Discusses instinct in ducks and turkeys.
Reports a case of the inheritance of an acquired characteristic in a pig.
My dear Darwin
I have never thanked you for the loan of D
I have two little lots of Turkeys ready to try your experiment. They have been kept in a room & never seen any thing to alarm them. I hope to tell you the result of the trial at end of this. By way of a little example upon same subject. I hatched some Call Ducks under a hen & they were not wilder than other young Ducks are.
Soon after a wild Duck hatched some eggs (of the same Parents) and I never saw any little wretches so wild from the moment they were out of shell. They were just as real wild ducks young are—as wild as possible—& this before they even were out of the nest, which was in the common Hen house.— Now this must have been caused by the Wild Ducks notes of alarm stimulating their organ of caution. The eggs were the same in both instances. Another sitting under Call-Ducks were quite tame
I have this week been paying a visit to Worsley at
Platt. He married one of Sir F Darwins daughters, &
I there met M
Did you ever hear the history of our old friend Tiger (at Sydnope when we were
there) getting loose & biting off a great part of a
Sows cheek?— She was in pig, & all her little ones were deficient in
one cheek. M
I shall probably be in Town next week. If I can get away for
a night I will write you word & offer myself possibly abt 5 or
Ever yours W D Fox
- f1 7815.f1Dated by the relationship to the letter to W. D. Fox, 27 [June 1858].
- f2 7815.f2Lane 1857. CD had sent Fox a copy earlier in the year. See letter to W. D. Fox, 8 May .
- f3 7815.f3Fox intended to frighten the turkey chicks with a paper kite. See letters to W. D. Fox,31 January , 22 February , and 28 February .
- f4 7815.f4Charles Carill Worsley resided at Platt Hall, near Manchester in Lancashire.
- f5 7815.f5Mary Jane Darwin, a daughter of Frances Sacheverel Darwin, had married C. C. Worsley in 1840. Fox refers also to her sisters Emma Elizabeth Wilmot, Violetta Harriot Darwin, and Millicent Susan Darwin. The Wilmot family had purchased Osmaston Hall, Fox's childhood home, from Fox's parents.
- f6 7815.f6Syndope Hall, near Matlock in Derbyshire, was the seat of F. S. Darwin. See letter to W. D. Fox, 31 January  and n. 9.
- f7 7815.f7The final paragraph was added at the top of the first page of the letter and it is not clear whether the letter is complete. Fox presumably means 15 or 16 June. There is no record of a vist by him to Down in Emma Darwin's diary.
- f8 7815.f8CD's portfolio of notes marked ‘Instinct’ was used in the preparation of chapter 10 of his species book, ‘Mental powers and instincts of animals’. Although CD completed writing this chapter in March 1858 (see ‘Journal’; Appendix II), he continued to add notes to the portfolio for future consultation.