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|Haloquadratum walsbyi||Sitta europaea caesia||Caloboletus calopus||♂Aphyocharax anisitsi|
|♀Brachypelma smithi||Hippopotamus amphibius||Euphorbia leuconeura||Sarcophaga sp. with Tipulidae|
Collaboration with ZooKeys
A collaboration between Wikispecies and ZooKeys has been announced. PhytoKeys also joined the collaboration in November 2010. Images of species from ZooKeys and PhytoKeys will be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and used in Wikispecies.
Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier (most often published simply as "Georges Cuvier") was a French naturalist and zoologist. He is sometimes referred to as the founding father of paleontology. Cuvier was a major figure in natural sciences research in the early 19th century and was instrumental in establishing the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology through his work in comparing living animals with fossils. Cuvier's work is considered the foundation of vertebrate paleontology, and he expanded Linnaean taxonomy by grouping classes into phyla and incorporating both fossils and living species into the classification. Cuvier is also known for establishing extinction as a fact: at the time, extinction was considered by many of Cuvier's contemporaries to be merely controversial speculation.
He is also remembered for strongly opposing theories of evolution, which at the time (before Darwin's theory) were mainly proposed by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. Cuvier believed there was no evidence for evolution, but rather evidence for cyclical creations and destructions of life forms by global extinction events such as deluges (outburst flooding).
Cuvier wrote hundreds of scientific papers and books. His most famous work is Le Règne Animal (1816–1817, four tomes; English title The Animal Kingdom). It sets out to describe the natural structure of the whole of the animal kingdom based on comparative anatomy, and its natural history. Cuvier divided the animals into four embranchements ("Branches", roughly corresponding to phyla), namely vertebrates, molluscs, articulated animals (arthropods and annelids), and zoophytes (cnidaria and other phyla).
He is the author of thousands of new taxa, among them well over 5,000 species of fish and molluscs. In 1800 and working only from a drawing, Cuvier was the first to correctly identify in print, a fossil found in Bavaria as a small flying reptile, which he named the Ptero-Dactyle in 1809 (later Latinized as Pterodactylus antiquus).
When the French Academy was preparing its first dictionary, it defined "crab" as "A small red fish which walks backwards." This definition was sent with a number of others to the naturalist Cuvier for his approval. The scientist wrote back: "Your definition, gentlemen, would be perfect, only for three exceptions. The crab is not a fish, it is not red, and it does not walk backwards." In 1819, he was created a peer for life in honour of his scientific contributions and is thereafter known as Baron Cuvier.See also: Distinguished authors of previous months.
Species of the month
Attwater's Prairie Chicken
Some facts about this bird:
Length: 42–46 cm.
(Archived from Template:Species of the week)
Endangered species of the month
Some facts about this species:
Description: Gymnogyps californianus is a New World vulture. It's the largest of all North American land birds, with a 3.0 m (9.8 ft) wingspan and a weight of up to 12 kg (26 lb).
Habitat: The condors live in rocky shrubland, coniferous forests, and oak savannas. Individual birds have a huge range and have been known to travel up to 250 km (160 mi) in search of carrion.
Distribution: After becoming extinct in the wild in 1987 the California Condor have since been reintroduced to Northern Arizona and southern Utah (including the Grand Canyon area and Zion National Park), the coastal mountains of central and southern California, and northern Baja California.
Threats: This species is mainly threatened by humans and urban development in the form of poaching and habitat destruction, with the biggest threat being lead poisoning caused by accidental ingestion of fragments from bullets in carrion.
Surviving number: In 2010 there were 106 adults in the wild old enough to breed, of which 44 had ever produced viable offspring. An intensive conservation programme involving reintroduction and release of captive-bred birds has since led to a very small but increasing population of this species in the wild. However, the population in the wild remains dependent on intensive conservation management efforts.
Conservation status: Critically Endangered (IUCN 3.1), assessed August 7, 2018.
First described: As Vultur californianus by the British zoologist and botanist George Shaw, 1797, in The Naturalist's Miscellany, or coloured figures of natural objects; drawn and described from nature 9 pl. 301, text.
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