Paul Gervais - Encyclopedia




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PAUL GERVAIS (1816-1879), French palaeontologist, was born on the 26th of September 1816 at Paris, where he obtained the diplomas of doctor of science and of medicine, and in 1835 he began palaeontological research as assistant in the laboratory of comparative anatomy at the Museum of Natural History. In 1841 he obtained the chair of zoology and comparative anatomy at the Faculty of Sciences in Montpellier, of which he was in 1856 appointed dean. In1848-1852appeared his important work Zoologie et paleontologie franraises, supplementary to the palaeontological publications of G. Cuvier and H. M. D. de Blainville; of this a second and greatly improved edition was issued in 1859. In 1865 he accepted the professorship of zoology at the Sorbonne, vacant through the death of L. P. Gratiolet; this post he left in 1868 for the chair of comparative anatomy at the Paris museum of natural history, the anatomical collections of which were greatly enriched by his exertions. He died in Paris on the 10th of February 1879.

He also wrote Histoire naturelle des mammiferes (1853, &c.); Zoologie medicale (1859, with P. J. van Beneden); Recherches sur l'anciennete de l'homme et la periode quaternaire, 19 pl. (1867); Zoologie et paleontologie generales (1867); Osteographie des cetaces (1869, &c., with van Beneden).

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