23 August 1769|
13 May 1832|
|Known for||establishing extinction, catastrophism, opposition to evolution, stratigraphy|
|Fields||natural history, paleontology, anatomy|
|Institutions||Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle|
Cuvier was a very important figure in scientific circles in Paris during the early 19th century. He helped establish the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology by comparing living animals with fossils. He proved extinction was a fact. He was the most influential person believing in catastrophism in geology in the early 19th century. His most famous work is the Règne animal distribué d'après son organisation 1817; translated into English as The Animal Kingdom.
Cuvier was a member of the elite Académie française and the French Academy of Sciences. He is remembered for strongly opposing the evolutionary theories of Lamarck and Geoffroy. Cuvier believed there was no evidence for the evolution of organic forms, but there was evidence for successive creations after catastrophic extinction events.