Wikipedia:Today's featured article/March 29, 2020

Francis Willughby by Soest2.png

Francis Willughby (1635–1672) was an English ornithologist and ichthyologist, and an early student of linguistics and games. At Trinity College, Cambridge, he was tutored by the mathematician and naturalist John Ray, who became a lifetime friend and colleague. Willughby, Ray, and others including John Wilkins were advocates of a new way of studying science, relying on observation and classification, rather than the received authority of Aristotle and the Bible. Willughby and Ray undertook journeys to gather information and specimens in England, Wales, and continental Europe, visiting museums, libraries and private collections as well as studying local animals and plants. After Willughby's early death, Ray completed the works they had jointly planned, publishing books on birds, fish and invertebrates that included innovative ways of classifying animals. Carl Linnaeus relied on Willughby and Ray's books in his Systema Naturae, the basis of binomial nomenclature. (Full article...)