Comparative anatomist. Assistant conservator of the Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons of England, 1827; Hunterian Professor of comparative anatomy and physiology, 1836–56. Superintendent of the natural history departments, British Museum, 1856–84; prime mover in establishing the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, 1881. President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1858. Described the Beagle fossil mammal specimens. Knighted, 1884. FRS 1834.