"Why has not anyone seen that fossils alone gave birth to a theory about the formation of the earth, that without them, no one would have ever dreamed that there were successive epochs in the formation of the globe?" - Baron Georges Cuvier
Born Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier in 1769 in Montbeliard, France (at the time under the jurisdiction of the Duke of Wurttemberg), Baron Cuvier’s writings and research have contributed more to science than could ever be listed.
A naturalist and zoologist by training, his most significant contributions to natural sciences were the establishment of the fields of vertebrate paleontology and comparative anatomy. Though he disbelieved in the theories of his predecessors/contemporaries Lamarck and Saint-Hillaire (who posited some of the first hypotheses of evolution), his establishing of extinction as fact was ironically one of the most significant steps towards Darwin’s theories.
Stay tuned throughout the day for more facts and trivia about one of the most prolific and important naturalists in history, presented with just a tiny fraction of his thousands of illustrations…