Responds to correspondent's request for information about shells from the Coquimbo beds in Chile. Difficulty in deciding on age of deposits and species. Notes views of Alcide d'Orbigny.
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Sir
It would give me real pleasure to assist you in any, the slightest, manner. The
Coquimbo beds are described in my “Geological observations on
S. America” p. 128— There were altogether
24 shells in the Carcharias bed, of which
If you think it worth while you will see in work referred to, which is at Geolog. Soc, what little I have said on this subject.—
My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin
- f1 13872.f1Dated on the assumption that CD wrote the letter before publishing Living Cirripedia (1854), to which he does not refer. He had recommenced working on Balanus late in 1852 (see ‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 5, Appendix I).
- f2 13872.f2The Tertiary bed at Herradura Bay, Chile, characterised by the great numbers of bones of Cetacea and sharks teeth ‘closely resembling those of the Carcharias megalodon.’ (South America, pp. 128–9).
- f3 13872.f3George Brettingham Sowerby had described CD's collection of fossil shells for South America.
- f4 13872.f4See Living Cirripedia (1854): 207–8. CD stated that he had seen one specimen attached to Mytilus magellanicus.
- f5 13872.f5See Living Cirripedia (1854): 227–8.
- f6 13872.f6Alcide Charles Victor Dessalines d'Orbigny had also examined CD's South American fossil shells (South America, p. iv). See Correspondence vol. 3.
- f7 13872.f7See Correspondence vol. 3, letter from A. C. V. D. d'Orbigny, 14 February 1845, and n. 5.