Georges CUVIER

Family tree of Georges CUVIER

Paleontologist, Archaeologist

FrenchBorn Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert CUVIER

French naturalist and zoologist

Born on August 23, 1769 in Montbéliard, France , France

Died on May 13, 1832 in Paris, France

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Cuvier was born in Montbéliard, France (in department of Doubs), where his Protestant ancestors had lived since the time of the Reformation. His father, Jean George Cuvier, was a lieutenant in the Swiss Guards and a bourgeois of the town of Montbéliard; his mother was Anne Clémence Chatel. At the time the town which was annexed to France on 10 October 1793 belonged to the Duchy of Württemberg. His mother, who was much younger than his father, tutored him diligently throughout his early years so that he easily surpassed the other children at school. During his gymnasium years, he had little trouble acquiring Latin and Greek, and was always at the head of his class in mathematics, history, and geography. According to Lee, "The history of mankind was, from the earliest period of his life, a subject of the most indefatigable application; and long lists of sovereigns, princes, and the driest chronological facts, once arranged in his memory, were never forgotten."

Soon after entering the gymnasium, at age 10, he encountered a copy of Gesner's Historiae Animalium, the work that first sparked his interest in natural history. He then began frequent visits to the home of a relation where he could borrow volumes of Buffon's massive Histoire Naturelle. All of these he read and re-read, retaining so much of the information that by the age of twelve "he was as familiar with quadrupeds and birds as a first-rate naturalist." He remained at the gymnasium for four years.


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Geographical origins

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