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March 29, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(13):829. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480130027009

In his "Descent of Man," Darwin suggested the probability that such natural weapons as horns and tusks, when present in both sexes of an animal species, were originally only possessed by the male and their possession by the female was a later acquirement; in other words, the female gradually usurped the offensive and defensive appendages of the male. Darwin's inference has lacked paleontologic proof until lately. In a recent paper,1 Dr. C. I. Forsyth-Major has taken up the question from this point of view, considers the evolution as shown in fossil remains of the deer, giraffe, bovine and porcine families—all possessing these appendages— and comes to the conclusion that Darwin was about right. The subjection of the female, so far as it was dependent upon her not bearing arms according to the fashion of her kind, therefore came largely to an end. Major applies this fact to our own