Johannes Theodor Reinhardt (1816-1882)

Curator at the Royal Natural History Museum and from 1870 at the Zoological Museum 1848-82, studied natural history in the 1840s, reader of zoology at the Polytechnical College 1856-78 and at the university 1861-78, titular professor 1854, specialist in vertebrates.

In contrast to his contemporary zoological colleagues Japetus Steenstrup and C.F. Lütken, Reinhardt was an early supporter of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. During his studies of fossils as an assistant of the Danish palaeontologist P.W. Lund in Brazil in periods during the 1840s and 1850s, Reinhardt became familiar with the vast amount of extinct species and this made him critical of Georges Cuvier’s antievolutionary catastrophism. Consequently, he regarded Darwin’s theory as a welcome and tenable explanation when it appeared in 1859. Reinhardt advocated his evolutionary views in lectures and articles in the 1860s and 1870s.

Hans Henrik Hjermitslev

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