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Letter 1359

Darwin, C. R. to Dunker, W. B. R. H.

20 Sept 1850

    Summary Add

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    Thanks for fossil cirripede specimens.

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    Describes progress on his book [Fossil Cirripedia] and his work on living cirripedes. Asks to borrow specimens.

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    Comments on book [F. C. L. Koch and Wilhelm Dunker, Norddeutschen Oolithgebildes (1837)].

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    Sends thanks to Friedrich Adolph Roemer and R. A. Philippi for specimens.


7 Park Stt Grosvenor Sqr | London

Much honoured Sir

I received this morning your letter of the 6th of June & a Box of fossil Cirripedia from my friend Mr J. Morris. The fossils have arrived quite safely.— I beg to thank you with the utmost cordiality for this act of kindness: I will take the greatest care of the specimens, & return them you in a month or two's time, when I have completed the engravings for the Fossil Part of my Monograph.— I particularly request you to give my sincere thanks to Mm Roemer & Philippi.— I know your drawings & descriptions of P. Hausmanni in the work on the Oolithgebirges, than which nothing can be better.—

I am making considerable progess in my monograph; I have described 38 fossil Pedunculated Cirripedia; all the recent Pedunculata including the animal's body, & I have just finished with the 45th species of the great & difficult genus of Balanus.— I should esteem it a great favour & most valuable aid if you would entrust me with your collection of recent species; but you will almost certainly object to send me unique specimens, when I tell you that I cannot recognise the species, & will never name any species, without disarticulating one specimen; I can, however, almost always gum together the valves so that they look nearly as well as ever.— I have, also, resolved in hardly any case to name a sessile Cirripede without the operculum.— I care comparatively little for specimens without their habitats.— I can assure you the genus Balanus is so difficult, that it is folly to attempt describing the species without the opercula; all the species are subject to much variation.—

If you could persuade the distinguished Philippi to send me a specimen (allowing me to disarticulate it) of the Mediterranean species which he has named, it would be doing me the greatest service; for I earnestly wish to avoid renaming a known species—

I am very sorry to hear that your health has been indifferent; it makes your kind assistance to me the more generous.—

With the utmost respect | Yours truly obliged | C. Darwin

Pray thank Romer & Philippi.—

Any parcel addressed as at the head of this letter, will reach me.—
Sept. 20th 1850.—

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1359.f1
    See Fossil Cirripedia (1851): vi for CD's acknowledgment of Dunker's assistance.
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    f2 1359.f2
    CD was in fact writing from Down. He gave Erasmus Alvey Darwin's address for the reason given at the end of the letter.
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    f3 1359.f3
    John Morris.
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    f4 1359.f4
    Friedrich Adolph Roemer and Rudolph Amandus Philippi.
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    f5 1359.f5
    Koch and Dunker 1837, p. 52, Tab. vi, fig. 6; cited in Fossil Cirripedia (1851): 53.
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    f6 1359.f6
    See Fossil Cirripedia (1854): 8, 9 and Living Cirripedia (1854): 193.
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    f7 1359.f7
    Pollicipes carinatus, which was described in Fossil Cirripedia (1851): 60–1 from a specimen supplied by Philippi.
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