The Highland Cattle Breed originated in the Highlands and west coastal islands of Scotland, areas severe in climate and lashed by the North Atlantic gales. Throughout the long recorded history of Highlands, breeders have taken great care to retain the original characteristics of these cattle. Originally, the breed was divided into two classes, the West Highlands or Kyloe, and the Highlander. The Kyloes, raised on the western islands of Scotland, tended to be of a smaller size and had a higher percentage of black and brindled cattle than the mainland Highlanders. The size difference was probably due more to the severe climate and limited rations that the island cattle were subjected to than to any genetic variation between the classes. Today all members of the breed are called Highland.