Some Biogeographers, Evolutionists and Ecologists:
Chrono-Biographical Sketches

Ihering, Hermann von (Germany-Brazil 1850-1930)
paleontology, malacology

Ihering was most involved with studies on fossil molluscs (though he also wrote extensively on birds, mammals, ethnology, and several other subjects), and from this vantage point he became one of the turn-of-the-century's leading theorists on the relation between evolution and paleogeography. His examination of the molluscan fossil record in South America and attempts to compare it with the paleofaunas of other southern continents led him to conclude that there must have been Tertiary connections--land bridges--linking the latter. Ihering's theory was based on real commonalities that would later be understood via plate tectonics theory, but even at the time his arguments were weakened by taxonomic misunderstandings and a poor appreciation of the ages of the stratigraphic units he was dealing with.

Life Chronology

--born in Kiel, Germany, on 9 October 1850.
--1868: moves to Vienna; begins to study medicine
--1870: enlists in the 117th Regiment of Musketeers
--1873: M.D., University of Göttingen
--1876: Ph.D., University of Göttingen
--1876: made lecturer in zoology at the University of Erlangen
--1880: moves to Brazil; works as physician
--1883: hired as explorer by the National Museum, Rio De Janeiro
--1887: begins supervising reconstruction of the Paulista Museum, São Paulo
--1893: made director of the Paulista Museum, São Paulo
--1907: publishes his Archhelenis und Archinotis: Gesammelte Beiträge zur Geschichte der Neotropischen Region
--1916: dismissed from the Paulista Museum
--1922: publishes his Phylogenie und Systeme der Mollusken
--1924: returns to Germany
--1926: made honorary professor of zoology and paleontology at the University of Geissen
--1927: publishes his Die Geschichte des Atlantischen Ozeans
--dies at Büdingen, Hesse, Germany, on 24 February 1930.

For Additional Information, See:

--Annals of the Carnegie Museum, Vol. 65(3) (1996): 183-296.
--Journal of Parasitology, Vol. 78(4) (1992): 571-572.
--Science, Vol. 12(311) (1900): 929-930.
--Dictionary of German Biography, Vol. 5 (2003).

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Copyright 2005 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.

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