The New Student's Reference Work/Cuvier, Georges, Baron
Cuvier (kū′vyā̇), Georges, Baron, was born Aug. 23, 1769, at Montbéliard, France. At 18 he became tutor in a family at Caen, Normandy, and while all France was in the throes of the reign of terror he peaceably spent his leisure eagerly studying the fossils and fishes of the neighboring coast. He became professor of comparative anatomy at the Jardin des Plants, in Paris. Cuvier was the first to compare the structure of fossils with that of animals, which we now find. He also founded the science of comparative anatomy. In this field his work and success were great, and he was recognized in France as the greatest of living naturalists. He also held office under Napoleon and Louis XVIII, and became a peer of France. He died at Paris, May 13, 1832.