Eduard Eikhvald

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Eikhval’d, Eduard Ivanovich


(Karl Eduard von Eichwald). Born July 4 (15), 1795, in Jelgava, in what is now the Latvian SSR; died Nov. 4 (16), 1876, in St. Petersburg. Russian naturalist. Corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1826).

Between 1814 and 1817, Eikhval’d studied medicine and natural sciences at the University of Berlin. After returning to Russia in 1819 he served as a professor at universities in Dorpat (present-day Tartu; from 1821), Kazan (from 1823), and Vilno (present-day Vilnius; from 1829) and at the St. Petersburg Medical-Surgical Academy (1838–51). Between 1839 and 1855 he lectured on paleontology at the St. Petersburg Mining Institute.

Eikhval’d’s main works dealt with the taxonomy of plants and animals, paleontology, geology, and mineralogy. After traveling to the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea (1825–26) and to southwestern Russia (1829), he described several new species of plants and of Caspian-Caucasian fauna, mainly mollusks, fish, and reptiles. He also brought back information on the geography of the regions he visited. In Zoología specialis (vols. 1–3,1829–31), Eikhval’d provided an outline for the classification of animals based on comparative anatomy, physiology, and paleontology and proposed his own taxonomical system of the animal kingdom.

Eikhval’d was the author of textbooks on mineralogy (Oryctognosy Mainly With Regard to Russia, 1844) and geology (Geognosy Mainly With Regard to Russia, 1846) and of a textbook on paleontology, which was the only textbook of its kind in the Russian language at that time (The Paleontology of Russia, parts 1–2,1854–61). Between 1860 and 1868, Eikhval’d published Lethaea Rossica, or The Paleontology of Russia, a four-volume monograph with an atlas.


Raikov, B. E. Russkie biologi-evoliutsionisty do Darvina, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951. Pages 321–89.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.