Relative growth in large and small races of pigeons

Riddle, Oscar, Charles, Donald R., Cauthen, George E. (1932) Relative growth in large and small races of pigeons. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 29 (9). pp. 1216-1220.

DOI: 10.3181/00379727-29-6290


Castle and Gregory1, 2 showed that cell multiplication is more rapid in the eggs of a large race of rabbits than in one of small adult size, although the absolute size of the eggs before cleavage and the rate of differentiation during prenatal growth were not different in the 2 cases. Here the adults of the large race were fully 3 times as large as those of the small race; at birth, however, individuals of the large race were only twice the size of newborn of the small race. Painter3 had earlier obtained evidence that 12-day embryos of this same large race of rabbits contained more cells than did embryos of the small race when studied at the same age. Finally, Robb4 found that the percentage growth-rate from birth to puberty is the same in these 2 races of rabbits, but after puberty this rate is more depressed in the small race. He failed to find evidence that pituitary difference is at any stage the basis of the growth difference. In the present study we wished to learn from large and small races of common pigeons the extent to which differential growth is demonstrable by size at hatching, and the extent and time-relations of differential growth rates in the post-hatching period. This limitation of our problem relieves us here of the citation of a large body of literature. While this study was in progress Byerly5 published rather extensive data concerning the growth of embryos from a larger (2.77 kilos) and a somewhat smaller (2.01 kilos) race of fowls. From the 10th day onward it was found that the embryos of the heavier race were slightly heavier than those of the lighter race; but in eggs of the same weight from the 2 breeds the size difference tends to disappear toward hatching time, probably due to the equivalence of a strictly limited food supply.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > animal > bird
history > eugenics
CSHL Authors:
Communities: Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor
Depositing User: Elizabeth Pessala
Date: 1932
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2017 15:58
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2017 15:58

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