In many cases, however, monstrosities of flowers have been shown to be due to the irritating action of minute insects or Fungi, and others are known which, although induced by causes unknown to us, and regarded as internal, would not be likely to survive in the wild condition.
The most varied changes of this kind have been described, and are generally familiar as monstrosities; the study of them constitutes, under the name of teratology, a distinct department of biology.
However, it may still be useful in describing monstrosities, and perhaps also those cases in which an organ serves first one purpose and then another, as when a leafy shoot eventually becomes a thorn, or the base of a foliage-leaf becomes a bud-scale.
The Chinese have domesticated these albinos for a long time, and by careful selection have succeeded in propagating all those strange varieties, and even monstrosities, which appear in every domestic animal.
The two points thus meeting, the bill is 1 This peculiarity is found as an accidental malformation in the crows (Corvidae) and other groups; it is comparable to the monstrosities seen in rabbits and other members of the order Glires, in which the incisor teeth grow to an inordinate length.
Monstrosities at least demonstrate possible lines of development, but when the abnormal forms of growth in various directions are fairly evenly balanced, trustworthy deductions become difficult.