Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wee-min's Pineal Ophidian Reptilian Ruse


Encyclopedia Britannica Library : Brongniart, Alexandre

born Feb. 5, 1770, Paris, Fr.
died Oct. 7, 1847, Paris

French mineralogist, geologist, and naturalist, who first arranged the geologic formations of the Tertiary Period ( from 66.4 to 1.6 million years ago) in chronological order and described them.

Brongniart was appointed professor of natural history at the Central School of Four Nations, Paris, in 1797, and in 1800 he was made director of the Sevres Porcelin Factory, a post he retained until his death. He worked to improve the art of enameling in France and made Sevres the leading such factory in Europe.

Among Brongniart's early papers is the "Essay on the Natural Classification of Reptiles ", 1800, in which he divided the class Reptilia into four orders: Batrachia ( now a separate class, Amphibia), Chelonia, Ophidia, and Sauria. He made the first systematic study of trilobites, an extinct group of arthropods that became important in determining the chronology of Paleozoic strata ( from 540 to 245 million years ago).

In 1804 he began a study of fossil-bearing strata in the Paris Basin with the French naturalist Georges Cuvier. Summarizing this study in his "Essay on the Mineralogical Geography of the Environs of Paris, with a Geological Map and Profiles of the Terrain ", 1811, Brongniart helped introduce the principle of geologic dating by the identification of distinctive fossils found in each stratum and noted that the Paris formations had been created under alternative freshwater and saltwater conditions.

As professor of mineralogy (1822-47) at the National Museum of Natural History, Paris, he turned his attention to ceramic technology: his last major work was "Treatise on the Ceramic Arts ", 1844.

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