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Encyclopedia > Georges Cuvier
Georges Cuvier
Georges Cuvier

Baron Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier (August 23, 1769May 13, 1832) was a French naturalist and zoologist. He was the elder brother of Frédéric Cuvier (1773–1838), also a naturalist. He was a major figure in scientific circles in Paris during the early 19th century, and was instrumental in establishing the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology by comparing living animals with fossils. His most famous work is the Regne animal distribué d'après son organisation (1817; translated into English as The Animal Kingdom). He died in Paris of cholera after a brief illness. From [1], in the public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... From [1], in the public domain This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This is the song that never ends yes it gos on and on my friends some people started singing it not knowing what it was they just started singing it forever just becauseThis is the song that never ends yes it gos on and on my friends some... 1769 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... May 13 is the 133rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (134th in leap years). ... 1832 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Table of natural history, 1728 Cyclopaedia Natural history is an umbrella term for what are now usually viewed as several distinct scientific disciplines. ... Zoology is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals. ... Frédéric Cuvier (June 28, 1773 - July 24, 1838) was a French zoologist. ... A paleontologist carefully chips rock from a column of dinosaur vertebrae. ... 1817 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Drawing of Death bringing the cholera, in Le Petit Journal. ...

Contents


Life and scientific career

Cuvier was born at Montbéliard (then Mömpelgard in the duchy of Württemberg) under the name of Johann Leopold Nicolaus Friedrich Kuefer, the son of a retired officer on half-pay belonging to a Protestant family which had emigrated from the Jura mountains on the French-Swiss border as a consequence of religious persecution. Montbéliard (German: Mömpelgard) is a commune in the Doubs département, in eastern France. ... Württemberg (often spelled Wurttemberg in English) refers to an area and a former state in Swabia, a region in south-western Germany. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Looking towards Lelex from near to Crêt de La Neige The Jura folds are located north of the main Alpine orogenic front and are being continually deformed, accommodating the northwards compression due to Alpine folding. ...


The family followed the Lutheran tradition of work and religion. Early on, Georges Cuvier was given the works of Linnaeus and Buffon. Therefore it is not surprising that he showed a bent towards the investigation of natural phenomena. He was also noted for his studious habits and marvelous memory. Carolus Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as , (May 23, 1707 – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[1] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, by François-Hubert Drouais (1727-1775). ...


After spending four years at the University of Stuttgart, where he received a pragmatic German education, he accepted the position of tutor in the cultivated family of the Comte d'Héricy in Normandy, who were in the habit of spending the summer near Fécamp. It thus came about that he made the acquaintance of the agriculturist A. H. Tessier, who was then living at Fécamp, and who wrote strongly in favour of his protégé to his friends in Paris — with the result that Cuvier, after corresponding with the well-known naturalist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, was appointed in 1795, at the age of 26, as assistant to the professor of comparative anatomy at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. The Universität Stuttgart is the University of Stuttgart. ... Palais de la Bénédictine Fécamp is a commune of the Seine-Maritime département, in France. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur Tossed by the waves, she does not founder Coordinates : , Time Zone : CET (GMT +1) Administration Subdivisions 20 arrondissements Département Paris (75) Région ÃŽle-de-France Mayor Bertrand Delanoë (PS) City (commune) Characteristics Land Area 86. ... Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (April 15, 1772 - June 19, 1844) was a French naturalist who established the principle of unity of composition. He was born at Étampes, Seine-et-Oise, and studied at the college of Navarre, in Paris, where he studied natural philosophy under M. J. Brisson. ... Comparative anatomy is the study of similarities and differences in the anatomy of organisms. ... The Muséum national dHistoire naturelle (MNHN) is the French national museum of natural history. ...


The Institut de France was founded in the same year and he was elected a member. In 1796 he began to lecture at the École Centrale du Pantheon, and at the opening of the National Institute in April, he read his first palaeontological paper, which was subsequently published in 1800 under the title Mémoires sur les espèces d'éléphants vivants et fossiles. The Institut de France (French Institute) is a French learned society, grouping five académies, the most famous of which is probably the Académie française. ...


