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Kammerer, Paul

  1. Walter Gratzer

Published Online: 15 APR 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0002540.pub2



How to Cite

Gratzer, W. 2014. Kammerer, Paul. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. King's College London, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2014


Paul Kammerer (1880–1926) was an Austrian biologist who carried out ingenious experiments aimed at demonstrating the inheritance of acquired characteristics, most famously on Alytes, the midwife toad. The only surviving specimen after interruption of Kammerer's work by the First World War was examined by other zoologists who found the evidence for Kammerer's conclusions to be fraudulent. Soon thereafter Kammerer committed suicide. Whether or not the entire corpus of Kammerer's work was based on fraud and/or self-delusion is a live issue in some quarters still.


  • Kammerer;
  • Lamarckian inheritance;
  • fraud;
  • Vivarium;
  • epigenetics;
  • Arthur Koestler;
  • Lamarckian;
  • acquired characteristics;
  • Alytes obstetricians;
  • midwife toad;
  • Vienna