RECORD: Darwin, C. R. [Edinburgh notebook]. (1827; 1828-1829; 1837-1839). CUL-DAR118.- (Darwin Online, http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker from microfilm and the manuscript, corrections by John van Wyhe 5-9.2008. RN3
NOTE: This 208 x 136mm quarter leather bound notebook has 218 pages, or 109 folios, with marbled end pages. There is a label on the front cover, on which some archival annotations were made. The folios in the notebook are labelled by an archivist in pencil from 1 to 109 (recto only).
The notebook is almost entirely written in ink. Pages 1-21 were numbered by Darwin, although he skipped 20. The notebook was filled in from both ends. The first sequence starts at the front cover and consists of12 folios [= pp. [i-ii], 1-21,  (reverse of folio 12 is blank)]. This is followed by folios 13 to 94 which are blank. The second sequence starts at the back cover and is written on folios 109 to 95, numbered in the order from the front cover by the archivist. The folios were apparently numbered by an archivist after Smith & Barrett (1987) wrote their introduction.
The Edinburgh notes on marine life in this notebook were transcribed and published in Barrett 1977. The zoology notes written after the Beagle voyage (second sequence from the back cover) were transcribed with an introduction and ample editorial notes (not included here) in Barrett et al 1987, pp. 475-486. This transcription does not include the pages of Cambridge beetle records.
The present transcription is the first complete transcription of this notebook to be published. It includes a list of fifty-six species of insects compiled by Darwin between 1828-1829 and botanical notes while a student at Christ's College, Cambridge.
The notebook was microfilmed first from the front cover inwards and then from the back cover inwards, to facilitate reading the different sequences.
Editorial symbols used in the transcription:
[some text] 'some text' is an editorial insertion
[some text] 'some text' is the conjectured reading of an ambiguous word or passage
[some text] 'some text' is a description of a word or passage that cannot be transcribed
< > word(s) destroyed
<some text> 'some text' is a description of a destroyed word or passage
Text in small red font is a hyperlink or notes added by the editors.
Reproduced with the permission the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.
35 ... TX] on label.
Charles Robert Darwin
[Darwin's page number] 1)
March 16.th 1827. —
(1) Procured from the black rocks at Leith a large Cyclopterus Lumpus (common lump fish). Length from snout to tail 23 ½ inches, girth 19 ½. It had evidently come to the rocks to spawn & was there left stranded by the tide; its ovaria contained a great mass of spawn of a rose colour. Dissected it with Dr Grant. — It appeared very free from disease & had no intestinal worms; its back however was covered with small crustaceous animals. — Eyes small. — Hence probably does not inhabit deep seas? Stomach large. Liver without gall-bladder. Kidneys situated some way from the Vertebrae: an unusual fact in cartilaginous Fishes. — Air bladder was not seen. Brain very small; the optic nerves being nearly as large as the spinal cord, neither the brain or spinal matter
[Darwin's page number] 2)
nearly filling its cavity. — The valves in the heart were very
distinct; the peduncle strong. The body was not covered with
but slimy & remarkably thick. The sucker on its breast was of a white
colour. I believe it is generally a reddish yellow? The plebs differ whether it
is edible. —
(2) Procured a small green Aolis1 & a Tritonia.
(3) Examined the ova of the Purpura Lapillus & found them out of their capsules & of this shape [sketch]
(4) Found these [sketch] growing out of an Alcyonium.—?
(5) Some ova from the Newhaven rocks said to be that of the Doris, was in every respect similar to that of the Univalves & in rapid motion, & continued so for 7 days.
