Gesner proclaims at the beginning of his description "The lion is the king of the quadrupeds," and acknowledges that their original range included Europe. He believes that they were still to be found in Greece, although they had become extinct in the wilds of Europe by 100 BC. Historiae Animalium (Studies on Animals) is considered to be the first modern zoological work. This first attempt to describe many of the animals accurately is illustrated with hand-colored woodcuts drawn from personal observations by Gesner and his colleagues. Conrad Gesner (March 26, 1516 - December 13, 1565) was a Swiss naturalist and bibliographer. To his contemporaries he was best known as a botanist, but in 1551 he was the first to describe brown adipose tissue; and in 1565 the first to document the pencil. He died of the plague, at the age of 49, the year after his ennoblement.
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