History of zoology

Humans have always been interested in the animals around them. They have benefited from learning about animals that are a source of food and clothing and other species that are harmful.

Animals were first classified in the 4th century BС by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, whose system was based on the similarity of organisms in shape and structure rather than on their phylogenetic lineage. Aristotle classified birds and bats together because they both had wings and could fly. The formal study of many fields of zoology began in the 15th and 16th centuries AD. In the 1500s the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci and the Greek physician Andreas Veselius demonstrated that the internal anatomy of humans and other vertebrates was similar. The dissection of animals during the next two centuries led to numerous discoveries in anatomy and physiology. In the 1600s the invention of the microscope and the first observation of a single-celled animal, by Dutch microbiologist, Anthony van Leeuwenhoek, evoked new interest and excitement to the field of zoology.

Zoological discoveries at the microscopic level continued. During this period Francis Bacon and other scientists worked out general concepts of scientific observation and experimentation that are still in use.

In the 1750s an important advance was made by Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus in the fields of taxonomy and systematics. Using some of the ideas of classification developed by John Ray during the late 1600s, Linnaeus devised a scheme for classifying plants and animals on the basis of their presumed phylogenetic relationships. Using the binomial names for genera and species to indicate the similarities between species, his system is still used.

The most dramatic development in zoology and all of biology was the 1859 publication of “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” by Charles Darwin. Darwin's presentation of the concept of natural selection and evolution provided a universal explanation for the variations, similarities, and differences observed among all organisms. His thesis became the foundation on which modern zoology is based.

Задание 1. Подтвердите или опровергните следующие утверждения предложениями из прочитанного текста:

1. Animals were first classified in the 15th century AD by Leonardo da Vinci.

2. Aristotle demonstrated that the internal anatomy of humans and other vertebrates was similar.

3. The invention of the microscope by Dutch microbiologist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek led to numerous discoveries in anatomy and physiology.

4. Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus classified plants and animals using the binominal names for genera and species to indicate the similarities between species.

5. Charles Darwin’s thesis “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” became the foundation on which modern zoology is based.

 

Задание 2. Перескажите текст, используя следующие вопросы:

1. Why have humans always been interested in the animals around them?

2. What was the first classification of animals based on?

3. When did zoological discoveries at the microscopic level become possible?

4. What contribution did Carolus Linnaeus make to the development of systematics?

5. What foundation is modern zoology based on?

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