This Day in History: 1705-02-22
Peter Artedi (1705 – 1735) was born on this day. He was a Swedish naturalist and is often referred to as the, father of Ichthyology. Peter Artedi and Linnaeus were best friends during their studies in Uppsala, both interested in plants and animals they divided the organisms between them so as not to compete, Linnaeus taking birds, insects and most plants with Artedi studying fishes, frogs and reptiles. It is likely that his thinking on taxonomy influenced Linnaeus‘s later achievements.
Artedi met an untimely death, accidentally drowning in Amsterdam where he was engaged in cataloguing the collection of Albertus Seba, perhaps the largest natural history collection of the time.
Artedi’s work on fishes, Ichthyologia sive opera omnia de piscibus … (1738) documenting 242 species and 52 genera (posthumously published by Linnaeus) forms the basis for much of the modern science of ichthyology.
Artedi is honoured in the names of a family and six genera along with 13 species under artedi or artedii.