The Copepodologist's Cabinet: A Biographical and Bibliographical History, Part 1

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American Philosophical Society, 2002 - Philosophy - 300 pages
Copepod crustaceans are the most numerous multicellular animals on earth. They occur in every free-living and parasitic aquatic niche. Copepods have been known since the time of Aristotle, yet there has never been a history of the study of copepods. This volume, the first in a planned three-volume series, reviews the discoveries of copepods to 1832, the year that the two distinct branches, the free-living copepods (long-known as insects) and the parasitic copepods (thought to be molluscs or worms) were finally acknowledged as members of the same Class Crustacea. The narrative includes the biographies of 90 early copepodologists and recounts their most important contributions to science. Portraits are included for two-thirds of the subjects, with considerable new material as well as information and illustrations from obscure sources. Milestones include the first description of copepods (ca. 350 B.C.), the first illustration (1554), the first free-living freshwater copepod (1688), the first explanation of a free-living copepod's metamorphosis (1756), the first permanently named copepod (1758), the first free-living marine copepod (1770), and the first description of a parasitic copepod's metamorphosis (1819). The work ends with a transition to the mid-19th century, previewing numerous personal connections that pointed toward copepodology's Golden Age in the 1890s, to be covered in Volume 2. A final volume will take the history of the study of copepods to ca. 1950.
 

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I came across this book in Google Books in the process of quibbling with a statement by Nick Matzke on the evolutionary biology blog The Panda's Thumb. It is good of the American Philosophical Society to make the book fully readable here.
It reviews the contributions of many early biologists to the classification of copepods, giving lively short biographical sketches of them. Nearly everyone in biology seems to have had something to say about copepods or their immediate relatives, so it is full of biographical information and biological context. Quite interesting even if you don't care about copepods. (It is perhaps understandable that this book has not come to many people's attention -- the title does not exactly put it on the best-seller lists).
 

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Page xvii - How could you begin?' said she. 'I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?' 'I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.
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