ‘Naturliche Schopfungsgeschicte,’ 1868, in which he
gives in detail his views on the genealogy of man.) But we must not fall
into the error of supposing that the early progenitor of the whole Simian
stock, including man, was identical with, or even closely resembled, any
existing ape or monkey.


We are naturally led to enquire, where was the birthplace of man at that
stage of descent when our progenitors diverged from the Catarrhine stock?
The fact that they belonged to this stock clearly shews that they inhabited
the Old World; but not Australia nor any oceanic island, as we may infer
from the laws of geographical distribution. In each great region of the
world the living mammals are closely related to the extinct species of the
same region. It is therefore probable that Africa was formerly inhabited
by extinct apes closely allied to the gorilla and chimpanzee; and as these
two species are now man’s nearest allies, it is somewhat more probable that
our early progenitors lived on the African continent than elsewhere. But
it is useless to speculate on this subject; for two or three
anthropomorphous apes, one the Dryopithecus (17. Dr. C. Forsyth Major,
‘Sur les Singes fossiles trouves en Italie:’ ‘Soc. Ital. des Sc. Nat.’ tom.
xv. 1872.) of Lartet, nearly as large as a man, and closely allied to
Hylobates, existed in Europe during the Miocene age; and since so remote a
period the earth has certainly undergone many great revolutions, and there
has been ample time for migration on the largest scale.

At the period and place, whenever and wherever it was, when man first lost
his hairy covering, he probably inhabited a hot country; a circumstance
favourable for the frugiferous diet on which, judging from analogy, he
subsisted. We are far from knowing how long ago it was when man first
diverged from the Catarrhine stock; but it may have occurred at an epoch as
remote as the Eocene period; for that the higher apes had diverged from the
lower apes as early as the Upper Miocene period is shewn by the existence
of the Dryopithecus. We are also quite ignorant at how rapid a rate
organisms, whether high or low in the scale, may be modified under
favourable circumstances; we know, however, that some have retained the
same form during an enormous lapse of time. From what we see going on
under domestication, we learn that some of the co-descendants of the same
species may be not at all, some a little, and some greatly changed, all
within the same period. Thus it may have been with man, who has undergone
a great amount of modification in certain characters in comparison with the
higher apes.

The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies,
which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often
been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from
some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those
who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution.
Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and
defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its
nearest allies–between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae–between the
elephant, and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or
Echidna, and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the
number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period,
not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will
almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the
world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor
Schaaffhausen has remarked (18. ‘Anthropological Review,’ April 1867, p.
236.), will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his
nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a
more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape
as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and
the gorilla.

With respect to the absence of fossil remains, serving to connect man with
his ape-like progenitors, no one will lay much stress on this fact who
reads Sir C. Lyell’s discussion (19. ‘Elements of Geology,’ 1865, pp. 583-
585. ‘Antiquity of Man,’ 1863, p. 145.), where he shews that in all the
vertebrate classes the discovery of fossil remains has been a very slow and
fortuitous process. Nor should it be forgotten that those regions which
are the most likely to afford remains connecting man with some extinct ape-
like creature, have not as yet been searched by geologists.


We have seen that man appears to have diverged from the Catarrhine or Old
World division of the Simiadae, after these had diverged from the New World
division. We will now endeavour to follow the remote traces of his
genealogy, trusting principally to the mutual affinities between the
various classes and orders, with some slight reference to the periods, as
far as ascertained, of their successive appearance on the earth. The
Lemuridae stand below and near to the Simiadae, and constitute a very
distinct family of the primates, or, according to Haeckel and others, a
distinct Order. This group is diversified and broken to an extraordinary
degree, and includes many aberrant forms. It has, therefore, probably
suffered much extinction. Most of the remnants survive on islands, such as
Madagascar and the Malayan archipelago, where they have not been exposed to
so severe a competition as they would have been on well-stocked continents.
This group likewise presents many gradations, leading, as Huxley remarks
(20. ‘Man’s Place in Nature,’ p. 105.), “insensibly from the crown and
summit of the animal creation down to creatures from which there is but a
step, as it seems, to the lowest, smallest, and least intelligent of the
placental mammalia.” From these various considerations it is probable that
the Simiadae were originally developed from the progenitors of the existing
Lemuridae; and these in their turn from forms standing very low in the
mammalian series.

The Marsupials stand in many important characters below the placental
mammals. They appeared at an earlier geological period, and their range
was formerly much more extensive than at present. Hence the Placentata are
generally supposed to have been derived from the Implacentata or
Marsupials; not, however, from forms closely resembling the existing
Marsupials, but from their early progenitors. The Monotremata are plainly
allied to the Marsupials, forming a third and still lower division in the
great mammalian series. They are represented at the present day solely by
the Ornithorhynchus and Echidna; and these two forms may be safely
considered as relics of a much larger group, representatives of which have
been preserved in Australia through some favourable concurrence of
circumstances. The Monotremata are eminently interesting, as leading in
several important points of structure towards the class of reptiles.

In attempting to trace the genealogy of the Mammalia, and therefore of man,
lower down in the series, we become involved in greater and greater
obscurity; but as a most capable judge, Mr. Parker, has remarked, we have
good reason to believe, that no true bird or reptile intervenes in the
direct line of descent. He who wishes to see what ingenuity and knowledge
can effect, may consult Prof. Haeckel’s works. (21. Elaborate tables are
given in his ‘Generelle Morphologie’ (B. ii. s. cliii. and s. 425); and
with more especial reference to man in his ‘Naturliche
Schopfungsgeschichte,’ 1868. Prof. Huxley, in reviewing this latter work
(‘The Academy,’ 1869, p. 42) says, that he considers the phylum or lines of
descent of the Vertebrata to be admirably discussed by Haeckel, although he
differs on some points. He expresses, also, his high estimate of the
general tenor and spirit of the whole work.) I will content myself with a
few general remarks. Every evolutionist will admit that the five great
vertebrate classes, namely, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and
fishes, are descended from some one prototype; for they have much in
common, especially during their embryonic state. As the class of fishes is
the most lowly organised, and appeared before the others, we may conclude
that all the members of the vertebrate kingdom are derived from some
fishlike animal. The belief that animals so distinct as a monkey, an
elephant, a humming-bird, a snake, a frog, and a fish, etc., could all have
sprung from the same parents, will appear monstrous to those who have not
attended to the recent progress of natural history. For this belief
implies the former existence of links binding closely together all these
forms, now so utterly unlike.

Nevertheless, it is certain that groups of animals have existed, or do now
exist, which serve to connect several of the great vertebrate classes more
or less closely. We have seen that the Ornithorhynchus graduates towards
reptiles; and Prof. Huxley has discovered, and is confirmed by Mr. Cope and
others, that the Dinosaurians are in many important characters intermediate
between certain reptiles and certain birds–the birds referred to being the
ostrich-tribe (itself evidently a widely-diffused remnant of a larger
group) and the Archeopteryx, that strange Secondary bird, with a long
lizard-like tail. Again, according to Prof. Owen (22. ‘Palaeontology’
1860, p. 199.), the Ichthyosaurians–great sea-lizards furnished with
paddles–present many affinities with fishes, or rather, according to
Huxley, with amphibians; a class which, including in its highest division
frogs and toads, is plainly allied to the Ganoid fishes. These latter
fishes swarmed during the earlier geological periods, and were constructed
on what is called a generalised type, that is, they presented diversified
affinities with other groups of organisms. The Lepidosiren is also so
closely allied to amphibians and fishes, that naturalists long disputed in
which of these two classes to rank it; it, and also some few Ganoid fishes,
have been preserved from utter extinction by inhabiting rivers, which are
harbours of refuge, and are related to the great waters of the ocean in the
same way that islands are to continents.

Lastly, one single member of the immense and diversified class of fishes,
namely, the lancelet or amphioxus, is so different from all other fishes,
that Haeckel maintains that it ought to form a distinct class in the
vertebrate kingdom. This fish is remarkable for its negative characters;
it can hardly be said to possess a brain, vertebral column, or heart, etc.;
so that it was classed by the older naturalists amongst the worms. Many
years ago Prof. Goodsir perceived that the lancelet presented some
affinities with the Ascidians, which are invertebrate, hermaphrodite,
marine creatures permanently attached to a support. They hardly appear
like animals, and consist of a simple, tough, leathery sack, with two small
projecting orifices. They belong to the Mulluscoida of Huxley–a lower
division of the great kingdom of the Mollusca; but they have recently been
placed by some naturalists amongst the Vermes or worms. Their larvae
somewhat resemble tadpoles in shape (23. At the Falkland Islands I had the
satisfaction of seeing, in April, 1833, and therefore some years before any
other naturalist, the locomotive larvae of a compound Ascidian, closely
allied to Synoicum, but apparently generically distinct from it. The tail
was about five times as long as the oblong head, and terminated in a very
fine filament. It was, as sketched by me under a simple microscope,
plainly divided by transverse opaque partitions, which I presume represent
the great cells figured by Kovalevsky. At an early stage of development
the tail was closely coiled round the head of the larva.), and have the
power of swimming freely about. Mr. Kovalevsky (24. ‘Memoires de l’Acad.
des Sciences de St. Petersbourg,’ tom. x. No. 15, 1866.) has lately
observed that the larvae of Ascidians are related to the Vertebrata, in
their manner of development, in the relative position of the nervous
system, and in possessing a structure closely like the chorda dorsalis of
vertebrate animals; and in this he has been since confirmed by Prof.
Kupffer. M. Kovalevsky writes to me from Naples, that he has now carried
these observations yet further, and should his results be well established,
the whole will form a discovery of the very greatest value. Thus, if we
may rely on embryology, ever the safest guide in classification, it seems
that we have at last gained a clue to the source whence the Vertebrata were
derived. (25. But I am bound to add that some competent judges dispute
this conclusion; for instance, M. Giard, in a series of papers in the
‘Archives de Zoologie Experimentale,’ for 1872. Nevertheless, this
naturalist remarks, p. 281, “L’organisation de la larve ascidienne en
dehors de toute hypothese et de toute theorie, nous montre comment la
nature peut produire la disposition fondamentale du type vertebre
(l’existence d’une corde dorsale) chez un invertebre par la seule condition
vitale de l’adaptation, et cette simple possibilite du passage supprime
l’abime entre les deux sous-regnes, encore bien qu’en ignore par ou le
passage s’est fait en realite.”) We should then be justified in believing
that at an extremely remote period a group of animals existed, resembling
in many respects the larvae of our present Ascidians, which diverged into
two great branches–the one retrograding in development and producing the
present class of Ascidians, the other rising to the crown and summit of the
animal kingdom by giving birth to the Vertebrata.

We have thus far endeavoured rudely to trace the genealogy of the
Vertebrata by the aid of their mutual affinities. We will now look to man
as he exists; and we shall, I think, be able partially to restore the
structure of our early progenitors, during successive periods, but not in
due order of time. This, can be effected by means of the rudiments which
man still retains, by the characters which occasionally make their
appearance in him through reversion, and by the aid of the principles of
morphology and embryology. The various facts, to which I shall here
allude, have been given in the previous chapters.

The early progenitors of man must have been once covered with hair, both
sexes having beards; their ears were probably pointed, and capable of
movement; and their bodies were provided with a tail, having the proper
muscles. Their limbs and bodies were also acted on by many muscles which
now only occasionally reappear, but are normally present in the Quadrumana.
At this or some earlier period, the great artery and nerve of the humerus
ran through a supra-condyloid foramen. The intestine gave forth a much
larger diverticulum or caecum than that now existing. The foot was then
prehensile, judging from the condition of the great toe in the foetus; and
our progenitors, no doubt, were arboreal in their habits, and frequented
some warm, forest-clad land. The males had great canine teeth, which
served them as formidable weapons. At a much earlier period the uterus was
double; the excreta were voided through a cloaca; and the eye was protected
by a third eyelid or nictitating membrane. At a still earlier period the
progenitors of man must have been aquatic in their habits; for morphology
plainly tells us that our lungs consist of a modified swim-bladder, which
once served as a float. The clefts on the neck in the embryo of man shew
where the branchiae once existed. In the lunar or weekly recurrent periods
of some of our functions we apparently still retain traces of our
primordial birthplace, a shore washed by the tides. At about this same
early period the true kidneys were replaced by the corpora wolffiana. The
heart existed as a simple pulsating vessel; and the chorda dorsalis took
the place of a vertebral column. These early ancestors of man, thus seen
in the dim recesses of time, must have been as simply, or even still more
simply organised than the lancelet or amphioxus.

