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Letter 8144

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

5 Jan [1872]

Summary

Asks her to probe worm-holes on grassy slopes with a knitting needle to ascertain whether they come out at right angles to the slope or to the horizon.

Transcription

Jan 5

My dear Lucy

Supposing that you have leisure during next 2 or 3 weeks, will youhave a try with straight blunt knitting needle to ascertain, whetheron steep slopes the worms come to surface at nearly right anglesto the slope, or at nearly right angles to the horizon.—f2

We have no steep grass-covered slopes here;—f3On nearly level surfaces the worms come up at all conceivableangles.— It wd be very important for me if I cd. ascertainthat they generally come up at rt. ⟨s to the slope.— It is noteasy to probe the holes.—

Yours affect | C. Darwin

Cambridge University Library (Add 4251: 331)

true

Footnotes

f1
The year is established by the relationship between this letter andthe letter from L. C. Wedgwood, 20 January [1872].
f2
CD thought that if earthworms dug burrows at right angles to theslope, denudation would be increased (see Earthworms, p. 270).
f3
Wedgwood lived with her parents at Leith Hill Place, near Dorking,Surrey.
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