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Two-Headed Kitten

Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particuliére, avec la description du Cabinet du Roi, Vol. VI, p. 52, Plate VIII, 1756, Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de, published by L'Imprimerie Royale: Paris, France

Buffon pays some attention to deformed newborn cats within his chapter of felines. Obviously, this two-headed ‘monstrosity’ defies the standard form of its species. Propped up amidst quill, ink, book, and bowl, the kitten looks ready for study or placement within a cabinet of curiosity.



Oldest Butterfly Fossil

Frank Leslie's Chimney Corner, Vol. XVII, No. 438, selection from p. 240, Oct. 18 1873, published by Frank Leslie: New York, USA

Found by Edward Charlesworth, a reputable English paleontologist, this fossilized insect’s modern relatives could only be found in the Amazon, according to the news article. Such interest in natural history and the honor associated with new findings are characteristic of the burgeoning scholarship of the nineteenth century. While naturalists focused on ‘norms’ of contemporary animals, they also mapped out the lineage of species, acknowledging at least part of the theory of evolution.