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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
The Germ of a New Taxonomy
2 February 1998 7:00 pm
[Editor's Note: This week we feature a ScienceThen that first aired last year.]
Wednesday is the birthday of Augustin Pyramus de Candolle, a French plant taxonomist born in 1778. Candolle introduced key principles into plant classification. He adopted the scheme that plants are divided into three main groups--acotyledons, monocotyledons, and dicotyledons--based on the number of embryonic seed leaves that appear when a shoot begins to grow, or germinate. Candolle argued that the structure and form of organisms, rather than their physiology, should be the basis for classifying species. According to this principle, Candolle proposed that taxonomists look for patterns of symmetry, especially of floral organs, to determine the relatedness of plant groups. Candolle created the Botanical Conservatory and Botanical Garden in Montpellier, France, and left a 17-volume descriptive account of flowering plants and conifers.
[SOURCE: TREVOR I. WILLIAMS, ED., A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF SCIENTISTS (JOHN WILEY & SONS, ED. 3, NEW YORK, 1982).]