Practiced medicine in Montbard. Garde et démonstrateur du Cabinet du roi at the Jardin des Plantes (1745). Collaborated extensively with Buffon on Histoire naturelle générale et particulière (1749-67). Commissioned by the French government to develop a fine wool that would rival Spain’s (1765); his book on the subject, Instructions pour les bergers et les propriétaires de troupeaux (1782), was translated into several languages. Member of the Académie des sciences (1744); associé botaniste (1758), associé anatomiste (1759), pensionnaire anatomiste (1760). Taught at the Jardin des Plantes, the Collège de France, and the veterinary college in Alfort.
Son of Jean and Marie (Pichenot) Daubenton of Montbard, Burgundy. Educated at the Jesuit college in Dijon. Married his cousin Marguerite Daubenton, a novelist (1754); no issue.