The Study of Marine Life

662 Words Jan 26th, 2018 3 Pages
Aristotle (384 BC to 322 BC) was the first to write about marine life, recording his observations made on or near the Island of Lesbos in Ancient Greece. He recorded identifications of a variety of species ranging from echinoderms to crustaceans to mollusks and even fish. Not only was Aristotle the first to write about his observations of marine life, he was also the first to record his work on the anatomy and physiology of marine animals and was the first to use a systematic taxonomy to classify these animals (Blits, 1999). It is because of his early work that Aristotle is often referred to as the father of marine biology and comparative physiology.
The modern day study of marine life began in the 18th century. Captain James Cook (1728-1779) was one of the first explorers to circumnavigate the world. During this time he mapped much of the uncharted waters and also logged many descriptions of plants and animals he came across during his extensive voyages (Cook & King, 1784).
Following Captain Cook’s exploration, many scientists began to study marine life more closely. One example of such early research is the famously debated topic of the importance of subsidence in reef growth (Fautin, 2002). Subsidence is a geological process in which landforms gradually sink as a result of movements of the lithospheric plates of the Earth’s crust and upper mantle. During his 1836 expedition on the HMS…
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