Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest

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Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest
Born(1784-03-06)6 March 1784
Died4 June 1838(1838-06-04) (aged 54)
Known forHistoire Naturelle des Tangaras, des Manakins et des Todiers
ChildrenEugène Anselme Sébastien Léon Desmarest
AwardsAmerican Philosophical Society, Académie Nationale de Médecine
Scientific career
InstitutionsÉcole nationale vétérinaire d'Alfort
Author abbrev. (zoology)Desmarest

Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest (6 March 1784 – 4 June 1838) was a French zoologist and author. He was the son of Nicolas Desmarest and father of Eugène Anselme Sébastien Léon Desmarest.[1] Desmarest was a disciple of Georges Cuvier and Alexandre Brongniart, and in 1815, he succeeded Pierre André Latreille to the professorship of zoology at the École nationale vétérinaire d'Alfort. He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1819[2] and to the Académie Nationale de Médecine in 1820.

Desmarest published Histoire Naturelle des Tangaras, des Manakins et des Todiers (1805), Considérations générales sur la classe des crustacés (1825), Mammalogie ou description des espèces des Mammifères (1820) and Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelles (1816–30, with André Marie Constant Duméril). His Mammalogie was important, as it contained a comprehensive list of all mammals known to the time, including living forms and extinct forms known only from fossils. Desmarest was one of the first scientists to routinely apply both genus and species names to animals. Prior to his time, it was common practice to give only a genus name to an animal that was new to science.[3]

The brown algae Desmarestia is named in honour of Desmarest,[4] as well as the family (Desmarestiaceae) — and in turn, the order (Desmarestiales) — of which the genus is the type species.


  1. ^ Hans G. Hansson. "Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest". Biographical Etymology of Marine Organism Names. Göteborgs Universitet. Archived from the original on 27 October 2010. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  2. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  3. ^ Babcock, Loren E. (2024-03-18). "Nomenclatural history of Megalonyx Jefferson, 1799 (Mammalia, Xenarthra, Pilosa, Megalonychidae)". ZooKeys (1195): 297–308. doi:10.3897/zookeys.1195.117999. ISSN 1313-2970. PMC 10964019.
  4. ^ Lamouroux, Jean Vincent Félix (1813). "Essai sur les genres de la famille des thalassiophytes non articulées" (PDF). Annales du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris (in French). 20. Paris: G. Dufour et cie: 43–45. OCLC 2099267. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 June 2022. Retrieved 11 December 2017.