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Jeffrey Briggs, Taxonomy

Classification of Animals

28.5¨ x 22¨ x 1.75¨

Taxonomy is the process of classifying animals, plants, species, genera and kingdoms. People have taken a scientific approach to identifying living things. This sorting of nature makes it easier to discuss and of course to manage. It is ironic that the very moment humans are learning more and more about our natural world, we are driving greater numbers of animals into extinction.

I have used the scholarly image of Saint Jerome to represent humankind. He is holding a calipher up to the wing. This is a method that I saw in a film used to tell the age of birds. I used the cow in this piece because it is one of the first domesticated animals, presumably about 10,000 years ago. And this creature is the most repeatedly, independently domesticated animal of mankind. We have had a long relationship with the cow species.