Aquatic and Land Animal Diversity


What were some early studies about fish?

Fish have been a mainstay of food for thousands of years. Because of this, they were often studied along the way. For example, in 1656, Italian mathematician and physiologist Giovanni Alfonso Borelli (1608–1679) showed that a fish moved primarily by moving its tail, not its fins. In 1738, Swedish naturalist Petrus (Peter) Artedi (1705–1735) wrote the book Petri Arted, seuci, medici, ichthyologia sive opera omnia de piscibus— about fish and fish taxonomy—giving him the title of “the father of ichthyology” (which is the study of fish). And between 1788 and 1804, French scientist Bernard Lacepede (1756–1825) wrote forty-four volumes for his Histoire Naturelle—initially started by the French scientist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707–1788)—with eight of the volumes devoted to serpents and fish.


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