Scientist of the Day - André-Etienne de Ferussac
André-Etienne de Ferussac, a French naturalist, was born Dec. 30, 1786. Ferussac seems to have inherited an interest in mollusks from his father, if such a thing is possible, and he himself developed a special fondness for squid and their octopi relatives. He began work on a comprehensive study of cephalopods in 1822, and publication started in 1835, but Ferussac died while the work was in progress, and it was completed by Alcide d’Orbigny, another great French naturalist who had collected extensively in South America, with the final part appearing in 1848. Histoire naturelle, générale et particuličre des céphalopodes contains gorgeous colored lithographs of a wide variety of cephalopods. We see a selection above, as well as the title page, and a detail of one of the plates.
We exhibited Ferussac’s History of Cephalopods in our 2013 exhibition, Crayon and Stone, which is not yet available online.
Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City. Comments or corrections are welcome; please direct to email@example.com.