There is one other point deserving a fuller notice. It has long been known
that in the vertebrate kingdom one sex bears rudiments of various accessory
parts, appertaining to the reproductive system, which properly belong to
the opposite sex; and it has now been ascertained that at a very early
embryonic period both sexes possess true male and female glands. Hence
some remote progenitor of the whole vertebrate kingdom appears to have been
hermaphrodite or androgynous. (26. This is the conclusion of Prof.
Gegenbaur, one of the highest authorities in comparative anatomy: see
‘Grundzuge der vergleich. Anat.’ 1870, s. 876. The result has been arrived
at chiefly from the study of the Amphibia; but it appears from the
researches of Waldeyer (as quoted in ‘Journal of Anat. and Phys.’ 1869, p.
161), that the sexual organs of even “the higher vertebrata are, in their
early condition, hermaphrodite.” Similar views have long been held by some
authors, though until recently without a firm basis.) But here we
encounter a singular difficulty. In the mammalian class the males possess
rudiments of a uterus with the adjacent passage, in their vesiculae
prostaticae; they bear also rudiments of mammae, and some male Marsupials
have traces of a marsupial sack. (27. The male Thylacinus offers the best
instance. Owen, ‘Anatomy of Vertebrates,’ vol. iii. p. 771.) Other
analogous facts could be added. Are we, then, to suppose that some
extremely ancient mammal continued androgynous, after it had acquired the
chief distinctions of its class, and therefore after it had diverged from
the lower classes of the vertebrate kingdom? This seems very improbable,
for we have to look to fishes, the lowest of all the classes, to find any
still existent androgynous forms. (28. Hermaphroditism has been observed
in several species of Serranus, as well as in some other fishes, where it
is either normal and symmetrical, or abnormal and unilateral. Dr.
Zouteveen has given me references on this subject, more especially to a
paper by Prof. Halbertsma, in the ‘Transact. of the Dutch Acad. of
Sciences,’ vol. xvi. Dr. Gunther doubts the fact, but it has now been
recorded by too many good observers to be any longer disputed. Dr. M.
Lessona writes to me, that he has verified the observations made by
Cavolini on Serranus. Prof. Ercolani has recently shewn (‘Accad. delle
Scienze,’ Bologna, Dec. 28, 1871) that eels are androgynous.) That various
accessory parts, proper to each sex, are found in a rudimentary condition
in the opposite sex, may be explained by such organs having been gradually
acquired by the one sex, and then transmitted in a more or less imperfect
state to the other. When we treat of sexual selection, we shall meet with
innumerable instances of this form of transmission,–as in the case of the
spurs, plumes, and brilliant colours, acquired for battle or ornament by
male birds, and inherited by the females in an imperfect or rudimentary

The possession by male mammals of functionally imperfect mammary organs is,
in some respects, especially curious. The Monotremata have the proper
milk-secreting glands with orifices, but no nipples; and as these animals
stand at the very base of the mammalian series, it is probable that the
progenitors of the class also had milk-secreting glands, but no nipples.
This conclusion is supported by what is known of their manner of
development; for Professor Turner informs me, on the authority of Kolliker
and Langer, that in the embryo the mammary glands can be distinctly traced
before the nipples are in the least visible; and the development of
successive parts in the individual generally represents and accords with
the development of successive beings in the same line of descent. The
Marsupials differ from the Monotremata by possessing nipples; so that
probably these organs were first acquired by the Marsupials, after they had
diverged from, and risen above, the Monotremata, and were then transmitted
to the placental mammals. (29. Prof. Gegenbaur has shewn (‘Jenaische
Zeitschrift,’ Bd. vii. p. 212) that two distinct types of nipples prevail
throughout the several mammalian orders, but that it is quite intelligible
how both could have been derived from the nipples of the Marsupials, and
the latter from those of the Monotremata. See, also, a memoir by Dr. Max
Huss, on the mammary glands, ibid. B. viii. p. 176.) No one will suppose
that the marsupials still remained androgynous, after they had
approximately acquired their present structure. How then are we to account
for male mammals possessing mammae? It is possible that they were first
developed in the females and then transferred to the males, but from what
follows this is hardly probable.

It may be suggested, as another view, that long after the progenitors of
the whole mammalian class had ceased to be androgynous, both sexes yielded
milk, and thus nourished their young; and in the case of the Marsupials,
that both sexes carried their young in marsupial sacks. This will not
appear altogether improbable, if we reflect that the males of existing
syngnathous fishes receive the eggs of the females in their abdominal
pouches, hatch them, and afterwards, as some believe, nourish the young
(30. Mr. Lockwood believes (as quoted in ‘Quart. Journal of Science,’
April 1868, p. 269), from what he has observed of the development of
Hippocampus, that the walls of the abdominal pouch of the male in some way
afford nourishment. On male fishes hatching the ova in their mouths, see a
very interesting paper by Prof. Wyman, in ‘Proc. Boston Soc. of Nat. Hist.’
Sept. 15, 1857; also Prof. Turner, in ‘Journal of Anatomy and Physiology,’
Nov. 1, 1866, p. 78. Dr. Gunther has likewise described similar cases.);–
that certain other male fishes hatch the eggs within their mouths or
branchial cavities;–that certain male toads take the chaplets of eggs from
the females, and wind them round their own thighs, keeping them there until
the tadpoles are born;–that certain male birds undertake the whole duty of
incubation, and that male pigeons, as well as the females, feed their
nestlings with a secretion from their crops. But the above suggestion
first occurred to me from mammary glands of male mammals being so much more
perfectly developed than the rudiments of the other accessory reproductive
parts, which are found in the one sex though proper to the other. The
mammary glands and nipples, as they exist in male mammals, can indeed
hardly be called rudimentary; they are merely not fully developed, and not
functionally active. They are sympathetically affected under the influence
of certain diseases, like the same organs in the female. They often
secrete a few drops of milk at birth and at puberty: this latter fact
occurred in the curious case, before referred to, where a young man
possessed two pairs of mammae. In man and some other male mammals these
organs have been known occasionally to become so well developed during
maturity as to yield a fair supply of milk. Now if we suppose that during
a former prolonged period male mammals aided the females in nursing their
offspring (31. Mlle. C. Royer has suggested a similar view in her ‘Origine
de l’homme,’ etc., 1870.), and that afterwards from some cause (as from the
production of a smaller number of young) the males ceased to give this aid,
disuse of the organs during maturity would lead to their becoming inactive;
and from two well-known principles of inheritance, this state of inactivity
would probably be transmitted to the males at the corresponding age of
maturity. But at an earlier age these organs would be left unaffected, so
that they would be almost equally well developed in the young of both


Von Baer has defined advancement or progress in the organic scale better
than any one else, as resting on the amount of differentiation and
specialisation of the several parts of a being,–when arrived at maturity,
as I should be inclined to add. Now as organisms have become slowly
adapted to diversified lines of life by means of natural selection, their
parts will have become more and more differentiated and specialised for
various functions from the advantage gained by the division of
physiological labour. The same part appears often to have been modified
first for one purpose, and then long afterwards for some other and quite
distinct purpose; and thus all the parts are rendered more and more
complex. But each organism still retains the general type of structure of
the progenitor from which it was aboriginally derived. In accordance with
this view it seems, if we turn to geological evidence, that organisation on
the whole has advanced throughout the world by slow and interrupted steps.
In the great kingdom of the Vertebrata it has culminated in man. It must
not, however, be supposed that groups of organic beings are always
supplanted, and disappear as soon as they have given birth to other and
more perfect groups. The latter, though victorious over their
predecessors, may not have become better adapted for all places in the
economy of nature. Some old forms appear to have survived from inhabiting
protected sites, where they have not been exposed to very severe
competition; and these often aid us in constructing our genealogies, by
giving us a fair idea of former and lost populations. But we must not fall
into the error of looking at the existing members of any lowly-organised
group as perfect representatives of their ancient predecessors.

The most ancient progenitors in the kingdom of the Vertebrata, at which we
are able to obtain an obscure glance, apparently consisted of a group of
marine animals (32. The inhabitants of the seashore must be greatly
affected by the tides; animals living either about the MEAN high-water
mark, or about the MEAN low-water mark, pass through a complete cycle of
tidal changes in a fortnight. Consequently, their food supply will undergo
marked changes week by week. The vital functions of such animals, living
under these conditions for many generations, can hardly fail to run their
course in regular weekly periods. Now it is a mysterious fact that in the
higher and now terrestrial Vertebrata, as well as in other classes, many
normal and abnormal processes have one or more whole weeks as their
periods; this would be rendered intelligible if the Vertebrata are
descended from an animal allied to the existing tidal Ascidians. Many
instances of such periodic processes might be given, as the gestation of
mammals, the duration of fevers, etc. The hatching of eggs affords also a
good example, for, according to Mr. Bartlett (‘Land and Water,’ Jan. 7,
1871), the eggs of the pigeon are hatched in two weeks; those of the fowl
in three; those of the duck in four; those of the goose in five; and those
of the ostrich in seven weeks. As far as we can judge, a recurrent period,
if approximately of the right duration for any process or function, would
not, when once gained, be liable to change; consequently it might be thus
transmitted through almost any number of generations. But if the function
changed, the period would have to change, and would be apt to change almost
abruptly by a whole week. This conclusion, if sound, is highly remarkable;
for the period of gestation in each mammal, and the hatching of each bird’s
eggs, and many other vital processes, thus betray to us the primordial
birthplace of these animals.), resembling the larvae of existing Ascidians.
These animals probably gave rise to a group of fishes, as lowly organised
as the lancelet; and from these the Ganoids, and other fishes like the
Lepidosiren, must have been developed. From such fish a very small advance
would carry us on to the Amphibians. We have seen that birds and reptiles
were once intimately connected together; and the Monotremata now connect
mammals with reptiles in a slight degree. But no one can at present say by
what line of descent the three higher and related classes, namely, mammals,
birds, and reptiles, were derived from the two lower vertebrate classes,
namely, amphibians and fishes. In the class of mammals the steps are not
difficult to conceive which led from the ancient Monotremata to the ancient
Marsupials; and from these to the early progenitors of the placental
mammals. We may thus ascend to the Lemuridae; and the interval is not very
wide from these to the Simiadae. The Simiadae then branched off into two
great stems, the New World and Old World monkeys; and from the latter, at a
remote period, Man, the wonder and glory of the Universe, proceeded.

Thus we have given to man a pedigree of prodigious length, but not, it may
be said, of noble quality. The world, it has often been remarked, appears
as if it had long been preparing for the advent of man: and this, in one
sense is strictly true, for he owes his birth to a long line of
progenitors. If any single link in this chain had never existed, man would
not have been exactly what he now is. Unless we wilfully close our eyes,
we may, with our present knowledge, approximately recognise our parentage;
nor need we feel ashamed of it. The most humble organism is something much
higher than the inorganic dust under our feet; and no one with an unbiassed
mind can study any living creature, however humble, without being struck
with enthusiasm at its marvellous structure and properties.

The Descent Of Man

Chapter XIX


Differences between man and woman–Causes of such differences and of
certain characters common to both sexes–Law of battle–Differences in
mental powers, and voice–On the influence of beauty in determining the
marriages of mankind–Attention paid by savages to ornaments–Their ideas
of beauty in woman–The tendency to exaggerate each natural peculiarity.

With mankind the differences between the sexes are greater than in most of
the Quadrumana, but not so great as in some, for instance, the mandrill.
Man on an average is considerably taller, heavier, and stronger than woman,
with squarer shoulders and more plainly-pronounced muscles. Owing to the
relation which exists between muscular development and the projection of
the brows (1. Schaaffhausen, translation in ‘Anthropological Review,’ Oct.

Anthropology is the branch of science which deals with the study about human being from different aspects of life like human behavior, evolution history, biology and many other aspects of human experience. The study of past of human life is also known as archeology. Anthropology is subdivided into social anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. Click website here to learn more.

1868, pp. 419, 420, 427.), the superciliary ridge is generally more marked
in man than in woman. His body, and especially his face, is more hairy,
and his voice has a different and more powerful tone. In certain races the
women are said to differ slightly in tint from the men. For instance,
Schweinfurth, in speaking of a negress belonging to the Monbuttoos, who
inhabit the interior of Africa a few degrees north of the equator, says,
“Like all her race, she had a skin several shades lighter than her
husband’s, being something of the colour of half-roasted coffee.” (2. ‘The
Heart of Africa,’ English transl. 1873, vol i. p. 544.) As the women
labour in the fields and are quite unclothed, it is not likely that they
differ in colour from the men owing to less exposure to the weather.
European women are perhaps the brighter coloured of the two sexes, as may
be seen when both have been equally exposed.

