Reference numberMS/251/29
TitleLetter from Gideon Algernon Mantell, Castle Place, to William Buckland, Somerset House, London
Date12 May 1829
DescriptionNoting that the specimens arrived safely with the exception of a large one broken in two, but repairable. Mantell will not forget his promise to reciprocate. He has procured a mutilated specimen of chalk fish which exhibits scales and at the site of a fracture, the air bladder and an uncontorted smooth body can be seen. Mantell cannot dissect the fossil at present, because his house is being repaired, but he will inform Buckland of the result when he can. Mantell is pleased with the drawings of the 'magnificent fish of the coal shale'. None of the Tilgate fossils have surviving heads, only being preserved as far as the opercula of the gills. He discusses the forms of teeth, dorsal fins and scales in fish fossils, providing sketches of these features within the text. He considers the Tilgate fish to be an Esox, or Lepistosteus of Lacepède. There is a specimen in the College of Surgeons with scales similar to the fossil. Mantell thanks Buckland for the beautiful plates of cycadeoidea. The cast from the Isle of Wight saurian will be a great treat and he asks if [James] Deville will colour it. Mantell has heard that Buckland has an Iguanodon tooth and asks to borrow it. He notes that [Roderick Impey] Murchison has called. Various postcripts include a note on the patch of Tilgate scales sent to Buckland being a good example.
Physical descriptionOn paper
Access statusOpen
Fellows associated with this archive
NA7470Mantell; Gideon Algernon (1790 - 1852)1790 - 1852
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