Entry on Les Hippopotames

Cuvier.Hippopotames

This entry is devoted to hippopotamuses. The entry first focuses on skeletal features before moving on other physical features of the animal. Cuvier's work in paleontology is evident in the discussion of the number of bones in the feet and other details that rely heavily on an extensive knowledge of animal skeletons. Additional information regarding behavior, habitat, and location is also included.

One of the most interesting features of this entry is its inclusion of personality traits. This particular entry describes hippopatmuses as stupid and ferocious. These attributes of temperament seem at odds with many of the more scientific aspects of the text through their implied judgement and application of human qualities to other species. Additonally, these descriptions show a stong connection to many medieval bestiaries which often included descriptions of animals' characters.  An illustration of a hippopotamus was included in the volumes of illustrations published by Meneville. Some entries, including this one, include stories or quotations by other authors.

Entry on Les Hippopotames