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Letter 7223

Darwin, C. R. to Wedgwood , L. C.

8 June [1867–72]

Summary

Asks her to observe whether her dog exposes his teeth when barking and to think of any facts about expression in her birds.

Transcription

June 8th

My dear Lucy

I hear that your Dog is a barker: please observe for me whether the (upper) lips are at all retracted or everted when he barks & just before he barks. My impression is that if you open a dog’s mouth lips almost hide teeth; but that they are much more exposed, when he barks, which implies some contraction or eversion.

You are so good an observer that I know I can trust your conclusion. The Bark ought not to be a savage one, as that wd give tendency to snarl— a joyful bark or bark of good spirits wd. be best.—

Think of any fact about expression of any emotion in any of your birds.—

Yours affect. | C. Darwin

Our Polly will not bark except as she rushes away to some supposed enemy in forest.

CUL (Add 4251: 334)

true

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