Date of birth:
Place of birth:
- Opatija, Croatia
- Vienna, December 29, 2022
- professor emeritus
Membership in the Academy:
- corresponding member – Department of Natural Sciences (6/9/1983 – 12/29/2022)
Erich Thenius, an Austrian paleontologist, was born on December 26, 1924, in Opatija, Croatia. He attended elementary and secondary school in Baden near Vienna, and completed his studies in paleontology, zoology, botany and geology at the University of Vienna and received his Doctorate in 1946. From 1943 to 1953 he was an assistant at the Paleontological Institute of the University of Vienna, where he habilitated in 1951, became an associate professor in 1962, and in 1965 he became a full professor.
He is one of the world’s leading scientists in vertebrate paleontology and has distinguished himself especially in the study of tertiary and Pleistocene mammals. The focus of his research was the upper-tertiary and quaternary fauna of Austria, as well as fossil mammals from other countries. He carried out systematic paleontological excavations of fossil material in the field and processed the collected fossils in numerous discussions and monographs.
He also researched in the former Yugoslavia and collaborated with Croatian paleontologists. Since 1960 he has been a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and since 1979 he has been an honorary member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Since 1983, he has been a corresponding member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.