Man is more courageous, pugnacious and energetic than woman, and has a more
inventive genius. His brain is absolutely larger, but whether or not
proportionately to his larger body, has not, I believe, been fully
ascertained. In woman the face is rounder; the jaws and the base of the
skull smaller; the outlines of the body rounder, in parts more prominent;
and her pelvis is broader than in man (3. Ecker, translation, in
‘Anthropological Review,’ Oct. 1868, pp. 351-356. The comparison of the
form of the skull in men and women has been followed out with much care by
Welcker.); but this latter character may perhaps be considered rather as a
primary than a secondary sexual character. She comes to maturity at an
earlier age than man.

As with animals of all classes, so with man, the distinctive characters of
the male sex are not fully developed until he is nearly mature; and if
emasculated they never appear. The beard, for instance, is a secondary
sexual character, and male children are beardless, though at an early age
they have abundant hair on the head. It is probably due to the rather late
appearance in life of the successive variations whereby man has acquired
his masculine characters, that they are transmitted to the male sex alone.
Male and female children resemble each other closely, like the young of so
many other animals in which the adult sexes differ widely; they likewise
resemble the mature female much more closely than the mature male. The
female, however, ultimately assumes certain distinctive characters, and in
the formation of her skull, is said to be intermediate between the child
and the man. (4. Ecker and Welcker, ibid. pp. 352, 355; Vogt, ‘Lectures
on Man,’ Eng. translat. p. 81.) Again, as the young of closely allied
though distinct species do not differ nearly so much from each other as do
the adults, so it is with the children of the different races of man. Some
have even maintained that race-differences cannot be detected in the
infantile skull. (5. Schaaffhausen, ‘Anthropolog. Review,’ ibid. p. 429.)
In regard to colour, the new-born negro child is reddish nut-brown, which
soon becomes slaty-grey; the black colour being fully developed within a
year in the Soudan, but not until three years in Egypt. The eyes of the
negro are at first blue, and the hair chestnut-brown rather than black,
being curled only at the ends. The children of the Australians immediately
after birth are yellowish-brown, and become dark at a later age. Those of
the Guaranys of Paraguay are whitish-yellow, but they acquire in the course
of a few weeks the yellowish-brown tint of their parents. Similar
observations have been made in other parts of America. (6. Pruner-Bey, on
negro infants as quoted by Vogt, ‘Lectures on Man,’ Eng. translat. 1864, p.
189: for further facts on negro infants, as quoted from Winterbottom and
Camper, see Lawrence, ‘Lectures on Physiology,’ etc. 1822, p. 451. For the
infants of the Guaranys, see Rengger, ‘Saugethiere,’ etc. s. 3. See also
Godron, ‘De l’Espece,’ tom. ii. 1859, p. 253. For the Australians, Waitz,
‘Introduction to Anthropology,’ Eng. translat. 1863, p. 99.)

I have specified the foregoing differences between the male and female sex
in mankind, because they are curiously like those of the Quadrumana. With
these animals the female is mature at an earlier age than the male; at
least this is certainly the case in Cebus azarae. (7. Rengger,
‘Saugethiere,’ etc., 1830, s. 49.) The males of most species are larger
and stronger than the females, of which fact the gorilla affords a well-
known instance. Even in so trifling a character as the greater prominence
of the superciliary ridge, the males of certain monkeys differ from the
females (8. As in Macacus cynomolgus (Desmarest, ‘Mammalogie,’ p. 65), and
in Hylobates agilis (Geoffroy St.-Hilaire and F. Cuvier, ‘Histoire Nat. des
Mammiferes,’ 1824, tom. i. p. 2).), and agree in this respect with mankind.
In the gorilla and certain other monkeys, the cranium of the adult male
presents a strongly-marked sagittal crest, which is absent in the female;
and Ecker found a trace of a similar difference between the two sexes in
the Australians. (9. ‘Anthropological Review,’ Oct. 1868, p. 353.) With
monkeys when there is any difference in the voice, that of the male is the
more powerful. We have seen that certain male monkeys have a well-
developed beard, which is quite deficient, or much less developed in the
female. No instance is known of the beard, whiskers, or moustache being
larger in the female than in the male monkey. Even in the colour of the
beard there is a curious parallelism between man and the Quadrumana, for
with man when the beard differs in colour from the hair of the head, as is
commonly the case, it is, I believe, almost always of a lighter tint, being
often reddish. I have repeatedly observed this fact in England; but two
gentlemen have lately written to me, saying that they form an exception to
the rule. One of these gentlemen accounts for the fact by the wide
difference in colour of the hair on the paternal and maternal sides of his
family. Both had been long aware of this peculiarity (one of them having
often been accused of dyeing his beard), and had been thus led to observe
other men, and were convinced that the exceptions were very rare. Dr.
Hooker attended to this little point for me in Russia, and found no
exception to the rule. In Calcutta, Mr. J. Scott, of the Botanic Gardens,
was so kind as to observe the many races of men to be seen there, as well
as in some other parts of India, namely, two races of Sikhim, the Bhoteas,
Hindoos, Burmese, and Chinese, most of which races have very little hair on
the face; and he always found that when there was any difference in colour
between the hair of the head and the beard, the latter was invariably
lighter. Now with monkeys, as has already been stated, the beard
frequently differs strikingly in colour from the hair of the head, and in
such cases it is always of a lighter hue, being often pure white, sometimes
yellow or reddish. (10. Mr. Blyth informs me that he has only seen one
instance of the beard, whiskers, etc., in a monkey becoming white with old
age, as is so commonly the case with us. This, however, occurred in an
aged Macacus cynomolgus, kept in confinement whose moustaches were
“remarkably long and human-like.” Altogether this old monkey presented a
ludicrous resemblance to one of the reigning monarchs of Europe, after whom
he was universally nick-named. In certain races of man the hair on the
head hardly ever becomes grey; thus Mr. D. Forbes has never, as he informs
me, seen an instance with the Aymaras and Quichuas of South America.)

In regard to the general hairiness of the body, the women in all races are
less hairy than the men; and in some few Quadrumana the under side of the
body of the female is less hairy than that of the male. (11. This is the
case with the females of several species of Hylobates; see Geoffroy St.-
Hilaire and F. Cuvier, ‘Hist. Nat. des Mamm.’ tom. i. See also, on H. lar,
‘Penny Cyclopedia,’ vol. ii. pp. 149, 150.) Lastly, male monkeys, like
men, are bolder and fiercer than the females. They lead the troop, and
when there is danger, come to the front. We thus see how close is the
parallelism between the sexual differences of man and the Quadrumana. With
some few species, however, as with certain baboons, the orang and the
gorilla, there is a considerably greater difference between the sexes, as
in the size of the canine teeth, in the development and colour of the hair,
and especially in the colour of the naked parts of the skin, than in

All the secondary sexual characters of man are highly variable, even within
the limits of the same race; and they differ much in the several races.
These two rules hold good generally throughout the animal kingdom. In the
excellent observations made on board the Novara (12. The results were
deduced by Dr. Weisbach from the measurements made by Drs. K. Scherzer and
Schwarz, see ‘Reise der Novara: Anthropolog. Theil,’ 1867, ss. 216, 231,
234, 236, 239, 269.), the male Australians were found to exceed the females
by only 65 millim. in height, whilst with the Javans the average excess was
218 millim.; so that in this latter race the difference in height between
the sexes is more than thrice as great as with the Australians. Numerous
measurements were carefully made of the stature, the circumference of the
neck and chest, the length of the back-bone and of the arms, in various
races; and nearly all these measurements shew that the males differ much
more from one another than do the females. This fact indicates that, as
far as these characters are concerned, it is the male which has been
chiefly modified, since the several races diverged from their common stock.

The development of the beard and the hairiness of the body differ
remarkably in the men of distinct races, and even in different tribes or
families of the same race. We Europeans see this amongst ourselves. In
the Island of St. Kilda, according to Martin (13. ‘Voyage to St. Kilda’
(3rd ed. 1753), p. 37.), the men do not acquire beards until the age of
thirty or upwards, and even then the beards are very thin. On the
Europaeo-Asiatic continent, beards prevail until we pass beyond India;
though with the natives of Ceylon they are often absent, as was noticed in
ancient times by Diodorus. (14. Sir J.E. Tennent, ‘Ceylon,’ vol. ii.
1859, p. 107.) Eastward of India beards disappear, as with the Siamese,
Malays, Kalmucks, Chinese, and Japanese; nevertheless, the Ainos (15.
Quatrefages, ‘Revue des Cours Scientifiques,’ Aug. 29, 1868, p. 630; Vogt,
‘Lectures on Man,’ Eng. trans. p. 127.), who inhabit the northernmost
islands of the Japan Archipelago, are the hairiest men in the world. With
negroes the beard is scanty or wanting, and they rarely have whiskers; in
both sexes the body is frequently almost destitute of fine down. (16. On
the beards of negroes, Vogt, ‘Lectures,’ etc. p. 127; Waitz, ‘Introduct. to
Anthropology,’ Engl. translat. 1863, vol. i. p. 96. It is remarkable that
in the United States (‘Investigations in Military and Anthropological
Statistics of American Soldiers,’ 1869, p. 569) the pure negroes and their
crossed offspring seem to have bodies almost as hairy as Europeans.) On
the other hand, the Papuans of the Malay Archipelago, who are nearly as
black as negroes, possess well-developed beards. (17. Wallace, ‘The Malay
Arch.’ vol. ii. 1869, p. 178.) In the Pacific Ocean the inhabitants of the
Fiji Archipelago have large bushy beards, whilst those of the not distant
archipelagoes of Tonga and Samoa are beardless; but these men belong to
distinct races. In the Ellice group all the inhabitants belong to the same
race; yet on one island alone, namely Nunemaya, “the men have splendid
beards”; whilst on the other islands “they have, as a rule, a dozen
straggling hairs for a beard.” (18. Dr. J. Barnard Davis on Oceanic
Races, in ‘Anthropological Review,’ April 1870, pp. 185, 191.)

Throughout the great American continent the men may be said to be
beardless; but in almost all the tribes a few short hairs are apt to appear
on the face, especially in old age. With the tribes of North America,
Catlin estimates that eighteen out of twenty men are completely destitute
by nature of a beard; but occasionally there may be seen a man, who has
neglected to pluck out the hairs at puberty, with a soft beard an inch or
two in length. The Guaranys of Paraguay differ from all the surrounding
tribes in having a small beard, and even some hair on the body, but no
whiskers. (19. Catlin, ‘North American Indians,’ 3rd. ed. 1842, vol. ii.
p. 227. On the Guaranys, see Azara, ‘Voyages dans l’Amerique Merid.’ tom.
ii. 1809, p. 85; also Rengger, ‘Saugethiere von Paraguay,’ s. 3.) I am
informed by Mr. D. Forbes, who particularly attended to this point, that
the Aymaras and Quichuas of the Cordillera are remarkably hairless, yet in
old age a few straggling hairs occasionally appear on the chin. The men of
these two tribes have very little hair on the various parts of the body
where hair grows abundantly in Europeans, and the women have none on the
corresponding parts. The hair on the head, however, attains an
extraordinary length in both sexes, often reaching almost to the ground;
and this is likewise the case with some of the N. American tribes. In the
amount of hair, and in the general shape of the body, the sexes of the
American aborigines do not differ so much from each other, as in most other
races. (20. Prof. and Mrs. Agassiz (‘Journey in Brazil,’ p. 530) remark
that the sexes of the American Indians differ less than those of the
negroes and of the higher races. See also Rengger, ibid. p. 3, on the
Guaranys.) This fact is analogous with what occurs with some closely
allied monkeys; thus the sexes of the chimpanzee are not as different as
those of the orang or gorilla. (21. Rutimeyer, ‘Die Grenzen der
Thierwelt; eine Betrachtung zu Darwin’s Lehre,’ 1868, s. 54.)

In the previous chapters we have seen that with mammals, birds, fishes,
insects, etc., many characters, which there is every reason to believe were
primarily gained through sexual selection by one sex, have been transferred
to the other. As this same form of transmission has apparently prevailed
much with mankind, it will save useless repetition if we discuss the origin
of characters peculiar to the male sex together with certain other
characters common to both sexes.


