Bernard Germain Étienne de la Ville Lacépède, comte de
Lacépède, Bernard Germain Étienne de la Ville, comte de (bĕrnärˈ zhĕrmăNˈ ātyĕnˈ də lä vēl kôNt də läsāpĕdˈ) [key], 1756–1825, French naturalist. As a youth he showed considerable talent in both music and physics and won the favor of Buffon, whose work in animal classification he was encouraged to continue. Buffon secured him a position at the Jardin du Roi (later the Jardin des Plantes). His best-known works deal with the oviparous quadrupeds, reptiles, fishes, and whales; they are frequently printed with Buffon's works, which they supplement. Lacépède was active in politics and was exiled during the Reign of Terror. After his return he gave up scientific work for a political career and held several state offices.
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