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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edward Forbes   23 January [1852?]

Down Farnborough Kent

Jany 23d

My dear Forbes

The Balanus from Bembridge, Barton & Headon beds is the same species B. unguiformis of Sowerby.1 The Headon specimens, about which I doubted are the best characterised & are so perfect, as to be worth preserving. The specimens shall be taken care of, & returned to you hereafter with others that I have of yours.—2

Most truly your’s | C. Darwin


CD described these fossil specimens from Eocene formations of the southern British coast and the Isle of Wight in Living Cirripedia (1854): 296–8. He included short descriptions of the fossil forms of Balanidae and Verrrucidae in Living Cirripedia (1854) because at this stage he was unsure that the Palaeontographical Society would publish a work on the fossil species of these groups.
Forbes was among those thanked in the preface of Fossil Cirripedia (1854) for having provided specimens.


Discusses Balanus unguiformis. Promises to return specimen.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edward Forbes
Sent from
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1472,” accessed on 24 April 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5