NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Karl Ernst von Baer (1792-1876), Estonian embryologist. Baer showed that the developing egg developed several layers of tissue from which specialised organs grew. He also showed the similarity in the embryology of diverse mammalian species. This was confirmed when he discovered that all mammalian embryos had a notochord at some stage, later developing as a spinal cord. As a result, the phylum Chordata was established as part of animal classification.
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