Rene de Reaumur, French naturalist

Rene de Reaumur, French naturalist

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Credit: BILDAGENTUR-ONLINE/TH FOTO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Rene Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur (1683-1757), French naturalist. Reaumur initially studied mathematics, particularly geometry. In 1710 he was asked to produce a compilation of France's natural and industrial resources, which led to the revival of the iron and steel industries. Reaumur authored the first comprehensive scientific work on insects 'Memoires pour servir a l'histoire des insects' (1734-42). He demonstrated that animal digestion was a chemical not mechanical process, designed an egg incubator, showed that corals are animals, and invented a temperature scale named after him. This wood engraving dates from circa 1888.

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