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Portrait of Alcide d'Orbigny in 1843
Fragment of the Recent cyclostome bryozoan Nevianipora milneana


This site aims to illustrate and briefly describe all of the cyclostome and cheilostome bryozoan genera erected by Alcide d'Orbigny. Many of these genera are poorly understood, despite their palaeontological and neontological importance. Some have been entirely neglected and very few have been adequately revised or illustrated.

Because d'Orbigny's original illustrations of his genera tend to be stylized, it has been difficult for subsequent workers to interpret his genera. Furthermore his descriptions do not always mention features which are today regarded as taxonomically important. The definitive specimens allowing reappraisal of d'Orbigny's genera are the type specimens of the type species of the genera. Most of these specimens are conserved in the collections of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris. The results of our research on the d'Orbigny bryozoan collection are summarized in this web-site.

Emphasis has been placed on illustration of genera using scanning electron micrographs of uncoated type specimens. These back-scattered images were taken with the ISI ABT-55 environmental SEM at The Natural History Museum, London. Accompanying them are reproductions of d'Orbigny's original figures. By clicking on the thumbnail images on the genus pages a link is made to a page containing a larger version of the image.

This research has been undertaken in connection with revision of the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. Part G Bryozoa.


The research for this website would not have been possible without the generous support of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris which provided both of us with visiting professorships during the spring of 2001. Agnès Lauriat-Rage of the MNHN is warmly thanked for her help in many different ways. The preliminary sorting of the d'Orbigny material undertaken by Professor Ehrhard Voigt was vital to the completion of our work.

Paul D. Taylor
Department of Palaeontology
The Natural History Museum

Dennis P. Gordon
National Institute of Water Research
New Zealand