In 1799 he succeeded Daubenton as professor of natural history in the College de France. In 1802 he became titular professor at the Jardin des Plantes; and in the same year he was appointed commissary of the Institute to accompany the inspectors general of public instruction. In this latter capacity he visited the south of France; but he was in the early part of 1803 chosen perpetual secretary of the National Institute in the department of the physical and natural sciences, and he consequently abandoned the earlier appointment and returned to Paris. Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton (May 29, 1716 - January 1, 1800) was a French naturalist. ... The Coll ge de France is a higher education teaching and research establishment located in Paris, France. ... The Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France. ...

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He now devoted himself more especially to three lines of inquiry: (i) the structure and classification of the Mollusca; (ii) the comparative anatomy and systematic arrangement of the fishes; (iii) fossil mammals and reptiles and, secondarily, the osteology of living forms belonging to the same groups. Download high resolution version (920x1243, 473 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (920x1243, 473 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Osteology is the scientific study of bones. ...


In 1821, Cuvier made what has been called his "Rash Dictum": he remarked that it was unlikely that any large animal remained undiscovered. Many such discoveries have been made since Cuvier's statement. In common law legal terminology a dictum (plural dicta) is any statement that forms a part of the judgment of a court, in particular a court whose decisions have value as precedent under the doctrine of stare decisis. ...


Chief scientific work

On comparative anatomy and classification

In 1798 Cuvier published his first independent work, the Tableau élémentaire de l'Histoire naturelle des animaux, which was an abridgment of his course of lectures at the École du Pantheon, and may be regarded as the foundation and first statement of his natural classification of the animal kingdom.


In 1800 he published the Leçons d'anatomie comparée, assisted by A. M. C. Duméril for the first two volumes and Georges Louis Duvernoy for the three later ones. Constant Duméril. ... Georges Louis Duvernoy (August 6, 1777 - March 1, 1855) was a French zoologist. ...


On molluscs

Cuvier's papers on the Mollusca began appearing as early as 1792, but most of his memoirs on this branch were published in the Annales du museum between 1802 and 1815; they were subsequently collected as Mémoires pour servir de l'histoire et a l'anatomie des mollusques, published in one volume at Paris in 1817.


On fishes

Cuvier's researches on fishes, begun in 1801, finally culminated in the publication of the Histoire naturelle des poissons, which contained descriptions of 5000 species of fishes, and was the joint production of Cuvier and A. Valenciennes. Cuvier's work on this project extended over the years 1828–1831. The Guppy, also known as guppie (Poecilia reticulata) is one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish species in the world. ...


On palaeontology and osteology

In this field Cuvier published a long list of memoirs, partly relating to the bones of extinct animals, and partly detailing the results of observations on the skeletons of living animals, specially examined with a view of throwing light upon the structure and affinities of the fossil forms.


Among living forms he published papers relating to the osteology of the Rhinoceros Indicus, the tapir, Hyrax Capensis, the hippopotamus, the sloths, the manatee, etc. Genera Ceratotherium Dicerorhinus Diceros Rhinoceros Coelodonta (extinct)Elasmotherium (extinct) The rhinoceros (commonly called rhino for short) is any of five surviving species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae. ... Species Tapirus bairdii Tapirus indicus Tapirus pinchaque Tapirus terrestris Tapirs are large browsing animals, roughly pig-like in shape but with short, prehensile trunks. ... Genera Procavia Heterohyrax Dendrohyrax A hyrax (in South African English: klipdassie) is any of four species of fairly small, thickset, herbivorous mammals in the order Hyracoidea. ... Binomial name Hippopotamus amphibius Linnaeus, 1758 The Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius a. ... Families Megalonychidae Bradypodidae Sloths are medium-sized South American mammals belonging to the families Megalonychidae and Bradypodidae, part of the order Pilosa. ... Species Trichechus inunguis Trichechus manatus Trichechus senegalensis Manatees (family Trichechidae, genus Trichechus) are large aquatic mammals sometimes known as sea cows. ...


