Cuvier, (French: kü'vyā'), Baron Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert (1769--1832), a French naturalist. He is considered to be the founder of the sciences of comparative anatomy and paleontology (the study of fossils). His Animal Kingdom (4 volumes, 1817) was the first modern classification of animals. In History of Fish (22 volumes, 1828–49), he presented the first modern system of classification of fish.
Cuvier was born in Montbeliard, which at that time was part of Germany, and studied in Stuttgart. He came to Paris in 1795 to teach at the National Museum of Natural History. In 1802 he became a professor at the Botanical Garden.
As inspector of education, and in other posts, Cuvier greatly influenced the organization of higher education in France. He became a member of the council of state in 1814 and was elected to the French Academy in 1818. Cuvier was made a baron and peer in 1831.