RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1857. Mouse-coloured breed of ponies. Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette no. 24 (13 June): 427.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed and edited by John van Wyhe 2002-8. RN2

[page] 427

Mouse-coloured Breed of Ponies.—Mr. Charles Darwin asks if any of our readers will kindly inform him how dun or mouse-coloured ponies with a dark stripe down their back are bred. He says:—"The breed is common in Norway, on the banks of the Indus, and in the Malayan Archipelago; and in some respects very interesting in relation to the origin of the domestic horse. Is the peculiar colour thrown from ponies of any other colour, or must one or both parents be dun? Occasionally ponies of this colour have a cross stripe on the shoulder like that on the ass, and likewise bars on the legs. If any one who has bred ponies of this colour would inform me whether these stripes are more distinct in the colt than in aged ponies I should be much obliged. The transverse bars sometimes seen on the legs of the ass are said to be plainest during growth." Ch. Darwin, Down, Bromley, Kent.1

1 See Correspondence vol. 6, p. 411. Darwin discussed this issue in Natural selection, pp. 328-32.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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