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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. J. Weir   [before 18 May 1868]1

It is very odd that my memory shd fail me, but I cannot remember whether in accordance with your views the wing of Gallus Bankiva (or Game Cock which is so like the wild) is ornamental,2 when he & opens & scrapes it before female. I fear it is not, but though I have often looked at wing of wild & tame bird, I cannot call to mind exact colours.


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. J. Weir, 18 May 1868.
Gallus bankiva is now G. gallus (the red junglefowl). CD had argued that G. bankiva was the ancestor of domestic fowl (Variation 1: 233, 236–9, 245–6).


Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


CD cannot remember whether correspondent believed the wing that Gallus bankiva opens and scrapes before the female, is ornamented. He fears it is not.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Jenner Weir
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description
AL 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6537,” accessed on 14 October 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16