He produced an even larger body of work on fossils, dealing with the extinct mammals of the Eocene beds of Montmartre, the fossil species of hippopotamus, a marsupial (which he called Didelphys gypsorum), the Megalonyx, the Megatherium, the cave-hyena, the pterodactyl, the extinct species of rhinoceros, the cave bear, the mastodont, the extinct species of elephant, fossil species of manatee and seals, fossil forms of crocodilians, chelonians, fishes, birds, etc. The department of palaeontology dealing with the Mammalia may be said to have been essentially created and established by Cuvier. The Eocene epoch (56-34 Ma) is a major division of the geologic timescale and the second epoch of the Palaeogene period in the Cenozoic era. ... Montmartre seen from the centre Georges Pompidou (1897), a painting by Camille Pissarro of the boulevard that led to Montmartre as seen from his hotel room. ... Binomial name Hippopotamus amphibius Linnaeus, 1758 The Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius a. ... Orders Didelphimorphia Paucituberculata Microbiotheria Dasyuromorphia Peramelemorphia Notoryctemorphia Diprotodontia Marsupials are mammals in which the female typically has a pouch (called the marsupium, from which the name Marsupial derives) in which it rears its young through early infancy. ... Families Rathymotheriidae Scelidotheriidae Mylodontidae Orophodontidae Megalonychidae Megatheriidae Ground sloths are extinct edentate (Order Xenarthra) mammals that are believed to be relatives of tree sloths and three-toed sloths. ... Megatheriinae were a group of elephant-sized ground sloths that lived from 2 million to 8,000 years ago. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Species (Holotype) Pterodactylus (TER-o-DACK-ti-lus) was a pterosaur or flying reptile, with a wingspan of about 50–75 cm (20–30 inches), that lived on lake shores during the late Jurassic era. ... Genera Ceratotherium Dicerorhinus Diceros Rhinoceros Coelodonta (extinct)Elasmotherium (extinct) The rhinoceros (commonly called rhino for short) is any of five surviving species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae. ... Binomial name Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller, 1794 The Cave Bear (Ursus spelaeus) was a species of bear which lived in Europe during the Pleistocene and became extinct at the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago. ... Mastodon is also a Heavy Metal Band. ... Genera and Species Loxodonta Loxodonta cyclotis Loxodonta africana Elephas Elephas maximus Elephas recki † Stegodon † Mammuthus † Elephantidae (the elephants) is a family of pachyderm, and the only remaining family in the order Proboscidea in the class Mammalia. ... It has been suggested that Fossil record be merged into this article or section. ... subfamilies Otariidae Phocidae Odobenidae Pinnipeds are large marine mammals belonging to the Pinnipedia, a family (sometimes a suborder or superfamily, depending on the classification scheme) of the order Carnivora. ... Genera Mecistops Crocodylus Osteolaemus See full taxonomy. ... Families See text Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudinata, most of whose body is shielded by a special bony shell developed from their ribs. ... Orders Many - see section below. ... Orders Subclass Multituberculata (extinct) Plagiaulacida Cimolodonta Subclass Palaeoryctoides (extinct) Subclass Triconodonta (extinct) Subclass Eutheria (excludes extinct ancestors) Afrosoricida Anagaloidea (extinct) Artiodactyla Carnivora Cetacea Chiroptera Cimolesta (extinct) Creodonta (extinct) Condylarthra (extinct) Dermoptera Desmostylia (extinct) Dinocerata (extinct) Embrithopoda (extinct) Hyracoidea Insectivora Lagomorpha Litopterna (extinct) Macroscelidea Mesonychia (extinct) Notoungulata (extinct) Perissodactyla Pholidota Plesiadapiformes...


