Discusses fossil cirripede specimens from RF's collection. Comments on problems of describing their valves.
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Sir
I must send one line to thank you for the truly kind way you take the accident to your specimen.— I have now mended it; there were 13 fragments, but they fit so well that with the head 18 inches or two feet off, the injury cannot be perceived, & the specimen is as good as ever for Scientific purposes.— I am very grateful for your offer, of a duplicate; but I must tell you that as soon as my monograph is completed, I shall give all my specimens to Brit. Mus. Possibly the fossil species may be published by Palæntog. Soc.—
Your specimens consist of (1
Secondly you have a Carina of the Scalpellum (Pollicipes) Sulcatum of Sowerby.
Thirdly there is a right-hand scutum of a Scalpellum (the one broken & repaired), probably the S. (Pollicipes) maximum of J. Sowerby.—
Fourthly you have a pair of Terga of a Pollicipes, I believe new spec.—
I will attend to all your wishes about the specimens: you need not doubt my referring
for my own sake (independently of gratitude) to your Collection, as place of deposit of
specimens described. How I wish I c
I can generally now tell the position of a separate Valve, even when the other valves are quite unknown: Judging from the keel valve alone, I think that I have now before me five species of cirripedia from the Chalk. & at least as many more from the Gualt.—
But I am troubling you with details. If I had plenty of specimens I might perhaps make out as many species from the other valves as from the Carina or Keel valve.—
Pray believe me | Yours sincerely obliged | C. Darwin
I forgot to say, that in examining the Boxes sent, I see one has been crushed in the corner & that injury not produced by any jar, & therefore I hope that your specimens will go back quite safe in wooden Box
P.S. I have opened my letter to say that I have been at work
on your specimens, & know from analogy that the single keel-valve specimen of S.
sulcatum; has a third lower side in the upper half entirely hidden in the
chalk: your specimen is exteriorly more perfect than any I have seen, yet I cannot have
it drawn without I c
I am sorry to say that I have this morning heard from my Brother in London that his house is full & he cannot receive me next week from this cause & from my wifes confinement I fear I must put off going to London for a week more. I pledge my honour nothing but good reason shall delay me having your specimens drawn & returned.
I really apologise for length of this note.
- f1 1291.f1CD gave all living Cirripedia type specimens to the British Museum. Duplicate specimens were given to the Cambridge University Museum of Zoology (including his slide collection), to John Stevens Henslow for a small exhibit at the Ispwich Museum, and to George Brettingham Sowerby. In 1880, Sowerby's collection was purchased by the Liverpool Free Public Museum, but it was destroyed in the Second World War.
- f2 1291.f2The two volumes of Fossil Cirripedia were published in 1851 and 1854 by the Palaeontographical Society.
- f3 1291.f3Fitch's specimens in the Norwich Castle Museum are illustrated in Trenn 1974, p. 478 (fig. 3).
- f4 1291.f4See letter to Robert Fitch, 10 January .
- f5 1291.f5See Trenn 1974, p. 479 (fig. 4).
- f6 1291.f6Classified by CD as a variety of Scalpellum maximum (Fossil Cirripedia (1851): 34–5).
- f7 1291.f7This P.S. is actually bound with Fitch's letter of [28 January 1850], but the references to Emma Darwin's confinement and to the postponement of CD's trip to London indicate that it belongs here.