(6) Observed ova in the Flustra Foliacea & Truncata, the former of which were in motion. —
1 = Aeolis
[Darwin's page number] 3)
(7) Adhering to the Fuci one frequently finds whitish circular masses of Ova, of an extremely viscid consistence,—
& have the appearance represented at A [see sketch], when magnified however, it appears to be a mass [of] capsules P containing animals d, united together by a transparent gelatinous matter. In this species I believe I was the first to observe both the animal d & its ciliae, x, in most rapid movement. By the aid of these ciliae it could revolve in its capsule & when freed from it moved so quickly, as to be discernible to the naked eye at some distance. — To what animal these ova belong. I am ignorant? —
(8) I found also another mass of ova, larger & of a browner colour, the capsules also being considerably larger. I could perceive no motion in these [sketch]. —
(9) Found some ova (I believe that of the Doris Argo) resembling a piece of tape. —
[Darwin's page number] 4)
the capsules were rather irregular, containing from 1 to 3 angular shaped bodies, — in which I could perceive no motion.—the capsules had the appearance of being united, & of an oblong shape [sketch]. These capsules were arranged in regular rows—in this manner. [sketch]
(10) April 15th
One frequently finds on the Fuci a gelatinous mass of this appearance [sketch] containing a number [of] ova, which when magnified consist of A [sketch] an outer capsule. B a gelatinous mass, & c the young animal on which at its anterior end are situated numerous ciliae. these by their constant motion cause the young animal to turn rapidly round within the capsule,—& when freed from its capsule to move to & fro in the water with the greatest ease. — I kept some of these ova in a bottle of the same
[Darwin's page number] 5)
water & at the end of 30 days were yet in motion. —(11) — 20th
Having procured some specimens of the Flustra Carbacea (Lam.) from the dredge boats at Newhaven; I soon perceived without the aid of a microscope small yellow bodies studded in different directions on it. — They were of an oval shape & of the colour of the yolk of an egg, each occupying one cell. Whilst in their cells I could perceive no motion: but when left at rest in a watch glass, or shaken they glided to & fro with so rapid a motion, as at some distance to be distinctly visible to the naked eye. When highly magnified, the ciliae, which were chiefly distributed on the broader end, were
[Darwin's page number] 6)
seen in rapid motion; the central ones being the longest. I may mention that I have also observed ova of the Flustra Foliacea & Truncata in motion. That such ova had organs of motion does not appear to have been hitherto observed either by Lamarck Cuvier Lamouroux or any other author: — This fact although at first it may appear of little importance, yet by adducing one more to the already numerous examples will tend to generalise the law that the ova of all Zoophites enjoy spontaneous motion. —
This & the following communication was read both before the Wernerian & Plinian Societies.
[Darwin's page number] 7)
(12) One frequently finds sticking to oyster & other old shells small black globular bodies, which the fishermen call great Pepper-corns. These have hitherto been always mistaken for the young Fucus Lorius to which it bears a great resemblance. Having opened some of these they at first appeared only to contain an extremely viscid fluid without any traces [of] organisation; but on examining some others I found that this fluid by degrees acquiring a vermicular shape, when matured was the young Pontobdella Muricata (Lam.) which were in every respect perfect & in motion. Each ovum
[Darwin's page number] 8)
consisted of two parts, the outer capsule being coriceous & of considerable thickness, whilst the inner consisted merely of a thin black membrane. This bag never contained more than one animal, in which it differs remarkably from that of other Molluscous animals such as the Doris Buccinum Purpura &c. &c., for in these one capsule generally contains numerous ova. — At each end there is a prominent orifice, which appears to be the outlet of the young animal, but hitherto mistaken for the branches of the Fucus. — The adult animal bears a considerable analogy to the Leeches
[Darwin's page number] 9)
& was even placed by Linnaeus in his genus Hirudo with the specific name of Muricata. — Most of the leeches are viviparous & therefore the fact of the Muricata being oviparous, besides on its own account, is of value as it shows to what a great extent the mode of generation differs in the lower animals. —
(13) Procured on 15th of April from deep water in Frith of Forth a good many specimens of the Pennatula Mirabilis. The Polype were situated on one side of the bony axis in alternate lunate fillets in number from 70-80. Each fillet consisted of about 12 polype. Towards one end of many of the
[Darwin's page number] 10)
longest specimens a yellowish appearance, which upon examination turned out to be numerous ova. They were situated between the fillets towards the bare side of the stem. They were easily separated in great number from the gelatinous axis upon its being torn. But I could perceive no motion. —
Procured from the Frith of Forth numerous specimens of the Pennatula Phosphorea. differs from the Mirabilis in there being only 20 rows or Fillets of polype, & in these rows about 12 Polype. These fillets are opposite & decrease in size towards both end of the axis.
