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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. J. S. Steenstrup   25 January [1850]

Down Farnborough Kent

Jan 25th.

Dear Sir

I am quite delighted in at last being able to tell you that your Box with the fossil cirripedes has arrived quite safely this morning.—1 It is a great load off my mind.— Not one specimen is injured, except, perhaps, some of the valves of your Anat(?) cretæ.—2 It is a noble collection, & I feel most grateful to you for having entrusted them to me.— I have now a great many collections in this house, so that I have good means of comparison.— Most of your species, as far as a hasty first glance tells, are different from the British. Your P. medius. is the same as P. sulcatus of Sowerby; & instead of being a Pollicipes, it is a Scalpellum, though these genera differ much too little.—3 The P. elegans I have (unnamed) from our Chalk.—4 I will do my best in comparing all the specimens which I have now together; but I am not hopeful of producing good results: I much dislike giving specific names to each separate valve, & thereby almost certainly making three or four nominal species for each true species.—

I am extremely pleased to see the Alepas.5 The cause of the great delay was in Prof. Forchhammer having sent the box within another to a dealer in minerals, who uncourteously did not take the trouble to inform me. Please to tell Prof. Forchammer that owing to his note I have got the Box, & pray give him, & accept yourself my most cordial thanks.— I will take great care of your specimens.— I hope now that this Box has arrived safely, that you will add to your already great kindness, & send me the northern species alluded to in your former letter.—

I will hereafter write again to you.—

Pray believe me | my dear Sir | Yours most gratefully | C. Darwin


See letters to J. G. Forchhammer, 12 November and 1 December [1849], and to J. J. S. Steenstrup, 30 December [1849].
Anatifera cretæ, a synonym of Scalpellum (?) cretæ. The ‘(?)’ indicates that CD ‘felt much hesitation in admitting this species in the genus Scalpellum’ (Fossil Cirripedia (1851): 45).
See Fossil Cirripedia (1851): 26, where Pollicipes medius and P. sulcatus are both listed as synonyms of Scalpellum maximum.
Alepas squalicola (Anelasma squalicola). See CD’s letters to Sven Lovén, 12 November 1849, and to J. J. S. Steenstrup, 30 December [1849].


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


Thanks JS for fossil cirripedes. Discusses the specimens. Sends thanks to J. G. Forchhammer for specimens.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Johannes Japetus Smith (Japetus) Steenstrup
Sent from
Source of text
Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen (NKS 3460 4to)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1297,” accessed on 27 February 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4