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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Japetus Steenstrup   11 September 1876

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Sept 11th. 1876

My dear Sir

I must trouble you with a few lines to thank you for sending me your three essays. Unfortunately I do not understand Danish, but I have read with the greatest interest the essay on the Basking Shark: I had heard about the comb-like structure, but had no idea that the combs were of the nature of teeth; it is a most wonderful case.1 I always reflect with pleasure on your great kindness towards me when I was at work on the Cirripedia.2

Some year or two ago, I received your Photograph together with some essays, & it pleased me much to add it to my collection.3 Your sending it makes me think that you would perhaps like to have mine, which I now send.

With the greatest respect | I remain | My dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Charles Darwin

Footnotes

The essay CD was able to read was evidently ‘Sur les appareils tamiseurs ou fanons branchiaux du Pélerin (Selachus maximus Gunn.)’ (On the straining appendages or branchial fringes of the basking shark; Steenstrup 1873a). It was a summary in French of Steenstrup’s article ‘Om Gjællegitteret eller Gjællebarderne hos Brugden (Selachus maximus (Gunn.))’ (Steenstrup 1873b). Steenstrup probably sent copies of both the Danish and the French paper, as well as an unidentified third paper; CD’s copies have not been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL. Selachus maximus is a synonym of Cetorhinus maximus (the basking shark). The comb-like structures that project from the branchial fringes or gill arches, now known as gill rakers, are adaptations for filter feeding.
Steenstrup had provided CD with many specimens of fossil and living Cirripedia; CD described them in Fossil Cirripedia (1851), Fossil Cirripedia (1854), Living Cirripedia (1851), and Living Cirripedia (1854) (see Correspondence vols. 4 and 5, and Correspondence vol. 7, Supplement).
See Correspondence vol. 22, letter to Japetus Steenstrup, 23 May [1874 or 1875?]. The photograph has not been found and the essays have not been identified.

Bibliography

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

Fossil Cirripedia (1851): A monograph on the fossil Lepadidæ, or, pedunculated cirripedes of Great Britain. By Charles Darwin. London: Palaeontographical Society. 1851.

Fossil Cirripedia (1854): A monograph of the fossil Balanidæ and Verrucidæ of Great Britain. By Charles Darwin. London: Palaeontographical Society. 1854.

Living Cirripedia (1851): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Lepadidæ; or, pedunculated cirripedes. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1851.

Living Cirripedia (1854): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Balanidæ (or sessile cirripedes); the Verrucidæ, etc. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1854.

Summary

Thanks JS for three essays. Has read with great interest the essay on the basking shark ["Sur les appareils tamiseurs ou fanons branchiaux du Pélerin", Kjo|benhaven Oversigt (1873): 47–66]. The explanation that the comb-like structures are of the nature of teeth is a "most wonderful case".

Sends his photograph.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-10594
From
Charles Robert Darwin
To
Johannes Japetus Smith (Japetus) Steenstrup
Sent from
Down
Source of text
Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen (NKS 3460 4to); Kantonsbibliothek Vadiana (VadSlg NL 202: 33: 27q)
Physical description
5pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10594,” accessed on 21 February 2020, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-10594.xml

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

letter