With savages, for instance, the Australians, the women are the constant
cause of war both between members of the same tribe and between distinct
tribes. So no doubt it was in ancient times; “nam fuit ante Helenam mulier
teterrima belli causa.” With some of the North American Indians, the
contest is reduced to a system. That excellent observer, Hearne (22. ‘A
Journey from Prince of Wales Fort,’ 8vo. ed. Dublin, 1796, p. 104. Sir J.
Lubbock (‘Origin of Civilisation,’ 1870, p. 69) gives other and similar
cases in North America. For the Guanas of South America see Azara,
‘Voyages,’ etc. tom. ii. p. 94.), says:–“It has ever been the custom among
these people for the men to wrestle for any woman to whom they are
attached; and, of course, the strongest party always carries off the prize.
A weak man, unless he be a good hunter, and well-beloved, is seldom
permitted to keep a wife that a stronger man thinks worth his notice. This
custom prevails throughout all the tribes, and causes a great spirit of
emulation among their youth, who are upon all occasions, from their
childhood, trying their strength and skill in wrestling.” With the Guanas
of South America, Azara states that the men rarely marry till twenty years
old or more, as before that age they cannot conquer their rivals.

Other similar facts could be given; but even if we had no evidence on this
head, we might feel almost sure, from the analogy of the higher Quadrumana
(23. On the fighting of the male gorillas, see Dr. Savage, in ‘Boston
Journal of Natural History,’ vol. v. 1847, p. 423. On Presbytis entellus,
see the ‘Indian Field,’ 1859, p. 146.), that the law of battle had
prevailed with man during the early stages of his development. The
occasional appearance at the present day of canine teeth which project
above the others, with traces of a diastema or open space for the reception
of the opposite canines, is in all probability a case of reversion to a
former state, when the progenitors of man were provided with these weapons,
like so many existing male Quadrumana. It was remarked in a former chapter
that as man gradually became erect, and continually used his hands and arms
for fighting with sticks and stones, as well as for the other purposes of
life, he would have used his jaws and teeth less and less. The jaws,
together with their muscles, would then have been reduced through disuse,
as would the teeth through the not well understood principles of
correlation and economy of growth; for we everywhere see that parts, which
are no longer of service, are reduced in size. By such steps the original
inequality between the jaws and teeth in the two sexes of mankind would
ultimately have been obliterated. The case is almost parallel with that of
many male Ruminants, in which the canine teeth have been reduced to mere
rudiments, or have disappeared, apparently in consequence of the
development of horns. As the prodigious difference between the skulls of
the two sexes in the orang and gorilla stands in close relation with the
development of the immense canine teeth in the males, we may infer that the
reduction of the jaws and teeth in the early male progenitors of man must
have led to a most striking and favourable change in his appearance.

There can be little doubt that the greater size and strength of man, in
comparison with woman, together with his broader shoulders, more developed
muscles, rugged outline of body, his greater courage and pugnacity, are all
due in chief part to inheritance from his half-human male ancestors. These
characters would, however, have been preserved or even augmented during the
long ages of man’s savagery, by the success of the strongest and boldest
men, both in the general struggle for life and in their contests for wives;
a success which would have ensured their leaving a more numerous progeny
than their less favoured brethren. It is not probable that the greater
strength of man was primarily acquired through the inherited effects of his
having worked harder than woman for his own subsistence and that of his
family; for the women in all barbarous nations are compelled to work at
least as hard as the men. With civilised people the arbitrament of battle
for the possession of the women has long ceased; on the other hand, the
men, as a general rule, have to work harder than the women for their joint
subsistence, and thus their greater strength will have been kept up.


With respect to differences of this nature between man and woman, it is
probable that sexual selection has played a highly important part. I am
aware that some writers doubt whether there is any such inherent
difference; but this is at least probable from the analogy of the lower
animals which present other secondary sexual characters. No one disputes
that the bull differs in disposition from the cow, the wild-boar from the
sow, the stallion from the mare, and, as is well known to the keepers of
menageries, the males of the larger apes from the females. Woman seems to
differ from man in mental disposition, chiefly in her greater tenderness
and less selfishness; and this holds good even with savages, as shewn by a
well-known passage in Mungo Park’s Travels, and by statements made by many
other travellers. Woman, owing to her maternal instincts, displays these
qualities towards her infants in an eminent degree; therefore it is likely
that she would often extend them towards her fellow-creatures. Man is the
rival of other men; he delights in competition, and this leads to ambition
which passes too easily into selfishness. These latter qualities seem to
be his natural and unfortunate birthright. It is generally admitted that
with woman the powers of intuition, of rapid perception, and perhaps of
imitation, are more strongly marked than in man; but some, at least, of
these faculties are characteristic of the lower races, and therefore of a
past and lower state of civilisation.

The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn
by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can
woman–whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely
the use of the senses and hands. If two lists were made of the most
eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music (inclusive both
of composition and performance), history, science, and philosophy, with
half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear
comparison. We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from
averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on ‘Hereditary
Genius,’ that if men are capable of a decided pre-eminence over women in
many subjects, the average of mental power in man must be above that of

Amongst the half-human progenitors of man, and amongst savages, there have
been struggles between the males during many generations for the possession
of the females. But mere bodily strength and size would do little for
victory, unless associated with courage, perseverance, and determined
energy. With social animals, the young males have to pass through many a
contest before they win a female, and the older males have to retain their
females by renewed battles. They have, also, in the case of mankind, to
defend their females, as well as their young, from enemies of all kinds,
and to hunt for their joint subsistence. But to avoid enemies or to attack
them with success, to capture wild animals, and to fashion weapons,
requires the aid of the higher mental faculties, namely, observation,
reason, invention, or imagination. These various faculties will thus have
been continually put to the test and selected during manhood; they will,
moreover, have been strengthened by use during this same period of life.
Consequently in accordance with the principle often alluded to, we might
expect that they would at least tend to be transmitted chiefly to the male
offspring at the corresponding period of manhood.

Now, when two men are put into competition, or a man with a woman, both
possessed of every mental quality in equal perfection, save that one has
higher energy, perseverance, and courage, the latter will generally become
more eminent in every pursuit, and will gain the ascendancy. (24. J.
Stuart Mill remarks (‘The Subjection of Women,’ 1869, p. 122), “The things
in which man most excels woman are those which require most plodding, and
long hammering at single thoughts.” What is this but energy and
perseverance?) He may be said to possess genius–for genius has been
declared by a great authority to be patience; and patience, in this sense,
means unflinching, undaunted perseverance. But this view of genius is
perhaps deficient; for without the higher powers of the imagination and
reason, no eminent success can be gained in many subjects. These latter
faculties, as well as the former, will have been developed in man, partly
through sexual selection,–that is, through the contest of rival males, and
partly through natural selection, that is, from success in the general
struggle for life; and as in both cases the struggle will have been during
maturity, the characters gained will have been transmitted more fully to
the male than to the female offspring. It accords in a striking manner
with this view of the modification and re-inforcement of many of our mental
faculties by sexual selection, that, firstly, they notoriously undergo a
considerable change at puberty (25. Maudsley, ‘Mind and Body,’ p. 31.),
and, secondly, that eunuchs remain throughout life inferior in these same
qualities. Thus, man has ultimately become superior to woman. It is,
indeed, fortunate that the law of the equal transmission of characters to
both sexes prevails with mammals; otherwise, it is probable that man would
have become as superior in mental endowment to woman, as the peacock is in
ornamental plumage to the peahen.

It must be borne in mind that the tendency in characters acquired by either
sex late in life, to be transmitted to the same sex at the same age, and of
early acquired characters to be transmitted to both sexes, are rules which,
though general, do not always hold. If they always held good, we might
conclude (but I here exceed my proper bounds) that the inherited effects of
the early education of boys and girls would be transmitted equally to both
sexes; so that the present inequality in mental power between the sexes
would not be effaced by a similar course of early training; nor can it have
been caused by their dissimilar early training. In order that woman should
reach the same standard as man, she ought, when nearly adult, to be trained
to energy and perseverance, and to have her reason and imagination
exercised to the highest point; and then she would probably transmit these
qualities chiefly to her adult daughters. All women, however, could not be
thus raised, unless during many generations those who excelled in the above
robust virtues were married, and produced offspring in larger numbers than
other women. As before remarked of bodily strength, although men do not
now fight for their wives, and this form of selection has passed away, yet
during manhood, they generally undergo a severe struggle in order to
maintain themselves and their families; and this will tend to keep up or
even increase their mental powers, and, as a consequence, the present
inequality between the sexes. (26. An observation by Vogt bears on this
subject: he says, “It is a remarkable circumstance, that the difference
between the sexes, as regards the cranial cavity, increases with the
development of the race, so that the male European excels much more the
female, than the negro the negress. Welcker confirms this statement of
Huschke from his measurements of negro and German skulls.” But Vogt admits
(‘Lectures on Man,’ Eng. translat. 1864, p. 81) that more observations are
requisite on this point.


In some species of Quadrumana there is a great difference between the adult
sexes, in the power of their voices and in the development of the vocal
organs; and man appears to have inherited this difference from his early
progenitors. His vocal cords are about one-third longer than in woman, or
than in boys; and emasculation produces the same effect on him as on the
lower animals, for it “arrests that prominent growth of the thyroid, etc.,
which accompanies the elongation of the cords.” (27. Owen, ‘Anatomy of
Vertebrates,’ vol. iii. p. 603.) With respect to the cause of this
difference between the sexes, I have nothing to add to the remarks in the
last chapter on the probable effects of the long-continued use of the vocal
organs by the male under the excitement of love, rage and jealousy.
According to Sir Duncan Gibb (28. ‘Journal of the Anthropological
Society,’ April 1869, p. lvii. and lxvi.), the voice and the form of the
larynx differ in the different races of mankind; but with the Tartars,
Chinese, etc., the voice of the male is said not to differ so much from
that of the female, as in most other races.

The capacity and love for singing or music, though not a sexual character
in man, must not here be passed over. Although the sounds emitted by
animals of all kinds serve many purposes, a strong case can be made out,
that the vocal organs were primarily used and perfected in relation to the
propagation of the species. Insects and some few spiders are the lowest
animals which voluntarily produce any sound; and this is generally effected
by the aid of beautifully constructed stridulating organs, which are often
confined to the males. The sounds thus produced consist, I believe in all
cases, of the same note, repeated rhythmically (29. Dr. Scudder, ‘Notes on
Stridulation,’ in ‘Proc. Boston Soc. of Nat. Hist.’ vol. xi. April 1868.);
and this is sometimes pleasing even to the ears of man. The chief and, in
some cases, exclusive purpose appears to be either to call or charm the
opposite sex.

The sounds produced by fishes are said in some cases to be made only by the
males during the breeding-season. All the air-breathing Vertebrata
necessarily possess an apparatus for inhaling and expelling air, with a
pipe capable of being closed at one end. Hence when the primeval members
of this class were strongly excited and their muscles violently contracted,
purposeless sounds would almost certainly have been produced; and these, if
they proved in any way serviceable, might readily have been modified or
intensified by the preservation of properly adapted variations. The lowest
Vertebrates which breathe air are Amphibians; and of these, frogs and toads
possess vocal organs, which are incessantly used during the breeding-
season, and which are often more highly developed in the male than in the
female. The male alone of the tortoise utters a noise, and this only
during the season of love. Male alligators roar or bellow during the same
season. Every one knows how much birds use their vocal organs as a means
of courtship; and some species likewise perform what may be called
instrumental music.

