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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Otto Zacharias   26 April 1877

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station [6 Queen Anne Street, London.]

April 26th 77

My dear Sir

I am sorry to say that I have not osteological knowledge enough for my opinion to be of any value with respect to the anomalous foot of the pig, which you have been so good as to send me.—1 I do not know whether it has arrived at Down, for I am at present away from home; but when it arrives I will send it to Prof. Flower, at the R. Collg. of Surgeons who has made a special study of the limbs of the Ungulata & who is a most careful & admirable observer.—2

I have asked him to send me a note, if the foot presents any remarkable peculiarities, & should I receive any such note, I will forward it to you.—3

I remain | Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


William Henry Flower was curator of the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons of England (ODNB). The former order Ungulata is now divided into the orders Artiodactyla and Perissodactyla (even and odd-toed ungulates). Suidae, the family of pigs, is in Artiodactyla. Flower discussed the degree of development of the bones of the toe among even-toed ungulates in Flower 1876, pp. 269–71.
Zacharias reported that CD later forwarded the letter from W. H. Flower, 3 May 1877, to him (see Zacharias 1882, p. 77).


Flower, William Henry. 1876. An introduction to the osteology of the Mammalia: being the substance of the course of lectures delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1870. 2d edition. London: Macmillan and Co.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.

Zacharias, Otto. 1882. Charles R. Darwin und die cultur-historische Bedeutung seiner Theorie vom Ursprung der Arten. Ein Beitrag zur Darwin-Litteratur. Berlin: Elwin Staude.


CD has sent the pig’s foot to William Henry Flower to examine.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Otto Zacharias
Sent from
London Down letterhead
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.510)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10941,” accessed on 24 September 2021,