California Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary Celebration
150th Anniversary Celebration 150 Years: A Timeline 150 Years of Research The New Academy
Collections Manager David Catania and Curator William Eschmeyer in the Ichthyology collections.

With no other vehicle for scientific publication, William O. Ayres, first Curator of Ichthyology publishes descriptions of California fishes in San Francisco’s Pacific, Placer Times and Transcript newspapers.

The entire fish collection is destroyed in the great earthquake and fire.

The department purchases Indiana University’s important collection of North and South American fishes.

W. I. Follett and Carl Hubbs discover a shark, Lamna ditropis, that is new to science.


“Orphaned” collections of Stanford University and the George Vanderbilt Foundation come to the Academy. The department’s collection triples in size and gains national and international prominence.

William Eschmeyer’s Catalog of Fishes database contains information on 55,000 described species of fishes, of which about half are valid species.

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Ichthyology | The Study of Fishes

Something Fishy
This Department houses the third most important fish
collection in North America and an exceptional library.
The collection contains 200,000 bottles of specimens and
continues to grow through field activities of Academy
curators and associates.

Midden Detective
Among his other research interests, Curator W. I. Follett was intrigued with archaeo-ichthyology. He analyzed fish remains found in archaeological sites throughout the southwestern United States and as far south as Guatemala, completing several manuscripts. His work revealed important information about the food resources and fishing practices of aboriginal peoples.
Hitching Rides on Deep-sea Trawlers
In pursuit of grenadiers, a group of deep-sea fishes that he studies, Tomio Iwamoto has cruised on oceanographic and fishery vessels over most of the western tropical Atlantic, the Pacific coast of North American from the Bering Sea to the Hawaiian Islands, and parts of the Western Pacific. Iwamoto also does his own scientific illustrations.

Venomous Stonefishes
Striking fear in the hearts of divers and swimmers worldwide, these masters of camouflage are practically invisible in their native habitat. Curator William Eschmeyer was first to describe two of the four “hard core” venomous stonefishes. He also wrote the Field Guide to Pacific Coast Fishes.


150th Anniversary Celebration | 150 Years: A Timeline | 150 Years of Research | The New Academy

©2003 California Academy of Sciences


California Academy of Sciences 150th Anniversary Celebration