[Darwin's page number] 11)
The bony axis does not appear at either end of the Zoophite as it
does in the Mirabilis, but gradually tapers into two filiform soft &
flexible points embedded in the fleshy matter. Inclosed in & at the base of
the fillets were several ova. of a large size & of a yellow colour could
perceive no motion. I may remark that each fillet is broardest in the middle
& tapers toward both ends. The whole Zoophite has a soft
feel, & of a red colour. The long axis in both of the above-mentioned
species effervesced rapidly with nitric acid. —
[Darwin's page number] 12)
Observed, with Mr Coldstream at the black rocks at Leith, an Asterias rubens doubled up as it were, so that the disk part formed pouch, in which were numerous loose ova; which the animal was in act of discharging from its mouth. The double Ovaria in each of the animals limbs. contained a mass of ova of a small size & of an orange colour. —
16. — [no text]
[Darwin's page number] 13)
Having taken a grain of pollen out of the Anther in an unopened Geranium flower: I placed it in spirits of wine: it was of a sphaerical shape & of a yellow colour: after remaining a minute in the Spirits three transparent cones were protruded from its side: these in the course of a few minutes burst, & sent, with great violence, from one of the cones numberless granules: By the next morning (the Geranium being kept in water)
[Darwin's page number] 14)
the Anthers had deshisced & the pollen was scattered about. —
A grain now being placed in
water Spirits, emitted its contents with such
force that the grain itself moved very rapidly in the liquid so rapidly indeed,
that I could not follow with the microscope: When placed in water it exploded
almost instantly but not with quite such force. —
[Darwin's page number] 15)
The Epidermis of the Petals in the Geranium
was is very
curious; it consists of 6 (or occasionally 7) sided cells) on the sides of these
cells; these [had] 12 small projections which alternate with those of the
neighbouring cells: it has the same appearance, both on upper & under side:
no stomata: In the Stamina, the cuticle of the Filament were Rhomboidal: in the
covering of the Antherii the cells had knobbed sides: The pistil full of
Tracheae. Cuticle with Rhomboidal cells. Sepals full of Tracheae. cuticle with
oblong cells. —
[Darwin's page number] 16)
The cells in the cuticle of the Bracteae very irregular oblong: in the Pedicel rather more regular: — A Transverse section of this latter part gives a star-like appearance, this is owing to about 10 groups of ducts set within a ring of them: by dissecting a portion of the pedicel vertically these ducts were very easily seen: without this darkish ring came a circle of rather irregularly celled parenchymatous matter: then ring of green matter: then cuticle. —
[Darwin's page number] 17)
Examined the grain of pollen in Orchis morio. they are of a green colour. & of a wedge shape with the sharp end truncated. They are fastened at their narrow ends one to the other by a highly elastic thread. —
This is the end of the fair written papers on Flustra. It is supplemented by pages of more roughly written notes numbered in the same sequence. These are written in pencil.
[Darwin's page number] 18
It would be curious experiment to put box with boiled earth on top of house & see how soon any plants would come there
[Darwin's page number] 19
F. Hope. Carabidae
Van Diemen's Land
King George's Sound
Waterhouse minute insects from do
Babington water insects from all parts of the world
[Darwin's page number] 21
I suspect some curious experiments might be made by tying bladder over bottle with different kinds of salts & observing whether vapour does not carry them up? mem bottles with salt from Patagonia after having been kept for some time —
[Second sequence starting at back cover begins here.]
marbled, no text or label.
skimmed through & extracted
Some excellent references in L. Jenyn's introduction to Mag of Zoology and Botany.
Philosoph. Transacts. 3. papers connected with transform of crust — Westwood & Thompsons. — Part II — 35. Phil Tran
Burrowing & boring marine animals. CXVI. P 111 do
Observation on Planariae by Johnson CXII. & CXV do1
page in pencil. Lower quarter of page is cut off.
