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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edward Forbes   23 January [1852?]

Down Farnborough Kent

Jany 23d

My dear Forbes

The Balanus from Bembridge, Barton & Headon beds is the same species B. unguiformis of Sowerby.1 The Headon specimens, about which I doubted are the best characterised & are so perfect, as to be worth preserving. The specimens shall be taken care of, & returned to you hereafter with others that I have of yours.—2

Most truly your’s | C. Darwin


CD described these fossil specimens from Eocene formations of the southern British coast and the Isle of Wight in Living Cirripedia (1854): 296–8. He included short descriptions of the fossil forms of Balanidae and Verrrucidae in Living Cirripedia (1854) because at this stage he was unsure that the Palaeontographical Society would publish a work on the fossil species of these groups.
Forbes was among those thanked in the preface of Fossil Cirripedia (1854) for having provided specimens.


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

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.


Discusses Balanus unguiformis. Promises to return specimen.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1472,” accessed on 17 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5