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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-1359

To Wilhelm Bernhard Rudolph Hadrian Dunker120 September 1850

>7 Park Stt Grosvenor Sqr | London2

Much honoured Sir

I received this morning your letter of the 6th of June & a Box of fossil Cirripedia from my friend Mr J. Morris.3 The fossils have arrived quite safely.— I beg to thank you with the utmost cordiality for this act of kindness: I will take the greatest care of the specimens, & return them you in a month or two’s time, when I have completed the engravings for the Fossil Part of my Monograph.— I particularly request you to give my sincere thanks to Mm Roemer & Philippi.—4 I know your drawings & descriptions of P. Hausmanni in the work on the Oolithgebirges,5 than which nothing can be better.—

I am making considerable progess in my monograph; I have described 38 fossil Pedunculated Cirripedia; all the recent Pedunculata including the animal’s body, & I have just finished with the 45th species of the great & difficult genus of Balanus.— I should esteem it a great favour & most valuable aid if you would entrust me with your collection of recent species; but you will almost certainly object to send me unique specimens, when I tell you that I cannot recognise the species, & will never name any species, without disarticulating one specimen; I can, however, almost always gum together the valves so that they look nearly as well as ever.— I have, also, resolved in hardly any case to name a sessile Cirripede without the operculum.—6 I care comparatively little for specimens without their habitats.— I can assure you the genus Balanus is so difficult, that it is folly to attempt describing the species without the opercula; all the species are subject to much variation.—

If you could persuade the distinguished Philippi to send me a specimen (allowing me to disarticulate it) of the Mediterranean species which he has named,7 it would be doing me the greatest service; for I earnestly wish to avoid renaming a known species—

I am very sorry to hear that your health has been indifferent; it makes your kind assistance to me the more generous.—

With the utmost respect | Yours truly obliged | C. Darwin

Pray thank Romer & Philippi.—

Any parcel addressed as at the head of this letter, will reach me.— Sept. 20th 1850.—

Footnotes

1
See Fossil Cirripedia (1851): vi for CD’s acknowledgment of Dunker’s assistance.
2
CD was in fact writing from Down. He gave Erasmus Alvey Darwin’s address for the reason given at the end of the letter.
3
John Morris.
4
Friedrich Adolph Roemer and Rudolph Amandus Philippi.
5
Koch and Dunker 1837, p. 52, Tab. vi, fig. 6; cited in Fossil Cirripedia (1851): 53.
6
See Fossil Cirripedia (1854): 8, 9 and Living Cirripedia (1854): 193.
7
Pollicipes carinatus, which was described in Fossil Cirripedia (1851): 60–1 from a specimen supplied by Philippi.

Summary

Thanks for fossil cirripede specimens.

Describes progress on his book [Fossil Cirripedia] and his work on living cirripedes. Asks to borrow specimens.

Comments on book [F. C. L. Koch and Wilhelm Dunker, Norddeutschen Oolithgebildes (1837)].

Sends thanks to Friedrich Adolph Roemer and R. A. Philippi for specimens.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-1359
From
Darwin, C. R.
To
Dunker, W. B. R. H.
Sent from
London, Park St, 7
Source of text
Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen (NKS 4941 I, 4to)
Physical description
3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1359,” accessed on 28 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1359

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