To Osbert Salvin 25 October 1
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
My dear Mr. Salvin
Very many thanks for your note & the Prion, which I have been very glad to see.2 I could see the lamellæ very well without taking more than the head out of the bottle. All the spirits had leaked away, so I added fresh in proportion of alcohol to water, & have put on bladder. I will return the Box, possibly day after tomorrow, whenever I send to Station.—
The lamellæ are so soft in Prion, that I shd. think they could be easily cleaned, as you suggest, by the tongue. If I understand your description of Merganetta armata, this species will support view of lower mandibular lamellæ serving to clean the tips of the upper series.—3 In the Shoveller there is an additional short row which may be called “palatal”, perhaps to cleanse the long mandibular lamellæ; but these “palatal” lamellæ can be seen only by widely opening the mouth.4 Do you care to have (as I shall otherwise throw them away) upper & lower beaks separate of Shoveller, common Duck, common Goose, Malachorhynchus, Chloephaga Magellanica, & Chenalopex jubatus?5 If they are worth having I could return them with your M.S. when my sheets are printed off.—6
With cordial thanks | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin
Very glad to see Prion. [See 8029.]
CD offers OS upper and lower beaks of various ducks and geese if they are of interest to him.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8031A,” accessed on 27 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8031A