Glad to hear about colours of Hylobates.
Cannot find any statement about which digits in man are most subject to syndactylism in Isidore Geoffroy [Saint-Hilaire]'s Histoire des anomalies [1832–7].
Asks questions concerned with seasonal and sexual changes in plumage of various bird species.
Does male woodpecker share in incubation?
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear M
Many thanks for your last M.S. I am very glad to hear about the
colours of Hylobates. Unfortunately, I cannot find in Isidor
Geoffroy Hist. des Anom. any statement in regard to which digits in
man are most liable to syndactylism; if I c
I have been reading over the M.S. which you sent me some weeks ago, with much interest.
Do I read correctly that the black colour in certain terns is a seasonal change either in the males or both sexes?
Forgive me for asking two other questions. Do you know whether the plumes are more developed in the male ostritch than in the female?
With many thanks for yr never failing kindness in assisting me, believe me | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
- f1 6091.f1The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Edward Blyth, 5 April 1868.
- f2 6091.f2See memorandum from Edward Blyth, [3 April 1868].
- f3 6091.f3CD refers to Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire's Histoire générale et particulière des anomalies de l'organisation chez l'homme et les animaux (I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 1832--7); see letter from Edward Blyth, [3 April 1868] and n. 15. There is an annotated copy in the Darwin Library--CUL (see Marginalia 1: 306--16). In Variation 2: 339--41, CD had cited this work and discussed the fusion of digits with reference to Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire's law of the affinities of homologous parts in animals.
- f4 6091.f4See memorandum from Edward Blyth, [before 25 March 1868].
- f5 6091.f5In his letter of 24 February 1867 (Correspondence vol. 15), Blyth had written that he suspected Gallicrex cristatus (now Gallicrex cinerea, the watercock) was polygamous.