Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville bigraphy, stories - zoologist and anatomist

Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville : biography

12 September 1777 - 1 May 1850

Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville (12 September 1777 – 1 May 1850) was a French zoologist and anatomist.

Blainville was born at Arques, near Dieppe. As a young man he went to Paris to study art, but ultimately devoted himself to natural history. He attracted the attention of Georges Cuvier, for whom he occasionally substituted as lecturer at the Collège de France and at the Athenaeum. In 1812 he was aided by Cuvier in acquiring a position as an assistant professor of anatomy and zoology in the Faculty of Sciences at Paris. Eventually, relations between the two men soured, a situation that ended in open enmity.

In 1825 Blainville was admitted a member of the French Academy of Sciences; and in 1830 he was appointed to succeed Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in the chair of natural history at the museum. Two years later, on the death of Cuvier, he obtained the chair of comparative anatomy, of which he proved himself as a worthy successor to his former teacher. In 1837, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. On May 1, 1850, he died from an attack of apoplexy in a railway carriage at the Embarcadère du Havre (current Gare Saint-Lazare) in Paris. (Archives)

He was the binomial author of numerous zoological species, extinct and extant; including the eponymous Blainville's beaked whale, Mesoplodon densirostris. In the field of herpetology, he adopted Pierre André Latreille's proposal of separating Amphibia from Reptilia, and then developed an unique arrangement in regards to sub-groupings, using organs of generation as a primary criteria (1816). Amphibia Report of the Annual Meeting, Volume 4, Part 1835 by British Association for the Advancement of Science. Meeting He also described several new species of reptiles.The Reptile Database. @ www.reptile-database.org.

Selected writings

  • Sur les ichthyolites, ou, Les poissons fossiles (1818) - On "ichthyolites", or fossil fish.
  • De l'organisation des animaux, ou Principes d'anatomie comparée (1822) - Organization of animals, or principles of comparative anatomy.
  • Manuel de malacologie et de conchyliologie (1825-1827) - Manual of malacology and conchology.
  • Cours de physiologie générale et comparée (1829) - Course of general and comparative physiology.
  • Manuel d'actinologie, ou de zoophytologie (1834) - Manual of "actinology" or zoophytology.
  • Ostéographie ou description iconographique comparée du squelette et du système dentaire des mammifères récents et fossiles (1839–64) - Osteography or comparative iconographical descriptions on the skeleton and teeth of living and fossil mammals. (publications)
Living octopus

Living octopus

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