Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire

Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (16 December 1805 – 10 November 1861) was a French zoologist and an authority on deviation from normal structure. In 1854 he coined the term éthologie (ethology).[1]

Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire
Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire
Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire
Born16 December 1805
Died10 November 1861 (aged 55)
Known forteratology, ethology
Scientific career
InfluencesÉtienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire


He was born in Paris, the son of Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. In his earlier years he showed an aptitude for mathematics, but eventually he devoted himself to the study of natural history and of medicine, and in 1824 he was appointed assistant naturalist to his father. In 1829 he delivered for his father the second part of a course of lectures on ornithology, and during the following three years he taught zoology at the Athénée, and teratology at the École pratique.[2][3]

He was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1833, was in 1837 appointed to act as deputy for his father at the faculty of sciences in Paris. During the following year he was sent to Bordeaux to organize a similar faculty there. He became successively; inspector of the academy of Paris (1840), professor of the museum on the retirement of his father (1841), inspector-general of the university (1844), a member of the royal council for public instruction (1845), and on the death of Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville, professor of zoology at the Faculty of Sciences (1850). In 1854 he founded the Société zoologique d'acclimatation (Zoological Acclimatization Society), of which he also served as president.[2][4]

He conducted investigations of omphalosites, celosomia, hermaphroditism, etc., and is credited with introducing the term "teratologie".[5][6] From 1832 to 1837 he published his great teratological work, Histoire générale et particulière des anomalies de l’organisation chez l’homme et les animaux.[7]


Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire is commemorated in the scientific name of a species of turtle, Phrynops hilarii.[8]

Selected works

Besides the above-mentioned work, he wrote:[2]

  • Histoire générale et particulière des anomalies de l’organisation chez l’homme et les animaux (1832-1837).
  • Essais de zoologie générale (1841).
  • La vie Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1847).
  • Acclimatation et domestication des animaux utiles (1849).
  • Lettres sur les substances alimentaires et particulièrement sur la viande de cheval (1856).
  • Histoire naturelle générale des règnes organiques (3 vols., 1854-1862), which was not quite completed.

He was also the author of various papers on zoology, comparative anatomy and palaeontology.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Encyclopaedia Universalis Histoire de l'éthologie
  2. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911, p. 619.
  3. ^ Biusante Paris Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire "Digne de son père" * (1805-1861) par Eric Salf
  4. ^ Google Books Maple leaves: a budget of legendary, historical, critical, and sporting... by Sir James MacPherson Le Moine
  5. ^ Morin A (March 1996). "La tératologie de Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire à nos jours" [Teratology from Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire to the present]. Bulletin De l'Association Des Anatomistes (in French). 80 (248): 17–31. PMID 9004867. INIST:2871815.
  6. ^ Cultural Teratology: The Monstrous and the Grotesque The Birth of Modern Teratology
  7. ^ Biodiversity Heritage Library Histoire générale et particulière des anomalies de l'organisation chez l'homme et les animaux
  8. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Hilaire", p. 123).


External links

1853 in birding and ornithology

John Cassin Illustrations of the Birds of California, Texas, Oregon, British and Russian America (1853–56)

Gustav Hartlaub and Jean Cabanis, found the Journal für Ornithologie

Death of Hugh Edwin Strickland

Johann Wilhelm von Müller begins Beiträge zur Ornithologie Afrikas (1853-1870)

Charles John Andersson reaches Lake Ngami

Emmanuel Le Maout publishes Histoire naturelle des oiseaux, suivant la classification de Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, avec l'indication de leurs moeurs, et de leurs raports avec les art, le commerce et l'agriculture.

Jean-Baptiste Bailly begins publishing an Ornithology of Savoy (1853-1854)Ongoing events

John Gould The birds of Australia; Supplement 1851-69. 1 vol. 81 plates; Artists: J. Gould and H. C. Richter; Lithographer: H. C. Richter

John Gould The birds of Asia; 1850-83 7 vols. 530 plates, Artists: J. Gould, H. C. Richter, W. Hart and J. Wolf; Lithographers:H. C. Richter and W. Hart

1861 in France

Events from the year 1861 in France.

