Saturday, November 10, 2007

Born This Day: Francis Maitland Balfour

Nov. 10, 1851 - July 19, 1882

Balfour was a founder of modern embryology. Influenced by the work of Michael Foster, with whom he wrote Elements of Embryology (1883), Balfour showed the evolutionary connection between vertebrates and certain invertebrates (similar to research being done by Aleksandr Kovalevski). Balfour proposed the term Chordata for all animals possessing a notochord at some stage in their development. While convalescing from typhoid fever in Switzerland, he died at the young age of 30 from a fall while attempting an ascent of the unconquered Aiguille Blanche of Mont Blanc.
From Today In Science History