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Letters to Nature
Nature 211, 1092 - 1093 (03 September 1966); doi:10.1038/2111092b0

Coat Structure in Soay Sheep

M. L. RYDER

Agricultural Research Council, Animal Breeding Research Organization, Edinburgh, 9.

EARLIER work on the coat of the Soay1,2 was carried out with “mainland” Soays which stem from stock removed from St. Kilda some 50 years ago. Apparently, all these animals have a woolly, chocolate coloured coat. The designation of St. Kilda as a National Nature Reserve has enabled an investigation to be made of the sheep remaining on the islands by a team organized by the Nature Conservancy3. Many of the sheep have a hairy coat, and only 75 per cent are dark brown in colour; the remainder are light brown. The coat structure of these primitive domestic sheep throws light on fleece evolution. This study reveals a lack of heterotype hairs, and a higher secondary/primary follicle ratio (S/P ratio) in the hairy than in the woolly type.

  1. Ryder, M. L. , Nature, 182, 781 (1958). | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
  2. Ryder, M. L. , Nature, 183, 1831 (1959). | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
  3. Boyd, J. M. , Doney, J. M. , Gunn, R. G. , and Jewell, P. A. , Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 142, 129 (1964).
  4. Ryder, M. L. , Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 135, 387 (1960).
  5. Laxer, G. , Whewell, C. S. , and Woods, H. J. , J. Text. Inst., 45, T482 (1954).
  6. Side, H. J. A. , thesis, Univ. Leeds (1964).
  7. Ryder, M. L. , J. Agric. Sci., 47, 6 (1956).
  8. Burns, M. , J. Agric. Sci., 44, 443 (1954). | ISI |
  9. Burns, M. , J. Agric. Sci., 44, 86 (1954). | ISI |
  10. Ryder, M. L. , Nature, 204, 555 (1964). | Article | ISI |



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