Peter Wilhelm Lund - First Trip To Brazil and Return To Europe

First Trip To Brazil and Return To Europe

Due to a beginning tuberculosis, he traveled to Brazil in 1825 and spend the following three and a half years collecting specimens of plants, birds and insects in the area around Rio de Janeiro, and writing about ants, snails and birds of the region.

Back in Europe in 1829, he achieved a doctoral degree at the University of Kiel, traveled to Italy and later established himself in Paris, where he came under the influence of Georges Cuvier, professor of comparative anatomy at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle and the most influential naturalist and zoologist of the time.

In his Discours sur les révolutions de la surface du globe (1825), Cuvier theorized that the extinction of species was caused by natural catastrophes in certain regions of the world. When that happens, the fauna from other regions migrate to populate the now uninhabited area. This became known as the catastrophic theory, and would become the motto of Lund's scientific career.

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