1560 Gesner Dolphin as sea mammals

1560 Gesner Dolphin as sea mammals

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Caption: Woodcut by Gesner, following Belon 1551. Gesner "Icones Animalium" publ. Christof Froschover, Zurich, 1560. Gesner, followed Rondelet and Belon in grouping marine mammals with fish based on habitat. But he (and Rondelet) that unlike fishes with scales the dolphins have hearts with two divided chambers and foetus were in a placenta like land viviparous quadrupeds. Based on this and his descriptions of other internal organs, he considered marine mammals to be a type of aquatic quadruped. But in an age before clear taxonomy, it was by their life in the water that he chose to define them. The realisation that cetaceans were seperate from the fishes and should be grouped with the viviparous qudrapeds had to wait two centuries for Linnaeus, 1758. He coined the term cetacea and put them with the mammals based on breathing by lungs, hollow ears, internal fertilization, and production of milk..

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Keywords: anatomical, anatomy, belon, cetacean, classification, discovery, disection, dolphin, fetus, foetus, gesner, live bearing, mammal, placenta, renaissance, rennaisance, rondelet, science, sea mammal, taxonomy

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