Alcide D Orbigny

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Orbigny, Alcide D’


Born Sept. 6, 1802, in Coueron; died June 30, 1857, in Paris. French paleontologist. Student of G. Cuvier.

From 1826 to 1833, d’Orbigny traveled in South America. In 1853 he became professor of paleontology at the Museum of Natural History in Paris. He described tens of thousands or organic fossils (mollusks, echinoderms, and others). Developing the catastrophic theory of Cuvier, d’Orbigny stated that during each catastrophe sudden changes in the continents and oceans occurred and all living organisms were wiped out as a result. Then new organisms were created under the influence of unknowable forces. D’Orbigny denied the possibility of the spread of the same or related biological forms in different geological strata. The creationist ideas of d’Orbigny were sharply criticized by V. O. Kovalevskii.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.