Christian Erich Hermann von Meyer

Christian Erich Hermann von Meyer ( born September 3, 1801 in Frankfurt am Main, † April 2, 1869 same place ) is considered the founder of vertebrate paleontology in Germany.

Life and work

From Meyer was the son of Johann Friedrich von Meyer (1772-1849), a lawyer, politician and Protestant theologian who became his Bible translation of 1819 notoriety ( " Bible -Meyer "). After visiting the Frankfurt Gymnasium Hermann von Meyer studied natural sciences in Heidelberg, Munich and Berlin. In 1825 he became a member of the Senckenberg Nature Research Society and devoted himself to paleontology. He sought and examined fossils and paleontology developed as an independent biological discipline. Among other things, he described and named Plateosaurus, a genus prosauropoder dinosaurs and, after finding a fossil in the spring Lithographenschiefer of Solnhofen, 1861, the genus Archaeopteryx, the oldest known to date phylogenetically bird.

He has authored over 300 scientific descriptions, which are characterized by great care and accuracy, and were supplemented by high-quality illustrations created by him.

In addition to his scientific work, he has held numerous public offices. He was at the German Bundestag in Frankfurt am Main in 1837 working as a " federal cash Controleur " and from 1863 as " Bundescassier ". In the German War of 1866, he withdrew the federal treasury access the Prussian army and spent it to Ulm, later to Augsburg. After the war he was in charge of the liquidation of the fund and then retired with the other federal officials.


In 1845 he received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Würzburg. In 1858 he was awarded by the Geological Society of London, the Wollaston Medal. Since 1863, carrying a mountain in New Zealand in his honor the name Mount Meyer.