Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

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Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1 August 1744 – 18 December 1829), French naturalist. He was a soldier turned physician turned botanist turned zoologist.

Lamarck began his complex life in Picardy as the eleventh child of an impoverished noble family of soldiers. By his father enrolled in the Jesuits college in Amiens, where he withdrawal himself at the age of seventeen, in 1760, after his father death and joined the common company of penniless soldiers. For bravery in action during the Seven Years' War with Prussia was given battlefield commission and as an officer was posted to Monaco where exposed to the sea became interested in natural history. Retired from the army in 1766 after injury he looked toward the profession of medicine, which exposed him to chemistry, physics and botany. Lamarck the botanist, at fifty, found himself appointed professor of zoology that nobody else wanted, that is invertebrate zoology, a term that did not then exist, and at the end of his studies he gave the first clear distinction between invertebrates and vertebrates, and emerged the one of the most significant concepts in natural history: "all animals are connected in a series from the lowest to the highest, the latter of which is man" [Damkaer].

Author abbreviation: Lam.


Authored taxa[edit]


  • Lamarck, J.-B. 1809. Philosophie zoologique, ou Exposition des considérations relatives à l’histoire naturelle des animaux…, Paris.
  • Lamarck, J.-B. 1801. Systeme des Animaux sans Vertèbres, ou Tableau général des classes, des orders at des genres de ces animaux. Paris: Detreville, viii + 432pp.
  • Lamarck, J-B. 1802: Memoire sur la Tubicinelle. Annales du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, 1: 461-464. BHL reference page 
  • Lamarck, J.-B. 1815–1822. Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertèbres, présentant les caractères généraux et particuliers de ces animaux…, Tome 1 (1815): 1–462; Tome 2 (1816): 1–568; Tome 3 (1816): 1–586; Tome 4 (1817): 1–603; Tome 5 (1818): 1–612; Tome 6, Pt.1 (1819): 1–343; Tome 6, Pt.2 (1822): 1–252; Tome 7 (1822): 1–711.


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