Aves in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae

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In the 10th edition of Systema Naturae, Carl Linnaeus listed the 564 species of bird from around the world which were known to him at the time.[1] There are now believed to be around 10,000 extant species.[2][3] Linnaeus described the class Aves as:[4]

A beautiful and cheerful portion of created nature consisting of animals having a body covered with feathers and down; protracted and naked jaws (the beak), two wings formed for flight, and two feet. They are areal, vocal, swift and light, and destitute of external ears, lips, teeth, scrotum, womb, bladder, epiglottis, corpus callosum and its arch, and diaphragm.

Linnaean Characteristics [4]

  • Heart: 2 auricles, 2 ventricles. Warm, dark red blood
  • Lungs: respires alternately
  • Jaw: incombent, naked, extended, without teeth
  • Eggs: covered with a calcareous shell
  • Organs of Sense: tongue, nostrils, eyes, and ears without auricles
  • Covering: incumbent, imbricate feathers
  • Supports: 2 feet, 2 wings; and a heart-shaped rump. Flies in the Air & Sings

Linnaeus divided the birds based upon the characters of the bill and feet.[5]


The turkey vulture was named Vultur aura in 1758.
Vultur (vultures & condors)
The swallow-tailed kite was named Falco forficatus in 1758.
The snowy owl was named Strix scandiaca and Strix nyctea in 1758.
Falco (falcons, eagles, & kin)
Strix (owls)
The eastern kingbird was named Lanius tyrannus in 1758.
Lanius (shrikes)


The African grey parrot, Psittacus erithacus, is the only species to remain in the genus Psittacus.
Psittacus (parrots)
Ramphastos (toucans[12]
Buceros (hornbills)
Crotophaga (anis)
The common raven was named Corvus corax in 1758.
Corvus (crows & ravens)
Coracias (rollers & orioles)
The common hill myna was named Gracula religiosa in 1758.
Gracula (mynas)
Paradisea (birds-of-paradise)
The yellow-billed cuckoo was named Cuculus americanus in 1758.
Cuculus (cuckoos)
Jynx (wrynecks)
Picus (woodpeckers)
The Eurasian nuthatch was named Sitta europaea in 1758.
Sitta (nuthatches)
Alcedo (kingfishers)
Merops (bee-eaters)
The Hoopoe, Upupa epops, is now the only species in the genus Upupa and the family Upupidae.
Upupa (hoopoes)
Certhia (treecreepers)
The ruby-throated hummingbird was named Trochilus colubris in 1758.
Trochilus (hummingbirds)


The king eider was named Anas spectabilis in 1758.
The Eurasian wigeon was named Anas penelope in 1758.
Anas (ducks, geese, & swans)
Mergus (mergansers)
The little auk was named Alca alle in 1758.
Alca (auks)
Procellaria (petrels)
The African penguin was named Diomedea demersus in 1758.
Diomedea (albatrosses & penguins)
Pelecanus (pelicans & kin)
Phaethon (tropicbirds)
The horned grebe, or Slavonian grebe, was named Colymbus auritus in 1758.
Colymbus (grebes & loons)[Note 1]
Larus (gulls)
Sterna (terns)
Rhyncops (skimmers)


The American flamingo was named Phoenicopterus ruber in 1758.
Phoenicopterus (flamingoes)
Platalea (spoonbills)
Mycteria (storks)
  • Tantalus loculator – the "wood ibis", a synonym for the wood stork [18]
Ardea (herons, cranes & kin)
Scolopax (godwits, ibises & kin)
The bar-tailed godwit was named Scolopax lapponica in 1758.
Tringa (phalaropes and sandpipers)
The ruff (shown here in breeding plumage) was named Tringa pugnax in 1758.
Charadrius (plovers)
The European golden plover was named Charadrius apricarius and Charadrius pluvialis in 1758.
Recurvirostra (avocets)
Haematopus (oystercatchers)
Fulica (coots & kin)
Rallus (rails)
Psophia (trumpeters)
Otis (bustards)
Struthio (ratites)


Pavo (peafowl)
Meleagris (turkeys)
Crax (curassows)
Phasianus (pheasants & chickens)
Tetrao (grouse & kin)


Columba (pigeons & doves)
Alauda (larks & pipits)
Sturnus (starlings)
Turdus (thrushes & kin)
Loxia (cardinals, bullfinches & kin)
Emberiza (buntings)
Fringilla (finches & kin)
Motacilla (wagtails)
Parus (tits & manakins)
Hirundo (swallows & swifts)
Caprimulgus (nightjars)


  1. ^ The genus Colymbus was mis-spelt "Columbus" in the list of bird genera on p. 84, but appears as Colymbus elsewhere.
  2. ^ a b Linnaeus mixed the two species Turdus iliacus and Turdus musicus in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae. Under Turdus iliacus, he gave a description of the song thrush, but cited references referring to the redwing; under Turdus musicus, he gave a description of the redwing, but cited referenced referring to the song thrush. The confusion was partly clarified in the 1766 12th edition. The name Turdus musicus was suppressed after a 1957 appeal to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature by Ernst Mayr and Charles Vaurie.[25]


