Sir William Lawrence, 1st Baronet

British surgeon (1783-1867)

Sir William Lawrence, 1st Baronet, FRCS, FRS (16 July 17835 July 1867) was an English surgeon who became President of the Royal College of Surgeons of London and Serjeant Surgeon to the Queen.

Sir William Lawrence, 1st Baronet

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  • Physiologists have usually represented that our species holds a middle rank, in the masticatory and digestive apparatus, between the flesh-eating and the herbivorous animals; — a statement which seems rather to have been deduced from what we have learned by experience on this subject, than to result fairly from an actual comparison of man and animals. … The teeth of man have not the slightest resemblance to those of the carnivorous animals, except that their enamel is confined to the external surface. He possesses, indeed, teeth called canine, but they do not exceed the level of the others, and are obviously unsuited to the purposes which the corresponding teeth execute in carnivorous animals. … Thus we find that, whether we consider the teeth and jaws, or the immediate instruments of digestion, the human structure closely resembles that of the simiæ; all of which, in their natural state, are completely herbivorous.
    • Lectures on Comparative Anatomy, Physiology, Zoology, and the Natural History of Man, Eighth Edition (London: John Taylor, 1840), Section I, Chapter VI, pp. 148-150. Full text online at the Internet Archive.

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