Johann Christoph Andreas Mayer

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Johann Christophe Andreas Mayer was a German anatomist born on December 8, 1747 and who died in November 1801 at the age of 54.[1]. He worked in Berlin and later Frankfurt. In 1788, he was the first European to recognize that fingerprints were unique to each individual.[2][3]

He was also known to have miscalled the hippocampus the hippopotamus, which was adopted for some years before being rectified.


  1. ^ "Integrated Authority File". wikidata. Retrieved 20 March 2018. 
  2. ^ Mayer, Johann Christoph Andreas (1788). Anatomische Kupfertafeln nebst dazu gehörigen Erklärungen [Anatomical Illustrations (etchings) with Accompanying Explanations, volume 4]. Berlin, Prussia: Georg Jacob Decker und Sohn. p. 5.  From page 5: "Zweite Figur. … Obwohl niemals bey zween Menschen die Lagen der Hautwärzgen übereinkommen, … " (Second figure. … Although the positions of the skin papillae never agree between two people, … ) Available on-line at: University of Heidelberg. See also: illustrations of friction ridges.
  3. ^ Miller Grinstead, Charles; Paul Peterson, William; Laurie Snell, James (2010). Probability Tales. USA: American Mathematical Society. p. 192. Retrieved 12 August 2014.