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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. C. E. Kollmann1   19 March 1876

Anthropologische Gesellschaft | in | München.

am 19. III. 76.

Hochgeehrter Herr!

Die anthropologische Gesellschaft beauftragt mich, Ihnen warmen Dank zu sagen für Ihr grosses Geschenk, The variation of animals and plants under domestication.2 Wir sind sehr stolz darauf, dass wir im Stande gewesen sind, auf einen so wichtigen Gegenstand wie die Reproduction der Finger einigen Nachdruck gelegt zu haben.3 Was uebrigens meine persönliche Meinung über die andere Frage betrifft, ob die sechs Finger eine atavistische Erscheinung sind, so bin ich jetzt noch immer, trotz der wiederholten Einsprüche in unserer Gesellschaft der Ansicht, dass dem so ist. Es ist erst jüngst von Dr. Born in einer vortrefflichen kleinen Abhandlung (sie findet sich in der Zeitschrift “Morphologisches Jahrbuch” C. Gegenbaur Leipzig 1876 Heft 3. S. 435) nachgewiesen worden, dass alle Batrachier u. ihre Verwandten, die Anuren Sechs Zehen haben. Diess ist um so werthvoller, weil wir jetzt noch lebende Repräsentanten vor uns sehen, welche normal 6 Zehen haben, wen auch diese eine rudimentaer ist.4

Gestatten Sie mir, dass ich bei dieser Gelegenheit Ihnen hochgeehrter Herr eine kleine Notiz uebersende, welche einige Beispiele von hoher Intelligenz bei den Cephalopoden aufzaehlt.5

Ich bin mit ganzer Ergebenheit | Ihr | Dr Kollmann | Secretaer der Gesellschaft

Herr Dr. Bachmaier hat leider München verlassen u ist nach Wien uebergesiedelt,6 er bittet mich seine Grüsse zu übermitteln.

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Appendix I.
The Anthropological Society of Munich is on CD’s presentation list for Variation 2d ed. (see Appendix III).
Kollmann’s predecessor as secretary of the society, Anton Bachmaier, sent CD information on the regrowth of amputated supernumerary fingers and toes; see Correspondence vol. 23, letter from Anton Bachmaier, 4 February 1875. In Variation 2d ed. 1: 459, CD wrote that Bachmaier and the Anthropological Society caused him to doubt his previous statements about the regrowth of a child’s supernumerary little finger after amputation.
CD discussed the phenomenon of six digits appearing on the hind feet of the newt Salamandra cristata and other animals in Variation 2: 14. There is a copy of Gustav Jakob Born’s article ‘Die sechste Zehe der Anuren’ (The sixth toe of the Anura; Born 1876) in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. Carl Gegenbaur was the editor of the journal Morphologisches Jahrbuch. Anura is the order of amphibians that includes frogs and toads.
Kollmann sent his article ‘Die Cephalopoden in der zoologischen Station des Dr. Dohrn’ (Kollmann 1876); a copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. Cephalopoda is the class of Mollusca that includes octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish.
See n. 3, above.

Bibliography

Born, Gustav Jakob. 1876. Die sechste Zehe der Anuren. Morphologisches Jahrbuch 1: 435–51.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Kollmann, Julius Constantin Ernst. 1876. Die Cephalopoden in der zoologischen Station des Dr. Dohrn. Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Zoologie 26: 1–23.

Variation 2d ed.: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1875.

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

Translation

From J. C. E. Kollmann1   19 March 1876

Anthropologische Gesellschaft | in | München.

19 III 76.

Highly honoured Sir!

On behalf of the Anthropological Society, I convey our warmest thanks for your great present, The variation of animals and plants under domestication.2 We are very proud to have been able to emphasise so important a matter as the reproduction of fingers.3 Incidentally, as concerns my own personal opinion of the other problem, namely whether the six fingers are an atavistic phenomenon, I am still of the opinion that it is so, despite the repeated repudiations in our society. Only recently an excellent pamphlet (it can be found in the journal “Morphologisches Jahrbuch” C. Gegenbaur Leipzig 1876 issue 3. p. 435) by Dr Born has demonstrated that all Batrachia & their relatives the Anura have six toes. This is all the more valuable a fact because today there still are living representatives of this family with 6 toes, even if one of these is rudimentary.4

Permit me to use this opportunity to send you, highly honoured Sir, a brief note that lists a number of examples of high intelligence among Cephalopoda.5

Yours | wholly devoted | Dr Kollmann | secretary of the society

Dr Bachmaier unfortunately has left Munich and has now moved to Vienna.6 He asked me to pass on his greetings.

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original German, see pp. 76–7.
The Anthropological Society of Munich is on CD’s presentation list for Variation 2d ed. (see Appendix III).
Kollmann’s predecessor as secretary of the society, Anton Bachmaier, sent CD information on the regrowth of amputated supernumerary fingers and toes; see Correspondence vol. 23, letter from Anton Bachmaier, 4 February 1875. In Variation 2d ed. 1: 459, CD wrote that Bachmaier and the Anthropological Society caused him to doubt his previous statements about the regrowth of a child’s supernumerary little finger after amputation.
CD discussed the phenomenon of six digits appearing on the hind feet of the newt Salamandra cristata and other animals in Variation 2: 14. There is a copy of Gustav Jakob Born’s article ‘Die sechste Zehe der Anuren’ (The sixth toe of the Anura; Born 1876) in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. Carl Gegenbaur was the editor of the journal Morphologisches Jahrbuch. Anura is the order of amphibians that includes frogs and toads.
Kollmann sent his article ‘Die Cephalopoden in der zoologischen Station des Dr. Dohrn’ (Kollmann 1876); a copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. Cephalopoda is the class of Mollusca that includes octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish.
See n. 3, above.

Bibliography

Born, Gustav Jakob. 1876. Die sechste Zehe der Anuren. Morphologisches Jahrbuch 1: 435–51.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Kollmann, Julius Constantin Ernst. 1876. Die Cephalopoden in der zoologischen Station des Dr. Dohrn. Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Zoologie 26: 1–23.

Variation 2d ed.: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1875.

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

Summary

Thanks CD for copy of Variation in name of Anthropologische Gesellschaft, Munich.

Dr Born has demonstrated that all Batrachia and their relatives the Anura have six toes.

Sends short paper on intelligence of cephalopods ["Die Cephalopoden in der zoologischen Station des Dr Dohrn", Z. Wiss. Zool. 26 (1876): 1–23].

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-10421
From
Julius Constantin Ernst Kollmann
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Munich
Source of text
DAR 169: 50
Physical description
4pp (German)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10421,” accessed on 2 July 2020, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-10421.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24

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