Georges Cuvier (1769–1832) studied mummified cats and ibises which had been brought back to Paris from Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt. Because they looked much the same as animals alive in his day, he concluded that evolution had not occurred, and that species extinctions had resulted from periodic “catastrophes”.
Georges Cuvier reckoned he knew
(Old mummified mogs were the clue)
Extinctions had been
Catastrophic. He’d seen
No change between old cats and new,
So species that now are extinct
Must have perished; and Cuvier linked
Each loss to a whopping
Their family tree ere they blinked.