1 Barrett et al 1987, p. 477, located the excised fragment of this page in DAR205.2.30 with this text:
Azara Voyage Vol I p. 196. According to Charpentier de Cossigny. only 10 years ago
no snail was introduced to Mauritius. 18
8. Dermes: taken out of a case of Chinese insects, which had however been for some time in England. —
17. Streatham. garden behind the Alehouse.
18 Bought of a man had a collection <some words excised> for exhibition in Cam:2
Lower quarter of page is cut off.
2 Barrett et al 1987, p. 477, located the fragment of this page in DAR205.2.30. The image on the microfilm does not provide a view of the reverse.
|2||. . . . .||rubripes (2 specimens) male & female|
|3||. . . .||rufimanus|
|6||. . . . .||picipes||} [5-6] Southend|
|12||[Ptinus] Fur||[Ptinus] lichenum.||Mr Waterhouse|
32. Cryp: always taken on the sea shore near or upon a creeping sort of wild rose. — early in July . — 29.
33. Cryp: on Barmouth rocks. August. — 29
36 Nitid. on old bones. Summer. — 29
38 Rhy: taken together with some Nitidulae in a wild Bees nest. June. — 29
39 & 40. Anth: taken chiefly on umbelliforous plants.
41. Ips. May. 1829
|35||Nitidula||punctatissima.||Woodhouse June. 29|
|36||. . . . .||sordia.||Shrewsbury|
|38||Rhyzophagus||. . .|
|40||An: . .||verbasii||Shrew.|
|41||Ips||ferruginea?||Shrew. (taken flying)|
|42||Byrrhus||dorsalis.||Gravel pits May. —28|
|43||Malachius||ruficollis.||Cam. Summer. — 29|
|45||Hylesinus||sulcatus.||June. Shrew: — 29|
49. Het. creeping in great profusion together with laevigatus. & Cillenum laterale on a muddy bank which was daily overflowed by the tide. we only found it on the opposite side of the river to Barmouth
51. Gal: in great profusion
|48||Ocys||melanocephalus||Cam. Summ: — 29|
|51||Galeruca||lineola.||Barmouth. July. — 29|
|52||Gal.||crataegi.||Cam. — 28|
|56||Chaetophora?||—||Maer. stone quarries|
Azara Voyage vol. I p. 279
Think the Moruffetes of Chile different from those of La Plate or Paraguay.
do. p. 365. 3 cats (mbara caya, le negro et le pajero). l'yaguare,
the zorilla or skunk, le quiya (coipu) viscacha. — A. Patagonicus
les tatous (pichye, pelud, mulita, et mataco) are all found south of 26˚ 30'. Lat. —
do. p. 207. La punaise was not known amongst Indian introduced in Paraguay in 1769 in Governors train !?
Las Vinchuca or Benchuca "Les individus ailés peuvent avoir
quatre cinq lignes de long et volent p. 208
Fleas only appear in winter in Paraguay. p. 207
Slight notice on habit of Iguana, not pass Lat. 28˚ north. p. 239
In ocean between Lat.56˚ and 57˚ any inhabitant crust Entomost of the genera Cyclops. p. 134 and p. 115
In white Cape Pidgeon's stomach small shells (patella) sea weed & many pebbles
Mentions stinging Millepora. Quoy.
Freycinets Voyage Vol. p. 597
(Many descriptions about lower animals of Falklands &c &c )
Bennett on Chincillidae
Zoolog Transacts worth reading
Cuvier's Memoire in 1803 on Pennatula showing it to be one animal
In Australia I was assured wild dog copulates freely with tame: comes to houses on purpose
Mr J. Murray has given paper to Royal Soc. on glow worm luminous property. —
Curious arrangement of animals in rays Par un officier du Roi
Rapid growth of coral. RN. p. 24
RN. p. 24] encircled.
Bougainville voyage round the world
no land animal besides wolf or jackal at Falkland ∴ black rabbit not indigenous p.112
M. Lesson Voyage of Coquille
with limits of Mullipora
Discussion good on Falkland birds
Discussion of Firola, — Salpa Analiss without shells. ! p. 442 — Planariae p. 451 — many molluscs.
