History of the Section
The Cabinet of
Comparative Anatomy and Physiology was established at the Medical Department of
Moscow University in 1844. It was initially situated in a residence on the
right side of Nikitskaya Str. just opposite to the old building of the Cabinet
(Museum) of Natural History. Its first directors were famous Russian anatomists
N.A. Varnek (1850-1870) and Ya.A. Borzenkov (1870-1883), thereafter the Cabinet
took ornithologist and zoogeographer M.A. Menzbier. In the beginning of 20th
century the Cabinet was transformed into the Institute and Museum under the
same name. Menzbier left his official position at the Institute in 1911 because
of a political scandal, and outstanding evolutionary morphologist A.N.
Severtsov became its director. He moved the Institution from University to
Academy of Sciences in 1930, and Prof. B.S. Matveev became head of the remained
anatomical museum. The latter was absorbed by Zoological Museum in 1931 to
become its Department of Phylogeny. Its heads were, subsequently, A.N.
Druzhinin (1939-1941), D.N. Gofman (1941-1969), in the years of Gofman it
became Division of Evolutionary Morphology and acquired a big sample of the
bird embryos. After them, it was headed by a mammalogist V.A. Dolgov
(1972-1978), ichthyologist E.D. Vasil'eva, and anatomist A.N. Kuznetsov; now it
is heeded by A.A. Lissovsky.