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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Robert Schlagintweit   25 September 1857

192, Jermyn Street, | London,

25th. Sept. | 1857

My dear Sir,

It gave us great pleasure to receive your kind note of the 20th, and as I see that you kindly took interest in the communications, made by us lately in Dublin,1 I am very happy, to give you, as desired, some more particulars of the offspring of the Yak, the Chooboo, whom we really found fertile as far as to the 7th. generation, a statement which is correctly contained in the Athenæum.2

As we were very anxious ourselves to have decided the question about the fertility of the Chooboos, we tried to collect as much information as possible; in all instances we met with fertile Chooboos, moreover not unfrequently even with castrated one’s.

I shall be most happy to give you more details, as soon as we shall have packed out & worked up our manuscripts & collections3

Believe me to be | dear Sir | Yours truly | Robert Schlagintweit

CD annotations

Top of first page: ‘18’4


Robert and Hermann Rudolph Alfred Schlagintweit had made several reports on the results of their expedition to India and Tibet, made with their brother Adolphe, at the British Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Dublin, 26 August to 6 September 1857.
The Athenæum, 12 September 1857, p. 1156, gave a description of Hermann and Robert Schlagintweit’s ‘Notes on some of the animals of Tibet and India’ (Schlagintweit and Schlagintweit 1857). See also CD’s note, above.
Hermann and Robert Schlagintweit returned from their expedition with a vast collection of geological, botanical, and zoological specimens and ethnographic materials. The results of their travels were published in H. R. A. Schlagintweit et al. 1861–6.
This note is with the letter in DAR 177 (fragile). CD has marked it with ‘17’ in brown crayon. The number is that of his portfolio of notes on hybridism.


Athenæum. 1844. A few words by way of comment on Miss Martineau’s statement. No. 896 (28 December): 1198–9.

Schlagintweit, Hermann Rudolph Alfred and Schlagintweit, Robert. 1857. Notes on some of the animals of Tibet and India. Report of the 27th meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held at Dublin, Transactions of the sections, pp. 106–8.


Gives CD further details of the fertility of the offspring from cross of a yak and Indian cow, the so-called chooboos, whose fertility he has traced to the seventh generation [see Natural selection, pp. 437–8].

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Schlagintweit
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Jermyn St, 192
Source of text
DAR 177: 52 (fragile)
Physical description
2pp, CD note

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2142,” accessed on 19 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6