Cuvier, Baron (Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier; 1769–1832), French scientist known for his pioneer work in comparative anatomy. He deduced the structures of the soft tissues of fossils from their skeletal remains. His book The Animal Kingdom was an important authoritative reference in zoology. He was also the originator of the theory of catastrophism, which claimed that living things were eliminated by volcanic eruptions and other natural catastrophes and then supplanted by completely different species. This theory was later abandoned by scientists in favor of the theory of evolution.
See also: Anatomy.