Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 16, 1883
– 548 –

The author stated that during several years of observation he had met with a number of rare monstrosities in man, as well as among animals. By noting all the peculiarities of monstrosities that came before them they might, by degrees, learn the law which governed them, while they would also see more distinctly their connection with the early history of the species in which it occurred. In the olden days monsters were looked upon as objects for aversion, and perhaps as occurring as a punishment from God or the gods; now, however, science had shown that they were really nothing but animals, with extraordinary variations from the original species. He then proceeded to describe and classify the different malformations that give rise to monstrosities. In concluding his interesting lecture he said it was possible to obtain monstrosities in chickens by treating eggs in particular ways. Monstrosities of the present day were losing interest, as they were now known to be nothing but the reappearance of a portion of the form of an ancestor. They were only of interest when they were of a very unusual type, when something new might be gathered regarding the history of the species.

Dr. Hector thanked Dr. Newman for the manner in which he had handled a very difficult subject. He, however, doubted whether it was correct to say that monsters were merely a reappearance of a portion of the form of an ancestor.