Monstrosities.A large class of cases of departure from the normal form, depending on different and often obscure causes, may be grouped together under this heading; most of them arc of the kind termed Teretological, and it is difficult to decide how far they should be regarded as pathological if we insist that a disease threatens the existence of the plant, since many of these malformationse.g.
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.
For he applied himself to manufacture wares having a close affinity with the shocking monstrosities used for sepulchral purposes in ancient Apulia, where fragments of dissected satyrs, busts of nymphs or halves of horses were considered graceful excrescences for the adornment of an amphora or a pithos.