noun Biology.
the science or study of monstrosities or abnormal formations in organisms.

1670–80; terato- + -logy

teratological [ter-uh-tl-oj-i-kuhl] , adjective
teratologist, noun
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World English Dictionary
teratology (ˌtɛrəˈtɒlədʒɪ)
1.  the branch of medical science concerned with the development of physical abnormalities during the fetal or early embryonic stage
2.  the branch of biology that is concerned with the structure, development, etc, of monsters
3.  a collection of tales about mythical or fantastic creatures, monsters, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"study of marvels and monsters," 1678, from comb. form of Gk. teras (gen. teratos) "marvel, monster" + -logy.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

teratology ter·a·tol·o·gy (těr'ə-tŏl'ə-jē)
The biological study of malformations and monstrosities.

ter'a·to·log'ic (-tl-ŏj'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
teratology   (těr'ə-tŏl'ə-jē)  Pronunciation Key 
The scientific study of birth defects.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


branch of the biological sciences dealing with the causes, development, description, and classification of congenital malformations in plants and animals and with the experimental production, in some instances, of these malformations. Congenital malformations arise from interruption in the early development of the organism. Malformations in human infants, for example, may occur because the infant's genotype contains mutant genes or includes an abnormal number of chromosomes; they also may occur if early in pregnancy the mother has had German measles (rubella), has taken some injurious drug, or has been exposed to an injurious dosage of radiation. Experimental studies suggest similar types of factors can cause malformations in animals and plants.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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