Brown-tailed mongoose

The brown-tailed mongoose, Malagasy brown-tailed mongoose, or salano (Salanoia concolor) is a species of mammal in the family Eupleridae. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.


Dactylomys is the genus of South American bamboo rats They are arboreal members of the family Echimyidae.

Echis pyramidum

Common names: Northeast African carpet viper, Egyptian saw-scaled viper, more.Echis pyramidum is a species of venomous viper endemic to Northeast Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Three subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.

Geoffroy (surname)

Geoffroy is a surname. Notable persons with that surname include:

Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy (1601–1675), French composer

Jean-Nicolas Geoffroy (1633–1694), French harpsichordist and organist

Étienne François Geoffroy (1672–1731), French apothecary and chemist

Claude Joseph Geoffroy (1685–1752), French apothecary, chemist and botanist; younger brother of Étienne François Geoffroy

Étienne Louis Geoffroy (1725–1810), French entomologist

Claude François Geoffroy (1729–1753), French chemist, discoverer of bismuth

Julien Louis Geoffroy (1743–1814), French literary critic

Jean-Baptiste Lislet Geoffroy (1755–1836), French astronomer, botanist and cartographer

Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1772–1844), French naturalist

Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1805–1861), French zoologist, son of Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire

Henri-Jules-Jean Geoffroy (1853-1924), French painter

Golden-faced saki

The golden-faced saki (Pithecia chrysocephala) is a species of saki monkey, a type of New World monkey. It is found in Brazil north of the Amazon, on both sides of the Rio Negro. This species was formerly considered a subspecies of the white-faced saki (P. pithecia), but was raised to full species status in 2014. The species is named for the coloration of the male, which has black body hair but orange or red-brown facial hair. The female has lighter body color and more bare skin on the face, with lines of orange hair extending down from below the eyes around the snout, as well as orange ventral fur.


Gorillas are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Sub-Saharan Africa. The genus Gorilla is divided into two species: the eastern gorillas and the western gorillas (both critically endangered), and either four or five subspecies. They are the largest living primates. The DNA of gorillas is highly similar to that of humans, from 95 to 99% depending on what is included, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the chimpanzees and bonobos.

Gorillas' natural habitats cover tropical or subtropical forests in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although their range covers a small percentage of Sub-Saharan Africa, gorillas cover a wide range of elevations. The mountain gorilla inhabits the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests of the Virunga Volcanoes, ranging in altitude from 2,200 to 4,300 metres (7,200 to 14,100 ft). Lowland gorillas live in dense forests and lowland swamps and marshes as low as sea level, with western lowland gorillas living in Central West African countries and eastern lowland gorillas living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo near its border with Rwanda.

Jacques Pucheran

Jacques Pucheran (2 June 1817 – 13 January 1895) was a French zoologist born in Clairac. He was a grandnephew to physiologist Étienne Serres (1786-1868).

Pucheran accompanied the expedition on the Astrolabe between 1837 and 1840, under the command of Jules Dumont d'Urville, with fellow-naturalists Jacques Bernard Hombron and Honoré Jacquinot. On his return he contributed the ornithological section (with Jacquinot) of "Voyage au Pôle sud et dans l'Océanie sur les corvettes L'Astrolabe et La Zélée" (1841–1854).Pucheran worked as a zoologist and naturalist at the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle. He was the author of many works in the fields of ornithology, mammalogy, anthropology, etc. With Florent Prévost and Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, he published a catalog involving species of mammals and birds kept in the collections at the museum, titled "Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Paris. Catalogue méthodique," etc. (1851). He was a member of the Société d'Agen académique, and a chevalier in the Légion d'honneur and the Ordre de la Conception de Portugal.He classified numerous zoological taxa, and the following are a few ornithological species that are named after him.

Black-cheeked woodpecker, Melanerpes pucherani (Malherbe 1849)

Crested guineafowl, Guttera pucherani (Hartlaub 1861)

Red-billed ground-cuckoo, Neomorphus pucheranii.(Deville 1851).

Jean Crespon

Jean Crespon (14 October 1797, Nîmes – 1 August 1857) was a French zoologist and naturalist.

