Pre-Darwinian taxonomy confusion, 1834

Pre-Darwinian taxonomy confusion, 1834

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pre-Darwinian taxonomy confusion. 19th-century illustration showing the confusion in taxonomy before Darwin's theory of evolution. Here, the platypus (upper left) is connected to both the birds and reptiles by their egg laying, but also to the mammals by their lactation. Whales (upper right) are connected to the mammals by their placental birth and endothermy, but also to the fishes because of their aquatic habitat. Artwork from an 1834 volume of 'Dictionnaire pittoresque d'histoire naturelle et des phenomenes de la nature' (Paris, 1833-1839) edited by Felix E. Guerin-Meneville.

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