  1. ^ Ernst Mayr (1946). "The number of species of birds" (PDF). The Auk. 63 (1): 64–69. doi:10.2307/4079907. 
  2. ^ James F. Clements (2007). The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World (6th ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-4501-9. 
  3. ^ Frank Gill (2006). Birds of the World: Recommended English Names. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-12827-6. 
  4. ^ a b Carl von Linné, translated by William Turton (1806). Volume 1. A general system of nature: through the three grand kingdoms of animals, vegetables, and minerals, systematically divided into their several classes, orders, genera, species, and varieties. London: Lackington, Allen, and Co. 
  5. ^ Sibley & Ahlquist (1990)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al W. L. McAtee (1957). "The North American birds of Linnaeus". Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History. 3: 291–300. doi:10.3366/jsbnh.1957.3.Part_5.291. 
  7. ^ Chernelházi Chernél István, ed. (1918). Nomenclator Avium Regni Hungariae / A Magyar Birodalom Madarainak Névjegyzéke (PDF) (in Hungarian). Budapest: Officium Regium Hungaricum Ornithologicum / M. Kir. Ornithologiae Központ. 
  8. ^ "Early Works on Ohio Birds by J. P. Kirtland" (PDF). The Ohio Cardinal. 24 (4): 189–212. 
  9. ^ "Laughing Falcon, Herpetotheres cachinnans". World Bird Info. Retrieved October 1, 2010. 
  10. ^ Richard C. Banks & M. Ralph Browning (1995). "Comments on the status of revived old names for some North American birds" (PDF). The Auk. 112 (3): 633–648. 
  11. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=1yEUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA196&lpg=PA196&dq=Psittacus+aeruginosus+Linnaeus+1758&source=bl&ots=kmloRxrPR7&sig=FLBmX2l0fcp1uOdVrHK5qnNUf8c&hl=en&ei=L0wBTvfoDIrogQeR_oX-DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Psittacus%20aeruginosus%20Linnaeus%201758&f=false
  12. ^ James L. Peters (1930). "The identity of the toucans described by Linnaeus in the 10th and 12th editions of the Systema Naturae". The Auk. 47 (3): 405–408. JSTOR 4075491. 
  13. ^ Biswamoy Biswas (1961). "Proposal to designate a neotype for Corvus benghalensis Linnaeus, 1758 (Aves), under the plenary powers Z.N. (S) 1465". Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. 18 (3): 217–219. 
  14. ^ James L. Peters (1921). "A review of the grackles of the genus Holoquiscalus". The Auk. 38 (3): 435–453. JSTOR 4073768. 
  15. ^ "Sturnidae". Check-list of North American Birds (PDF) (7th ed.). American Ornithologists' Union. 1998. pp. 523–524. ISBN 1-891276-00-X. 
  16. ^ H. E. Strickland; J. S. Henslow; J. Phillips; W. E. Shuckard; J. B. Richardson; G. R. Waterhouse; R. Owen; W. Yarrell; L. Jenyns; C. Darwin; W. J. Broderip; J. O. Westwood (1843). "Series of propositions for rendering the nomenclature of zoology uniform and permanent, being a report of a Committee for the consideration of the subject appointed by the British Association for the Advancement of Science". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 11: 259–275. doi:10.1080/03745484309445300.  Cited in: Alessandro Minelli (2008). "Zoological vs. botanical nomenclature: a forgotten 'BioCode' experiment from the times of the Strickland Code" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1950: 21–38. 
  17. ^ Denis Lepage. "Jackass Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) (Linnaeus, 1758)". AviBase. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  18. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=L3KO7-tyCpcC&pg=PA37&lpg=PA37&dq=tantalus+loculator+linnaeus&source=bl&ots=37PWPKsmgT&sig=XdgFPLVbefgvx-YDFgcZijQGtto&hl=en&ei=Q_BzTPLRFYS0lQfEuqDICA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=tantalus%20loculator%20linnaeus&f=false
  19. ^ John Penhallurick. "White Ibis". World Bird Info. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  20. ^ John Penhallurick. "Common Greenshank". World Bird Info. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  21. ^ John Penhallurick. "Bar-tailed Godwit". World Bird Info. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  22. ^ John Penhallurick. "Common Redshank". World Bird Info. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  23. ^ John Penhallurick. "Common Greenshank". World Bird Info. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  24. ^ John Penhallurick. "European Golden-Plover". World Bird Info. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  25. ^ Ernst Mayr & Charles Vaurie (1957). "Proposed use of the plenary powers to suppress the specific name "musicus" Linnaeus, 1758, as published in the combination "Turdus musicus" and to approve a neotype for "Turdus iliacus" Linnaeus, 1758, the Eurasian redwing (class Aves)". Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature. 13 (6): 177–181. 
  26. ^ Richard C. Banks & M. Ralph Browning (1995). "Comments on the status of revived old names for some North American birds" (PDF). The Auk. 112 (3): 633–648. 
  27. ^ C. E. Hellmayr (1917). "Drei Beiträge zur Nomenklatur der Vögel Europas. Eine kritische Würdigung". Verhandlungen Der Ornithologischen Gesellschaft in Bayern. 13 (1): 87–104.