RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1870. [Letter on marine shells in the Amazon]. In Orton, J. The Andes and the Amazon; or, across the continent of South America. New York: Harper & brothers, p. [347].

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned, transcribed and edited by John van Wyhe 3.2008. RN1

[page 347]

Pebas fossils, p. 282.—In a letter to the author, Mr. Darwin says: "Your discovery of marine shells high up the Amazon possesses extreme interest, not only in itself, but as one more most striking instance how rash it is to assert that any deposit is not a marine formation because it does not contain fossils. As for myself, I never believed for a moment in Agassiz's idea of the origin of the Amazonian formation."1

1 James Orton (1830-1877), American zoologist, clergyman, explorer and Professor of natural history, Vassar College, 1869-1877. This letter corresponds to Calendar 6570. Agassiz believed the Amazonian formation was formed from glacial deposits from the Andes. Agassiz and Agassiz 1868, pp. 250, 411, 424.

[page] 282

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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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