Leopold Fitzinger

Leopold Joseph Franz Johann Fitzinger ( born April 13, 1802 in Vienna, † September 20, 1884 in Hietzing ) was an Austrian zoologist. He had been interested in as a child for nature and especially for botany.


At 14, he was first an apprentice to a pharmacist and also began his study of botany at the University of Vienna under Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin. This he broke off in 1817, around the age of 15 - first as " voluntary intern " - at the Vienna Natural History Museum to accept under the direction of Jacquin brother Karl Franz Anton von writer of orphaned reptiles and fish collection. Because no permanent position in the " Imperial and Royal Zoological yard Cabinets " was foreseeable Fitzinger 1821 took a job as a secretary at the Estates of Lower Austria, which was related but temporarily leave of absence to care for the museum's collection on.

It was not until 1844 Fitzinger was appointed head of the reptile and mammal collections. In 1861 he retired, but in 1863 director of the then newly built zoos in the English Garden in Munich. In Budapest, he established a new zoo, but resigned at the opening of the line. In 1873 he moved to Hietzing, where he died in 1884.

Theory and works

Influenced by the nature-philosophical views of his colleagues Lorenz Oken, Johann Baptist von Spix and Johann Jakob Kaup was Fitzinger the conviction that the diversity of living organisms of a given, immutable order correspond. Accordingly, the numbers 3 and 5 in the classification of the animal kingdom would necessarily find. So he chose only taxonomic assignments that correspond to this scheme and rejected the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin.

Fitzinger developed a wide range of topics in zoology.

One of his most important works published Fitzinger in 1826: the "New classification of reptiles according to their natural relationship ", which was based partly on the work of his friends Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Boie and Hemprich. After numerous collecting trips through the country in 1832 he wrote a "list of occurring in Erzherzogthum Austria mammals, reptiles and fish ."

Scientifically important at this time was " design a systematic arrangement of turtles, according to the principles of the natural method" of 1835.

In 1843 his next major work " Systema Reptilium ".

Other works were " About the Proteus anguineus Auctorum " ( 1850) and " The yield of the Austrian naturalist on mammals and reptiles during the circumnavigation of His Majesty frigate Novara " (1861 ). In 1864 he published an atlas also become known all reptiles and amphibians worldwide. In 1876 he wrote " The dog and its races. Natural history of domesticated dog, his shapes, races and crossings ".

Many soundness of its descriptions and assignments to animal genera and species are still popular today.


In recognition of his scientific work Leopold Fitzinger received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Königsberg ( 1833) and Hall (1834 ).

Academies in Vienna, Naples, Philadelphia, and numerous scholarly associations appointed him honorary member.


  • Picture Atlas of the scientific and popular natural history of the birds in their sämmtlichen main forms. Vienna 1864, doi: 10.5962/bhl.title.48612