Carl Linnaeus to Johan Ernst Gunnerus,
4 March 1769 n.s.
L4202. Carl LinnaeusCarl Linnaeus (1707-1778). Swedish.
to Johan Ernst GunnerusJohan Ernst Gunnerus (1718-1773).
The previous day Linnaeus had received a parcel from Johan Ernst GunnerusGunnerus, Johan Ernst
Linnaeus found the story of Delphinus and Squalus most fascinating.
Madrepora prolifera, tab. II, fig. 1,2, is so well described that there will never be any doubts about it.
Serpula norvegica, tab. II, fig. 11,12 is a new species.
Madrepora aspera, tab. 8, fig. 3,2, will probably be a variety of Madrepora virginea. Linnaeus will compare his own specimens with those of Gunnerus.
Millepora tarandicornis, tab. I, 6, is Linnaeus’s Cellepora ramentosa.
Peter Simon PallasPallas, Peter Simon
Linnaeus considers Gunnerus’s observation regarding Alcyonium arboreum with its animals to be splendid. Linnaeus had never been able to find out where the fructification was located, until Gunnerus showed it so clearly.
Linnaeus does not know Fucus pinnatus, p. 84, and Fucus ovinus, p. 85, so well. He wonders whether they can be brought to the Ulvae.
Linnaeus believes Fucus bifurcatus to be a variety of another species.
Scomber pelagicus or Scomber norvegicus is most probably another species than pelagicus. Linnaeus wonders, however, whether it can be a species of Scomber. But Gunnerus will be the better judge of that, since in Norway Scomber scombrus is the most common fish in the sea. Linnaeus has his doubts, though. Judging from the illustration the fish rather belongs to the Abdominales where Scomber is a Piscis thoracicus, etc.
To sum there are so many observations that no learned Society has ever before been able to produce such a volume. Linnaeus is now inserting them at their proper places in his notebooks.
Through the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters natural history has not only gained a new province but a new world, since everything under the northern polar circle, which has been hidden since the creation of earth, has now been revealed.
There is no doubt that Peter ArtediArtedi, Peter (1705-1735).
P.S. Linnaeus thanks Gunnerus very much for Mus alpinus. He has never seen this animal since the time he travelled in the Swedish Alps. The book has been forwarded to Johan IhreIhre, Johan (1707-1780).
a. original holograph (Norges teknisk-naturvetenskapliga universitetsbiblioteket, Trondheim, Priv. arch. 277. Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Arkiv ).
1. Biskop Gunnerus' virksomhed fornemmelig som botaniker (1903), vol. IV, p. 119-120 .