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Lazzaro Spallanzani
Lazzaro Spallanzani
Born (1729-01-12)12 January 1729
Died 11 February 1799(1799-02-11) (aged 70)
Nationality Italian
Alma mater University of Bologna
Known for Digestion
Animal fertilisation
Discrediting spontaneous generation
Animal echolocation
Scientific career
Fields Biology
Institutions University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
University of Pavia
University of Padua

Lazzaro Spallanzani ( 12 January 1729 – 11 February 1799) was an Italian Catholic priest (for which he was nicknamed Abbé Spallanzani), biologist and physiologist who made important contributions to the experimental study of bodily functions, animal reproduction, and animal echolocation. His research on biogenesis paved the way for the downfall of the theory of spontaneous generation, a prevailing idea at the time that organisms develop from inanimate matters, though the final death blow to the idea was dealt by French scientist Louis Pasteur a century later.

His most important works were summed up in his book Experiencias Para Servir a La Historia de La Generación De Animales y Plantas (Experiences to Serve to the History of the Generation of Animals and Plants), published in 1786. Among his contributions were experimental demonstrations of fertilisation between ova and spermatozoa, and in vitro fertilisation.

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