Biodiversity is the combination of two words, ‘bios’ referring to life/living and ‘diversity’ referring to the degree of sum and differences in living organisms. Biodiversity, by definition, therefore relates to the sum total of variation in living organisms.
There is an immense variation of the living organisms on the earth, which has principally resulted from a continuous process of organic evolution. Scientists have estimated that 5-20 million species exist on earth of which only1.7 million have been identified and classified. This is primarily due to the fact:
- The certain geographical locations of the earth in which proper, detailed scientific study is hard to conduct are expected to house yet undiscovered species of organisms. For e.g. coral reefs, tropical rain forests etc.
Some of the renowned biologists:
1) Aristotle( 384-322 BC) – called father of biology
2) Theophrastus(372-287 BC) – called father of botany
3) Charaka (300 BC) – called father of Ayurveda
4) John Ray (1627-1705) – introduced term species
5) Carl/ Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) – called father of taxonomy
6) George Bentham and Joseph Dalton Hooker – formalized Natural system of classification
7) Adolph Engler and Karl A.E. Prantl – introduced the Phylogenetic system of classification
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