Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist

Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), Swedish botanist and taxonomist. Linnaeus was a great classifier of living organisms. In 1735, he published 'Systema Naturae' (The Natural World) in which he divided flowering plants into classes based on the plant sex organs. He is considered the founder of modern taxonomy and, in 1749, he introduced binomial nomenclature. This gave each plant a generic Latin noun (genus), followed by a specific adjective (species). Linnaeus opposed evolutionary theory, believing that no new species had been formed since the Creation, and that none had become extinct. The medallion is the Order of the Polar Star (1753).

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