Discovery of Biological Taxonomy

Topics: Species, Biological classification, Biology Pages: 2 (580 words) Published: October 16, 2011
The Discovery of Biological Taxonomy

Taxonomy is the scientific classification of living organisms. It is known that two main naturalists were responsible for discovering and founding this classification method, John Ray and Carl Linnaeus.

Biological Taxonomy has a hierarchy of seven main ranks; Kingdom, Phylum (Division if it is Botany), Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. These classify every living thing from Animals to Bacteria. Some of the classification system is written English but every organism is written in Latin and the Genus’ and Species’ are always written in Italics. For example, if we were classifying humans this would be our order of Taxonomy; Animalia - Chordata - Mammalia - Primates - Homindae - Homo - Homo Sapiens.

Carl Linnaeus was a Swedish Botanist and Biologist who was born on May 23rd 1707 and died on January 10th 1778 aged 70. John Ray was an English Naturalist who was born on 29th November 1627 and died on 17th January 1705 aged 77. Both were well known for what they did and also in forming the present day biological classification system known as Taxonomy.

John Ray was very fond of Nature especially Plants. He entered Cambridge University in 1644 and studied there until 1660 when he became a priest. That same year he left Cambridge, and between 1660 and 1671 he made many expeditions to different parts of England an one to Europe where he spent time collecting animals, rocks and plants. Ray published many of his findings, views and theories starting from 1660 with Catalogue of Cambridge Plants and ending with Synopsis Methodica Avium et Piscium in 1713. One of his publishments, Historia Plantarum published in 1686 covered how he classified plants. He classified them by similarities and difference of characteristics. This classification system took the modern steps to Modern Biological Taxonomy. Carl Linnaeus was born two years after John Ray so they never met but you could say that Carl was inspired by John and carried...
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