RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1883. [Letter to Nicols, 1871]. In Arthur Nicols, Zoological notes on the structure, affinities, habits, and mental faculties of wild and domestic animals: With anecdotes concerning, and adventures among them, and some account of their fossil representatives. London: Upcott Gill, p. 74.

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

NOTE: See record in the Freeman Bibliographical Database, enter its Identifier here.

The letter from Nicols to which Darwin was replying is in CUL-DAR87.19-20. Indeed, Darwin annotated the letter "I must first note that such tastes not confined to Quadrumana. Used". Other details from Nicols's letter were added to Descent 2d ed., p. 7 n. 6.

[page] 74

[…] But feline and marsupial milk are very different in character, and on the third day this interesting relationship was severed by the death of the koala, to the great regret of all who had witnessed the cat's solicitude for this waif of the Australian bush. The case seemed to me so much more than a mere "curiosity" in natural history, that I communicated the above facts to Dr. Chas. Darwin, who replied: "The facts which you relate about the phascolarctos are very surprising, and I will carefully preserve your note for use on some future occasion."


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

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