Letter | Published:

Protective Markings in Cats

Nature volume 63, page 466 (14 March 1901) | Download Citation



IT will probably appear to many—as it does to myself—that the development of a protective mechanism in a domestic animal is not likely, and for several reasons—such as the shortness of time at the disposal of the race, and, of course, to their large independence of stress of circumstances. Still it may be admitted that the domestic cat bears its subjugation to man more lightly than many of the other creatures which he has tamed. The particular mark above the eye to which your correspondent refers (p. 441) has also been pointed out by Mr. Wallace in the dog. It may interest those of your readers who are not aware of the fact to learn that the tiger has a largish and very bright white spot upon the back of the ear. When the ears are directed forwards this spot is exceedingly conspicuous from in front (as any one may verify upon the fine pair of tigers now in these gardens); and, in the dimness of a cave or a thicket, might conceivably produce an impression of alertness when the animal was really sleeping.

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