Baer , Karl Ernst von
(1792–1876) German–Estonian biologist, comparative anatomist, and embryologist
Baer is generally considered the father of modern embryology. He was born on his family's estate in Piep, Estonia, and received private tutoring and schooling before entering Dorpat University to study medicine. He graduated in 1814 and then studied comparative anatomy at the University of Würzburg, where he was introduced to embryology by Ignaz Döllinger. In 1817 Baer became professor of zoology at Königsberg and in 1834 was appointed academician and librarian of the Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg.
It was prior to his move to St. Petersburg that Baer did most of his pioneering work in laying the foundation of comparative embryology as a separate discipline. In distinguishing the mammalian ovum within the Graafian follicle he established that all mammals, including man, develop from eggs. He also traced the development of the fertilized egg and the order in which the organs of the body appear and develop, showing that similar (homologous) organs arise from the same germ layers in different animals, thus extending the work of Kaspar Wolff and the German anatomist Christian Pander. His expounding of the ‘biogenetic law’, demonstrating the increasing similarity and lack of specialization in the embryos of different animals as one investigates younger and younger embryos, provided Darwin with basic arguments for his evolutionary theory. Baer was, however, opposed to the idea of there being a common ancestor for all animal life, although he conceded that some animals and some races of man might have had common ancestry. His other notable discoveries included the mammalian notochord and the neural folds as the precursors of the nervous system. Baer intended his embryological work to be, at least partly, a means of improving animal classification by demonstrating vertebrate affinities. Indeed modern zoological classification is now based partly on biogenetic principles. His great work on the mammalian egg, De ovi mammalium et hominis genesi (1827; On the Origin of the Mammalian and Human Ovum) was followed (1828–37) by Über Entwickelungsgeschichte der Tiere (On the Development of Animals), in which he surveyed all existing knowledge of vertebrate development.
A man of wide interests, Baer did much work in other scientific disciplines. He was instrumental in founding the German Anthropological Society and helped to found the Russian Geographical and Entomological Societies.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Baer, Karl Ernst von — ► (1792 1876) Naturalista estoniano. Es considerado el creador de la embriología moderna …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BAER, KARL ERNST VON —    a native of Esthonia; professor of zoology, first in Königsberg and then in St. Petersburg; the greatest of modern embryologists, styled the father of comparative embryology ; the discoverer of the law, known by his name, that the embryo when… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Karl Ernst von Baer — 1840 Das Familienwappen derer von Baer, Edle von Huthorn, eines aus Westfa …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Karl Ernst von Baer — Nacimiento 17 de febrero de 1792 Piibe Fallecimiento 26 de noviembre de …   Wikipedia Español

  • Karl Ernst von Baer — (OldStyleDate|28 February|1792|17 February OldStyleDate|28 November|1876|16 November) was a Baltic German biologist and a founding father of embryology. LifeKarl Ernst von Baer was born in Piibe manor ( de. Piep), Estonia; many of his ancestors… …   Wikipedia

  • Karl Ernst Von Baer — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Baer. Karl Ernst von Baer. Karl Ernst Ritter von Baer, Edler von Huthorn est un …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Karl ernst von baer — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Baer. Karl Ernst von Baer. Karl Ernst Ritter von Baer, Edler von Huthorn est un …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Baer, Karl Ernst, Ritter von, Edler Von Huthorn — ▪ Prussian embryologist born Feb. 29, 1792, Piep, Estonia, Russian Empire died Nov. 28, 1876, Dorpat, Estonia  Prussian–Estonian embryologist who discovered the mammalian ovum and the notochord and established the new science of comparative… …   Universalium

  • Karl Ernst von Baer — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Baer. Karl Ernst von Baer. Karl Ernst Ritter von Baer, Edler von Huthorn est un biologiste germano balte, sujet de l …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Baer, Karl Ernst, knight von — born Feb. 29, 1792, Piep, Est., Russian Empire died Nov. 28, 1876, Dorpat, Est. Prussian born Estonian embryologist. Studying chick development with Christian Pander (1794–1865), Baer expanded Pander s concept of germ layer formation to all… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”