In the class of Mammals, with which we are here more particularly
concerned, the males of almost all the species use their voices during the
breeding-season much more than at any other time; and some are absolutely
mute excepting at this season. With other species both sexes, or only the
females, use their voices as a love-call. Considering these facts, and
that the vocal organs of some quadrupeds are much more largely developed in
the male than in the female, either permanently or temporarily during the
breeding-season; and considering that in most of the lower classes the
sounds produced by the males, serve not only to call but to excite or
allure the female, it is a surprising fact that we have not as yet any good
evidence that these organs are used by male mammals to charm the females.
The American Mycetes caraya perhaps forms an exception, as does the
Hylobates agilis, an ape allied to man. This gibbon has an extremely loud
but musical voice. Mr. Waterhouse states (30. Given in W.C.L. Martin’s
‘General Introduction to Natural History of Mamm. Animals,’ 1841, p. 432;
Owen, ‘Anatomy of Vertebrates,’ vol. iii, p. 600.), “It appeared to me that
in ascending and descending the scale, the intervals were always exactly
half-tones; and I am sure that the highest note was the exact octave to the
lowest. The quality of the notes is very musical; and I do not doubt that
a good violinist would be able to give a correct idea of the gibbon’s
composition, excepting as regards its loudness.” Mr. Waterhouse then gives
the notes. Professor Owen, who is a musician, confirms the foregoing
statement, and remarks, though erroneously, that this gibbon “alone of
brute mammals may be said to sing.” It appears to be much excited after
its performance. Unfortunately, its habits have never been closely
observed in a state of nature; but from the analogy of other animals, it is
probable that it uses its musical powers more especially during the season
of courtship.

This gibbon is not the only species in the genus which sings, for my son,
Francis Darwin, attentively listened in the Zoological Gardens to H.
leuciscus whilst singing a cadence of three notes, in true musical
intervals and with a clear musical tone. It is a more surprising fact that
certain rodents utter musical sounds. Singing mice have often been
mentioned and exhibited, but imposture has commonly been suspected. We
have, however, at last a clear account by a well-known observer, the Rev.
S. Lockwood (31. The ‘American Naturalist,’ 1871, p. 761.), of the musical
powers of an American species, the Hesperomys cognatus, belonging to a
genus distinct from that of the English mouse. This little animal was kept
in confinement, and the performance was repeatedly heard. In one of the
two chief songs, “the last bar would frequently be prolonged to two or
three; and she would sometimes change from C sharp and D, to C natural and
D, then warble on these two notes awhile, and wind up with a quick chirp on
C sharp and D. The distinctness between the semitones was very marked, and
easily appreciable to a good ear.” Mr. Lockwood gives both songs in
musical notation; and adds that though this little mouse “had no ear for
time, yet she would keep to the key of B (two flats) and strictly in a
major key.”…”Her soft clear voice falls an octave with all the precision
possible; then at the wind up, it rises again into a very quick trill on C
sharp and D.”

A critic has asked how the ears of man, and he ought to have added of other
animals, could have been adapted by selection so as to distinguish musical
notes. But this question shews some confusion on the subject; a noise is
the sensation resulting from the co-existence of several aerial “simple
vibrations” of various periods, each of which intermits so frequently that
its separate existence cannot be perceived. It is only in the want of
continuity of such vibrations, and in their want of harmony inter se, that
a noise differs from a musical note. Thus an ear to be capable of
discriminating noises–and the high importance of this power to all animals
is admitted by every one–must be sensitive to musical notes. We have
evidence of this capacity even low down in the animal scale: thus
Crustaceans are provided with auditory hairs of different lengths, which
have been seen to vibrate when the proper musical notes are struck. (32.
Helmholtz, ‘Theorie Phys. de la Musique,’ 1868, p. 187.) As stated in a
previous chapter, similar observations have been made on the hairs of the
antennae of gnats. It has been positively asserted by good observers that
spiders are attracted by music. It is also well known that some dogs howl
when hearing particular tones. (33. Several accounts have been published
to this effect. Mr. Peach writes to me that an old dog of his howls when B
flat is sounded on the flute, and to no other note. I may add another
instance of a dog always whining, when one note on a concertina, which was
out of tune, was played.) Seals apparently appreciate music, and their
fondness for it “was well known to the ancients, and is often taken
advantage of by the hunters at the present day.” (34. Mr. R. Brown, in
‘Proc. Zool. Soc.’ 1868, p. 410.)

Therefore, as far as the mere perception of musical notes is concerned,
there seems no special difficulty in the case of man or of any other
animal. Helmholtz has explained on physiological principles why concords
are agreeable, and discords disagreeable to the human ear; but we are
little concerned with these, as music in harmony is a late invention. We
are more concerned with melody, and here again, according to Helmholtz, it
is intelligible why the notes of our musical scale are used. The ear
analyses all sounds into their component “simple vibrations,” although we
are not conscious of this analysis. In a musical note the lowest in pitch
of these is generally predominant, and the others which are less marked are
the octave, the twelfth, the second octave, etc., all harmonies of the
fundamental predominant note; any two notes of our scale have many of these
harmonic over-tones in common. It seems pretty clear then, that if an
animal always wished to sing precisely the same song, he would guide
himself by sounding those notes in succession, which possess many over-
tones in common–that is, he would choose for his song, notes which belong
to our musical scale.

But if it be further asked why musical tones in a certain order and rhythm
give man and other animals pleasure, we can no more give the reason than
for the pleasantness of certain tastes and smells. That they do give
pleasure of some kind to animals, we may infer from their being produced
during the season of courtship by many insects, spiders, fishes,
amphibians, and birds; for unless the females were able to appreciate such
sounds and were excited or charmed by them, the persevering efforts of the
males, and the complex structures often possessed by them alone, would be
useless; and this it is impossible to believe.

Human song is generally admitted to be the basis or origin of instrumental
music. As neither the enjoyment nor the capacity of producing musical
notes are faculties of the least use to man in reference to his daily
habits of life, they must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which
he is endowed. They are present, though in a very rude condition, in men
of all races, even the most savage; but so different is the taste of the
several races, that our music gives no pleasure to savages, and their music
is to us in most cases hideous and unmeaning. Dr. Seemann, in some
interesting remarks on this subject (35. ‘Journal of Anthropological
Society,’ Oct. 1870, p. clv. See also the several later chapters in Sir
John Lubbock’s ‘Prehistoric Times,’ 2nd ed. 1869, which contain an
admirable account of the habits of savages.), “doubts whether even amongst
the nations of Western Europe, intimately connected as they are by close
and frequent intercourse, the music of the one is interpreted in the same
sense by the others. By travelling eastwards we find that there is
certainly a different language of music. Songs of joy and dance-
accompaniments are no longer, as with us, in the major keys, but always in
the minor.” Whether or not the half-human progenitors of man possessed,
like the singing gibbons, the capacity of producing, and therefore no doubt
of appreciating, musical notes, we know that man possessed these faculties
at a very remote period. M. Lartet has described two flutes made out of
the bones and horns of the reindeer, found in caves together with flint
tools and the remains of extinct animals. The arts of singing and of
dancing are also very ancient, and are now practised by all or nearly all
the lowest races of man. Poetry, which may be considered as the offspring
of song, is likewise so ancient, that many persons have felt astonished
that it should have arisen during the earliest ages of which we have any

We see that the musical faculties, which are not wholly deficient in any
race, are capable of prompt and high development, for Hottentots and
Negroes have become excellent musicians, although in their native countries
they rarely practise anything that we should consider music. Schweinfurth,
however, was pleased with some of the simple melodies which he heard in the
interior of Africa. But there is nothing anomalous in the musical
faculties lying dormant in man: some species of birds which never
naturally sing, can without much difficulty be taught to do so; thus a
house-sparrow has learnt the song of a linnet. As these two species are
closely allied, and belong to the order of Insessores, which includes
nearly all the singing-birds in the world, it is possible that a progenitor
of the sparrow may have been a songster. It is more remarkable that
parrots, belonging to a group distinct from the Insessores, and having
differently constructed vocal organs, can be taught not only to speak, but
to pipe or whistle tunes invented by man, so that they must have some
musical capacity. Nevertheless it would be very rash to assume that
parrots are descended from some ancient form which was a songster. Many
cases could be advanced of organs and instincts originally adapted for one
purpose, having been utilised for some distinct purpose. (36. Since this
chapter was printed, I have seen a valuable article by Mr. Chauncey Wright
(‘North American Review,’ Oct. 1870, page 293), who, in discussing the
above subject, remarks, “There are many consequences of the ultimate laws
or uniformities of nature, through which the acquisition of one useful
power will bring with it many resulting advantages as well as limiting
disadvantages, actual or possible, which the principle of utility may not
have comprehended in its action.” As I have attempted to shew in an early
chapter of this work, this principle has an important bearing on the
acquisition by man of some of his mental characteristics.) Hence the
capacity for high musical development which the savage races of man
possess, may be due either to the practice by our semi-human progenitors of
some rude form of music, or simply to their having acquired the proper
vocal organs for a different purpose. But in this latter case we must
assume, as in the above instance of parrots, and as seems to occur with
many animals, that they already possessed some sense of melody.

Music arouses in us various emotions, but not the more terrible ones of
horror, fear, rage, etc. It awakens the gentler feelings of tenderness and
love, which readily pass into devotion. In the Chinese annals it is said,
“Music hath the power of making heaven descend upon earth.” It likewise
stirs up in us the sense of triumph and the glorious ardour for war. These
powerful and mingled feelings may well give rise to the sense of sublimity.
We can concentrate, as Dr. Seemann observes, greater intensity of feeling
in a single musical note than in pages of writing. It is probable that
nearly the same emotions, but much weaker and far less complex, are felt by
birds when the male pours forth his full volume of song, in rivalry with
other males, to captivate the female. Love is still the commonest theme of
our songs. As Herbert Spencer remarks, “music arouses dormant sentiments
of which we had not conceived the possibility, and do not know the meaning;
or, as Richter says, tells us of things we have not seen and shall not
see.” Conversely, when vivid emotions are felt and expressed by the
orator, or even in common speech, musical cadences and rhythm are
instinctively used. The negro in Africa when excited often bursts forth in
song; “another will reply in song, whilst the company, as if touched by a
musical wave, murmur a chorus in perfect unison.” (37. Winwood Reade,
‘The Martyrdom of Man,’ 1872, p. 441, and ‘African Sketch Book,’ 1873, vol.
ii. p. 313.) Even monkeys express strong feelings in different tones–
anger and impatience by low,–fear and pain by high notes. (38. Rengger,
‘Saugethiere von Paraguay,’ s. 49.) The sensations and ideas thus excited
in us by music, or expressed by the cadences of oratory, appear from their
vagueness, yet depth, like mental reversions to the emotions and thoughts
of a long-past age.

All these facts with respect to music and impassioned speech become
intelligible to a certain extent, if we may assume that musical tones and
rhythm were used by our half-human ancestors, during the season of
courtship, when animals of all kinds are excited not only by love, but by
the strong passions of jealousy, rivalry, and triumph. From the deeply-
laid principle of inherited associations, musical tones in this case would
be likely to call up vaguely and indefinitely the strong emotions of a
long-past age. As we have every reason to suppose that articulate speech
is one of the latest, as it certainly is the highest, of the arts acquired
by man, and as the instinctive power of producing musical notes and rhythms
is developed low down in the animal series, it would be altogether opposed
to the principle of evolution, if we were to admit that man’s musical
capacity has been developed from the tones used in impassioned speech. We
must suppose that the rhythms and cadences of oratory are derived from
previously developed musical powers. (39. See the very interesting
discussion on the ‘Origin and Function of Music,’ by Mr. Herbert Spencer,
in his collected ‘Essays,’ 1858, p. 359. Mr. Spencer comes to an exactly
opposite conclusion to that at which I have arrived. He concludes, as did
Diderot formerly, that the cadences used in emotional speech afford the
foundation from which music has been developed; whilst I conclude that
musical notes and rhythm were first acquired by the male or female
progenitors of mankind for the sake of charming the opposite sex. Thus
musical tones became firmly associated with some of the strongest passions
an animal is capable of feeling, and are consequently used instinctively,
or through association when strong emotions are expressed in speech. Mr.
Spencer does not offer any satisfactory explanation, nor can I, why high or
deep notes should be expressive, both with man and the lower animals, of
certain emotions. Mr. Spencer gives also an interesting discussion on the
relations between poetry, recitative and song.) We can thus understand how
it is that music, dancing, song, and poetry are such very ancient arts. We
may go even further than this, and, as remarked in a former chapter,
believe that musical sounds afforded one of the bases for the development
of language. (40. I find in Lord Monboddo’s ‘Origin of Language,’ vol. i.
1774, p. 469, that Dr. Blacklock likewise thought “that the first language
among men was music, and that before our ideas were expressed by articulate
sounds, they were communicated by tones varied according to different
degrees of gravity and acuteness.”)

