Ornithologiae, libri tres....Totum opus recognovit, digessit, supplevit, Joannis Raius. London: John Martyn, Regiae Societatis typographi, 1676.
Ray and Willughby were the first ornithologists to discard the Aristotelian principles of classification by function, replacing them with a morphological system based on beak form, foot structure and body size that reflected the true relationships even better than Linnaeus's Systema naturae of sixty years later. The credit for this system almost certainly belongs to Ray, who edited and supplemented the Ornithologiae from notes left at Willughby's death, and who, during their years of partnership, had done the major part of the observations and records. In an attempt to bring order out of the chaos of tradition, Ray collated his and Willughby's observations against those recorded by all previous writers, eliminating duplicate species, species vaguely described or reported on hearsay, and species that were clearly fabulous. Revised English translation by Ray with the addition of 3 treatises on fowling, the care of songbirds, and falconry, London, 1678. Digital facsimile of the 1678 edition from the Biodiversity Heritage Library at this link.
Subjects: ZOOLOGY › Illustration, ZOOLOGY › Ornithology