On an estimation about 5 to 20 million kinds of organisms exist on our planet. Out of these about 1.2 million animals and 0.2 million plants species have been identified, given scientific name and classified.
1. Chandyogya Upanishad - First classified animals into Jivaja (viviparous) Andaja (oviparous) and Udbhija (vegetal origin)
2. Post-vedic Susruta samhita (600 BC) – Classified all living beings into Sthavara (immobile) e.g. plants and Jangama (mobile) e.g. animals.
3. Charaka (100 BC) – Father of Ayurveda.
4. Aristotle (384 – 322 BC) – Known as father of zoology. Firstly attempted to classify the animals in his book Historia Animalium. Aristotle divided animals on the basis of presence or absence of red blood
They are divided into two groups:
(A) Anaima –Animals without red blood e.g. Sponges, Molluscs, Insects etc.
(B) Enaima – Animals with red blood e.g. Fishes, Amphibia, Reptiles Birds, Mammals. Enaima was further sub-grouped into:
(i) Ovipera – Egg laying animals.
(ii) Vivipera - Gives birth to young ones.
5. Carolus Linnaeus (1735) – Coined the term systematics; Introduced Bionomial Nomenclature in his book Systema Naturae.
6. Julian Huxley (1940) – Proposed the term “New Systematics”.
7. August de Candolle (1778-1841) – First proposed the term Taxonomy (Gk. Taxes – arrangement; nomas – law).
8. John Ray (1927-1705) – First to introduce, and define the term Species.
9. Ernst Mayr (1942) – Introduced Modern concept of Species (Biological species concept).
10. Georges Leopold Cuvier (1769 – 1832 ) – Added the “Phylum” in taxonomy.
Further Reading :