from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See otter, 5.


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  • Seeing that artificial selection of complicated variations has modified animals in many points either simultaneously or by slow steps, as with otter-sheep, fancy pigeons, &c. (many of the characters thus obtained being clearly independent of use and disuse), natural selection must be credited with similar powers, and Mr. Wallace concludes that Mr. Spencer's insuperable difficulty is "wholly imaginary."

    Are the Effects of Use and Disuse Inherited? An Examination of the View Held by Spencer and Darwin

  • During the process of formation of such breeds as the greyhound or the bulldog, of the race-horse and carthorse, of the fantail pigeon or the otter-sheep, many co-ordinate adjustments have been produced; and no difficulty has occurred, whether the change has been effected by a single variation -- as in the last case named -- or by slow steps, as in all the others.

    Darwinism (1889) Alfred Russel Wallace 1868


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