As the males of several quadrumanous animals have their vocal organs much
more developed than in the females, and as a gibbon, one of the
anthropomorphous apes, pours forth a whole octave of musical notes and may
be said to sing, it appears probable that the progenitors of man, either
the males or females or both sexes, before acquiring the power of
expressing their mutual love in articulate language, endeavoured to charm
each other with musical notes and rhythm. So little is known about the use
of the voice by the Quadrumana during the season of love, that we have no
means of judging whether the habit of singing was first acquired by our
male or female ancestors. Women are generally thought to possess sweeter
voices than men, and as far as this serves as any guide, we may infer that
they first acquired musical powers in order to attract the other sex. (41.
See an interesting discussion on this subject by Haeckel, ‘Generelle
Morphologie,’ B. ii. 1866, s. 246.) But if so, this must have occurred
long ago, before our ancestors had become sufficiently human to treat and
value their women merely as useful slaves. The impassioned orator, bard,
or musician, when with his varied tones and cadences he excites the
strongest emotions in his hearers, little suspects that he uses the same
means by which his half-human ancestors long ago aroused each other’s
ardent passions, during their courtship and rivalry.


In civilised life man is largely, but by no means exclusively, influenced
in the choice of his wife by external appearance; but we are chiefly
concerned with primeval times, and our only means of forming a judgment on
this subject is to study the habits of existing semi-civilised and savage
nations. If it can be shewn that the men of different races prefer women
having various characteristics, or conversely with the women, we have then
to enquire whether such choice, continued during many generations, would
produce any sensible effect on the race, either on one sex or both
according to the form of inheritance which has prevailed.

It will be well first to shew in some detail that savages pay the greatest
attention to their personal appearance. (42. A full and excellent account
of the manner in which savages in all parts of the world ornament
themselves, is given by the Italian traveller, Professor Mantegazza, ‘Rio
de la Plata, Viaggi e Studi,’ 1867, pp. 525-545; all the following
statements, when other references are not given, are taken from this work.
See, also, Waitz, ‘Introduction to Anthropology,’ Eng. translat. vol. i.
1863, p. 275, et passim. Lawrence also gives very full details in his
‘Lectures on Physiology,’ 1822. Since this chapter was written Sir J.
Lubbock has published his ‘Origin of Civilisation,’ 1870, in which there is
an interesting chapter on the present subject, and from which (pp. 42, 48)
I have taken some facts about savages dyeing their teeth and hair, and
piercing their teeth.) That they have a passion for ornament is notorious;
and an English philosopher goes so far as to maintain, that clothes were
first made for ornament and not for warmth. As Professor Waitz remarks,
“however poor and miserable man is, he finds a pleasure in adorning
himself.” The extravagance of the naked Indians of South America in
decorating themselves is shewn “by a man of large stature gaining with
difficulty enough by the labour of a fortnight to procure in exchange the
chica necessary to paint himself red.” (43. Humboldt, ‘Personal
Narrative,’ Eng. translat. vol. iv. p. 515; on the imagination shewn in
painting the body, p. 522; on modifying the form of the calf of the leg, p.
466.) The ancient barbarians of Europe during the Reindeer period brought
to their caves any brilliant or singular objects which they happened to
find. Savages at the present day everywhere deck themselves with plumes,
necklaces, armlets, ear-rings, etc. They paint themselves in the most
diversified manner. “If painted nations,” as Humboldt observes, “had been
examined with the same attention as clothed nations, it would have been
perceived that the most fertile imagination and the most mutable caprice
have created the fashions of painting, as well as those of garments.”

In one part of Africa the eyelids are coloured black; in another the nails
are coloured yellow or purple. In many places the hair is dyed of various
tints. In different countries the teeth are stained black, red, blue,
etc., and in the Malay Archipelago it is thought shameful to have white
teeth “like those of a dog.” Not one great country can be named, from the
polar regions in the north to New Zealand in the south, in which the
aborigines do not tattoo themselves. This practice was followed by the
Jews of old, and by the ancient Britons. In Africa some of the natives
tattoo themselves, but it is a much more common practice to raise
protuberances by rubbing salt into incisions made in various parts of the
body; and these are considered by the inhabitants of Kordofan and Darfur
“to be great personal attractions.” In the Arab countries no beauty can be
perfect until the cheeks “or temples have been gashed.” (44. ‘The Nile
Tributaries,’ 1867; ‘The Albert N’yanza,’ 1866, vol. i. p. 218.) In South
America, as Humboldt remarks, “a mother would be accused of culpable
indifference towards her children, if she did not employ artificial means
to shape the calf of the leg after the fashion of the country.” In the Old
and New Worlds the shape of the skull was formerly modified during infancy
in the most extraordinary manner, as is still the case in many places, and
such deformities are considered ornamental. For instance, the savages of
Colombia (45. Quoted by Prichard, ‘Physical History of Mankind,’ 4th ed.
vol. i. 1851, p. 321.) deem a much flattened head “an essential point of

The hair is treated with especial care in various countries; it is allowed
to grow to full length, so as to reach to the ground, or is combed into “a
compact frizzled mop, which is the Papuan’s pride and glory.” (46. On the
Papuans, Wallace, ‘The Malay Archipelago,’ vol. ii. p. 445. On the
coiffure of the Africans, Sir S. Baker, ‘The Albert N’yanza,’ vol. i. p.
210.) In northern Africa “a man requires a period of from eight to ten
years to perfect his coiffure.” With other nations the head is shaved, and
in parts of South America and Africa even the eyebrows and eyelashes are
eradicated. The natives of the Upper Nile knock out the four front teeth,
saying that they do not wish to resemble brutes. Further south, the
Batokas knock out only the two upper incisors, which, as Livingstone (47.
‘Travels,’ p. 533.) remarks, gives the face a hideous appearance, owing to
the prominence of the lower jaw; but these people think the presence of the
incisors most unsightly, and on beholding some Europeans, cried out, “Look
at the great teeth!” The chief Sebituani tried in vain to alter this
fashion. In various parts of Africa and in the Malay Archipelago the
natives file the incisors into points like those of a saw, or pierce them
with holes, into which they insert studs.

As the face with us is chiefly admired for its beauty, so with savages it
is the chief seat of mutilation. In all quarters of the world the septum,
and more rarely the wings of the nose are pierced; rings, sticks, feathers,
and other ornaments being inserted into the holes. The ears are everywhere
pierced and similarly ornamented, and with the Botocudos and Lenguas of
South America the hole is gradually so much enlarged that the lower edge
touches the shoulder. In North and South America and in Africa either the
upper or lower lip is pierced; and with the Botocudos the hole in the lower
lip is so large that a disc of wood, four inches in diameter, is placed in
it. Mantegazza gives a curious account of the shame felt by a South
American native, and of the ridicule which he excited, when he sold his
tembeta,–the large coloured piece of wood which is passed through the
hole. In Central Africa the women perforate the lower lip and wear a
crystal, which, from the movement of the tongue, has “a wriggling motion,
indescribably ludicrous during conversation.” The wife of the chief of
Latooka told Sir S. Baker (49. ‘The Albert N’yanza,’ 1866, vol. i. p.
217.) that Lady Baker “would be much improved if she would extract her four
front teeth from the lower jaw, and wear the long pointed polished crystal
in her under lip.” Further south with the Makalolo, the upper lip is
perforated, and a large metal and bamboo ring, called a pelele, is worn in
the hole. “This caused the lip in one case to project two inches beyond
the tip of the nose; and when the lady smiled, the contraction of the
muscles elevated it over the eyes. ‘Why do the women wear these things?’
the venerable chief, Chinsurdi, was asked. Evidently surprised at such a
stupid question, he replied, ‘For beauty! They are the only beautiful
things women have; men have beards, women have none. What kind of a person
would she be without the pelele? She would not be a woman at all with a
mouth like a man, but no beard.'” (49. Livingstone, ‘British
Association,’ 1860; report given in the ‘Athenaeum,’ July 7, 1860, p. 29.)

Hardly any part of the body, which can be unnaturally modified, has
escaped. The amount of suffering thus caused must have been extreme, for
many of the operations require several years for their completion, so that
the idea of their necessity must be imperative. The motives are various;
the men paint their bodies to make themselves appear terrible in battle;
certain mutilations are connected with religious rites, or they mark the
age of puberty, or the rank of the man, or they serve to distinguish the
tribes. Amongst savages the same fashions prevail for long periods (50.
Sir S. Baker (ibid. vol. i. p. 210) speaking of the natives of Central
Africa says, “every tribe has a distinct and unchanging fashion for
dressing the hair.” See Agassiz (‘Journey in Brazil,’ 1868, p. 318) on
invariability of the tattooing of Amazonian Indians.), and thus
mutilations, from whatever cause first made, soon come to be valued as
distinctive marks. But self-adornment, vanity, and the admiration of
others, seem to be the commonest motives. In regard to tattooing, I was
told by the missionaries in New Zealand that when they tried to persuade
some girls to give up the practice, they answered, “We must just have a few
lines on our lips; else when we grow old we shall be so very ugly.” With
the men of New Zealand, a most capable judge (51. Rev. R. Taylor, ‘New
Zealand and its Inhabitants,’ 1855, p. 152.) says, “to have fine tattooed
faces was the great ambition of the young, both to render themselves
attractive to the ladies, and conspicuous in war.” A star tattooed on the
forehead and a spot on the chin are thought by the women in one part of
Africa to be irresistible attractions. (52. Mantegazza, ‘Viaggi e Studi,’
p. 542.) In most, but not all parts of the world, the men are more
ornamented than the women, and often in a different manner; sometimes,
though rarely, the women are hardly at all ornamented. As the women are
made by savages to perform the greatest share of the work, and as they are
not allowed to eat the best kinds of food, so it accords with the
characteristic selfishness of man that they should not be allowed to
obtain, or use the finest ornaments. Lastly, it is a remarkable fact, as
proved by the foregoing quotations, that the same fashions in modifying the
shape of the head, in ornamenting the hair, in painting, tattooing, in
perforating the nose, lips, or ears, in removing or filing the teeth, etc.,
now prevail, and have long prevailed, in the most distant quarters of the
world. It is extremely improbable that these practices, followed by so
many distinct nations, should be due to tradition from any common source.
They indicate the close similarity of the mind of man, to whatever race he
may belong, just as do the almost universal habits of dancing,
masquerading, and making rude pictures.

Having made these preliminary remarks on the admiration felt by savages for
various ornaments, and for deformities most unsightly in our eyes, let us
see how far the men are attracted by the appearance of their women, and
what are their ideas of beauty. I have heard it maintained that savages
are quite indifferent about the beauty of their women, valuing them solely
as slaves; it may therefore be well to observe that this conclusion does
not at all agree with the care which the women take in ornamenting
themselves, or with their vanity. Burchell (53. ‘Travels in South
Africa,’ 1824, vol. i. p. 414.) gives an amusing account of a Bush-woman
who used as much grease, red ochre, and shining powder “as would have
ruined any but a very rich husband.” She displayed also “much vanity and
too evident a consciousness of her superiority.” Mr. Winwood Reade informs
me that the negroes of the West Coast often discuss the beauty of their
women. Some competent observers have attributed the fearfully common
practice of infanticide partly to the desire felt by the women to retain
their good looks. (54. See, for references, Gerland, ‘Ueber das
Aussterben der Naturvolker,’ 1868, ss. 51, 53, 55; also Azara, ‘Voyages,’
etc., tom. ii. p. 116.) In several regions the women wear charms and use
love-philters to gain the affections of the men; and Mr. Brown enumerates
four plants used for this purpose by the women of North-Western America.
(55. On the vegetable productions used by the North-Western American
Indians, see ‘Pharmaceutical Journal,’ vol. x.)

Hearne (56. ‘A Journey from Prince of Wales Fort,’ 8vo. ed. 1796, p. 89.),
an excellent observer, who lived many years with the American Indians,
says, in speaking of the women, “Ask a Northern Indian what is beauty, and
he will answer, a broad flat face, small eyes, high cheek-bones, three or
four broad black lines across each cheek, a low forehead, a large broad
chin, a clumsy hook nose, a tawny hide, and breasts hanging down to the
belt.” Pallas, who visited the northern parts of the Chinese empire, says,
“those women are preferred who have the Mandschu form; that is to say, a
broad face, high cheek-bones, very broad noses, and enormous ears”(57.
Quoted by Prichard, ‘Physical History of Mankind,’ 3rd ed. vol. iv. 1844,
p. 519; Vogt, ‘Lectures on Man,’ Eng. translat. p. 129. On the opinion of
the Chinese on the Cingalese, E. Tennent, ‘Ceylon,’ 1859, vol. ii. p.
107.); and Vogt remarks that the obliquity of the eye, which is proper to
the Chinese and Japanese, is exaggerated in their pictures for the purpose,
as it “seems, of exhibiting its beauty, as contrasted with the eye of the
red-haired barbarians.” It is well known, as Huc repeatedly remarks, that
the Chinese of the interior think Europeans hideous, with their white skins
and prominent noses. The nose is far from being too prominent, according
to our ideas, in the natives of Ceylon; yet “the Chinese in the seventh
century, accustomed to the flat features of the Mongol races, were
surprised at the prominent noses of the Cingalese; and Thsang described
them as having ‘the beak of a bird, with the body of a man.'”