The results of Cuvier's principal palaeontological and geological investigations were ultimately given to the world in the form of two separate works: Recherches sur les ossements fossiles de quadrupedes (Paris, 1812; later editions in 1821 and 1825); and Discours sur les revolutions de la surface du globe (Paris, 1825). In this latter work he expounded a scientific theory of Catastrophism, which sought to explain the fossil record as the result of a series of catastrophes in the manner of the Biblical Flood. Like many zoologists of the day, Cuvier was not sympathetic to the developing theory of transmutation of species (evolution), though he was dead before the publication of crucial works such as those of Charles Lyell which were to pave the way for the theories of Charles Darwin. Catastrophism is the theory that Earth has been affected by sudden, short-lived, violent events that were sometimes worldwide in scope. ... A hypothetical phylogenetic tree of all extant organisms, based on 16S rRNA gene sequence data, showing the evolutionary history of the three domains of life, bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. ... Charles Lyell The frontispiece from Principles of Geology Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet Kt (November 14, 1797 – February 22, 1875), British lawyer, geologist, and popularizer of uniformitarianism. ... Charles Robert Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist who achieved lasting fame by producing considerable evidence that species originated through evolutionary change, at the same time proposing the scientific theory that natural selection is the mechanism by which such change occurs. ...


The Animal Kingdom

None of Cuvier's works attained a higher reputation than his Regne animal distribué d'après son organisation, the first edition of which appeared in four octavo volumes in 1817, and the second in five volumes in 1829–1830. In this classic work Cuvier embodied the results of the whole of his previous researches on the structure of living and fossil animals. The whole of the work was his own, with the exception of the section on Insecta, in which he was assisted by his friend Latreille. It was translated into English many times, often with substantial notes and supplementary material updating the book in accordance with the expansion of knowledge. Classes & Orders See taxonomy Insects are invertebrate animals of the Class Insecta, the largest and (on land) most widely-distributed taxon within the phylum Arthropoda. ... Pierre André Latreille. ...


Official and public work

Apart from his own original investigations in zoology and paleontology Cuvier carried out a vast amount of work as perpetual secretary of the National Institute, and as an official connected with public education generally; and much of this work appeared ultimately in a published form. Thus, in 1808 he was placed by Napoleon upon the council of the Imperial University, and in this capacity he presided (in the years 1809, 1811 and 1813) over commissions charged to examine the state of the higher educational establishments in the districts beyond the Alps and the Rhine which had been annexed to France, and to report upon the means by which these could be affiliated with the central university. Three separate reports on this subject were published by him. A paleontologist carefully chips rock from a column of dinosaur vertebrae. ... Napoleon I Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, King of Italy (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a general of the French Revolution; the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from 11 November 1799 to 18 May 1804; then Emperor of the French (Empereur... The title Imperial university should literally denote a university established under an empire, however many universities have adopted the title simply to add a sense of prestige or lineage. ... The West face of the Petit Dru above the Chamonix valley near the Mer de Glace. ... Loreley At 1,320 kilometres (820 miles) and an average discharge of more than 2,000 cubic meters per second, the Rhine (Dutch Rijn, French Rhin, German Rhein, Italian: Reno, Romansch: Rein, ) is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe. ...


In his capacity, again, of perpetual secretary of the Institute, he not only prepared a number of éloges historiques on deceased members of the Academy of Sciences, but he was the author of a number of reports on the history of the physical and natural sciences, the most important of these being the Rapport historique sur le progrès des sciences physiques depuis 1789, published in 1810.


Prior to the fall of Napoleon (1814) he had been admitted to the council of state, and his position remained unaffected by the restoration of the Bourbons. He was elected chancellor of the university, in which capacity he acted as interim president of the council of public instruction, whilst he also, as a Lutheran, superintended the faculty of Protestant theology. In 1819 he was appointed president of the committee of the interior, and retained the office until his death. This article or section should include material from France: Wars of Religion _ Bourbon Dynasty The House of Bourbon dates from at least the beginning of the 13th century, when the estate of Bourbon was ruled by a Lord, vassal of France. ... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ...


In 1826 he was made grand officer of the Legion of Honour; and in 1831 he was raised by Louis Philippe to the rank of peer of France, and was subsequently appointed president of the council of state. Member of the Doctrinaires, he was nominated to the ministry of the interior in the beginning of 1832. Chiang Kai-sheks Légion dhonneur. ... King Louis-Philippe Louis-Philippe of France (October 6, 1773 – August 26, 1850) reigned as the Orléanist king of the French from 1830 to 1848. ... The status of Peer of France was held by the greatest and highest-ranking of the French nobility. ... Doctrinaires was the name given to the leaders of the moderate and constitutional Royalists in France after the second restoration of Louis XVIII in 1815. ...


