Article ID: CBB967459829

Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and the First Embryological Evolutionary Model on the Origin of Vertebrates (2021)


Historiographical accounts typically place the formulation of the first embryological theory of the evolutionary origin of vertebrates after the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859). However, the French naturalist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire developed an embryological evolutionary model in the 1820s that followed the Lamarckian theory. Geoffroy was the first to establish a direct embryological relationship between vertebrates and invertebrates. This idea was not forgotten, and the embryologists Anton Dohrn and Carl Semper subsequently updated it in their annelid theory as part of a debate about the origin of vertebrates that occurred during the latter part of the nineteenth century. This paper reviews the traditional historiography, analyzing and integrating Geoffroy’s model into the current body of ideas.

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Authors & Contributors
Maienschein, Jane A.
Laubichler, Manfred Dietrich
Griesemer, James R.
Gerson, Elihu M.
Alexander, R. McNeill
Stein, Barbara R.
Journal of the History of Biology
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Archives of Natural History
International Journal of Developmental Biology
Filosofia e História da Biologia
MIT Press
University of Pittsburgh
Vertebrate zoology
Evolutionary developmental biology
Developmental biology
Alexander, Annie M.
Semper, Carl Gottfried
Grinnell, Joseph
Dohrn, Anton Felix
Smith, Charles Hamilton
Keibel, Franz
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
18th century
North America: United States; Canada
University of California

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