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Letter 6126

Binstead, C. H. to Darwin, C. R.

17 Apr 1868

    Summary Add

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    In reading Variation, notices CD has not observed that after mallards have been domesticated their claws turn from black to white.


Sandal Wakefield

April 17. 1868

My dear Sir

I have had during the past few days the pleasure of reading your valuable & interesting book on ``The Variation of Animals &c under domestication''—

—As an ornithologist in a very small way I have read with great interest your Chapter on Ducks &c  But I do not notice that you have observed a change that I fancy takes place in Mallards when becoming domesticated— it is this  that in the wild Duck the claws are black whereas in the tame ones they are white  I think I have noticed this in several cases & take the liberty of informing you—as it may have escaped your observation &—should there be anything in it & your book reaches a 2nd Edition—it may be of service to you in rendering the same more complete.

I have taken the liberty of forwarding you this letter through the hands of your publisher Mr. Murray.

I am Dr Sir | Yours very faithfully | Chas. H. Binstead

The | Revd. C. Darwin M.d.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 6126.f1
    The reference is to Variation.
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    f2 6126.f2
    For the section on ducks, see Variation 1: 276--87. CD discussed changes in wild ducks under domestication in Variation 2: 262--3; no changes were made in the second edition (Variation 2d ed., 2: 250).
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    f3 6126.f3
    John Murray.
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