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Link: • Carl Linnaeus to Carl Christoffer Gjörwell, 3 December 1756 n.s.
Dated . Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Stockholm (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


Linnaeus writes to Carl Christoffer GjörwellGjörwell, Carl Christoffer
(1731-1811). Swedish. Author,
publisher, royal librarian.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
that in the high and deep strata of lime that are often found beneath the highest mountains, both here in Sweden and over all Europe, there can be found numerous petrificates, called terebratulae, or petrified mussels, where one shell protrudes at the rear and which has a hole in it (here Linnaeus refers to Carl Gustaf Tessin’sTessin, Carl Gustaf
(1695-1770). Swedish. Count, important
politician and patron of science and
art. He supported Swedish artists and
scientists and collected art, books and
natural history objects. He assisted
Linnaeus’s career in many ways. Married
to Lovisa Ulrica Tessin. Uncle to
Fredrik Sparre. Correspondent of
, Museum TessinianumLinnaeus, Carl Museum
Tessinianum, opera illustrissimi comitis
Dom. Car. Gust. Tessin [...]
(Stockholm 1753). Soulsby
no. 1081.
, Tab. V Figs. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7), whereas similar unpetrified mussels have never been seen in any shell cabinet, or found anywhere in the world. This has caused considerable perplexity among experts in natural history as to where these have come from, if they had all disappeared with the Flood, or if the hole had been created in the shell itself. The interesting Thomas PennantPennant, Thomas (1726-1798).
British. Naturalist, best known for his
works on zoology. Correspondent of
in Flintshire, England, recently saw a branch of coral that had been fished up from great depth off Norway, upon which was a healthy mussel that, through a small hole in its back, had put out tentacles, with which it gripped the coral. The same Pennant had written to Linnaeus describing this on the 20th of October 1756Letter L2100, and including a sketch [the description was published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala [Kungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i UppsalaKungliga Vetenskaps-Societeten i
Swedish. The Royal
Society of Sciences at Uppsala was
founded in 1728.
] entitled, “Anomia”Pennant, Thomas “Anomia”,
Nova Acta Regiae Societatis
Scientiarum Upsaliensis
]. Consequently, one must believe, writes Linnaeus, that the numerous other Conche anomiae can also be obtained when they are more carefully looked for in the deepest parts of the sea.


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1912), vol. I:6, p. 204   p.204.