Under the name of Sagitta Triptera M. D'Orbigny has described my
animal with teeth [small sketch, or deleted word] p. 140
Fleche of Quoy et Gaimard
Ulloa shell fish Purple die
Marvellous stones Ulloa's Voyage Vol I p 168
Ceratophytes common in Northern sea. Chamisso in Kotzebue p. 312
Leaches on leaves in Sumatra. Marsden p 311
D'Orbigny considers Dasypus villosus is true Peludo
Cavia Australis. Dorbigny vol II p 24
Proceedings of Zoolog Soc. Important account of habits of Tubularia. p 52 May 1836
dimensions of immense Tortoise p. 81 & p 113 of 1834
On the passeres of S. America, D'Orbigny. L'Institut. No 221
Good account of Condor by Humboldt Zoologie. Receuil.
Meyen has written account of Guanaco. In the transactions of Bonn Society.
M. Edwards on Corallines L'Institut 1837 no.212
Observations on the Raptores of S. America translated from D'Orbigny no. IV Mag. of Zoology & Botany p. 356
Lesson on Berre. do —
Magazine of Zoology & Botany Vol I p. 358 D'Orbigny
considers states that young birds of prey have longer tails than old ones — in
America & sexes not of different size — How does this apply to pale brown
Krauss on Corallines from S. Sea, written in German. — Stuttgart. ranks these bodies amongst vegetables in Linn. Soc. — Mr Donn
Carmichael Linn. Transact. Vol XII. p. 496. Birds at Tristan
(Turdus Guayanensis ?) Emberiza Brasiliensis (?) Fulica Chloropus.
says some of the species of smaller petrels are night birds agree with [word deleted] nocturnal habits of Crustacea.
Mr Broderip says that Voluta found in not less than 7 fathoms
De la Beche theoretical researches
Compare land shells of Galapagos different islds —
Waterhouse remarks that no insectivore in S. America or
very curious. replaced by Didelphidae.
Skunk inhabitant of Polynesia. Mem. —
Molina Vol. I. p. 244. Bacalao migratory fish. — See Kings drawings. — for real name
Birds of Iceland. Mackenzie p. 345 for comparison with Falkland. good also for Journal. 18
admirable engravings in Meyen Zoology on animal of Campanularia.
18] added red pencil.
Alcedo stellata. Meyen p. 92 — great kingfisher of Tierra del Fuego killed in Chile.
Dobritzhoffer. Vol I p. 310 History of the Abipones says
it the Condor is found in the Tucuman mountains.
The fourth Vol. in Lyell's possession of Zoology of Voyage of Astrolabe must be studied for anatomy of corals — nevertheless the details appear very trifling. Also Berre p. 8 (I think Planariae) Sagitella or Fleche p. 8 my little animal with horns. Madrepores p. 26 Nullipora p. 29. —
In Meyen Voyage round the world German a reference to a luminous Sertularia
Lesson Zoolog. Coq. p. 120 Coati Roux. Tatous and perhaps Yagouarundi near Concepcion !!! (no species mentioned)
p. 205 only 9. Terrestrial birds of Falklands Isd 8
waders. 22 palmipedes: out of the first 9: 4 raptores
Saw a Chouette a huppe cruste
Excessively inaccurate. talks of nine terrestrial, & then 9 passeres!
Says the thrush & another species! birds of passage !! sylvia
macloviana 2d like sylvia cisticola. — — Emberiza melanodera. — — a
linnet not caught — Troglogdytis
Furnarius — Sturnus magellanicus. —
p. 210. Scolopax very close to ours
Rengger's work of Mammalia of Paraguay must be most important
a discussion of geographical distribution of Mammalia. &c &c &c —
Excessively inaccurate] encircled.
The French [word deleted] Bibron, coworker of Dumeril who is working with Dumeril says that two species of Tortoises come from Galapagos !!!
Azara. Voyage dans l'Amerique Merid. Tatia noir abundant from Paraguay to 27˚, then the Mulita from 4˚ to 26˚ to closely allied species. therefore interlock. —
Testudo Indicus not fossil at isle of France: [word deleted] Bibron
Zool. Journ. vol. I p. 125 owls seen crossing atlantic. fact taken
from Jenner (1825) Phil: Transact. — "on migrations of Birds". 18
do. vol. III p. 422 Letter from Capt. King on birds of St. of Magellan. very inaccurate
& vol. IV p. 9. —
Vol IV p. 388 Domestic mouse of Egypt is Mus Cahirimus of Geof. — reference from Rüppel travels
18] added red pencil.
