National Geographic : 1921 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE ONE OF TIE EXHIBITION CORRIDORS: MIAMI AQUARIUM The interior of the Aquarium building is especially designed for the best arrangement and grouping of the fifty large tanks in which the hundreds of unusual and gorgeously colored fish can be seen and studied by the visitors: During the day the only illumination within the corridors is the sunlight, which enters from skylights directly above each tank, and the light thus diffused through the sea water within the tanks creates a very realistic atmosphere of the ocean's depths. utes west), which, because of its ideal location and equipment, will take rank with the great aquariums of the world. HUMAN INTEREST IN THE QUICK Humankind takes a deep interest in animate things, and fish seem to have a peculiar and potent appeal to man. The child turns from toy and pet to gaze upon goldfish in a tiny bowl; the adult will sit by stream or in a boat by the hour in the hope of landing a "string." An gling, in fact, makes the whole world re lated. It is one of the few sports that knows no flag nor race. A striking proof of this interest is manifested in the fact that each year the visitors to the New York aquarium, lo cated on the tip of Manhattan Island, are twice as many as those who go to the more conspicuous and accessible Metro politan Museum of Art on upper Fifth Avenue. May the reason of this fascination not be the racial memory of that far-gone time when our remote ancestors, still too primitive to invent weapons to give them sure advantage in hunting wild animals, turned to stream and ocean inlet for a palatable, abundant, and ever-ready food supply ? The wonder is that science, which has been defined as "intelligent curiosity," should have waited so long to turn to that field which offers a vast, unexplored content of animal creation. That Protean observer, Aristotle, studied fish life, but from his day nearly twenty centuries in tervened before the Swedish savant, Peter Artedi, "Father of Ichthyology," met an untimely death by drowning in a Holland canal, but left enough notes of his observations to enable Linnaeus to publish them (in 1738), and thus estab lish a starting point for modern study of genus and species.