Born into a poor family, he worked as a barber, soldier, and poet before becoming a taxidermist and turning to natural history. In 1840 he published his Ornithologie du Gard et des pays circonvoisins (Ornithology of Gard and Environs), a book that covered 321 species of birds. The book earned the praise of naturalists that included Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1805-1861).

In 1844 Crespon published the two-volume La Faune méridionale (Mediterranean Wildlife), in which he described 27 new species.

Crespon's natural history collections passed to the Muséum d'histoire naturelle in Nîmes on his death.

Louis Pierre Gratiolet

Louis Pierre Gratiolet (French: [ɡʁasjɔlɛ]; 6 July 1815 – 16 February 1865) was a French anatomist and zoologist who was a native of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Gironde. He succeeded Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1805-1861) as professor of zoology to the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Paris.

Gratiolet is remembered for his work in neuroanatomy, physiognomy and physical anthropology. He did extensive research in the field of comparative anatomy, and performed important studies regarding the differences and similarities between human and various primate brains. He is also credited for introducing the demarcation of the brain's cortical surface into five lobes, (frontal lobe, temporal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe and insular cortex).

With Paul Broca (1824-1880) he performed correlative studies of aphasia and the frontal lobe. Gratiolet was a vocal critic of Broca regarding the latter's belief that a larger brain equated to higher intelligence.

Macroprotodon cucullatus

Macroprotodon cucullatus, commonly known as the false smooth snake, is a species of mildly venomous colubrid snake endemic to the Mediterranean Basin.

Northern treeshrew

The northern treeshrew (Tupaia belangeri) is a treeshrew species native to Southeast Asia.In 1841, the German zoologist Johann Andreas Wagner first used the specific name Cladobates belangeri for treeshrews that had been collected in Pegu during a French expedition to Southeast Asia. These specimens were described by Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 1834 in whose opinion they did not differ sufficiently from Tupaia tana to assign a specific rank.


Philepitta is a genus of bird in the Eurylaimidae family. Established by Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 1838, the genus contains the following species:

The genus name Philepitta is a combination of the French name philédon, for the friarbirds of the Meliphagidae family and pitta, for the birds of the genus "pitta".Philepitta is now the type-genus of a new bird family, the Philepittidae, into which the Asites of Madagascar have been placed.


Theropithecus is a genus of primates in the family Cercopithecidae. It contains a single living species, the gelada, (Theropithecus gelada), native to the Ethiopian Highlands.

Additional species are known from fossils, including:

Theropithecus brumpti

Theropithecus darti

Theropithecus oswaldi

Tropical big-eared brown bat

The tropical big-eared brown bat (Histiotus velatus), is a bat species from South America. It is found in Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay

White-breasted mesite

The white-breasted mesite (Mesitornis variegatus) is a ground-dwelling bird endemic to Madagascar. One of three species in the mesite family, Mesitornithidae, it is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It has a small population and is restricted to five sites in the north and west of the island, and one in the east.

Émile Deville

Émile Deville (25 January 1824 – 8 January 1853) was a French physician, naturalist and taxidermist.Emile Deville, already an employee of Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, joined the 1843 expedition of Francis de Laporte de Castelnau (1810-1880) to South America with the doctor and botanist Hugh Algernon Weddell (1819-1877). He returned with many bird specimens, especially parrots, including two new species, Bonaparte's parakeet and the dusky-headed parakeet, which he described in 1851. He also described, with Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, the white-tailed titi, and with de Castelnau, some crabs.

A number of species bear his name, such as the blaze-winged parakeet, Pyrrhura devillei and the striated antbird, Drymophila devillei.The following are a few of the writings that are attributed to Deville:

Description de quelques Mammifères et Oiseaux nouveaux de L'Amérique méridionale - Description of some new mammals and birds from South America.

Note sur quatre espèces nouvelles d'oiseaux provenant de l'expédition de M. Castelnau - Note on four new species of birds from the Castelnau expedition.

Considérations sur les avantages de la naturalisation en France de l'alpaca - Considerations on the advantages for naturalization of the alpaca in France.

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