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Letter 1294

Darwin, C. R. to Bowerbank, J. S.

19 Jan [1850]

    Summary Add

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    Describes result of his dissection of one of JSB's cirripede specimens, "now a hundred fold more instructive". Awaits fossils from Copenhagen Chalk for comparison with British specimens. Asks permission for J. de C. Sowerby to draw specimens.


Down Farnborough | Kent

Jan 19th

My dear Sir

In accordance with your permission, I have cleared one of the large valves, which can be now drawn. The four little embedded pieces, now cleared & separated, consist of (1) a fragment of a scutum, (2) a perfect upper latus (3d) a perfect lower latus 4th a broken do.—

Your specimen is certainly now a hundred–fold more instructive; & the 3 valves which were in their nearly proper position have not been in the least displaced.

Many thanks for offer of sessile cirripedes, but I am not nearly ready for them yet.—

Forbes wrote to me that he understood that you had some valves from the Gault of Pollicipes besides those sent to me; if you have & wd entrust them to me, I shd be particularly thankful, as I want to see as many as possible.— Mr Fitch has sent me some beautiful specimens for description.—

I fully thought I had asked you in my former note, & if I did not it was an accidental omission which I am very sorry to say will entail another note on you.— It is to ask whether you will permit me to have some of your specimens drawn by Mr J. Sowerby: I intend to have all the fossils (if I get permission), which have any good characters, drawn.—

With respect to publication of the fossils, I have not yet thought: your mentioning the Palæont. Soc. makes me think whether my work wd suit them. I hope immediately to receive a lot of fossils from Copenhagen-chalk, named by Beck & Steenstrup; which will be very valuable for comparison with the British specimens.— Will you give me your idea about Palæont. Soc.— I suppose, even if you thought it would suit, I had better wait till I have done the Sessile cirripedes, as the whole will of course be only a small Part.—

Pray forgive this trouble. & believe me. Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1294.f1
    According to Trenn 1974, p. 480 n. 87, this is probably the co-embedded specimen of Pollicipes glaber from the Chalk described in Fossil Cirripedia (1851): 62 and Tab. III, fig. 10a.
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    f2 1294.f2
    CD began systematic descriptions of the sessile Cirripedia on 28 April 1850 (see ‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix I).
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    f3 1294.f3
    Edward Forbes.
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    f4 1294.f4
    Bowerbank had initiated in 1847 the establishment of the Palaeontographical Society for the purpose of publishing undescribed British fossils (DNB).
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    f5 1294.f5
    Henrick Henricksen Beck.
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