Mammalia in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae

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In the 10th edition of Systema Naturae (published 1758–1759), Carl Linnaeus described the Mammalia as one of the six classes of animals, characterized by being:[1]

Animals that suckle their young by means of lactiferous teats. In external and internal structure they resemble man: most of them are quadrupeds; and with man, their natural enemy, inhabit the surface of the Earth. The largest, though fewest in number, inhabit the ocean.

Linnaean Characteristics [1]

  • Heart: 2 auricles, 2 ventricles. Warm, dark red blood
  • Lungs: respires alternately
  • Jaw: incombent, covered. Teeth usually within
  • Teats: lactiferous
  • Organs of Sense: tongue, nostrils, eyes, ears, & papillae of the skin
  • Covering: hair, which is scanty in warm climates, hardly any on aquatics
  • Supports: 4 feet, except in aquatics; and in most a tail. Walks on the Earth & Speaks

Linnaeus divided the mammals based upon the number, situation, and structure of their teeth.


  • Fore-teeth: cutting, upper 4 parallel, (except in some species of bats which have 2 or none)
  • Tusks: solitary, that is, one on each side, in each jaw
  • Teats: 2 pectoral
  • Feet: 2 are hands
  • Nails: (usually) flattened, oval
  • Food: fruits, except a few who use animal food
Homo (humans)
The Barbary macaque was named Simia sylvanus in 1758.
The Diana monkey was given the names Simia diana and Simia faunua.
Simia (monkeys & apes[Note 1]
The ring-tailed lemur was named Lemur catta
Lemur (lemurs & colugos[Note 2]
Vespertilio (bats)


  • Fore-teeth: none in any jaw
  • Tusks: in elephants and manatees
  • Feet: with strong hoof-like nails
  • Motion: slow
  • Food: (mostly) masticated vegetables
Elephas (elephants)
Trichechus (manatees)
Bradypus (sloths)
Myrmecophaga (anteaters)
Manis (pangolins)


  • Fore-teeth: conic, usually 6 in each jaw
  • Tusks: longer
  • Grinders: with conic projections
  • Feet: with claws
  • Claws: subulate
  • Food: carcasses and preying on other animals
Phoca (seals)
Canis (dogs & hyenas)
Felis (cats)
The eastern spotted skunk was named Viverra putorius in 1758.
Viverra (mongooses, civets, and skunks)
Mustela (weasels & kin)
Ursus (bears)


The wild boar was named Sus scrofa in 1758.
  • Fore-teeth: indefinite numbers on the sides, always have one extra canine
  • Nose: elongate, used to dig
  • Food: digs out juicy roots and vermin
Sus (pigs)
The Brazilian three-banded armadillo was given the names Dasypus tricinctus & Dasypus quadricinctus.
Dasypus (armadillos)
Erinaceus (hedgehogs)
Talpa (moles)
Sorex (shrews)
Didelphis (opossums)


The Indian rhinoceros, Rhinoceros unicornis was placed in the order Glires because the animal's incisors resembled those of rodents. [7]
  • Fore-teeth: cutting, 2 in each jaw
  • Tusks: none
  • Feet: with claws formed for running and bounding
  • Food: bark, roots, vegetables, etc., which they gnaw
Rhinoceros (rhinoceroses)
Hystrix (porcupines)
Lepus (rabbits & hares)
Castor (beavers)
The southern flying squirrel was named Mus volans in 1758.
Mus (mice & kin)
The Siberian flying squirrel was named Sciurus volans in 1758.
Sciurus (squirrels)


  • Fore-teeth: no upper, lower cutting, many
  • Feet: hoofed, cloven
  • Food: herbs which they pluck, chews the cud
  • Stomach: 4:
the paunch to macerate and ruminate the food
the bonnet, reticulate, to receive it,
the omasus, or maniplies of numerous folds to digest it,
and the abomasus', or caille, fasciate, to give it acescency and prevent putrefaction
Camelus (camels)
Moschus (musk deer)
Cervus (deer & giraffes)
Capra (goats & antelope)
Ovis (sheep)
Bos (cattle)


The hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius, was named in 1758.
  • Fore-teeth: obtuse
  • Feet: hoofed
  • Motion: heavy
  • Food: gathering vegetables
Equus (horses)
Hippopotamus (hippopotamuses)


  • Fins: pectoral instead of feet
  • Tail: horizontal, flattened
  • Claws: none
  • Hair: none
  • Teeth: in some cartilaginous, in some bony
  • Nostrils: none, instead of which is a fistulous opening in the anterior and upper part of the head
  • Food: mollusca & fish
  • Habitation: the ocean
Monodon (narwhals)
Balaena (baleen whales)
Physeter (sperm whales)
  • Physeter catodon, Physeter macrocephalus, Physeter miscrops & Physeter tursiosperm whale [15]
Delphinus (dolphins & porpoises)


  1. ^ The current names of all Linnaeus' Simia species are taken from Darwiniana.[2]
  2. ^ The current names of all Linnaeus' Lemur species are taken from Darwiniana.[2]


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ a b c "Carolius Linnaeus and his names for Primates". Darwiniana. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ Bernard Wood & Mark Collard (1999). "The changing face of genus Homo". Evolutionary Anthropology. 8 (6): 195–207. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6505(1999)8:6<195::AID-EVAN1>3.0.CO;2-2. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Anthea Gentry; Juliet Clutton-Brock; Colin P. Groves (2004). "The naming of wild animal species and their domestic derivatives". Journal of Archaeological Science. 31: 645–651. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2003.10.006. 
  5. ^ Jay Butfiloski & Tom Swaygnham. "Eastern Spotted Skunk Spilogale putorius" (PDF). South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Alfred L. Gardner (2008). Marsupials, Xenarthrans, Shrews, and Bats. Volume 1 of Mammals of South America. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-28240-4. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ a b c Don E. Wilson & DeeAnn M. Reeder (2005). Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference, Volume 1 (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Glaucomys volans (Linnaeus, 1758)". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  11. ^ Samuel N. Rhoades (1894). "Appendix". A reprint of the North American zoology by George Ord. pp. 1–51. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ W. Perrin (2009). W. F. Perrin, ed. "Balaenoptera physalus (Linnaeus, 1758)". World Cetacea Database. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  15. ^ W. Perrin (2009). W. F. Perrin, ed. "Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758". World Cetacea Database. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved August 9, 2010.