John Latham

From Academic Kids

This article is about John Latham the ornithologist. For John Latham the High Court judge, see John Latham (jurist)


John Latham (June 27, 1740 - February 4, 1837) was an English physician, naturalist and author.

Latham has been called the "grandfather" of Australian ornithology. He was able to examine specimens of Australian birds which reached England in the last twenty years of the 18th century, and was responsible for naming many of them. These included the Emu, White Cockatoo, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Superb Lyrebird and Australian Magpie. He was also the first to describe the Hyacinth Macaw.

Latham practised as a physician at Dartford in Kent, where he collected the Dartford Warbler. He retired in 1796 and settled in Hampshire. His main works were A General Synopsis of Birds (1781-1801) and General History of Birds (1821-28).

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