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GEORGES CUVIER
the father of the system
of classification of animals
by comparative anatomy

Baron Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) was a French vertebrate zoologist who revolutionized biology by developing a natural system of classifying animals based on comparative anatomy. Cuvier studied fossils and founded the science of paleontology. Although he believed that catastrophic events caused regional extinction, he also believed in fixed species (as opposed to evolving species). Cuvier named many taxonomic groups of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish, including the phylum Mollusca (1798), class Cephalopoda (1797), class Gastropoda (1797), and the genera: Pterodactylus (1809), Campylodon (1832, with Valenciennes), Cynodon vulpinus (1829), Palaeotherium (1825), Anchitherium (1825), Notidanus (1816), Spinax (1817), Hydrocyon (1819), Chaetopterus (1827), Orcynus (1817), Mydaus meliceps (1821), Xyrichtys (1799), Megalaima flavifrons (1816), Esacus (1829), Myliobatis(1817), Uropeltis (1829), Ziphius cavirostris= Cuvier's Beaked Whale (1823), Stenella frontalis = Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (1838), Grampus griseus = Risso's Dolphin (1828), Adapis parisiensis (1822), Paleosuchus palpebrosus = Cuvier's dwarf caiman (1807), Euselenops luniceps (1817), Jorunna tomentosa (1804), etc.

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