The Schizognathae include a great many of the forms belonging to the Linnaean Orders Gallinae, Grallae and Anseres.
Latreille,2 rightly estimating the value of these differences, though he was not an original worker in the field of vertebrate zoology, proposed to separate Brongniart's Batrachia from the class of Reptilia proper, as a group of equal value, for which he retained the Linnaean name of Amphibia.
By early writers the word was generally given as an equivalent of the Linnaean Loxia, but that genus has been found to include many forms not now placed in the same family.
Naturalists who deal specially with museum collections have been compelled, it is true, for other reasons to attach an increasing importance to what is called the type specimen, but they find that this insistence on the individual, although invaluable from the point of view of recording species, is unsatisfactory from the point of view of scientific zoology; and propositions for the amelioration of this condition of affairs range from a refusal of Linnaean nomenclature in such cases, to the institution of a division between master species for such species as have been properly revised by the comparative morphologist, and provisional species for such species as have been provisionally registered by those working at collections.
Aristotle seems to recognize eight principal groups: (1) Gampsonyches, approximately equivalent to the Accipitres of Linnaeus; (2) Scolecophaga, containing most of what would now be called Oscines, excepting indeed the (3) Acanthophaga, composed of the goldfinch, siskin and a few others; (4) Scnipophaga, the woodpeckers; (5) Peristeroide, or pigeons; (6) Schizopoda, (7) Steganopoda, and (8) Barea, nearly the same respectively as the Linnaean Grallae, Anseres and Gallinae.