Sergey Ivanovitch Ognev and the formation of theriology in Russia

Irina Bakloushinskaya, Georgii A. Bazykin, Alexey P. Kryukov, Elena P. Kryukova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Sergey I. Ognev (1886-1951), one of Russia's most famous biologists, was both a theoretical scientist and a great field researcher. Ognev's "Fauna Mosquensis" (1913) is the most comprehensive study of the mammals of European Russia after Pallas. Throughout his life, Ognev's work involved two important components: biological observation in nature and study of geographical distribution. His combination of excellent knowledge of natural habitats and morphology created a unique insight. This effort resulted in seven volumes of "Mammals of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia" and "Mammals of the USSR and Adjacent Countries," published from 1928 to 1950. This work included comprehensive taxonomic accounts, detailed morphological descriptions, geographical ranges and natural history data for 264 mammalian species and 635 forms. 4879 pages were illustrated, including almost 2000 photographs and drawings of skulls and dentition, a huge number of distributional maps made by the author and 56 color fi gures drawn by famous animal painters. The taxonomic position of a surprisingly large portion of forms classifi ed by Ognev have been confi rmed by modern molecular genetic approaches. Ognev also authored signifi cant books on ecology and field photography. It is impossible to overestimate the signifi cance of Ognev's contribution to mammal studies; his "Mammals of the USSR ..." volumes remain one of the most cited works in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-382
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • European fauna
  • History of mammalogy
  • Mammalian systematics


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