Lazzaro Spallanzani

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Related to Spallanzani: Francesco Redi, John Needham

Spallanzani, Lazzaro

(läd`dzärō späl-läntsä`nē), 1729–99, Italian naturalist. He was professor at the universities of Modena (1763–69) and Pavia (from 1769). Spallanzani studied regeneration, fertilization, and the digestive action of saliva; using heat-sterilized cultures, he performed experiments that disproved J. T. Needham's theory of spontaneous generation.

Spallanzani, Lazzaro


Born Jan. 12, 1729, in Scandiano; died Feb. 12, 1799, in Pavia. Italian naturalist.

Spallanzani graduated from the University of Bologna. He was a professor at universities in Reggio nell’Emilia (from 1755), Modena (from 1763), and Pavia (from 1769).

Spallanzani worked in various fields of natural science, but his studies in experimental biology are particularly well known. He was the first to demonstrate experimentally the impossibility of spontaneous generation of microscopic organisms (Infusoria). Using microscopy, he studied regeneration in amphibians; also, he was the first to carry out artificial fertilization in amphibians and mammals. He found that eggs do not begin to develop until they have made contact with sperm. However, as an ovist (an adherent of preformation), he assumed that seminal fluid rather than spermatozoa is the major factor in fertilization because it stimulates the growth of the organism, which apparently preexists in the egg. Spallanzani also studied blood circulation, respiration, digestion, and the sense organs.


Le opere, vols. 1–5. Milan, 1932–36.
Epistolario, vols. 1–5. Florence, 1958–64.


Prandi,D. Bibliografía delle opere di L. Spallanzani. Florence, 1951.
References in periodicals archive ?
Author affiliations: Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases, Rome, Italy (L.
At the end of the book (337-352), under the subtitle "Iconografia camineriana," are photocopies of three portraits (of Caminer, Spallanzani and Alberto Fortis), of a letter in the hand of Caminer, of title-pages of Caminer's periodical, as it appeared under different names, and of title-pages of three books of her translations.
Take the 18th-century Italian abbot Lazzaro Spallanzani, who, for three days at a stretch, would hold tubes of minced meat and animals' gastric juices under his armpits, to simulate digestion.
These findings were extended by the Italian physiologist Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729-1799), who administered food samples in perforated metallic tubes to a large variety of animals.
About 1790, Italian scientist Lazarro Spallanzani proposed that bats could "see with their ears.
En vano trataba el italiano Lazaro Spallanzani rectificar el error que entre tanto habia adquirido la rigidez de una conviccion dogmatica.
Although Spallanzani noted some properties of the gastric juices (that it could dissolve food in vitro, was accelerated by heat, and that it retarded, even prevented putrefaction), he was unable to state clearly what was involved.
In order to explore the role of semen in reproduction, for example, the Italian naturalist Lazzaro Spallanzani outfitted dozens of male frogs in tight, waxed-taffeta pants and allowed them to mate.
In 1767, Lazzaro Spallanzani reported the ability salamanders to regenerate limbs, not just their tails.
Spallanzani, 22/A - 0061, Rome, Italy: fax 39-6-442722, UNACOMA@UNACOMA-INET.
Following the discovery of animal regeneration by Spallanzani in 1768, it became fashionable among the intellectual elite of Europe to chop off the heads of snails to observe their subsequent regrowth.