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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. V. Carus   14 November 1871


Nov. 14th. 1871.

My dear Sir,

The publisher intends to begin the printing of the new edition of the Origin soon after Christmas. I should therefore be very much obliged, if you would send me clean proofs of the new English edition, if it is convenient to you1

The first volume of the new edition of the Descent of Man is just out. The second is now printing.2 And immediately after its being finished the Origin will go to print.

Could you give me perhaps references with regard to the “Chabius”, the hybrids of goat and sheep, bred for industrial purposes on a large scale in Chile. I find them mentioned (not under that name) in Geoffroy St Hilaire’s Hist. nat. génér.   Vogt and Haeckel mention them without any references3   Generally the pairing is disbelieved with us, especially as Settegast in Proskau (Agricultural Academy) tried it without success.4 On a large estate in Prussia however they succeeded this spring and I hope to get a couple of the hybrids. I am afraid it will be difficult to breed from them on account of the too close interbreeding

With my best wishes for your health I am | My dear Sir, | Yours most sincerely | Prof J. Victor Carus


Carus was preparing a revised German translation of Origin (Bronn and Carus 1872), based on the sixth English edition. The publisher was Eduard Koch of E. Schweizerbart’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung.
On the second edition or reprint of the German translation of Descent (Carus trans. 1871–2), see the letter to J. V. Carus, 8 October [1871] and n. 6.
In Histoire naturelle générale des règnes organiques, Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire described the breeding of goat and sheep hybrids on an industrial scale in Chile, where they were called ‘pellones’ (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 1854–62, 3: 162–3). The hybrids were also referred to in Haeckel 1866, 2: 345, and Vogt 1864, p. 414. CD had briefly discussed reports of such hybrids in his unpublished ‘big book’ on species, remarking: ‘the fertility of the hybrids from these two animals, classed in distinct genera, has been exaggerated by some authors’ (Natural selection, p. 437). Sheep and goats have a different number of chromosomes; hybrid offspring are usually stillborn or die within a few months (see Kelk et al. 1997).
Hermann Settegast had been director of the Landwirtschaftliche Akademie (Agricultural Academy) at Proskau, where he attempted to cross sheep and goats, but without success (Settegast 1868, pp. 46–7).


Carus, Julius Victor. 1872a. Geschichte der Zoologie bis auf Joh. Müller und Charl. Darwin. Munich: R. Oldenbourg.

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Isidore. 1854–62. Histoire naturelle générale des règnes organiques, principalement étudiée chez l’homme et les animaux. 3 vols. Paris: Victor Masson.

Haeckel, Ernst. 1866. Generelle Morphologie der Organismen. Allgemeine Grundzüge der organischen Formen-Wissenschaft, mechanisch begründet durch die von Charles Darwin reformirte Descendenz-Theorie. 2 vols. Berlin: Georg Reimer.

Natural selection: Charles Darwin’s Natural selection: being the second part of his big species book written from 1856 to 1858. Edited by R. C. Stauffer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1975.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.

Settegast, Hermann Gustav. 1868. Die Thierzucht. Breslau: Wilh. Gottl. Korn.

Vogt, Carl. 1864. Lectures on man: his place in creation, and in the history of the earth. Edited by James Hunt. London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts.


News of progress of German editions of Origin

and Descent.

Asks CD for references on chabius – a Chilean hybrid of goat and sheep.

Letter details

Letter no.
Julius Victor Carus
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 161: 81
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8067,” accessed on 25 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19