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Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg

Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg was a German scientific explorer, biologist, geologist, microscopist, and one a pioneering founder of micropaleontology. He was, in fact, one of the most famous scientists of his times. He is most famous for advancing the view that microorganisms are complete animals – not undifferentiated blobs – and was the first to try and classify them.

In 1837 Ehrenberg made a presentation at the Berlin Academy of Sciences demonstrating that large strata of some rock formations were made up of fossilized microorganisms. This was a major step forward in biology and geology. He was the first to describe coccoliths and showed that they along with the shells of foraminifera make up the bulk of chalk and limestone strata. Ehrenberg contributed immensely to knowledge of microfossils diatoms, radiolaria, foraminifera, ostracods, spores and many others. His huge book Mikrogeologie (1854) contains illustrations of a greater variety of microfossils, known or then unknown, than have ever subsequently been assembled within the covers of a single work.







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