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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 27, 2012

Sergey Ivanovitch Ognev and the formation of theriology in Russia

Irina Bakloushinskaya, Georgii A. Bazykin, Alexey P. Kryukov and Elena P. Kryukova
From the journal mammalia


Sergey I. Ognev (1886–1951), one of Russia’s most famous biologists, was both a theoretical scientist and a great field researcher. Ognev’s “Fauna Mosquensis” (1913) is the most comprehensive study of the mammals of European Russia after Pallas. Throughout his life, Ognev’s work involved two important components: biological observation in nature and study of geographical distribution. His combination of excellent knowledge of natural habitats and morphology created a unique insight. This effort resulted in seven volumes of “Mammals of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia” and “Mammals of the USSR and Adjacent Countries,” published from 1928 to 1950. This work included comprehensive taxonomic accounts, detailed morphological descriptions, geographical ranges and natural history data for 264 mammalian species and 635 forms. 4879 pages were illustrated, including almost 2000 photographs and drawings of skulls and dentition, a huge number of distributional maps made by the author and 56 color figures drawn by famous animal painters. The taxonomic position of a surprisingly large portion of forms classified by Ognev have been confirmed by modern molecular genetic approaches. Ognev also authored significant books on ecology and field photography. It is impossible to overestimate the significance of Ognev’s contribution to mammal studies; his “Mammals of the USSR…” volumes remain one of the most cited works in the field.

Corresponding author

Received: 2012-1-17
Accepted: 2012-5-7
Published Online: 2012-06-27
Published in Print: 2012-11-01

©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston