Georges Cuvier, French zoologist

Georges Cuvier, French zoologist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), French zoologist and anatomist. Cuvier extended the work of Linnaeus in classification, most notably of molluscs and fish. In 1811 he became the founder of vertebrate palaeontology by classifying fossil mammals and reptiles. He also developed comparative anatomy. He rejected evolutionary theory, believing in periodic catastrophes such as the Biblical flood as an end to existing life and the creation of new and better forms. Here, his medals include his Legion of Honour, with the additional chest medal of a Grand Officer.

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