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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Seth Sutton    8 August 1867

Zoological Gardens | Regents Park

Aug. 8th. 67


In accordance with your request, I beg to say that I have made the following observations respecting the animals you refered too.1 the Chimpanzee and Orang, when they Cough or sneeze they then shut their eys. When screaming violently they do not shut their eys, and if suddenly alarmed they then erect their hair. At extraordinary noise, such as Thunderhamering &c, &c, they become excited, and if teased or anoyed the same. When they listen or are astonished their mouths are Closed. 2

The Anubis

When excited the hair stands erect from the back part of the neck to the loines, the other part (the rump) remaining quite smooth3

Nither the Chimpanzee nor the orang use their lips as an organ of touch when examining any strange object—

In Conclusion I beg to say if theres anything else you require notice off I shall be pleased to attend ⁠⟨⁠to it⁠⟩⁠—

I am Sir your obdt. Servant.—

S. Sutton

C. Darwin Esqr.

CD annotations

1.1 In accordance … refered too 1.2] crossed pencil
1.2 the Chimpanzee] ‘T’ over ‘t’ pencil
1.3 When screaming … eys, 1.4] double scored red crayon, ‘(good do not cry)’ pencil, underl red crayon
1.4 and if] after closing square bracket, pencil
1.4 and if … the same. 1.6] crossed ink
1.6 When they] after opening square bracket, ink
1.6 When they … attend ⁠⟨⁠to it⁠⟩⁠— 5.2] crossed pencil
1.7 Closed] before closing square bracket, pencil
2.1 The Anubis] scored blue crayon
2.1 The Anubis … smooth 3.2] crossed pencil
3.1 When excited] underl blue crayon
Top of letter: ‘Animals crying’ pencil


CD evidently requested that Sutton make observations on expression in apes and monkeys at the London Zoological Society Gardens, where he was a keeper. CD may have made the request during his visit to London from 17 to 24 June 1867 or through his son Francis Darwin (see CD’s ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 15, Appendix II)).
CD referred to these observations in Expression, pp. 95, 145, and 163.
Sutton refers to the Anubis baboon, Papio anubis. CD mentioned observing the erection of hair in an angry baboon in Expression, p. 96.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.


Reports observations, as requested by CD, on expression in chimpanzees and orangs at Zoological Garden, London [see Expression, p. 95].

Letter details

Letter no.
S Sutton
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Zoological Gardens, London, Regents Park
Source of text
DAR 177: 322
Physical description
ALS 3pp damaged †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5602,” accessed on 6 February 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15