This Day in History: 1803-06-04

Peter Ascanius (1723 – 1803) died on this day.
He was a Norwegian naturalist and mineralogist, who had studied under Linnaeus. From 1768 – 70 he travelled along the West Norwegian coast collecting marine fauna for his 5 volume work Icones rerum naturalium, ou figures enluminées d’histoire naturelle du Nord (1767 – 1806); presumably it was during this time that he encountered a rare Giant oarfish, or King of herrings, washed ashore near Glesvær, scientifically describing it for the first time.

Ascanius described around 28 taxa and is honoured in the name of a species of prickleback under ascanii.