To Richard Owen 10 December 1
Down Bromley Kent
The passage in Hearnes Travels is at p. 370 in (I am almost sure) the 4th Edit.—2 I see it is in my wifes hand-writing, & is abbreviated & not grammar, so you must look to original.— My abbreviated extract is as follows.—
The black bear catches fresh-water insects by swimming with mouth open “like a whale”. (What is meant by these inverted commas I know not.—) These insects are in wonderful numbers. So that they are driven together into the Bays to the thickness of 2 or 3 feet & make a dreadful smell. These insects are of two kinds. All the bears have their stomachs distended.3
I hardly ever heard a more curious fact than that about the Liver.—
I do not think I thanked you for, as I understood, your extremely kind intended present of Hunter’s Book, which from what you read to me (with the precious note) will be extremely interesting to me.—4
Yours very truly | C. Darwin5
Sends source of description of swimming bear catching insects [Samuel Hearne, A journey from Prince of Wales’s Fort in Hudson’s Bay to the northern ocean … (1795); see Origin, p. 184].
- Letter no.
- Charles Robert Darwin
- Richard Owen
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Natural History Museum (Gen. lib. Owen collect. 9: 211, 213)
- Physical description
- 3pp encl 1p