Thanks for information about rudimentary organs. Asks about rudimentary character of human hair and panniculus carnosus.
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Sir
I thank you cordially for all your full information, & I regret much that I have given you such great trouble at a period when your time is so much occupied. But the facts are so valuable to me that I cannot pretend that I am sorry that I did trouble you; & I am the less so, as from what you say, I hope you may be induced some time to write a full account of all rudimentary structures in man: it would be a very curious & interesting memoir. I shall at present give only a brief abstract of the chief facts which you have so very kindly communicated to me, & will not touch on some of the doubtful points. I have received far more information than I ventured to anticipate.
There is one point, which has occurred to me, but I suspect there is nothing in it. If,
however, there sh
With very sincere thanks for all that you have done for me, & for the very kind manner, in which you granted me your favour, pray believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
*To put the question under another point of view: is it the primary or aboriginal function of the panniculus to move the dermal appendages or the skin itself?
P.S. If the skin on the head is moved by the Panniculus, I think I ought just to allude to it, as some men alone having power to move the skin, shows that the apparatus is generally rudimentary.
- f1 5386.f1See letter to William Turner, 15 January . Turner's reply has not been found. John Goodsir, professor of anatomy at the University of Edinburgh, and Turner's superior, was confined to his bed from the end of 1866 and died in March 1867. Turner, who succeeded him as professor, was probably occupied with Goodsir's professorial duties as well as his own as senior demonstrator. (DSB.)
- f2 5386.f2For CD's use in Descent of Turner's information on rudimentary organs, see the letter to William Turner, 15 January  and nn. 4--7 and 9--11. CD also cited Turner in Variation 2: 300, 370, and in Expression, p. 101 n. 18.
- f3 5386.f3See Descent 1: 25--6; see also ibid. 2: 375--81.
- f4 5386.f4The panniculus carnosus is a thin sheet of striated muscle embedded in the lowest skin layer of lower mammals; it produces local movement of the skin. In humans, only vestigial remnants remain. See Landau ed. 1986.
- f5 5386.f5In his missing letter, Turner evidently supplied CD with information from a paper he read to the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 21 January 1867 (Turner 1867). In this paper, Turner described the occasional presence in humans of the musculus sternalis (a chest muscle), and suggested it was closely allied to the panniculus carnosus; CD noted Turner's paper in Descent 1: 19. In the same letter, Turner evidently also specified areas of rudimentary muscles in the armpits (axillae) and the shoulder blades (scapulae) (see Descent 1: 19--20). CD also discussed the panniculus carnosus in Expression, pp. 101, 298.
- f6 5386.f6CD refers to a muscle in the hip (gluteus medius).