THE HISTORY OF COMPARATIVE ANATOMY IN JENA – AN OVERVIEW

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Comparative anatomy and zoology both have long academic traditions in Jena. At first, the two subjects developed in parallel and had many similarites in research topics. This development is covered in the first part of the paper. The close relationship between the two subjects started to break apart when Carl Gegenbaur and Ernst Haeckel were active at Jena University. In 1865 Haeckel became the first full professor of zoology in Jena, and zoology became more independent from comparative anatomy. In the second part of our paper, we follow the developments in comparative anatomy in Jena from Gegenbaur’s immediate students up until the end of Hans Boker’s tenure in Jena in the mid-1930s. Certain subjects are in focus throughout this period, for example vertebrate head morphology and development, (the “head problem”), the relationship between anatomy and biology, and evolutionary questions. Some of these subjects have remained important research topics in zoology and comparative anatomy in Jena until the present day.