Animals named after Cuvier

These include Cuvier's beaked whale, Cuvier's Gazelle, Cuvier's toucan, and Cuvier's Bichir. Binomial name Ziphius cavirostris G. Cuvier, 1823 Cuviers Beaked Whale range Cuviers Beaked Whale is the most widely distributed of all the beaked whales. ... Binomial name Gazella cuvieri (Ogilby, 1841) Cuviers Gazelle Gazella cuvieri is a species of gazelle from northern Africa. ... Binomial name Ramphastos tucanus Linnaeus, 1758 The White-throated Toucan, Ramphastos tucanus, is a near-passerine bird which breeds from in tropical South America east from Colombia and Bolivia to southern and eastern Brazil. ... Binomial name Polypterus senegalus Cuvier, 1829 The gray bichir (Polypterus senegalus), also known as the Senegal bichir, is a prototypical species of the Polypterus genus and most of its features hold for the rest of the genus. ...


References

  • Dorinda Outram, Georges Cuvier: Vocation, Science and Authority in Post-Revolutionary France (Palgrave Macmillan, 1984)
  • PJM Flourens, Eloge historique de G. Cuvier, published as an introduction to the Eloges historiques of Cuvier
  • Histoire des truvaux de Georges Cuvier (3rd ed., Paris, 1858)
  • A. P. de Candolle, "Mort de G. Cuvier", Bibliothique universelle (1832, 59, p. 442);
  • CL Laurillard, "Cuvier," Biographie universelle, supp. vol. 61 (1836)
  • Sarah Lee, Memoirs of Cuvier, translated into French by T Lacordaire (1833)
  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
  • Pietro Corsi, Rapport historique sur les progrès des sciences naturelles depuis 1789, et sur leur état actuel, présenté à Sa Majesté l'Empereur et Roi, en son Conseil d'État, le 6 février 1808, par la classe des sciences physiques et mathématiques de l'Institut... conformément à l'arrêté du gouvernement du 13 ventôse an X (Paris, 2005)
  • Philippe Taquet, Georges Cuvier, Naissance d'un Génie; 539 pages; Ed. Odile jacob, Paris, 2006; ISBN 2-7381-0969-1 (in French)

Marie Jean Pierre Flourens (April 15, 1794 - December 6, 1867) was a French physiologist, the founder of experimental brain science and a pioneer in anesthesia. ... A. P. de Candolle A. P. de Candolle (February 4, 1778 - September 9, 1841) was one of the great botanists of all time. ... Sara Lee or Sarah Lee is the name of: Sara Lee Corporation, an American consumer-goods company Sara Lee (musician) Sarah C. Lee (reporter) Sarah Lee (golfer) Sarah Lee (professional wrestler)) ... Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

See also

Preceded by:
Jean-Armand de Roquelaure
Seat 35
Académie française

1818–1832
Succeeded by:
André Dupin
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Georges Cuvier

  Results from FactBites:
 
Georges Cuvier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1368 words)
Cuvier was born at Montbéliard (then Mömpelgard in the duchy of Württemberg) under the name of Johann Leopold Nicolaus Friedrich Kuefer, the son of a retired officer on half-pay belonging to a Protestant family which had emigrated from the Jura mountains on the French-Swiss border as a consequence of religious persecution.
Cuvier's papers on the Mollusca began appearing as early as 1792, but most of his memoirs on this branch were published in the Annales du museum between 1802 and 1815; they were subsequently collected as Mémoires pour servir de l'histoire et a l'anatomie des mollusques, published in one volume at Paris in 1817.
Cuvier's researches on fishes, begun in 1801, finally culminated in the publication of the Histoire naturelle des poissons, which contained descriptions of 5000 species of fishes, and was the joint production of Cuvier and A.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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