REM­NANTS ON OFF­SHORE

EQUUS - - Insights Conformati­on -

suit­able is­land and shore­line ring­ing the Caribbean Sea. Pow­ered by slaves who planted and cut the sug­ar­cane, the is­lands de­pended upon reg­u­lar ship­ments of sup­plies, es­pe­cially boards and bar­rel staves, fish, salt pork, veg­eta­bles, cheese, bar­ley and corn­meal. An­other reg­u­lar im­port was horses, which were used to turn the mills that crushed the cane, for the trans­port of goods by pack and wagon, and for rid­ing. While ini­tial ship­ments came di­rectly from Europe, by the first quar­ter of the 17th cen­tury, English, French and Dutch colonies in Amer­ica and Canada had be­gun to grow and pros­per. Ly­ing much closer to hand, they soon took over as the source of is­land sup­ply.

The “law of dis­per­sal” is a bi­o­log­i­cal prin­ci­ple that al­lows us to pre­dict that the de­scen­dants of Colo­nialera horse breed­ing are most likely to be found in pe­riph­eral ar­eas. In the first phase a new form of an­i­mal ap­pears in a cer­tain place. In the wild, the “new form” would be a species or sub­species that ei­ther arises in or mi­grates into a new area, but the prin­ci­ple ap­plies equally to do­mes­tic forms that are brought into a new area by peo­ple. As soon as they ar­rive, the new form be­gins to mul­ti­ply and spread out­ward from the cen­ter of dis­tri­bu­tion. In the be­gin­ning, the pop­u­la­tion den­sity is greater at the cen­ter than in pe­riph­eral ar­eas. In the next phase out­ward mi­gra­tion reaches its max­i­mum lim­its and the den­sity of the pop­u­la­tion at the pe­riph­ery comes to be about equal to the den­sity at the cen­ter.

In the third phase the pop­u­la­tion den­sity at the cen­ter be­comes less than at the pe­riph­ery. Even­tu­ally the type may be­come en­tirely ex­tinct at the cen­ter. In the fi­nal phase the pop­u­la­tion also be­comes ex­tinct in cer­tain parts of the pe­riph­ery, so that the type even­tu­ally sur­vives only as iso­lated rem­nants, usu­ally in ru­ral, re­mote or moun­tain­ous ar­eas.

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