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Int J Dev Biol. 2012;56(9):653-60. doi: 10.1387/ijdb.120018sb.

Karl Ernst von Baer (1792-1876) and evolution.

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1
Science Centre, Tartu University Library, Tartu, Estonia. sabine.brauckmann@ut.ee

Abstract

The research program of Karl Ernst von Baer (1792-1876) intended to enhance the comparative approach of animal classification by demonstrating vertebrate affinities (homology). Baer visualized his ideas on development and evolution with an unpublished figure of a branching tree. To buttress his reflections on how species-specific embryogenesis produces a branching tree, he worked out a cladogram-like chart, depicting the ontogeny and phylogeny of vertebrate embryos. For Baer, changes in development were responsible for changes in phenotype. I will offer a new interpretation of Baer's ideas about evolution showing that he believed in the transformation of species and announced such views publicly.

PMID:
23319342
DOI:
10.1387/ijdb.120018sb
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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