Animalculists | Article about Animalculists by The Free Dictionary
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
17th-century biologists who thought that a spermatozoon contained a preformed grown animal in microscopic form and that embryo development consisted merely of increase in size and change in consistency of the organs whereby they ceased to be transparent. Contrary to the ovists, the animalculists viewed the egg as the source of nourishment for the spermatozoon. One of the most prominent animalculists was A. van Leeuwenhoek. Animalculists supported preformation.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive
23 Gasking describes how the early preformationists were all ovists (48), but beginning with Leeuwenhoek in 1683 animalculists became increasingly popular (56).
In keeping with later animalculist theories that suggested that the full embryo existed in the sperm, the beautiful Absalom seems to have sprung complete from his father's seed.