Pander, Khristian

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pander, Khristian


Born July 12, 1794, in Riga; died Sept. 10, 1865, in St. Petersburg. Russian embryologist, paleontologist, and geologist. Academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1823).

Pander studied at the University of Dorpat (Tartu) from 1812 to 1814. He also attended universities in Germany. Pander worked in Würzburg from 1816 to 1818 and in St. Petersburg at the Academy of Sciences from 1821 to 1827. Beginning in 1842 he worked in the academy’s department of mining.

By studying the development of chicken eggs, Pander investigated the formation of the germ layers, which he called membranes. (His research was more detailed than that of C. F. Wolff.) Pander’s work made possible the research of K. M. Baer and other embryologists. He compared the skeletal structures of mammals and birds, revealing new information concerning the relationship between fossil and extant forms of animals and concerning their historical succession. He identified Megatherium as the prototype of the South American sloth. C. Darwin regarded Pander as one of his predecessors.

After studying Lower Paleozoic deposits in Russia, Pander compiled a summary of Silurian invertebrates and vertebrates. Finds of fossil remains of Silurian and Devonian fishes enabled him to reconstruct the primitive form of an ancient agnathous vertebrate closely related to extant lampreys. Pander chose sites for exploratory drill holes based on his knowledge of the relative positions of strata of sedimentary rock, particularly of the Permian and Carboniferous systems.


Beiträge zur Entwickelungsgeschichte des Hühnchens im Eie. Würzburg, 1817.
Vergleichende Osteologie, series 1–14. St. Petersburg, 1821–31. (With E. d’Alton.)
Monographie der fossilen Fische des silurischen Systems des Russisch-Baltischen Gouvernement. St. Petersburg, 1856.
Über Placodermen des devonischen Systems. St. Petersburg, 1857.


Raikov, B. E. Khristian Pander—vydaiushchiisia biolog-evoliutsionist. Moscow, 1964.


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