RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1894. [Letter to George Cupples, January 1869]. In George Cupples, Scotch deer-hounds and their masters. With a biographical sketch of the author by James Hutchison Stirling. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, p. 165.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed and edited by John van Wyhe. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Freeman Bibliographical Database, enter its Identifier here. See the notes to this letter in Correspondence vol. 16, p. 7.

[page] 165

For example, and before I in the least knew what the result would be, I fixed on this as a crucial instance,—the reindeer alone (of cervidæ) has horns in both sexes, therefore, according to my rule, their horns should be developed very early in life; and I now hear from Sweden that these appear within two or three weeks after birth: whilst with all other deer, in which the horns are confined to the male, these do not, as far I have hitherto ascertained, appear till nearly a year after birth. So it is with the horns of antelopes. Now you will see that if a large part of the variation in stature occurs late in life among male deer-hounds, this variation will (on such a principle) tend to be transmitted to the males alone, and will not affect the females as any other ordinary variation would do.

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

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