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Alexander Kovalevsky was born on 7 November 1840 in Dvinsk in Russia, studied medicine at the University of Heidelberg, and was Professor of Embryology at the University of St Petersburg. He showed that all animals pass through the gastrulation stage (the process by which the young embryo acquires its three germ layers). Eponymously he is remembered by the neuroenteric canal of Kovalevsky, also known as the blastophoric canal in the embryo.
Kovalevsky was the Russian founder of comparative embryology and experimental histology. His demonstration of a common development pattern in the embryological development of multicellular animals, both vertebrates and invertebrates, provided important evidence of the evolution of living organisms. In 1890 he was elected to the Russian Academy of Sciences.
In 1951 Kovalevsky was portrayed on one of a series of stamps of Russian scientists. (Stanley Gibbons 1719, Scott 1569).
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