All Owens papers on Intestinal worms must be studied in Vol. I Zoolog: Transact. before writing on Planaria or polypi — is especially grand paper p. 387 "on Classification of such animals." —
Voyage Coquille's Voyage p. 302 Vol. II p. 302 Vaginulus of Lima described "Arion" of Ascension p. do
Some S American Reptiles are described
Shells from Tahiti and Chile
The North & S. Range of shells might perhaps be worked out with advantage with Cumms collection & my own: & Capt. Kings
p. 453 Planaria vitella (Less.) parasitical on Vitellae in Atlantic Ocean.
Gould agrees with D'Orbigny, that serpent eater — or secretary is
S.African representative of Caracaras of America — manner of walking, foot, bill crest feathering on legs
Does the Secretary make noise & throw head back
Mr Edwards on polypi of Tubulipores
L'Institut, 1838 p. 75
A detailed comparison of production without Tropics in Northern & Southern America — a valuable & practicable &c &c
Caricaridae wanderers. — ?? in N. America. ??
Wilson N. American Ornithology must be studied before writing my general account —
؟ Do not the Penguins replace the
Auk Guillemots of the
northern hemisphere, & the Puffinuria the auks. — What structure do the auks
bear trace of. — like Puffinuria does of Petrel?
Study Birds of Europe for other representatives of this class.
Pyrocephalus & many Tyrannulae — replace warblers of Europe
Study profoundly shells of Bahia Blanca & Southern Hemisphere
It is most interesting the way Synallaxis lead into Furnarius by
Patagonian Furnarius. —
into Oxyurus, by Maldonado creeper of same plumage. — general red mark on wings of all — Spix has described Philedon allied to some of my birds —
these groups strictly American colouring on under side of wings
It would be interesting comparison to find how many of the small finches walk at Maldonado & Patagonia compared with those of England. —
On ground birds — rather indefinite letter
Mem Orpheus becoming tyrant — flycatcher ∴ shown by habits & plumage so very similar to some of the Fluvicola ? —
The Birds seem to be more much further north on West coast of S. America than on East — not being replaced by Brazilian species —
Mem. Turdus magellanicus —
Chingolo Chimango —
Dinca ? ?
See Report by on D'Orbigny on species of Mephitis
4 distinct Camelidae do not breed together
Mag: of Zoology & B. Vol. II. p. 127.
List of submarine insects Staphylinidae &c &c with reference to those of mine from T. del Fuego
p. 141. How comes it salt water so soon putrifies ? ?
p. 319. on Hydra-polypi —
Rep do p. 324 Polypi shorter duration than cells
Milne Edwards p. 138 on Polypi. — Berenica &c
p. 46 Macleay Horae: Entomolog..
insects swarm in Lapland & Spitzbergen wherever there is extreme heat, the tropical forms extend further north, because during winter they can bear the cold when torpid. — On this principle tropical forms in N. America extend much further N. in N. America than in Europe — Coleoptera especially require a greater duction of Heat, hence mosquitoes & knats abound during short summer far N. where the other order is comparatively rare. — These views clearly explain rarity of insects in T. del Fuego. — Hence it is odd that amber insects of Europe have Tropical forms
See p 256 of Note Book (C) for comparison of singing powers of birds of N. America & Europe
Entomolog. Transact. vol. I p. 130 Col Sykes on balls made by dung beetles, like those from Chiloe
Amblyrhyncus de Marlin James Isd
Lutke Voyage Vol. III p. 322
Dr Martens says only one Reptile in Kamtchatka (Salamandra aquatica)
compare with T del Fuego
Compare birds of do with [letter deleted] N. America & T. del Fuego & Iceland
Spix & Martius talk of birds singing in the forests of Brazil
H. Wedgwood says in
14th 13th vol. of
Archaeologia arrowheads described in Suffolk as lying under strata of
gravel & clay about 10 feet in thickness (March 1842)
Return to homepage
Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)
File last updated 2 July, 2012