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And that is routinely done in breeding for improvement. For ... considered an error, and kinked tails are rarely seem nowadays.

That's sad news! We used to have Siamese, and the proper kinked tail was one of their lovable features, like the growl.

I have never seen a kinked tail Siamese cat IRL.
Their existence is book knowledge for me.
Guess they are extinct, by now. (or at least very rare)

However, there are several catteries in Europe
that specialize in polycoons,
so that particular form isn't likely to disappear, despite the stupidity of American cat fanciers about it.

There is some debate about the origin of the extra toe: some maintain that it is adaptive,
helping the (for a long time semi-wild) coons catch fish. It gives them a broad paw.
More likely though that it is just the precursor effect. The present day Maine Coon population
is descended from only a few cats brought over from Europe. Only one succesful polydactyl cat
may explain the prevalence of the gene
in the population.
I never know where I stand with breed societies: they do preserve bloodlines, but look what the Kennel Club and ... they seem to latch on to a few characteristic features and end up with a Disneyfied version of the original.

Right, or even worse, if at all possible.
However in fairness one should admit
that they also try for something useful on occasion, such as breeding out the inherited deafness
of blue-eyed white cats.
It reminds me of supermarket tomatoes.

At least in that there is some improvement
(in continental Europe at least, don't know about England) After growing for size (hence lowered production costs) for a long time (resulting in big watery tomatoes with little taste left) the trend has been reversed.
You can nowadays buy several kinds of tomatoes,
some with more taste to them.
The only problem with that is that it is not always easy to know which is which.
Shape is an indication though:
the nearly spherical ones tend to be tasteless,
oblong or more iregularly shaped tomatoes tend to taste better.

Same story with strawberries:
the big watery tasteless ones are on the retreat.
And there price is an indication,
for the good ones tend to cost a lot more.
When in France, look for 'garinguettes'.
English isn't that subtle yet afaik,
to have different names for different kinds of strawberries.

Best,
Jan
A hare is not a rabbit; the species aren't closely related, and cannot interbreed. The big prize in Br Is coursing is, I believe, the Waterloo Cup; I assume the sport's been abolished in the UK but not the RoI.

It has not been abolished in one corner of the UK, Northern Ireland, although there is a temporary ban on preservation grounds.

Peter Duncanson
UK (posting from a.e.u)
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
A hare is not a rabbit; the species aren't closely related, and cannot interbreed.

However
Main Entry: jack·rab·bit
any of several large hares (genus Lepus) of western North America having very long ears and long hind legs
The "snowshoe rabbit" is also a hare.
According to
Family Leporidae
rabbits, hares
Classification: Order Lagomorpha (lagomorphs) > Family Leporidae

Genus Lepus
hares, jack rabbits
(Species: 3, Individual: 10)
Genus Sylvilagus
cottontails, American rabbits
(Species: 1, Individual: 2)
Genus Oryctolagus
European rabbits
(Species: 1, Individual: 5)
http://1kai.dokkyomed.ac.jp/mammal/en/family/leporidae.html

American rabbits and European rabbits are as distantly related to each other as either is to hares.

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1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >who still remember how to read.Palo Alto, CA 94304
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A hare is not a rabbit; the species aren't closely related, and cannot interbreed.

However Main Entry: jack·rab·bit : any of several large hares (genus Lepus) of western North America having very long ears ... 1, Individual: 5) http://1kai.dokkyomed.ac.jp/mammal/en/family/leporidae.html American rabbits and European rabbits are as distantly related toeach other as either is to hares.

I didn't know jack-rabbits were hares: thanks. Sharpens some of Bugs Bunny's puns.

Mike.
However
Main Entry: jack·rab·bit
any of several large hares (genus Lepus) of western North America having very long ears and long hind legs
The "snowshoe rabbit" is also a hare.
According to
Family Leporidae
rabbits, hares
Classification: Order Lagomorpha (lagomorphs) > Family Leporidae

Genus Lepus
hares, jack rabbits
(Species: 3, Individual: 10)
Genus Sylvilagus
cottontails, American rabbits
(Species: 1, Individual: 2)
Genus Oryctolagus
European rabbits
(Species: 1, Individual: 5)
http://1kai.dokkyomed.ac.jp/mammal/en/family/leporidae.html

American rabbits and European rabbits are as distantly related to each other as either is to hares.
Anyone know what 'Individual' means here?
Is it the same as breeds or subspecies?
Richard Maurer To reply, remove half
Sunnyvale, California of a homonym of a synonym for also. (word of the day fusee)
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Anyone know what 'Individual' means here? Is it the same as breeds or subspecies?

No, it is simply the number of type specimens they have used.

Regards
John
for mail: my initials plus a u e
at tpg dot com dot au
A hare is not a rabbit; the species aren't closely related, and cannot interbreed.

However Main Entry: jack·rab·bit : any of several large hares (genus Lepus) of western North America having very long ears ... Individual: 5) http://1kai.dokkyomed.ac.jp/mammal/en/family/leporidae.html American rabbits and European rabbits are as distantly related to each other as either is to hares.

What is your justification for that last sentence? The fact that they are all genera does not necessarily mean that they are equally distantly related. It depends on how far back on the tree they branched off.

That web site is rather incomplete, by the way. There's a better one here:
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/classification/Lepor idae.html#Leporidae
I don't know, but I suspect that all ten of the lagus genera are more closely related to each other than any of them are to Lepus.

Regards
John
for mail: my initials plus a u e
at tpg dot com dot au
MWCD11 dates "pit bull" to 1950, under its entry for ... has become of general interest to the press and public.

Ford Hamilton's greyhound, Fleetfoot, which was recently brought over from England, received some attention from the sporting element. This dog ... a savage guard to property. (6/30/1926) Looking at the original incident (6/16/1926), the dog was simply described as a "bulldog".

Despite the above, pit-bulls played no part in my consciousness as potentially dangerous dogs as I said, I don't remember having heard the term until relatively recent times. I don't believe they played much of a part of the dangerous dog in popular culture, either. In the thirties and forties, the "tough dog" in popular culture appears to have been an English bulldog. A dog which bullied Pluto, for example, was Butch the Bulldog, and Spike the Bulldog appeared in Tom and Jerry cartoons apparently representing a tough dog, dangerous to cats, anyway. On the other hand, Petey, the dog in the Our Gang comedies, appears to have been a pit-bull terrier, but there was never any sense that he represented a particularly dangerous or tough dog.
When I was growing up, I don't recall having seen many English bulldogs, if any. The type of dog which I and other kids feared, and one which, as it happened, did once bite me, was what we called a "police dog," that is, a German Shepherd (an Alsatian, in British English).

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
"police dog," that is, a German Shepherd (an Alsatian, in British English).

Interestingly, the Br naming has now swung back to "German Shepherd" "GSD", to those in the know, I believe. The name "Alsatian" was adopted as one of the "de-Germanizing" changes about the time of the First War. OED 1933 Suppl. has a 1926 quotation with other names: "The so-called Police dog, or German Shepherd Dog...variously known as the Alsatian Wolf Dog, Belgian Police Dog, and French Police Dog."

Mike.
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