Émile Oustalet

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Jean-Frédéric Émile Oustalet (24 August 1844 – 23 October 1905) was a French zoologist who contributed greatly to ornithology.[1]

Oustalet was born at Montbéliard, in the department of Doubs. He studied at the Ecole des Hautes-Etudes and his first scientific work was on the respiratory organs of dragonfly larvae. He was employed at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, where he succeeded Jules Verreaux as assistant-naturalist in 1875. In 1900 he succeeded Alphonse Milne-Edwards as Professor of Mammalogy.[1]

Reconstructing the dodo in the studio of Professor Oustalet, a 1903 painting

Oustalet became especially interested in birds after the museum received new specimens from Indo-China and Africa. He took a special interest in the birds of China and co-authored Les Oiseaux de la Chine (1877) with Armand David, and also wrote Les Oiseaux du Cambodge (1899).[1] He edescribed a specimen from Branco as a separate species Passer brancoensis in 1883,[2][3] which was recognised as the subspecies Passer iagoensis brancoensis by W. R. P. Bourne, who claimed to observe differences between Iago sparrows from different islands.[4]

Oustalet attended the International Ornithological Congress at Vienna (1884), Budapest (1891), London (1905) and presided in Paris (1900).[5]

The duck species Anas oustaleti was named after him. A species of Malagasy chameleon, Furcifer oustaleti, was named in his honor by François Mocquard in 1894.[6]

Oustalet died at St. Cast (Cotes-du-Nord) after several weeks of illness. The funeral was held in Montbeliard (Doubs).

Selected writings[edit]

  • 1874 : Recherches sur les insectes fossiles des terrains tertiaires de la France, (Research of Tertiary insect fossils from France).
  • 1877 : with Armand David, Les Oiseaux de la Chine, (The Birds of China, two volumes).
  • 1878 : with Alphonse Milne-Edwards, Études sur les Mammifères et les Oiseaux des Îles Comores, (Studies on Mammals and Birds of the Comoro Islands).
  • 1880-1881 : Monographie des oiseaux de la famille des mégapodiidés, (Monograph of birds of the family Megapodiidae, two parts).
  • 1889 : Oiseaux dans le compte rendu de la mission scientifique du Cap Horn. 1882-1883, (Birds in the report of the scientific mission of Cape Horn. 1882–1883).
  • 1893 : La Protection des oiseaux, (The Protection of Birds) — reprinted in 1895 & re-edited in 1900.
  • 1895 : Les Mammifères et les Oiseaux des îles Mariannes, (Mammals and Birds of the Mariana Islands, two parts).
  • 1899 : Oiseaux du Cambodge, du Laos, de l'Annam et du Tonkin, (Birds of Cambodia, Laos, Annam and Tonkin).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Hellmayr, C.E. (1906). "Emile Oustalet [obituary]". Ornithologische Monatsberichte. 14 (4): 57–59.
  2. ^ Summers-Smith, J. Denis (1988). The Sparrows. illustrated by Robert Gillmor. Calton, Staffs, England: T. & A. D. Poyser. pp. 93–94. ISBN 978-0-85661-048-6.
  3. ^ "Description et Énumération des Espèces". Actes de la Société Linnéenne de Bordeaux (in French). 38. 1883.
  4. ^ Bourne WRP (1955). "The Birds of the Cape Verde Islands". Ibis. 97 (3): 508–556. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1955.tb04981.x.
  5. ^ Blasius, Rudolf (1906). "Jean Frederic Emile Oustalet". Ornithologische Monatsschrift: 297–302.
  6. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ("Oustalet", p. 198).