Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Domestication of Animals 193 
remained would assuredly be selected for slaughter, when¬ 
ever it was necessary that one of the flock should be killed. 
The tamest cattle—-those that seldom ran away, that kept 
the flock together and led them homewards—would be pre¬ 
served alive longer than any of the others. It is therefore 
these that chiefly become the parents of stock, and bequeath 
their domestic aptitudes to the future herd. I have con¬ 
stantly witnessed this process of selection among the 
pastoral savages of South Africa. I believe it to be a very 
important one, on account of its rigour and its regularity. 
It must have existed from the earliest times, and have been 
in continuous operation, generation after generation, down 
to the present day. 
Exceptions.—I have already mentioned the African 
elephant, the North American reindeer, and the apparent, 
but not real exception of the North American turkey. I 
should add the ducks and geese of North America, but I 
cannot consider them in the light of a very strong case, for 
a savage who constantly changes his home is not likely to 
carry aquatic birds along with him. Beyond these few, I 
know of no notable exceptions to my theory. 
I see no reason to suppose that the first domestication of 
any animal, except the elephant, implies a high civilisation 
among the people who established it. I cannot believe it 
to have been the result of a preconceived intention, followed 
by elaborate trials, to administer to the comfort of man. 
Neither can I think it arose from one successful effort made 
by an individual, who might thereby justly claim the title of 
benefactor to his race ; but, on the contrary, that a vast 
number of half-unconscious attempts have been made 
throughout the course of ages, and that ultimately, by slow 
degrees, after many relapses, and continued selection, our 
several domestic breeds became firmly established. 
I will briefly restate what appear to be the conditions 
under which wild animals may become domesticated :—i, 
they should be hardy ; 2, they should have fin inborn liking 
for man ; 3, they should be comfort-loving ; 4, they should 
be found useful to the savages ; 5, they should breed 
freely ; 6, they should be easy to tend. 


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