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Ichthyologists are the professional scientists devoted to the study of fishes. As a separate branch of zoology, ichthyology consists of studying the various aspects of fishes related to their physiology, diversity, diet, behaviour, and evolution. It is a highly specialized field of biology dedicated to the study of marine and freshwater fishes. Ichthyology as a separate discipline began evolving from as early as the Late Stone Age. The necessity of studying fishes and their behaviors arose from the desire of human beings to gather an abundance of fishes for eating during the ancient times. The Greek polymath Aristotle, had accurately described 117 species of Mediterranean fishes, and had specified the differences between the anatomy of fishes and other marine mammals. In the modern era, ichthyologists venture out in the fields collecting samples and raw data which is then later analyzed in the laboratory. Since fishes follow a seasonal cycle, ichthyologists collect data during particular times of the year to study the behaviour, diet, and breeding patterns of the fish. This vast collection of data is then painstakingly analyzed during the rest of the year in laboratories. Marine biology and limnology are related fields. Read on to discover about the persona and professional lives of various famous ichthyologists from all over the world through their biographies and timelines.
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David Starr Jordan
(Botanist, Peace activist, Zoologist, Autobiographer, Ichthyologist)
Birthdate: January 19, 1851
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gainesville (village), New York
Died: September 19, 1931
Remembered as the first president of the Leland Stanford Junior University, now known as Stanford University, David Starr Jordan was a reputed ichthyologist. An anti-war activist, too, who opposed America’s participation in World War I, he spent his later years as the chief director of the World Peace Foundation.
Birthdate: July 14, 1801
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Koblenz, Germany
Died: April 28, 1858
Johannes Peter Müller was a German physiologist, ichthyologist, herpetologist, and comparative anatomist. Known for his discoveries and his capability to synthesize knowledge, Müller made important contributions to the field of physiology. He also mentored physiologists and scientists like Hermann von Helmholtz, Theodor Schwann, Emil du Bois-Reymond, Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle, Ernst Haeckel, and Ernst Wilhelm Brücke.
Spencer Fullerton Baird
(US Naturalist, Ornithologist, and Zoologist Who Mostly Studied North American Birds and Mammals)
Birthdate: February 3, 1823
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Reading, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 19, 1887
American naturalist, ornithologist, and vertebrate zoologist Spencer Fullerton Baird was an expert on North American birds and mammals. Initially a professor of natural history, he was later associated with the Smithsonian Institution as a curator and assistant secretary. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the US Commission of Fish and Fisheries.
(Russian Biologist and Geographer Known for His Own Evolutionary Theory Called 'Nomogenesis')
Birthdate: March 14, 1876
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bender, Moldova
Died: December 24, 1950
Russian geographer and zoologist Lev Berg served the Soviet Geographical Society as its president and laid down his own theory of evolution, nomogenesis, as an alternative to Darwin’s theory. Remembered for his pioneering research on limnology and ichthyology, he also contributed to the domain of zoogeography.
George Brown Goode
Birthdate: February 13, 1851
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Albany, Indiana, United States
Died: September 6, 1896