The Descent Of Man


During the successive reprints of the first edition of this work, published
in 1871, I was able to introduce several important corrections; and now
that more time has elapsed, I have endeavoured to profit by the fiery
ordeal through which the book has passed, and have taken advantage of all
the criticisms which seem to me sound. I am also greatly indebted to a
large number of correspondents for the communication of a surprising number
of new facts and remarks. These have been so numerous, that I have been
able to use only the more important ones; and of these, as well as of the
more important corrections, I will append a list. Some new illustrations
have been introduced, and four of the old drawings have been replaced by
better ones, done from life by Mr. T.W. Wood. I must especially call
attention to some observations which I owe to the kindness of Prof. Huxley
(given as a supplement at the end of Part I.), on the nature of the
differences between the brains of man and the higher apes. I have been
particularly glad to give these observations, because during the last few
years several memoirs on the subject have appeared on the Continent, and
their importance has been, in some cases, greatly exaggerated by popular

I may take this opportunity of remarking that my critics frequently assume
that I attribute all changes of corporeal structure and mental power
exclusively to the natural selection of such variations as are often called
spontaneous; whereas, even in the first edition of the ‘Origin of Species,’The book “Origin of Species was written by Charles Darwin and was published on 24th November 1859. This book is considered as the foundation of evolutionary biology. This book has introduced the theory of evolution of species through the course of time by natural selection. In this book, he also included the evidence that he gathered from the Beagle Voyage.  Click Bitcoin Trader to know more.

I distinctly stated that great weight must be attributed to the inherited
effects of use and disuse, with respect both to the body and mind. I also
attributed some amount of modification to the direct and prolonged action
of changed conditions of life. Some allowance, too, must be made for
occasional reversions of structure; nor must we forget what I have called
“correlated” growth, meaning, thereby, that various parts of the
organisation are in some unknown manner so connected, that when one part
varies, so do others; and if variations in the one are accumulated by
selection, other parts will be modified. Again, it has been said by
several critics, that when I found that many details of structure in man
could not be explained through natural selection, I invented sexual
selection; I gave, however, a tolerably clear sketch of this principle in
the first edition of the ‘Origin of Species,’ and I there stated that it
was applicable to man. This subject of sexual selection has been treated
at full length in the present work, simply because an opportunity was here
first afforded me. I have been struck with the likeness of many of the
half-favourable criticisms on sexual selection, with those which appeared
at first on natural selection; such as, that it would explain some few
details, but certainly was not applicable to the extent to which I have
employed it. My conviction of the power of sexual selection remains
unshaken; but it is probable, or almost certain, that several of my
conclusions will hereafter be found erroneous; this can hardly fail to be
the case in the first treatment of a subject. When naturalists have become
familiar with the idea of sexual selection, it will, as I believe, be much
more largely accepted; and it has already been fully and favourably
received by several capable judges.

September, 1874.

First Edition February 24, 1871.
Second Edition September, 1874.

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin

My Several Publications

In the early part of 1844, my observations on the volcanic
islands visited during the voyage of the “Beagle” were published.
In 1845, I took much pains in correcting a new edition of my
‘Journal of Researches,’ which was originally published in 1839
as part of Fitz-Roy’s work. The success of this, my first
literary child, always tickles my vanity more than that of any of
my other books. Even to this day it sells steadily in England
and the United States, and has been translated for the second
time into German, and into French and other languages. This
success of a book of travels, especially of a scientific one, so
many years after its first publication, is surprising. Ten
thousand copies have been sold in England of the second edition.
In 1846 my ‘Geological Observations on South America’ ,
Geological observation on South America is the book written by Charles Darwin in 1846. This book is based on the geological research that he did during his five years voyage of HMS Beagle. This book was the third and last edition of Darwin’s account. It took four years for Darwin to complete the series. Click on the link next to know more were
published. I record in a little diary, which I have always kept,
that my three geological books (‘Coral Reefs’ included) consumed
four and a half years’ steady work; “and now it is ten years
since my return to England. How much time have I lost by
illness?” I have nothing to say about these three books except
that to my surprise new editions have lately been called for.
(‘Geological Observations,’ 2nd Edit.1876. ‘Coral Reefs,’ 2nd
Edit. 1874.)

In October, 1846, I began to work on ‘Cirripedia.’ When on the
coast of Chile, I found a most curious form, which burrowed into
the shells of Concholepas, and which differed so much from all
other Cirripedes that I had to form a new sub-order for its sole
reception. Lately an allied burrowing genus has been found on
the shores of Portugal. To understand the structure of my new
Cirripede I had to examine and dissect many of the common forms;
and this gradually led me on to take up the whole group. I
worked steadily on this subject for the next eight years, and
ultimately published two thick volumes (Published by the Ray
Society.), describing all the known living species, and two thin
quartos on the extinct species. I do not doubt that Sir E.
Lytton Bulwer had me in his mind when he introduced in one of his
novels a Professor Long, who had written two huge volumes on

Although I was employed during eight years on this work, yet I
record in my diary that about two years out of this time was lost
by illness. On this account I went in 1848 for some months to
Malvern for hydropathic treatment, which did me much good, so
that on my return home I was able to resume work. So much was I
out of health that when my dear father died on November 13th,
1848, I was unable to attend his funeral or to act as one of his

My work on the Cirripedia possesses, I think, considerable value,
as besides describing several new and remarkable forms, I made
out the homologies of the various parts–I discovered the
cementing apparatus, though I blundered dreadfully about the
cement glands–and lastly I proved the existence in certain
genera of minute males complemental to and parasitic on the
hermaphrodites. This latter discovery has at last been fully
confirmed; though at one time a German writer was pleased to
attribute the whole account to my fertile imagination. The
Cirripedes form a highly varying and difficult group of species
to class; and my work was of considerable use to me, when I had
to discuss in the ‘Origin of Species’ the principles of a natural
classification. Nevertheless, I doubt whether the work was worth
the consumption of so much time.

>From September 1854 I devoted my whole time to arranging my huge
pile of notes, to observing, and to experimenting in relation to
the transmutation of species. During the voyage of the “Beagle”
I had been deeply impressed by discovering in the Pampean
formation great fossil animals covered with armour like that on
the existing armadillos; secondly, by the manner in which closely
allied animals replace one another in proceeding southwards over
the Continent; and thirdly, by the South American character of
most of the productions of the Galapagos archipelago, and more
especially by the manner in which they differ slightly on each
island of the group; none of the islands appearing to be very
ancient in a geological sense.

It was evident that such facts as these, as well as many others,
could only be explained on the supposition that species gradually
become modified; and the subject haunted me. But it was equally
evident that neither the action of the surrounding conditions,
nor the will of the organisms (especially in the case of plants)
could account for the innumerable cases in which organisms of
every kind are beautifully adapted to their habits of life–for
instance, a woodpecker or a tree-frog to climb trees, or a seed
for dispersal by hooks or plumes. I had always been much struck
by such adaptations, and until these could be explained it seemed
to me almost useless to endeavour to prove by indirect evidence
that species have been modified.

After my return to England it appeared to me that by following
the example of Lyell in Geology, and by collecting all facts
which bore in any way on the variation of animals and plants
under domestication and nature, some light might perhaps be
thrown on the whole subject. My first note-book was opened in
July 1837. I worked on true Baconian principles, and without any
theory collected facts on a wholesale scale, more especially with
respect to domesticated productions, by printed enquiries, by
conversation with skilful breeders and gardeners, and by
extensive reading. When I see the list of books of all kinds
which I read and abstracted, including whole series of Journals
and Transactions, I am surprised at my industry. I soon
perceived that selection was the keystone of man’s success in
making useful races of animals and plants. But how selection
could be applied to organisms living in a state of nature
remained for some time a mystery to me.

In October 1838, that is, fifteen months after I had begun my
systematic enquiry, I happened to read for amusement ‘Malthus on
Population,’ and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle
for existence which everywhere goes on from long-continued
observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once
struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations
would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be
destroyed. The result of this would be the formation of new
species. Here then I had at last got a theory by which to work;
but I was so anxious to avoid prejudice, that I determined not
for some time to write even the briefest sketch of it. In June
1842 I first allowed myself the satisfaction of writing a very
brief abstract of my theory in pencil in 35 pages; and this was
enlarged during the summer of 1844 into one of 230 pages, which I
had fairly copied out and still possess.

But at that time I overlooked one problem of great importance;
and it is astonishing to me, except on the principle of Columbus
and his egg, how I could have overlooked it and its solution.
This problem is the tendency in organic beings descended from the
same stock to diverge in character as they become modified. That
they have diverged greatly is obvious from the manner in which
species of all kinds can be classed under genera, genera under
families, families under sub-orders and so forth; and I can
remember the very spot in the road, whilst in my carriage, when
to my joy the solution occurred to me; and this was long after I
had come to Down. The solution, as I believe, is that the
modified offspring of all dominant and increasing forms tend to
become adapted to many and highly diversified places in the
economy of nature.

Early in 1856 Lyell advised me to write out my views pretty
fully, and I began at once to do so on a scale three or four
times as extensive as that which was afterwards followed in my
‘Origin of Species;’ yet it was only an abstract of the materials
which I had collected, and I got through about half the work on
this scale. But my plans were overthrown, for early in the
summer of 1858 Mr. Wallace, who was then in the Malay
archipelago, sent me an essay “On the Tendency of Varieties to
depart indefinitely from the Original Type;” and this essay
contained exactly the same theory as mine. Mr. Wallace expressed
the wish that if I thought well of his essay, I should sent it to
Lyell for perusal.

The circumstances under which I consented at the request of Lyell
and Hooker to allow of an abstract from my MS., together with a
letter to Asa Gray, dated September 5, 1857, to be published at
the same time with Wallace’s Essay, are given in the ‘Journal of
the Proceedings of the Linnean Society,’ 1858, page 45. I was at
first very unwilling to consent, as I thought Mr. Wallace might
consider my doing so unjustifiable, for I did not then know how
generous and noble was his disposition. The extract from my MS.
and the letter to Asa Gray had neither been intended for
publication, and were badly written. Mr. Wallace’s essay, on the
other hand, was admirably expressed and quite clear.
Nevertheless, our joint productions excited very little
attention, and the only published notice of them which I can
remember was by Professor Haughton of Dublin, whose verdict was
that all that was new in them was false, and what was true was
old. This shows how necessary it is that any new view should be
explained at considerable length in order to arouse public

In September 1858 I set to work by the strong advice of Lyell and
Hooker to prepare a volume on the transmutation of species, but
was often interrupted by ill-health, and short visits to Dr.
Lane’s delightful hydropathic establishment at Moor Park. I
abstracted the MS. begun on a much larger scale in 1856, and
completed the volume on the same reduced scale. It cost me
thirteen months and ten days’ hard labour. It was published
under the title of the ‘Origin of Species,’ in November 1859.
Though considerably added to and corrected in the later editions,
it has remained substantially the same book.

It is no doubt the chief work of my life. It was from the first
highly successful. The first small edition of 1250 copies was
sold on the day of publication, and a second edition of 3000
copies soon afterwards. Sixteen thousand copies have now (1876)
been sold in England; and considering how stiff a book it is,
this is a large sale. It has been translated into almost every
European tongue, even into such languages as Spanish, Bohemian,
Polish, and Russian. It has also, according to Miss Bird, been
translated into Japanese (Miss Bird is mistaken, as I learn from
Prof. Mitsukuri.–F.D.), and is there much studied. Even an
essay in Hebrew has appeared on it, showing that the theory is
contained in the Old Testament! The reviews were very numerous;
for some time I collected all that appeared on the ‘Origin’ and
on my related books, and these amount (excluding newspaper
reviews) to 265; but after a time I gave up the attempt in
despair. Many separate essays and books on the subject have
appeared; and in Germany a catalogue or bibliography on
“Darwinismus” has appeared every year or two.

