RECORD: Darwin, C. R. Referee report of W.B. Carpenter's manuscript "On the fossil shells of foraminifera, called by him 'Orbitolites'" (8.1855) RoySoc-RR3.38 Transcribed and edited by Kees Rookmaaker and John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed and edited by Kees Rookmaaker and John van Wyhe 12.2011. RN1

NOTE: The images are © The Royal Society and are reproduced with permission.


To the Council of the Royal Socy

I recommend Dr. Carpenter's paper on Orbitolites to be printed in the Transactions. Though written, as it appears to me, in too diffuse a style, I cannot point any particular portion which could be condensed.

With respect to the publication of the very beautiful drawings, I feel much difficulty: their cost, I apprehend, would be very great, & there does not seem to me, sufficient new matter


of physiological importance in the memoir to justify going to a very great expence. Dr. Carpenter seems rather to overrate the novelty of connecting forms, apparently very different, by intermediate structures; though he most justly appreciates the importance of always attempting to do this, & he gives, under the form of Canons, the processes which every all sound naturalists


have long endeavoured to carry out. Very many of the figures are given to illustrate intermediate forms and variations. — I would, therefore, suggest that the author himself should be consulted as to how many Plates would contain those figures, which he considers as most important.—

Ch. Darwin.
Down Augt. 18th. 1855.



Report Dr Carpenter by Mr Darwin

Carpenter, William Benjamin. 1856. On the fossil shells of foraminifera, called by him ‘Orbitolites' [14 June 1855}. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 146: 181-236. See Correspondence vol. 5, letter 1744.

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