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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 1 April 2023,

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