1649 (pre): Ambroise Paré finds Toad in Large Block of Stone

In a translation published in 1649 of older manuscripts by Ambroise Paré [1510-1590], chief surgeon to Henry III of France, Paré wrote that he was in his vine-yard near the village of Meudon, France, watching a quarryman at work breaking up large blocks of stone, when they found a large live toad encased in the middle of one. There was no visible way for the toad to have entered the stone, or to have lived in it; when the labourer saw the surgeon's amazement he told him not to be so astounded, because "hee saw it everie daie."

        This incident, along with others that Paré had heard of, led him to believe that certain animals were generated spontaneously from otherwise inanimate matter.