How do you describe what Linnaeus contributed to taxonomy?


Quick Answer

Carolous Linnaeus developed the system by which all organisms are classified and named today. His work focused on a hierarchical classification system with a two-part naming system for every organism, known as binomial nomenclature.

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Full Answer

Carolous Linnaeus was an 18th century Swedish naturalist who collected over 40,000 specimens of animals, shells, and plants. His first work, "The System of Nature", was published in 1735 and put forth his ideas on a new classification system. His main objective was to develop a universal naming system, and by the 10th edition of "The System of Nature," he had already classified 7,700 plants and 4,400 animals using his new system.

His work laid out the idea that all organisms are part of one of three kingdoms: animals, plants and minerals. From here, each organism could be further identified by its class, order, genus and species. This is the same system scientists use today, with kingdoms further split into phyla and orders split into families. Other modifications to the Linnaean method of classification included separating organisms into the domains Archaea, Eukarya and Bacteria before the separation into kingdoms. Linnaeus' method of naming has remained unchanged since its development, with all species named in Latin according to their genus and species.

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