(born June 16, 1902, Chicago, Ill., U.S.—died Oct. 6, 1984, Tucson, Ariz.) U.S. paleontologist. He earned a doctorate at Yale University. His contributions to evolutionary theory include a detailed classification of mammals, based on his studies of mammalian evolution, which is still the standard. He also is known for his studies of intercontinental migrations of animal species, especially South American mammals, in past geologic times. His books include Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1944; 1984), The Meaning of Evolution (1949), The Major Features of Evolution (1953), and The Principles of Animal Taxonomy (1961).
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He was Professor of zoology at Columbia University and curator of the Department of Geology and Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History from 1945 to 1959. He was curator of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University from 1959 to 1970 and a Professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona until his retirement in 1982.
Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.
I don't think that evolution is supremely important because it is my specialty; it is my specialty because I think it is supremely important.
"The regular absence of transitional forms is not confined to mammals, but is an almost universal phenomenon, as has long been noted by paleontologists."