(1769-1832) French comparative anatomist, the founder of paleontology. In 1799 he showed that some species have become extinct by reconstructing extinct giant animals that he believed were destroyed in a series of giant deluges. These ideas are expressed in Recherches sur les ossiments fossiles de quadrupčdes/Researches on the Fossil Bones of Quadrupeds 1812 and Discours sur les révolutions de la surface du globe 1825.
In 1798 Cuvier produced Tableau élémentaire de l’histoire naturelle des animaux, in which his scheme of classification is outlined. He was the first to relate the structure of fossil animals to that of their living relatives. His great work Le Rčgne animal/The Animal Kingdom 1817 is a systematic survey.
Cuvier was born at Montebéliard in the principality of Württemburg, and studied natural history at Stuttgart, before becoming a private tutor in Normandy. He held academic posts in Paris from 1795, becoming professor at the Collčge de France 1799 and at the Jardin des Plantes from 1802.