Coenraad Jacob Temminck

Coenraad Jacob Temminck (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkunraːt ˈjaːkɔp ˈtɛmɪŋk];[1] 31 March 1778  – 30 January 1858) was a Dutch patrician, zoologist and museum director.[2]

Coenraad Jacob Temminck
Born(1778-03-31)31 March 1778
Died30 January 1858(1858-01-30) (aged 79)
Scientific career
InstitutionsNational Natural History Museum at Leiden
Notable studentsHermann Schlegel
Author abbrev. (zoology)Temminck



Coenraad Jacob Temminck was born on 31 March 1778 in Amsterdam in the Dutch Republic. From his father, Jacob Temminck, who was treasurer of the Dutch East India Company with links to numerous travellers and collectors, he inherited a large collection of bird specimens. His father was a good friend of Francois Levaillant who also guided Coenraad.

Temminck's Manuel d'ornithologie, ou Tableau systématique des oiseaux qui se trouvent en Europe (1815) was the standard work on European birds for many years. He was also the author of Histoire naturelle générale des Pigeons et des Gallinacées (1813–1817), Nouveau Recueil de Planches coloriées d'Oiseaux (1820–1839), and contributed to the mammalian sections of Philipp Franz von Siebold's Fauna japonica (1844–1850).

Temminck was the first director of the National Museum of Natural History in Leiden from 1820 until now. In 1824, he was elected to the American Philosophical Society.[3] In 1831, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 1836 he became member of the Royal Institute, predecessor of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.[4]



Temminck, in collaboration with Heinrich Kuhl, is the author of descriptions of parrots, including the rosella Platycercus icterotis.[5] A tailless mutant of a junglefowl Gallus lafayettii was described in 1807 by Temminck, which in 1868 the English naturalist Charles Darwin incorrectly denied existed.[6] Another junglefowl, described in 1813 by Temminck as Gallus giganteus was, he believed, one of six wild ancestral species of domestic fowl; Darwin, however, demonstrated that the latter has a single (monophyletic) origin.[7]

Species named after Temminck


A large number of animals were named for Temminck in the 19th century. Among those still in use are:[8]


  • Catalogue systématique du cabinet d’ornithologie et de la collection de quadrumanes, avec une courte description des oiseaux non-décrits. Sepps, Amsterdam 1807.
  • Histoire naturelle générale des pigeons et des gallinacés. Sepps, Amsterdam 1808–15.
  • Manuel d'ornithologie  ou  Tableau systématique des oiseaux qui se trouvent en Europe. Sepps & Dufour, Amsterdam, Paris 1815–40.
  • Observations sur la classification méthodique des oiseaux et remarques sur l'analyse d'une nouvelle ornithologie élémentaire. Dufour, Amsterdam, Paris 1817.
  • Nouveau recueil de planches coloriées d'oiseaux, pour servir de suite et de complément aux planches enluminées de Buffon. Dufour & d'Ocagne, Paris 1821.
  • Atlas des oiseaux d'Europe, pour servir de complément au Manuel d'ornithologie de M. Temminck. Belin, Paris 1826–42.
  • Monographies de mammalogie. Dufour & d'Ocagne, Paris, Leiden 1827–41.
  • Nouveau recueil de planches coloriées d'oiseaux. Levrault, Paris 1838.
  • Iconographie ornithologique ou nouveau recueil général de planches peintes d'oiseaux Paris, 1845–1849.
  • Coup-d'oeil général sur les possessions néerlandaises dans l'Inde archipélagique. Arnz, Leiden 1846–49.
  • Esquisses zoologiques sur la côte de Guiné ... le partie, les mammifères. Brill, Leiden 1853.
  • Las Posesiones holandesas en el Archipiélago de la India. Manila 1855.

Taxon described by him



  1. ^ First two words in isolation: [ˈkunraːt ˈjaːkɔp].
  2. ^ Gasso Miracle, M.E. 2008 The significance of Temminck's work on biogeography: Early nineteenth century natural history in Leiden, the Netherlands. Journal of the History of Biology 41(4):677–716
  3. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 2021-04-06.
  4. ^ "Coenraad Jacob Temminck (1778–1858)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Species: Platycercus (Violania) icterotis [complete]". Australian Faunal Directory. Department of Energy and Environment. Retrieved 28 October 2018. Taxonomic Decision for Subspecies Arrangement: Condon, H.T. 1975.
  6. ^ Grouw, Hein van; Dekkers, Wim; Rookmaaker, Kees (2017). "On Temminck's tailless Ceylon Junglefowl, and how Darwin denied their existence". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 137 (4): 261–271. doi:10.25226/bboc.v137i4.2017.a3. hdl:10141/622616. S2CID 135206709.
  7. ^ van Grouw, Hein; Dekkers, Wim (2020-09-21). "Temminck's Gallus giganteus; a gigantic obstacle to Darwin's theory of domesticated fowl origin?". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 140 (3). doi:10.25226/bboc.v140i3.2020.a5. hdl:10141/622888. ISSN 0007-1595. S2CID 221823963.
  8. ^ Grayson, Mike. "A ZOOLOGICAL "WHO WAS WHO"". p. 14. Archived from the original on 2016-12-24. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  9. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Temminck", p. 263).
Primary works
Secondary works