Quinarian system

The quinarian system was a method of zoological classification which was popular in the mid 19th century, especially among British naturalists. It was largely developed by the entomologist William Sharp Macleay in 1819. The system was further promoted in the works of Nicholas Aylward Vigors, William John Swainson and Johann Jakob Kaup. Swainson's work on ornithology gave wide publicity to the idea. The system had opponents even before the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859), which paved the way for evolutionary trees.


The quinarian system was a method of zoological classification which was popular in the mid 19th century, especially among British naturalists. It was largely developed by the entomologist William Sharp Macleay in 1819. The system was further promoted in the works of Nicholas Aylward Vigors, William John Swainson and Johann Jakob Kaup. Swainson's work on ornithology gave wide publicity to the idea. The system had opponents even before the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859), which paved the way for evolutionary trees.
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