What do ichthyologists study?

What do ichthyologists study?

Ichthyology is the study of fish. An ichthyologist is a person who studies fish.

An example of what ichthyologists study is represented by the Paris National Museum of Natural History in their photography exhibition called ‘The Little Fish’ which is a series of photographs of fish larvae.

The National Museum of Natural History has a collection of more than 15,700 fish larvae! Most were collected in the waters off French Polynesia, the Pacific Ocean, and Antarctica. ‘The Little Fish’ photography exhibition presents a series of photos of some of these specimens.

In fish, the term ‘larvae’ refers to the youngest individuals (singular is larva, and plural is larvae). The larval stage precedes the juvenile stage. This is the most delicate stage in the life of a fish. 

Studying the larval stage of fish provides a better understanding of their development, distribution, and survival. 

Some of the transparent images show the bone and muscle structure of the larvae to make the skeleton visible so that it can be studied. In the photographs, the bone is coloured red and the cartilage is coloured blue. This make it easier to understand how these larvae work.

[Location of photographs: Paris, France]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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