Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute/Volume 40/Meeting 4, Paper 2

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The Royal Society of New Zealand

The following curious case of heredity has recently come under my notice. One of my neighbours, Mrs. R. S., has on the left side of her head, close to the ear, a small opening. Into this opening a pin can be inserted head foremost about ½ in. without causing pain. From the opening a small quantity of wax-like matter is at times discharged. Mrs. S. inherited the opening referred to from her mother. Mrs. M., now residing at Nebraska, U.S.A. In addition to the opening described, Mrs. M. has in the white of the left eye a round dark spot resembling a second pupil, but smaller than the true pupil. The second pupil and the opening near the ear Mrs. M. inherited from her mother, who died in Denmark. Of Mrs. S.'s large family, only one son, N., inherited the ear-opening: but he has two openings—one close to the left ear, like his mother, and the other close to the right ear. His infant son, three months old, has the opening near the left ear. Another of Mrs. S.'s sons, G., is the father of twin boys, one of whom has inherited the opening near the left ear. Mrs. S.'s daughter, Mrs. R., has two pupils in the left eye, like her grandmother, but she has not got the ear-opening. These are all the members of the family about whom I can get trustworthy information, though probably others have the family marks. It can be seen that for five generations, commencing with Mrs. M.'s mother, these marks have come down, missing the children and reappearing in the grandchildren. Mrs. M. and her granddaughter have both good sight in the left as well as in the right eye. The marks referred to do not affect them.

Dr. C. Monro Hector said that a case similar to the one described had recently come under his own notice.

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