(Roughly) Daily

Killer Shrimp!…

 

“It is Genghis Khan bathed in sherbet…”

An illustrated account of the mesmerizing marine crustacean know to ancient Assyrians as “sea locusts” and to Australians as “prawn killers,” from the always-illuminating The Oatmeal.

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As we think twice about Technicolor Dreamcoats, we might spare a taxonomical thought for Guillaume Rondelet; he died on this date in 1566.  A professor of medicine at the University of Montpellier (near France’s southern coast), Rondelet developed a passion for zoology, especially marine zoolology.  In 1556, he published Libri de piscibus marinis in quibus verae piscium effigies expressae sunt (translated into French as L’histoire entière des poissons- “The complete story of fish”).

Rondelet followed Aristotle in focusing on function (why and how a particular feature or organ worked); so while he covered all known aquatic animals (including the sea locust), he made no distinction between fish, marine mammals, crustaceans, and other invertebrates, nor between fresh- and salt-water creatures.  Still, his work became for many decades the standard reference for what we would now call marine biology.

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Written by LW

July 30, 2013 at 1:01 am

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