The larger carnivore guild

  • J. du P. Bothma
  • Clive Walker

Abstract

Konrad Gesner was the first author to group all the meat-eating animals into one scientific category in his book Historiae animalium, in 1551. He was followed by C. Linnaeus in 1758, who placed all the meat-eating animals in the Order Ferae when he published the tenth edition of his Systema naturae, a scientific classification system of all the living organisms known at that time. This classification system for the carnivores was later refined by various authors. All the original classification systems made particular use of morphological similarities in the carnivore’s dentition to describe the relationships among species and between groups of species. Gradually it became apparent that the ability to eat meat and the resulting morphological implications could not be used exclusively to classify the carnivores because bats and various insectivores would then also be included, an error which first appeared in the sixth edition of C. Linnaeus’ Systema naturae in 1748.

Keywords

Biomass Resi Miocene Hunt Pleistocene 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. du P. Bothma
    • 1
  • Clive Walker
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Wildlife ManagementUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Lapalala WildernessVaalwaterSouth Africa

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