Aristotle’s great strength as a scientist was observation, and he put this strength to good use in studying Earth’s animals.
He compared their anatomy, studied their habits, and recorded thousands of these observations. In one of his books, the History of Animals, he described more than 500 different species.
Without the use of any scientific tools, Aristotle made many amazing biological discoveries.
- He was the first to realize that whales and dolphins are mammals, like humans.
- He discovered that birds and reptiles are anatomically similar.
- He was the first to detect that embryos have beating hearts.
- He explained animal migration and extinction.
- He also recognized that humans are part of the animal kingdom.
Aristotle had one of the earliest scientific research teams.
About 1,000 men roamed Greece and the Asian continent collecting specimens of animal life for him.
Aristotle particularly liked to study marine animals.
One sea urchin is named after him. It is called Aristotle’s lantern.