David Friedrich Weinland

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Portrait of David Friedrich Weinland
David Friedrich Weinland, Photograph by Erwin Hanfstaengl, 1880

David Friedrich Weinland (30 August 1829 in Grabenstetten – 19 September 1915 in Hohenwittlingen) was a German zoologist and novelist.

He studied theology and natural sciences in Tübingen, then worked as an assistant at the Zoological Museum in Berlin. From 1855 he conducted scientific investigations in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean (especially Haiti). In 1859 he returned to Germany as director of the Frankfurt Zoological Garden — in this capacity he edited the journal "Der Zoologische Garten".[1]

Following the publication of Otto Hahn's 1880 work, Die Meteorite (Chondrite) und ihre Organismen, Weinland publicly supported Hahn's theory regarding the chondrites.[2][3] In 1881 Weinland, writing in the popular geographical journal Das Ausland,[4][5] asserted the correctness of Hahn's attempt to classify the inclusions of the chondrites as organic, although slightly modifying Hahn's original assignment of the genera, by stating that the chondrites are in fact nothing but fossiliferous rocks, i.e. the petrified remains of life-forms. He published in 1882 a treatise entitled Ueber die in Meteoriten entdeckten Thiereste in which he established sixteen new genera, each with multiple species.[6]

He was the father of chemist Rudolf Friedrich Weinland (1865–1936).


Selected works[edit]

  • Ueber den beutelfrosch, 1854 – About the marsupial frog.
  • "On the egg-tooth of snakes and lizards", (published in English in 1857).
  • "Human cestoides : an essay on the tapeworms of man", (published in English in 1858).
  • Zur Weichthierfauna der Schwäbischen Alb, 1876 – Mollusks of the Swabian Alb.
  • Rulaman Erzählung aus der Zeit des Höhlenmenschen und des Höhlenbären, 1878 (published over numerous editions) Rulaman, a story from the time of cavemen and cave bears (fiction).
  • Kuning Hartfest : ein Lebensbild aus der Geschichte unserer deutschen Ahnen, 1879 – Kuning Hartfest; a biography on the history of our German ancestors (historical novel).[8]
  • Über die in Meteoriten entdeckten Tierreste, 1882 – About the Animal Remains Discovered in the Meteorites.[9]


  1. ^ David Friedrich Weinland Eine Grabenstettener Persönlichkeit
  2. ^ https://archive.org/details/ORGANIC-REMAINS-METEORIC-STONES-FRANCIS-BIRGHAM The Discovery of Organic Remains in Meteoric Stones, Francis Birgham, 1881
  3. ^ https://archive.org/details/jstor-2900511 Fossil Organisms in Meteorites, Geo. W. Rachel, 1881
  4. ^ Corals in the Meteorites archive.org English translation
  5. ^ More About the Animal Remains in the Meteorites archive.org English translation
  6. ^ About the Animal Remains Discovered in the Meteorites archive.org English translation
  7. ^ The Eponym Dictionary of Amphibians by Bo Beolens, Michael Watkins, Michael Grayson
  8. ^ Most widely held works by David Friedrich Weinland WorldCat Identities
  9. ^ Ueber die in Meteoriten entdeckten Thiereste WorldCat permalink