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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Osbert Salvin   19 October [1871]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Oct 19th

My dear Mr. Salvin

I shd. very much like to see the Prion, if the specimen is not very precious; for the case has a special bearing on my subject.2 But I must restrict myself to a few words, as I have already said too much.

Please enclose a scrap, saying whether I may immerse the head alone in warm (not hot) water, so as to open the beak? Of course I do not wish to do so if specimen is precious.—

I suspect that your lower mandibular lamellæ serve to clean the upper lamellæ; & if you ever go into subject pray keep this in mind. Yours very truly obliged | Ch. Darwin


C. Darwin Esq

Orpington Station


per South-Eastern Railway.

(I will send in two days to Station for chance of parcels being there.—)


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Osbert Salvin, 18 October 1871.


CD would like to see the Prion [see 8016]. May he immerse the head in warm water so as to open the beak? Directions for sending the parcel.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Osbert Salvin
Sent from
Source of text
Sybil Rampen (private collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8019A,” accessed on 16 October 2021,

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