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Letter 13805

Falconer, Hugh to Darwin, C. R.


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    Has seen lately a true ruminant with the two central metacarpals distinct. It was the foot of an Anoplotherium in a recent ruminant.


My interest in the case merely arose, from its being the only <section missing>

I have seen lately—a true Ruminant—a species of musk Deer—with the two central metacarpals quite distinct instead of being consolidated into a cannon bone—in fact the foot of an Anoplotherium in a recent ruminant.


All that I am desirous to know about the ox I can learn the first time we meet—without putting you to the trouble of sending your notes.

Yours very truly | H Falconer

C. Darwin Esqre

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    f1 13805.f1
    The date range is suggested by the date of publication of the case described in the letter and by the reference to a future meeting between CD and Falconer as their `first'. Falconer came to England on sick leave in 1842 and returned to India in 1847.
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    f2 13805.f2
    Falconer discussed the unique anatomical relations of the musk-deer Moschus aquaticus in a joint memoir with Proby Thomas Cautley at the Geological Society of London on 15 November 1843. The distinctness of the metacarpals `along their whole length' was noted as `the first announcement of the existence of such an anomaly in any living ruminant' (Falconer and Cautley 1843, p. 240).
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    f3 13805.f3
    CD's notes on oxen probably constituted a part of his work on cattle for his species book, eventually published in Variation 1: 79--93.
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