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Morten Thrane Brünnich

  Morten Thrane Brünnich (September 30, 1737 - September 19, 1827) was a Danish zoologist and mineralogist.

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Brünnich was born in Copenhagen, the son of a portrait painter. He studied oriental languages and theology, but soon became interested in natural history. He contributed his observations of insects to Erik Pontoppidan's Danske Atlas (1763-81). After being put in charge of the natural history collection of Judge Christian Fleischer he became interested in ornithology, and in 1764 he published Ornithologia Borealis, which included the details of many Scandinavian birds, some described for the first time.

Brünnich corresponded with many foreign naturalists including Linnaeus, Peter Simon Pallas and Thomas Pennant. He published his Entomologia in 1764. He then embarked on a long tour of Europe, spending time studying the fish of the Mediterranean Sea and publishing his Ichthyologia Massiliensis on the subject in 1768.

On his return Brünnich took up the post of Lecturer in Natural History and Economy at Copenhagen University. Here he established a natural history museum and wrote a textbook for his students, the Zoologiae fundamenta.

Brünnich's Guillemot is named after him.


  • Biographies for Birdwatchers, by Barbara and Richard Mearns - ISBN 0124874223
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Morten_Thrane_Brünnich". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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