The success of the ‘Origin’ may, I think, be attributed in large
part to my having long before written two condensed sketches, and
to my having finally abstracted a much larger manuscript, which
was itself an abstract. By this means I was enabled to select
the more striking facts and conclusions. I had, also, during
many years followed a golden rule, namely, that whenever a
published fact, a new observation or thought came across me,
which was opposed to my general results, to make a memorandum of
it without fail and at once; for I had found by experience that
such facts and thoughts were far more apt to escape from the
memory than favourable ones. Owing to this habit, very few
objections were raised against my views which I had not at least
noticed and attempted to answer.

It has sometimes been said that the success of the ‘Origin’
proved “that the subject was in the air,” or “that men’s minds
were prepared for it.” I do not think that this is strictly
true, for I occasionally sounded not a few naturalists, and never
happened to come across a single one who seemed to doubt about
the permanence of species. Even Lyell and Hooker, though they
would listen with interest to me, never seemed to agree. I tried
once or twice to explain to able men what I meant by Natural
Selection, but signally failed. What I believe was strictly true
is that innumerable well-observed facts were stored in the minds
of naturalists ready to take their proper places as soon as any
theory which would receive them was sufficiently explained.
Another element in the success of the book was its moderate size;
and this I owe to the appearance of Mr. Wallace’s essay; had I
published on the scale in which I began to write in 1856, the
book would have been four or five times as large as the ‘Origin,’
and very few would have had the patience to read it.

I gained much by my delay in publishing from about 1839, when the
theory was clearly conceived, to 1859; and I lost nothing by it,
for I cared very little whether men attributed most originality
to me or Wallace; and his essay no doubt aided in the reception
of the theory. I was forestalled in only one important point,
which my vanity has always made me regret, namely, the
explanation by means of the Glacial period of the presence of the
same species of plants and of some few animals on distant
mountain summits and in the arctic regions. This view pleased me
so much that I wrote it out in extenso, and I believe that it was
read by Hooker some years before E. Forbes published his
celebrated memoir (‘Geolog. Survey Mem.,’ 1846.) on the subject.
In the very few points in which we differed, I still think that I
was in the right. I have never, of course, alluded in print to
my having independently worked out this view.

Hardly any point gave me so much satisfaction when I was at work
on the ‘Origin,’ as the explanation of the wide difference in
many classes between the embryo and the adult animal, and of the
close resemblance of the embryos within the same class. No
notice of this point was taken, as far as I remember, in the
early reviews of the ‘Origin,’ and I recollect expressing my
surprise on this head in a letter to Asa Gray. Within late years
several reviewers have given the whole credit to Fritz Muller and
Hackel, who undoubtedly have worked it out much more fully, and
in some respects more correctly than I did. I had materials for
a whole chapter on the subject, and I ought to have made the
discussion longer; for it is clear that I failed to impress my
readers; and he who succeeds in doing so deserves, in my opinion,
all the credit.

This leads me to remark that I have almost always been treated
honestly by my reviewers, passing over those without scientific
knowledge as not worthy of notice. My views have often been
grossly misrepresented, bitterly opposed and ridiculed, but this
has been generally done, as I believe, in good faith. On the
whole I do not doubt that my works have been over and over again
greatly overpraised. I rejoice that I have avoided
controversies, and this I owe to Lyell, who many years ago, in
reference to my geological works, strongly advised me never to
get entangled in a controversy, as it rarely did any good and
caused a miserable loss of time and temper.

Whenever I have found out that I have blundered, or that my work
has been imperfect, and when I have been contemptuously
criticised, and even when I have been overpraised, so that I have
felt mortified, it has been my greatest comfort to say hundreds
of times to myself that “I have worked as hard and as well as I
could, and no man can do more than this.” I remember when in
Good Success Bay, in Tierra del Fuego, thinking (and, I believe,
that I wrote home to the effect) that I could not employ my life
better than in adding a little to Natural Science. This I have
done to the best of my abilities, and critics may say what they
like, but they cannot destroy this conviction.

During the two last months of 1859 I was fully occupied in
preparing a second edition of the ‘Origin,’ and by an enormous
correspondence. On January 1st, 1860, I began arranging my notes
for my work on the ‘Variation of Animals and Plants under
Domestication;’ but it was not published until the beginning of
1868; the delay having been caused partly by frequent illnesses,
one of which lasted seven months, and partly by being tempted to
publish on other subjects which at the time interested me more.

On May 15th, 1862, my little book on the ‘Fertilisation of
Orchids,’ which cost me ten months’ work, was published: most of
the facts had been slowly accumulated during several previous
years. During the summer of 1839, and, I believe, during the
previous summer, I was led to attend to the cross-fertilisation
of flowers by the aid of insects, from having come to the
conclusion in my speculations on the origin of species, that
crossing played an important part in keeping specific forms
constant. I attended to the subject more or less during every
subsequent summer; and my interest in it was greatly enhanced by
having procured and read in November 1841, through the advice of
Robert Brown, a copy of C.K. Sprengel’s wonderful book, ‘Das
entdeckte Geheimniss der Natur.’ For some years before 1862 I
had specially attended to the fertilisation of our British
orchids; and it seemed to me the best plan to prepare as complete
a treatise on this group of plants as well as I could, rather
than to utilise the great mass of matter which I had slowly
collected with respect to other plants.

My resolve proved a wise one; for since the appearance of my
book, a surprising number of papers and separate works on the
fertilisation of all kinds of flowers have appeared: and these
are far better done than I could possibly have effected. The
merits of poor old Sprengel, so long overlooked, are now fully
recognised many years after his death.

During the same year I published in the ‘Journal of the Linnean
Society’ a paper “On the Two Forms, or Dimorphic Condition of
Primula,” and during the next five years, five other papers on
dimorphic and trimorphic plants. I do not think anything in my
scientific life has given me so much satisfaction as making out
the meaning of the structure of these plants. I had noticed in
1838 or 1839 the dimorphism of Linum flavum, and had at first
thought that it was merely a case of unmeaning variability. But
on examining the common species of Primula I found that the two
forms were much too regular and constant to be thus viewed. I
therefore became almost convinced that the common cowslip and
primrose were on the high road to become dioecious;–that the
short pistil in the one form, and the short stamens in the other
form were tending towards abortion. The plants were therefore
subjected under this point of view to trial; but as soon as the
flowers with short pistils fertilised with pollen from the short
stamens, were found to yield more seeds than any other of the
four possible unions, the abortion-theory was knocked on the
head. After some additional experiment, it became evident that
the two forms, though both were perfect hermaphrodites, bore
almost the same relation to one another as do the two sexes of an
ordinary animal. With Lythrum we have the still more wonderful
case of three forms standing in a similar relation to one
another. I afterwards found that the offspring from the union of
two plants belonging to the same forms presented a close and
curious analogy with hybrids from the union of two distinct

In the autumn of 1864 I finished a long paper on ‘Climbing
Plants,’ and sent it to the Linnean Society. The writing of this
paper cost me four months; but I was so unwell when I received
the proof-sheets that I was forced to leave them very badly and
often obscurely expressed. The paper was little noticed, but
when in 1875 it was corrected and published as a separate book it
sold well. I was led to take up this subject by reading a short
paper by Asa Gray, published in 1858. He sent me seeds, and on
raising some plants I was so much fascinated and perplexed by the
revolving movements of the tendrils and stems, which movements
are really very simple, though appearing at first sight very
complex, that I procured various other kinds of climbing plants,
and studied the whole subject. I was all the more attracted to
it, from not being at all satisfied with the explanation which
Henslow gave us in his lectures, about twining plants, namely,
that they had a natural tendency to grow up in a spire. This
explanation proved quite erroneous. Some of the adaptations
displayed by Climbing Plants are as beautiful as those of Orchids
for ensuring cross-fertilisation.

My ‘Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication’ was
begun, as already stated, in the beginning of 1860, but was not
published until the beginning of 1868. It was a big book, and
cost me four years and two months’ hard labour. It gives all my
observations and an immense number of facts collected from
various sources, about our domestic productions. In the second
volume the causes and laws of variation, inheritance, etc., are
discussed as far as our present state of knowledge permits.
Towards the end of the work I give my well-abused hypothesis of
Pangenesis. An unverified hypothesis is of little or no value;
but if anyone should hereafter be led to make observations by
which some such hypothesis could be established, I shall have
done good service, as an astonishing number of isolated facts can
be thus connected together and rendered intelligible. In 1875 a
second and largely corrected edition, which cost me a good deal
of labour, was brought out.

My ‘Descent of Man’ was published in February, 1871. As soon as
I had become, in the year 1837 or 1838, convinced that species
were mutable productions, I could not avoid the belief that man
must come under the same law. Accordingly I collected notes on
the subject for my own satisfaction, and not for a long time with
any intention of publishing. Although in the ‘Origin of Species’
the derivation of any particular species is never discussed, yet
I thought it best, in order that no honourable man should accuse
me of concealing my views, to add that by the work “light would
be thrown on the origin of man and his history.” It would have
been useless and injurious to the success of the book to have
paraded, without giving any evidence, my conviction with respect
to his origin.

But when I found that many naturalists fully accepted the
doctrine of the evolution of species, it seemed to me advisable
to work up such notes as I possessed, and to publish a special
treatise on the origin of man. I was the more glad to do so, as
it gave me an opportunity of fully discussing sexual selection–a
subject which had always greatly interested me. This subject,
and that of the variation of our domestic productions, together
with the causes and laws of variation, inheritance, and the
intercrossing of plants, are the sole subjects which I have been
able to write about in full, so as to use all the materials which
I have collected. The ‘Descent of Man’ took me three years to
write, but then as usual some of this time was lost by ill
health, and some was consumed by preparing new editions and other
minor works. A second and largely corrected edition of the
‘Descent’ appeared in 1874.

My book on the ‘Expression of the Emotions in Men and Animals’
was published in the autumn of 1872. I had intended to give only
a chapter on the subject in the ‘Descent of Man,’ but as soon as
I began to put my notes together, I saw that it would require a
separate treatise.

My first child was born on December 27th, 1839, and I at once
commenced to make notes on the first dawn of the various
expressions which he exhibited, for I felt convinced, even at
this early period, that the most complex and fine shades of
expression must all have had a gradual and natural origin.
During the summer of the following year, 1840, I read Sir C.
Bell’s admirable work on expression, and this greatly increased
the interest which I felt in the subject, though I could not at
all agree with his belief that various muscles had been specially
created for the sake of expression. From this time forward I
occasionally attended to the subject, both with respect to man
and our domesticated animals. My book sold largely; 5267 copies
having been disposed of on the day of publication.

In the summer of 1860 I was idling and resting near Hartfield,
where two species of Drosera abound; and I noticed that numerous
insects had been entrapped by the leaves. I carried home some
plants, and on giving them insects saw the movements of the
tentacles, and this made me think it probable that the insects
were caught for some special purpose. Fortunately a crucial test
occurred to me, that of placing a large number of leaves in
various nitrogenous and non-nitrogenous fluids of equal density;
and as soon as I found that the former alone excited energetic
movements, it was obvious that here was a fine new field for

During subsequent years, whenever I had leisure, I pursued my
experiments, and my book on ‘Insectivorous Plants’ was published
in July 1875–that is, sixteen years after my first observations.
The delay in this case, as with all my other books, has been a
great advantage to me; for a man after a long interval can
criticise his own work, almost as well as if it were that of
another person. The fact that a plant should secrete, when
properly excited, a fluid containing an acid and ferment, closely
analogous to the digestive fluid of an animal, was certainly a
remarkable discovery.

During this autumn of 1876 I shall publish on the ‘Effects of
Cross and Self-Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom.’ This
book will form a complement to that on the ‘Fertilisation of
Orchids,’ in which I showed how perfect were the means for cross-
fertilisation, and here I shall show how important are the
results. I was led to make, during eleven years, the numerous
experiments recorded in this volume, by a mere accidental
observation; and indeed it required the accident to be repeated
before my attention was thoroughly aroused to the remarkable fact
that seedlings of self-fertilised parentage are inferior, even in
the first generation, in height and vigour to seedlings of cross-
fertilised parentage. I hope also to republish a revised edition
of my book on Orchids, and hereafter my papers on dimorphic and
trimorphic plants, together with some additional observations on
allied points which I never have had time to arrange. My
strength will then probably be exhausted, and I shall be ready to exclaim “Nunc dimittis.”