Ellis, John and Solander, Daniel (1786), The natural history of many curious and uncommon zoophytes, collected from various parts of the globe / by the late John Ellis … ; systematically arranged and described by the late Daniel Solander …, Benjamin White & Son, London.
From its first publication, The natural history of many curious and uncommon zoophytes… set a new standard in taxonomic excellence, and went on to become a standard work in many branches of taxonomic zoology and botany for the next two hundred years. The book was one of the first fruits to flow from the establishment of the world-famous British Museum. The natural history of many curious and uncommon zoophytes… was the last major work done by both Ellis and Solander, with neither scientist living to see the completed publication. It was finally published by Ellis’s daughter, Martha Watt with the financial support of Sir Joseph Banks in 1786. The book begins with a sincere dedication by Watt to Sir Joseph Banks:
“President of the Royal Society, the liberal patron of science, and the enlightened cultivator of natural knowledge … inscribed by his most obedient and much obliged servant, the daughter of the author, Martha Watt”.
|Illustration of Acanthaster planci (Crown-of-thorns Starfish), in |
The natural history of many curious and uncommon zoophytes
Illustration from The natural history of many curious and uncommon zoophytes
|Cover of Crown-of-thorns Starfish: Questions and Answers by P. Moran|
|Cover of Acanthaster Planci: an annotated bibliography by Peter Moran and Suzie Davies|
About the authors
John Ellis was recognised as the first modern marine biologist, and won a number of prizes from the Royal Society during his life. The natural history of many curious and uncommon zoophytes … clearly and finally established the animal nature of marine animals such as corals, gorgonians and starfish; permanently separating them from the taxonomy of marine plants. The work clearly identified the topic of marine zoology and also laid the foundation for accurate marine botany in England.
Daniel Solander is widely known as the botanist who accompanied Sir Joseph Banks on James Cook’s first voyage of discovery on the Endeavour. He inspired the naming of Botanist Bay (later to become Botany Bay). Unfortunately Solander died quite young, but he still produced a series of major ground-breaking publications emanating out of the scientific collections from his numerous voyages. Solander and Ellis undertook many scientific collaborations during their lives, publishing major works at the Royal Society. Both John Ellis and Daniel Solander were greatly regarded by a giant of 18th century science, Carl Linnaeus. This regard is clearly shown in the 1758 compliment to Ellis:
“You in these minute and almost invisible beings, have acquired a more lasting name than any heroes and kings by their cruel murders and bloody battles. I congratulate you on this, your own stupendous victory, over the barbarous ignorance which hitherto has held the philosophic world in subjection”.
Suzie Davies, Special Collections Volunteer
James Cook University Library
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Cornelius, P.F.S., and Wells, J.W. (1988). 'Ellis & Solander’s ‘Zoophytes’, 1786: six unpublished plates and other aspects', Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Historical Series 16(1), 17-87.
Moran, P. (1986). 'The Acanthaster phenomenon', Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, 24, 379-480.
Moran, P. (1988). Crown-of-thorns starfish: questions and answers. Townsville: Australian Institute of Marine Science.
Moran, P., and Davies, S. (1989). Acanthaster planci: an annotated bibliography, 3rd ed. Townsville: Australian Institute or Marine Science.
Moran, P.J. (1988). The Acanthaster phenomenon. (Monograph series; volume 7).Townsville: Australian Institute of Marine Science.
Rauschenberg, R. (1978). 'John Ellis, F.R.S.: Eighteenth Century Naturalist and Royal Agent to West Florida', Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, 32(2), 149-164. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/531725
Wikipedia contributors. (2018, January 24). Daniel Solander. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved, March 22, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Daniel_Solander&oldid=822120273