Nikolai Alekseevich Severtsov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Severtsov, Nikolai Alekseevich


Born Oct. 24 (Nov. 5), 1827, in Voronezh; died Jan. 26 (Feb. 7), 1885, near Voronezh. Russian zoologist, zoogeographer, and traveler.

In 1846, Severtsov graduated from Moscow University, where he had been a student of K. F. Rul’e. From 1857 to 1879 he studied the Central Tien-Shan and the Kyzylkum and collected considerable material on the flora and fauna of the Pamirs. He produced the first composite geographic description of the nature of Middle Asia. Severtsov developed the principles of the ecology and zoogeographic divisions of the Palaearctic region.

Severtsov was a strong supporter and propagandist of Darwinism. He collected a great deal of information on the distribution, systematics, and behavior of the birds of Russia and Turkestan Krai and established a rich collection of birds, with about 12,000 specimens.

A peak in the Peter the First Range, glaciers in the Pamirs and Transili Alatau, and several species of animals and plants have been named in honor of Severtsov.


Periodicheskie iavleniia ν zhizni zverei, ptits i gad Voronezhskoi gubernii. Moscow, 1855. Seconded., Moscow, 1950.
Ornitologiia i ornitologicheskaia geografiia Evropeiskoi i A ziatskoi Rossii. St. Petersburg, 1867.
Puteshestviia po Turkestanskomu kraiu i issledovanie gornoi strany Tian’-Shania. St. Petersburg, 1873. Second ed., Moscow, 1947.
Orograficheskii ocherk Pamirskoi gornoi sistemy. St. Petersburg, 1886.


Dement’ev, N. G. Nikolai Alekseevich Severtsov, zoolog i puteshestvennik (1827–1885), 2nd ed. Moscow, 1948.
Zolotnitskaia. R. L. N. A. Severtsov—geograf i puteshestvennik. Moscow, 1953. (Bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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