To Richard Owen 25 August [1841–2]1
12 Upper Gower St
My dear Owen
I remember showing you some time ago the accompanying old tooth of Elephant from African coast & I have some faint recollection, that you said you would like to have it from its state of decay.— if not please throw it away.
I saw some weeks since at Mr Shillinglaw’s2 at the Geographical Soc. a piece of a tusk of a Mastodon or Elephant, from Upper Peru.— Does not Cuvier enter into long discussion on a piece of tusk brought by Humboldt from S. America, doubting whether it belonged to an elephant—3 Would this be worth your looking at for that end.—4
Your’s very truly | C. Darwin
Sends elephant tooth from Africa. Suggests it may be interesting in light of his [mistaken] memory of Cuvier’s opinion about tusk brought from Peru by Humboldt.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 608,” accessed on 13 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-608