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9 August 1794|
|Died||13 April 1865
|Institutions||Muséum national d'histoire naturelle|
Valenciennes was born in Paris, and studied under Georges Cuvier. Valenciennes' study of parasitic worms in humans made an important contribution to the study of parasitology. Valenciennes also carried out diverse systematic classifications, linking fossil and current species.
He worked with Cuvier on the 22-volume "Histoire Naturelle des Poissons" (Natural History of Fish) (1828–1848), carrying on alone after Cuvier died in 1832. In 1832 he succeeded Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville (1777–1850) as chair of Histoire naturelle des mollusques, des vers et des zoophytes at the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle.
Early in his career, he was tasked of classifying animals described by Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) during his travels in the American tropics (1799 to 1803), and a lasting friendship was established between the two men. He is the binomial authority for many species of fish, such as the bartail jawfish.
Working in the scientific field of herpetology, Valenciennes described two new species of reptiles. The organ of Valenciennes, a part of the anatomy of the female Nautilus genus whose purpose remains unknown, is still named after him.
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