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Letter 5313

Bates, H. W. to Darwin, C. R.

19 Dec 1866

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    HWB sends a copy [missing] of Boutakoff's letter, explaining that the deer were saiga antelopes and the islands were new discoveries.


Royal Geographical Society | 15, Whitehall Place, S.W.

Decem 19th 1866

My dear Mr Darwin

On the other side is the extract you require. I presume ``saigak'' means the same as ``saiga'', therefore the animals were the saiga antelope. The islands were new discoveries; the Kirghises of the Aral shores did not know of their existence.

Yours sincerely | H W Bates

I am now reading Lyells 1st vol. New Ed. Principles, with intense pleasure & great profit

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 5313.f1
    See letter to H. W. Bates, 18 December [1866]. Bates evidently affixed a separate piece of paper with a short extract from the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (Butakoff 1852, pp. 94--5) to the verso of the letter, but the extract is now missing.
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    f2 5313.f2
    In Russian, `saigak' is a slightly older variation of `saiga' (Saiga tatarica; SSRLI).
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    f3 5313.f3
    Butakoff found the saigas on a newly discovered island in the Aral Sea that he named Nicolas 1st Island. The Kirghiz are a Mongolian people of west central Asia who inhabit the area around the Aral Sea.
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    f4 5313.f4
    Bates refers to the first volume of the tenth edition of Principles of geology (C. Lyell 1867--8), which appeared in November 1866 (Publishers' Circular, 15 November 1866, p. 722).
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