My watch list  

Johann Friedrich Meckel

  Johann Friedrich Meckel, often referred to as Johann Friedrich Meckel, the Younger (October 17, 1781 - October 31, 1833) was a German anatomist who was born in Halle. In 1802 he received his medical doctorate in Halle, and from 1808 until his death in 1833 was a professor of pathology, anatomy and surgery at the University of Halle.

After his graduation, Meckel spent time in Paris assisting zoologist Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) with systematic analysis of anatomical and zootomical specimens. In 1810, he finished translating Cuvier's 5-volume work Leçons d’anatomie Comparée from French into German. From 1826 until 1833 he was editor of the Archiv für Anatomie und Physiologie.

Meckel adopted naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's (1744-1829) evolutionary beliefs. Meckel was a pioneer in the science of teratology, especially concerning the study of birth defects and abnormalities during embryonic development. He believed that abnormal development adhered to the same natural laws as did normal development. With French embryologist Étienne Serres (1786-1868), the "Meckel-Serres Law" is named. This was a theory of parallelism which attempted to link comparative embryology with a unifying pattern in the organic world.

Two eponymous structures of the anatomy are named after him:

His grandfather was also named "Johann Friedrich Meckel". In order to avoid confusion, he is often referred to as Johann Friedrich Meckel, the Elder. The elder Meckel was also a professor of anatomy, and he too has anatomical structures named after him.


  • Who Named It?, J.F. Meckel

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Johann_Friedrich_Meckel". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE