Discussing the "stigmata of degeneracy in the aristocracy and regicides," I dwelt with most emphasis on oral and facial stigmata. I now propose to deal with an organ which in the opinion of alienists, biologists and criminal anthropologists, is most affected by degeneracy.1
Considering the wide range of variation in the external ear in closely related zoological families, such, for example, as the African and Asiatic elephant, this was to be expected. My own experience confirms that of the alienists and criminal anthropologists as to its occurrence in degenerate man.
It has been claimed that deformities are due to pressure by sleeping upon one side or the other and pressure of wearing apparel. This can scarcely account for excessive and arrested development, since most stigmata exist at birth and are exaggerated as the ear develops in size. Such being the case local conditions can in no case produce excessive
TALBOT ES. THE DEGENERATE EAR. JAMA. 1896;XXVI(2):54–58. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430540006002a
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