Ehrenberg, Christian Gottfried
born April 19, 1795, Delitzsch, Saxony
died June 27, 1876, Berlin, Ger.

German biologist, explorer, and founder of micropaleontology (the study of fossil microorganisms).

He received his M.D. from the University of Berlin. He identified and classified a number of land and marine plants, animals, and microorganisms. He proved that fungi come from spores and demonstrated the sexual reproduction of molds and mushrooms. He was the first to study coral in detail, and he identified planktonic microorganisms as the cause of phosphorescence in the sea. He advanced the view (opposed by Felix Dujardin) that all animals, including the tiniest, possess complete organ systems. Arguing that a single "ideal type" may be applied to all animals, he worked toward a comprehensive system of classification.

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▪ German biologist
born April 19, 1795, Delitzsch, Saxony [Germany]
died June 27, 1876, Berlin, Ger.

      German biologist, microscopist, scientific explorer, and a founder of micropaleontology—the study of fossil microorganisms.

      Ehrenberg studied at the University of Berlin (M.D., 1818) and was associated with the university throughout his career. He took part in a scientific expedition (1820–25) to Egypt, Libya, the Sudan, and the Red Sea under the auspices of the university and the Prussian Academy of Sciences. The expedition's only survivor, he collected about 34,000 animal and 46,000 plant specimens. With Alexander von Humboldt, he participated in 1829 in an expedition, sponsored by Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, to Central Asia and Siberia.

      Ehrenberg identified and classified a number of terrestrial and marine plants, animals, and microorganisms collected on expeditions. He proved that fungi come from spores and demonstrated the sexual reproduction of molds and mushrooms. He was the first to study in detail the anatomy, habits, and life history of coral, and he identified planktonic microorganisms as the cause of phosphorescence in the sea. Ehrenberg discovered the microscopic fossil organism content of various geologic formations and noted that certain rock layers are composed of such single-cell fossils.

      Ehrenberg advanced the view that all animals, from the most minute to the largest, possess complete organ systems, such as muscles, sex organs, and stomachs; he believed his concept of “complete organisms” (later refuted by Félix Dujardin) disproved both the theory of spontaneous generation and the validity of the traditional arrangement of animals in a simple-to-complex series. Arguing that a single “ideal type” may be applied to all animals, he worked toward a comprehensive system of classification, in which he used social behaviour as an important criterion, but he placed humans apart from other animals on the basis of intelligence.

      Ehrenberg's most important works include Reisen in Aegypten, Libyen, Nubien und Dongola (1828; “Travels in Egypt, Libya, Nubia and Dongola”) and Die Infusionsthierchen als volkommene Organismen (1838; “The Infusoria as Complete Organisms”).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ehrenberg, Christian Gottfried — (19 abr. 1795 Delitzsch, Sajonia–27 jun. 1876, Berlín, Alemania). Biólogo alemán, explorador y fundador de la micropaleontología (estudio de los microorganismos fósiles). Obtuvo su M.D. en la Universidad de Berlín. Identificó y clasificó varias… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg — Nacimiento 19 de abril de 1795 Delitzsch, Alemania …   Wikipedia Español

  • Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg — (* 19. April 1795 in Delitzsch; † 27. Juni 1876 in Berlin; ∞ 1831 Julie Rose, 1852 Friederike Karol) war ein deutscher Zoologe, Mikrobiologe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Ehrenberg. Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg. Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg (19 avril …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Christian-Gottfried-Ehrenberg-Gymnasium — Delitzsch Schulform Gymnasium Gründung 1858 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Christian Ehrenberg — Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg. Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg (* 19. April 1795 in Delitzsch; † 27. Juni 1876 in Berlin; ∞ 1831 Julie Rose, 1852 Friederike Karol) war ein deutscher Zoologe, Ökologe und Geologe und zählt z …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ehrenberg [2] — Ehrenberg, Christian Gottfried, einer der berühmtesten Naturforscher unserer Zeit, geb. 1795 zu Delitzsch bei Leipzig, studierte zu Leipzig Medicin u. Naturwissenschaften und machte auf Kosten der Akademie zu Berlin 1820 mit Hemprich eine Reise… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Gottfried — (as used in expressions) Benn Gottfried Bürger Gottfried August Ehrenberg Christian Gottfried Gottfried von Strassburg Herder Johann Gottfried von Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm Freiherr baron von Leibniz * * * …   Universalium

  • Gottfried — (as used in expressions) Benn, Gottfried Bürger, Gottfried August Ehrenberg, Christian Gottfried Herder, Johann Gottfried von Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm Strassburg, Gottfried von …   Enciclopedia Universal

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