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and their flat points again more or less reverted outwards and backwards, sometimes so much as to describe a second circular curve, whereby the twist becomes spirate : also, short deer-like tails; and, lastly, no beard nor mane. Requesting the reader to keep these general designatory marks of all true sheep in mind, I now proceed to exhibit in the particular portrait of each tame breed, the special modifications to which these primitive marks are subjected by domestication, as well as the other and more popular traits of each breed.
1. Ovis húniá.—The Húniá of western, and Hálúk of eastern, Tibet. This tall and graceful animal is the blackfaced or polycerate sheep of Thibet, the especial breed of that country, and one which is well known to European visitors of the western Himálayas, as the common beast of burden for the transit of the snowy region, being singularly docile and sure-footed. The IIúniá is a large species, measuring 4 to 4feet in length from the snout to the vent, and 21 to 2 feet in height. Head to occiput (straight) 11 to 11; inches. Tail only, 4; to 5] inches. Tail and wool, 6 to 72 inches. Ears 4 to 5.1 inches. Girth behind the shoulder 3 feet to 3 feet. Maximum length of the horns along the curve 18 to 20 inches, and maximum girth at their base 6 to 7 inches. Both sexes have usually horns, and the males are almost never devoid of them, the females, rarely. The horns of the Húniá are distinguished for attenuation and consequent separation at their bases. But these characters are only relative, like those of the comparative smoothness of the horns, and their higher compression as contrasted with the horns of the wild race, as well as of some of the tame ones that will follow. For the rest, the horns of the Húnia exhibit with suffici. ent distinctness the characters both of form and curvative proper to the wild type, being triangular, compressed, transversely wrinkled, and curving circularly to the sides so as to describe two-thirds of a perfect sphere, when their smooth flat points are again reverted outwards and sometimes backwards, and so much so as to describe a second nearly perfect circle. I have not noticed this tendency to the spiral or corkscrew twist in the wild race. It is only very imperfect in the tame, and such as it is, is the product of advanced age, very probably equally characterising the wild race in old age. The moderate-sized head of the Húniá has great depth, moderate width, and considerable attenuation to the fine oblique muzzle, which shows not the least sign of nudi
ty or moistness, and has the narrow nostrils curving laterally upwards. The chaffron, or bridge of the nose, is moderately arched or bombed, but more so than in the wild race; and the forehead is less flat and less broad than in the Argalis, being slightly arched both lengthwise and
The longish narrow and pointed ears differ from those of the wild race, only by being partially or wholly pendent, whereas in the wild race they are erect or horizontal and much more mobile, acting efficiently like moveable funnels to catch every sound, a security denied to the several tame races, which, looking to man for their protection, seem to lose the mobility of the ear, as a consequence of disuse or less frequent and active use of the organ. The eyes, of good size and sufficient prominency of orbit, are seated near to the base of the horns and remote from the muzzle ; and beneath them is the eye pit, strongly marked both in the skin and scull, and carrying off a specific secretion, though both the gland and its vent or pore are apt to escape observation, owing to the woolly coverture of the creeks prevailing throughout the eye pits, even in their interior. The neck is rather thin and short. The body moderately full and somewhat elongated. The limbs rather long and fine, hardly less so than in the wild race, and not remarkably rigid or perpendicular, except perhaps by comparison with those deerlike races. The hoofs compressed and high. The false hoofs small and obtuse. The feet pits are common to all four feet, and small only by comparison with those of Deer and Antelopes, large in comparison with those of Goats, * and provided with a distinct gland, yielding a specific secretion which is viscid and aqueous when fresh, candid when dry, and nearly void of odour. Not so the secretion of the groin glands-organs, which in the Húniá are conspicuous, and yield a greasy fetid subaqueous matter, which passes off constantly by a vaguely defined pore, quite similar to that of the axine deer, but less definite in form than in the true Antelopes; of which the Indian Black, or Sásin, offers an excellent and familiar exemplar.
The possession of these organs has been denied to the sheep by most writers. Wherefore I have been more particular in describing them; and may add, that they belong to the two wild and six tame races of these regions without exception; and may, therefore, be considered emphatically normal. Sheep are pre-eminently Alpine animals, and it
* See accompanying sketches.
is, therefore, not surprising that the tame and wild breeds of the IIimálayas, mountains which constitute so unrivalled a part of the "dome of the world,” should be pre-eminently characteristic; nor that the same regions should, in the wild Nahoors and Barhels, exhibit samples of abnormal sheep; and such I take to be these last named IIimálayan species, and likewise the wild sheep of Europe or the Moufflons; whilst the Argalis, both of Asia and of America, constitute the true type of the Orine family.*
The tail of the Húniá is invariably short, though less remarkably so than in the Argalis, yet still retaining the same essentially deer-like character. It is cylindrico-conic and two-thirds nude below, differing little or not at all from the same organ in the several other tame races of these regions, where long-tailed sheep are never seen till you reach the open plains of India ; and, as upon those plains not only are all the sheep long tailed, but Dumbas or montrous tailed sheep are common, whilst the latter also are totally unknown in the hills, it is a legitimate inference, that this caudal augmentation in most of its phases is an instance of degeneracy in these pre-eminently Alpine animals, and that, therefore, 'tis vain to look in the wild state for any prototype of at least the more egregious of the macropygean breeds, how great soever be the historical antiquity of the Dumbas.†
Having now described the Húniá from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail, I may conclude with his æconomic qualities, first resuming that this fine breed is characterised by extreme docility, by superior size, gracefulness of form, slender horns, of which there are frequently four, and rarely, even five, a polycerate tendency displayed by no other tame breed of these regions; and, lastly, by the almost invariable mark of a black face. The general colour is almost as invariably white. I never saw a wholly black sheep of this breed. Nor I think one with perfectly white face and legs. Both the latter parts are characteristically and almost invariably dark, black or brown, and there are patches of the same hue, occasionally, on the neck or hips : but rarely.
This genuinely Tibetan race cannot endure the rank pasture or high
* See paper above referred to in Journal Asiatic Society.
+ The range of civil, as compared with physical, history, is as 5000 years to periods, the imagination can hardly cope with, though fossil Zoology gives demonstration of their reality and successive character.