The advent of relational databasing and data storage capacity, coupled with revolutionary advances in molecular sequencing technology and specimen imaging, have led to a taxonomic renaissance. Systema Naturae 250 – The Linnaean Ark maps the origins of this renaissance, beginning with Linnaeus, through his “apostles”, via the great unsung hero Charles Davies Sherbon ― arguably the father of biodiversity informatics ― up to the present day with the Planetary Biodiversity Inventories and into the future with the Encyclopedia of Life and web-based taxonomy.
The book provides scientific, historical, and cultural documentation of the evolution of taxonomy and the successful adaptation of the Linnaean nomenclature system to that evolution. It underscores the importance of taxonomic accuracy, not only for the classification of living organisms, but for a more complete understanding of the living world and its biodiversity. The book also examines the role of technologies such as DNA sequencing, specimen imaging, and electronic data storage.
A celebration of 250 years of the scientific naming of animals, Systema Naturae 250 – The Linnaean Ark records and explores the history of zoological nomenclature and taxonomy, detailing current and future activity in these fields. Descriptive taxonomy has been in decline, despite the fact that the classification of organisms through taxonomic studies provides the foundation of our understanding of life forms. Packed with illustrations and tables, this book establishes a vision for the future of descriptive taxonomy and marks the beginning of a period of rapid growth of taxonomic knowledge.