Cu·vier\ˈk(y)ü-vē-ˌā, ku̅e̅-vyā\ , Georges(1769–1832), French naturalist. One of the great French naturalists of the early 19th century, Cuvier is credited with essentially founding the studies of comparative anatomy and paleontology. In 1817 he published his magnum opus, Le Règne animal, his classification of the animal kingdom in which he divided all animals into vertebrate, molluscan, articulate, and radiate types. Around 1800 in one of his lessons on comparative anatomy he described the common cardinal veins that now honor his name.
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