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Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton

Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton
Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton by Alexander Roslin
Born 29 May 1716
Montbard (Côte-d'Or)
Died 1 January 1800(1800-01-01) (aged 83)
Nationality French
Fields naturalist
Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton

(29 May 1716 – 1 January 1800) was a French naturalist and contributor to the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers.[1]


  • Biography 1
  • Relatives 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Daubenton's grave in the gardens of the Museum of Natural History

Daubenton was born at natural history, the Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière, and in 1742 he invited Daubenton to assist him by providing anatomical descriptions. In many respects, the two men were complete opposites, but they worked well in partnership. In 1744, Daubenton became a member of the French Academy of Sciences as an adjunct botanist, and Buffon appointed him keeper and demonstrator of the king's cabinet in the Jardin du Roi.

In the first section of the Histoire naturelle, Daubenton gave descriptions and details of the dissection of 182 species of quadrupeds, thus securing himself a high reputation as a comparative anatomist. Concerned about the readability and profitability of the Histoire naturelle, Buffon dropped Daubenton's anatomical descriptions from later editions as well as from the series on birds, but Daubenton continued to work closely with Buffon at the Jardin du Roi.

Daubenton published many articles in the memoirs of the Parisian Académie Royale des Sciences, presenting his research on animals, the comparative anatomy of extant and fossil animals, vegetable physiology, mineralogy, agriculture, and the merino sheep that he successfully introduced into France. From 1775 onwards, Daubenton lectured on natural history in the College of Medicine, and in 1783 on rural economy at the Alfort school. He was also professor of mineralogy at the Jardin du Roi. As a lecturer he was in high repute, and to the last retained his popularity. In December 1799 he was appointed a member of the senate, but at the first meeting which he attended he fell from his seat in an apoplectic fit and, after a short illness, died at Paris.


He is not to be confused with his cousin Edmé-Louis Daubenton, who was also a naturalist.

See also


  1. ^ 1989, Volume 7, Numéro 7, S. 136Notices sur les auteurs des dix-sept volumes de « discours » de l'Encyclopédie. Recherches sur Diderot et sur l'Encyclopédie.Frank A. Kafker:


  • Gysel, C (1979), "[Daubenton (1716–1800) and his research on the occipital foramen]", L' Orthodontie française 50: 377–92,  
  • Farber, P L (1975), "Buffon and Daubenton: divergent traditions within the Histoire naturelle.", Isis; an international review devoted to the history of science and its cultural influences (Mar 1975) 66 (231): 63–74,  

External links

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