His last, largest and most well-known work, and the only one to have survived, is called Natural History ( Naturalis Historia ).
Pliny was a compiler, a gatherer and recorder of information.
In 79 CE Pliny was killed in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which he had come to study.
Pliny's fantastic descriptions and anecdotes weren't accompanied by pictures. He opposed the use of illustrations, thinking they would be degraded by repeated copying. He was probably right, though even degraded images might have been more reliable than some of his text.
one modern science historian (Brian Cummings) has described Pliny as "endearingly batty."
Cuvier saw organisms as integrated wholes, in which each part's form and function were integrated into the entire body. No part could be modified without impairing this functional integration:
. .. the component parts of each must be so arranged as to render possible the whole living being, not only with regard to itself, but to its surrounding relations, and the analysis of these conditions frequently leads to general laws, as demonstrable as those which are derived from calculation or experiment.