Once the friends of the French naturalist Georges Cuvier decided to make fun of him. At night, a head with horns peeked through his window and growled angrily, “I am going to eat you!” “No, you are not,” replied the scientist calmly and gave some solid reasons why. “You have horns, which means you are a herbivore!” A humble scholar, a graduate from the Caroline Academy in Stuttgart, a family tutor in the Normandy countryside, Cuvier began anatomizing and describing animals out of boredom. His excellent memory, observation, the knack for methodical work gave its fruit and he published his findings with the Zoological Bulletin. Upon his arrival in Paris, Cuvier joined chairs at the Sorbonne and the Collège de France. The renowned naturalist was later chosen to become a member of the French Academy and, shortly before his death, was made a peer of France.
Having completely different views about the origin of species, Cuvier assiduously did his best to develop the evolutionism. It was Cuvier who derived the law of the organic relation, according to which a change in a single organ always comes with a series of changes in others. Cuvier improved the classification of the animal kingdom and restored about one hundred fifty species of fossil animals. “Give me a bone and I will reconstruct the entire animal,” people know this phrase by Cuvier even if they are distant from biology. The new avenues of research that he paved, the facts that Cuvier collected, the paleontology and comparative anatomy that he established, all this cleared the way for the triumph of the theory of evolution.