1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gervais, Paul
GERVAIS, PAUL (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. In 1848–1852 appeared his important work Zoologie et paléontologie françaises, 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 mammifères (1853, &c.); Zoologie médicale (1859, with P. J. van Beneden); Recherches sur l’ancienneté de l’homme et la période quaternaire, 19 pl. (1867); Zoologie et paléontologie générales (1867); Ostéographie des cétacés (1869, &c., with van Beneden).