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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Phillips   14 March 1874


14 March | 1874

My dear Darwin

I am unable to be in London the 16th: being then en route to Torquay: so that I can not have the pleasure of doing as you wish for Mr H. Parker; but I hope he will be elected:1 You ought to come & see my Cetiosaurus!


50–64 feet long.

10 or 12 ft high & broad.

only the head wanting.2 not a bit like Megalosaurus.

Er Yrs | John Phillips


CD was canvassing support for his nephew Henry Parker, who was hoping to be elected to the Athenaeum Club at a meeting on 16 March 1873. See letter to George Bentham, 9 March [1874] and n. 3.
Phillips had discovered three skeletons of a new species of giant reptile in the genus Cetiosaurus that he named Cetiosaurus oxoniensis in 1871; C. oxoniensis showed affinities to both dinosaurs and crocodilian reptiles, but had none of the avian affinities so conspicuous in the genus of giant reptiles Megalosaurus. (Phillips 1871, p. 291, where it appears as Ceteosaurus oxoniensis).


Phillips, John. 1871. Geology of Oxford and the valley of the Thames. Oxford: Clarenden Press.


Will be out of town, so he cannot vote for Henry Parker.

CD ought to come to see his Cetiosaurus, of which he draws a likeness.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Phillips
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 174: 42
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9360,” accessed on 16 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22