This Day in History: 1756-12-26

Bernard Germain de Lacépède was born on this day. A French naturalist, he worked under Georges Buffon at the Jardin du Roi, Paris, and continued and completed Buffon’s Histoire naturelle, a 44 volume encyclopedia of the natural sciences. He is of particular interest to ichthyologists and etymologists for his own 5 volume Histoire naturelle des poissons (1798 – 1803) as he is one one of the earliest authors to explain the derivation of the names given to his species.

Lacépède described more than 590 taxa and is honoured in the names of 7 species of fishes.