Nicolaus Steno

(1638—1686) Danish anatomist and geologist

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A Danish physician who moved to Florence in 1665. He opposed the prevailing idea that fossils grew within the Earth, proposing instead that they were organic relics of an earlier period. Steno also distinguished between fossils and inorganic remains such as crystals. He had some conception of stratigraphy, describing strata in Tuscany as being formed sequentially.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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