Regeneration according to Spallanzani



In this report, we elaborate on a letter that Spallanzani wrote to Bonnet reporting his findings on regeneration in worms, snails, tadpoles, and salamanders. The letter (original in French and translated in English; see Supplementary Material, which is available online) was written to discuss whether or not regeneration in these animals supports Bonnet's theory on germs. The letter includes several drawings by Spallanzani, which were not published in the Prodromo, his book on Animal Reproduction. Spallanzani made important observations, which he described with considerable detail, but overall he was unable to confidently support Bonnet's theory. This letter reflects the way of thinking in the 18th century that shaped the important scientific fields of regeneration and reproduction. Developmental Dynamics 238:2357–2363, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.