Re: NANFA-- Fishes of North and Middle America

Dave Neely (
Mon, 23 Jul 2001 18:22:59 -0500


>This is what I wrote in the Winter 96/97 American Currents:
>... Who cares if they were naming the same fish twice, thrice, four
>times over? It was Manifest Destiny, biology style. The classification >and
>nomenclature is now woefully out-of-date, but the descriptive >material is
>timeless. A veritable Gray's Anatomy of American >ichthyology.

This series is way better than that. Jordan's eye was impeccable, and we are
starting to recognize that many of the things he (and others) elevated back
in the 1890s, which were synonomized in the 1950s, represent real critters.

In addition, volume 4 has some of the best ichthyological illustrations ever
done, period. My personal favorites were done by Chloe Leslie Starks, who
had an excellent eye for texture and a precise touch with the quill pen.
Illustrations of fishes using stippling are the most time-intensive
illustrations of any vertebrates to produce, so the effort involved is
staggering. Several other illustrators contributed to the work, which vary
in quality, but most are quite excellent.


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