Sends elephant tooth from Africa. Suggests it may be interesting in light of his [mistaken] memory of Cuvier's opinion about tusk brought from Peru by Humboldt.
12 Upper Gower St
My dear Owen
I remember showing you some time ago the accompanying old tooth of Elephant from African coast & I have some faint recollection, that you said you would like to have it from its state of decay.— if not please throw it away.
I saw some weeks since at M
Your's very truly | C. Darwin
- f1 608.f1CD resided in Upper Gower Street from January 1839 to September 1842; however, according to his ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix II) he was not in London on 25 August in 1839 or 1840.
- f2 608.f2Librarian of the Royal Geographical Society (Mill 1930, p. 56).
- f3 608.f3Cuvier initially considered the tusk evidence for the existence of true fossil elephants in South America (Cuvier 1806, p. 57). He later seems to have concluded that other fossil remains in South America were exclusively from mastodons (Cuvier 1821–4, 1: 266–8).
- f4 608.f4Owen discussed elephant and mastodon teeth and tusks at some length in Owen 1840–5, 1: 613–55.