Carl Linnaeus, Swedish Botanist - stock photo
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Carl Linnaeus, Swedish Botanist

Carl Linnaeus (May 23, 1707 - January 10, 1778) was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist. He lived abroad between 1735-38 and published a first edition of his Systema Naturae in which he divided flowering plants into classes ordered according to the structure of their sexual organs. In 1749 he introduced the binomial nomenclature by which each plant was given a latin generic noun followed by a specific adjective. In the 1750s and '60s, he continued to collect and classify animals, plants, and minerals, and published several volumes. His last years were troubled by illness. He developed sciatica in 1773, and the next year, he had a stroke which partially paralyzed him. He suffered a second stroke in 1776, losing the use of his right side and leaving him bereft of his memory; while still able to admire his own writings, he could not recognize himself as their author. At the time of his death, in 1778 at the age of 70, he was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe. Today he is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and one of the fathers of modern ecology. Engraving from "Vies des savants illustres" by Louis Figuier.

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