Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti

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Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti (* December 4, 1735 in Vienna ; † February 17, 1805 , ibid; also: Joseph Nicolaus Laurenti , original name with high certainty Joseph Nicolaus Lorenz ) was an Austrian doctor , naturalist , herpetologist and zoologist .

After graduating from high school in 1754, he worked for several years as a field doctor without any higher medical training before he was awarded a doctorate in medicine in 1768 .

Laurenti was the author of the scientific work Specimen Medicum, Exhibens Synopsin Reptilium Emendatam cum Experimentis circa Venena . The first 110 pages of this work are particularly important for herpetology , as Laurenti was the first to name and characterize the class of reptiles . He also described 30 genera of amphibians and reptiles (excluding turtles ), including several of the best-known generic names such as B. Bufo , Hyla , Iguana or Natrix . The Systema naturae Linnés defines only 10 genera. In addition, several European amphibian and reptile species were described for the first time in the first part of Laurenti's work. In the second part of his 214-page work, he dealt with the toxicity of Austrian amphibians and reptiles, but without gaining new knowledge about the mode of action of the respective poisons.

In the past, Laurenti's authorship of his work has been questioned several times and attributed to the Hungarian scientist Jacob Joseph Winterl , but without conclusive evidence.


Individual evidence

  1. G. Bischoff, W. Hallmann: Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti (1735-1805). In: W. Rieck, W. Hallmann, W. Bischoff (Eds.): Mertensiella, Supplement to SALAMANDRA. The history of herpetology and terrarium science in German-speaking countries . On behalf of the German Society for Herpetology and Terrarium Science e. V. Number 12. 2001, pp. 515-517. 2001, ISBN 3-9806577-3-6 .