Both may well be named "'Faunists," and of the latter there were not a few who having turned their attention more or less to ornithology should here be 6 So little regard did he pay to the osteology of birds that, according to de Blainville (Jour.
The following year Ranzani of Bologna, in his Elementi di zoologia - a very respectable compilation - came to treat of birds, and then followed to some extent the plan of De Blainville and Merrem (concerning which much more has to be said by and by), placing the Struthious birds in an Order by themselves.
Moreover, it veiled the honest attempts that were making both in France and Germany to find real grounds for establishing an improved state of things, and consequently the labours of De Blainville, Etienne, Geoffroy St-Hilaire and L'Herminier, of Merrem, Johannes Muller and Nitzsch-to say nothing of others-were almost wholly unknown on this side of the Channel, and even the value of the investigations of British ornithotomists of high merit, such as Macartney and Pvlacgillivray, was almost completely overlooked.
Notice has next to be taken of a Memoir on the Employment of Sternal Characters in establishing Natural Families among Birds, which was read by De Blainville before the Academy of Sciences of Paris in 1815, 5 but not published in full for more than five years later (Journal de physique.
It is evident that the features of the sternum of which De Blainville chiefly relied were those drawn from its posterior margin, which no very extensive experience of specimens is needed to show are of comparatively slight value; for the number of " echancrures - notches as they have sometimes been called in English - when they exist, goes but a very short way as a guide, and is so variable in some very natural groups as to be even in that shot way occasionally misleading.
Still De Blainville made some advance in a right direction, as for instance by elevating the parrots' and the pigeons as " Ordres," equal in rank to that of the birds of prey and some others.
We have already seen that De Blainville, though fully persuaded of the great value of sternal features as a method of classification, had been compelled to fall back upon the old pedal characters so often employed before; but now the scholar had learnt to excel his teacher, and not only to form an at least provisional arrangement of the various members of the Class, based on sternal characters, but to describe these characters at some length, and so give a reason for the faith that was in him.
4 These are the forms which composed the family previously termed Cursores by De Blainville; but L'Herminier was able to distinguish no fewer than thirty-four families of " Oiseaux normaux," and the judgment with which their separation and definition were effected must be deemed on the whole to be most creditable to him.
But the latter used this privilege wisely and well-not, after the manner of De Blainville and others subsequent to him, relying solely or even chiefly on the character afforded by the posterior portion of the sternum, but taking also into consideration those of the anterior, as well as of the in some cases still more important characters presented by the pre-sternal bones, such as the furcula, coracoids and scapulae.
The latter's name seems not to be even mentioned by him, but Nitzsch was in Paris in the summer of 1827, and it is almost impossible that he should not have heard of L'Herminier's labours, unless the relations between the followers of Cuvier to whom Nitzsch attached himself, and those of De Blainville, whose pupil L'Herminier was, were such as to forbid anv communication between the rival schools.
He of course knew the investigations of L'Herminier and De Blainville on sternal formation, and he also seems to have been aware of some pterylological differences exhibited by birds - whether those of Nitzsch or those of Jacquemin is not stated.
In 1816, de Blainville, 4 adopting Latreille's view, divided the Linnaean Amphibia into Squamiferes and Nudipelliferes, or Amphibiens; though he offered an alternative arrangement, in which the class Reptiles is preserved and divided into two subclasses, the Ornithoides and the Ichthyoides.
The lectures attracted hearers so eminent as Humboldt the cosmologist, Poinsot the geometer and Blainville the physiologist.
De Blainville; of this a second and greatly improved edition was issued in 1859.
It became established as a distinct branch in the beginning of the 19th century, and somewhat later received the appellation " palaeontology," which was given independently by De Blainville and by Fischer von Waldheim about 1834.
Following Cuvier's Recherches sur les ossemens fossiles, the rich succession of Tertiary mammalian life was gradually revealed to France through the explorations and descriptions of such authors as Croizet, Jobert, de Christol, Eymar, Pomel and Lartet, during a period of rather dry, systematic work, which included, however, the broader generalizations of Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville (1778-1850), and culminated in the comprehensive treatises on Tertiary palaeontology of Paul Gervais (1816-1879).
De Blainville added to the knowledge of the shells of the Paris basin; Giovanni Battista Brocchi (1772-1826) in 1814, and Luigi Bellardi (1818-1889) and Giovanni Michelotti (born 1812) in 1840, described the Pliocene molluscs of the subApennine formation of Italy; from Germany and Austria appeared the epoch-making works of Heinrich Ernst Beyrich (1815-1896) and of Moritz Hoernes (1815-1868).
Principles of descent and other applications of uniformitarianism which had been struggling for expression in the writings of Lamarck, St Hilaire and de Blainville here found their true interpretation, because the geological succession, the rise, the migrations, the extinctions, were all connected with the grand central idea of evolution from primordial forms.
S.) BLAINVILLE, HENRI MARIE DUCROTAY DE (1777-1850), French naturalist, was born at Argues, near Dieppe, on the 12th of September 1777.
In 1825 Blainville was admitted a member of the Academy of Sciences; and in 1830 he was appointed to succeed J.