Karl Gegenbaur, German anatomist

Karl Gegenbaur, German anatomist

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Credit: AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Karl Gegenbaur (1826- 1903), German anatomist and supporter of the theory of evolution. Gegenbaur was a comparative anatomist who argued that there were similarities in design, or homology, between different creatures. Gegenbaur mainly studied embryonic development. He demonstrated that all vertebrate eggs and sperm are unicellular. He showed that the embryonic structures that develop into gills in fish form other organs in land vertebrates. He published his work in 1859 in Grundiss der vergleichenden Anatomie (Elements of comparative anatomy) and became one of the leading European proponents of Darwinism.

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