Based at the Parisian Museum of Natural History, Cuvier was able to compare the fossil bones he dug from the quarries of Montmartre with those of animals alive today. Guided by the principle of correlation, that all the parts of an animal must cohere, and by analogy, with living species, Cuvier boldly reconstructed extinct creatures from the incomplete skeletons he unearthed. This process is described in his Essay on the Theory of the Earth.

chapter § 1|3 pages

Preliminary Observations

chapter § 2|2 pages

Plan of this Essay

chapter § 3|1 pages

Of the first Appearance of the Earth

chapter § 6|2 pages

Proofs that the Revolutions have been sudden

chapter § 10|3 pages

Of Alluvial Formations

chapter § 11|1 pages

Of the Formation of Downs

chapter § 12|2 pages

Of the Formation of Cliffs, or steep Shores

chapter § 13|1 pages

Of Depositions formed in Water

chapter § 14|1 pages

Of Stalactites

chapter § 15|1 pages

Of Lithopintes

chapter § 16|1 pages

Of Incrustation

chapter § 17|2 pages

Of Volcanoes

chapter § 19|9 pages

Of former Systems of Geology

chapter § 22|2 pages

Of the Progress of Mineral Geology

chapter § 34|11 pages

Concluding Reflections