Paul Gervais

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This article is about the French scientist. For the Canadian parliamentarian, see Paul Mullins Gervais. For the American writer, see Paul Gervais (writer).
Paul Gervais
Paul Gervais.jpg
Paul Gervais
Born 26 September 1816
Died 10 February 1879 (1879-02-11) (aged 62)
Nationality French
Fields palaeontology
Institutions Sorbonne
Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle
Head of a Dodo, detail of illustration from Atlas de Zoologie, Paul Gervais, 1844

Paul Gervais full name François Louis Paul Gervaise (26 September 1816 – 10 February 1879) was a French palaeontologist and entomologist.


Gervais was born in Paris, where he obtained the diplomas of doctor of science and of medicine, and in 1835 he began palaeontological research as assistant in the laboratory of comparative anatomy at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. In 1841 he obtained the chair of zoology and comparative anatomy at the Faculty of Sciences in Montpellier, of which he was in 1856 appointed dean. In 1848-1852 appeared his important work Zoologie et paléontologie françaises, supplementary to the palaeontological publications of Georges Cuvier and Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville; of this a second and greatly improved edition was issued in 1859. In 1865 he accepted the professorship of zoology at the Sorbonne, vacant through the death of Louis Pierre Gratiolet; this post he left in 1868 for the chair of comparative anatomy at the Paris museum of natural history, the anatomical collections of which were greatly enriched by his exertions. He died in Paris on 10 February 1879.[1]

According to Florentino Ameghino Paul Gervais studied a fossil collection obtained from Juan Manuel de Rosas the governor of Buenos Aires. Earlier on this collection would have been donated or donated-by-force to the Buenos Aires Province by Francisco Javier Muñiz.[2]


Apart from the works mentioned previously he also wrote:[1]

  • with Charles Athanase Walckenaer Histoire naturelle des insectes (4 vols., 1836-1847)
  • Zoologie et paléontologie françaises (1848-1852)
  • Histoire naturelle des Mammifères (1853)
  • Zoologie médicale (1859), mit Pierre-Joseph van Beneden
  • Recherches sur l'ancienneté de l'homme et la période quaternaire (1867)
  • Zoologie et Paléontologie générales (1867)
  • Ostéographie des cétacés vivants et fossiles (1869),with Pierre-Joseph van Beneden[1]

Species first described by Gervais[edit]


  1. ^ a b Chisholm 1911, p. 907.
  2. ^ Barquez, Rubén M.; Díaz, M. Mónica (2014). "History of mammalogy in Argentina". In Ortega, José; Martínez, José Luis; Tirira, Diego G. Historia de la mastozoología en Latinoamérica, las Guayanas y el Caribe (PDF) (in Spanish). Editorial Murciélago Blanco y Asociación Ecuatoriana de Mastozoología. pp. 15–50. Retrieved 16 January 2016.