Credited with founding the science of comparative anatomy among many other achievements, Cuvier is honored with the Fountain Culvier at one entrance to the Jardin des Plantes. Some of his early work during the Enlightenment era included studying if egg size determined gender in chickens and if evolution was based on catastrophes. He was instrumental in using fossils to prove that animals had gone extinct; a fact which did not please 18th century believers in Noah’s Ark.
The heavily decorated fountain does not actually feature Cuvier himself but has a bare breasted rendition of Mother Nature surrounded by the plants and animals he studied. Below a carved owl is a crocodile sharply snapping its head to the right. Crocodiles cannot turn their heads as they have no neck and are all body.