PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Title page of first edition of Conrad Gesner's "Historiae Animalium" 1558 Book III. Described as the first encyclopedia of animals. It is a distillation of much that was known from ancient times and also what was discovered by observation in the early renaissance. In this volume (Volume 4) on fish Gesner used much information and direct observation from his important zoological contemporaries Belon and Rondelet. He combined it with some folklore and the teachings of Pliny. As a consequence the first stirrings of modern zoology are to be found in this volume.
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