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Fivebeard rockling, Ciliata mustela

Fivebeard rockling, Ciliata mustela


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Fivebeard rockling, Ciliata mustela

Fivebeard rockling, Ciliata mustela (Five-bearded cod fish, Gadus mustela). Handcoloured copperplate drawn and engraved by Edward Donovan from his Natural History of British Fishes, Donovan and F.C. and J. Rivington, London, 1802-1808

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Media ID 23168806

© Florilegius/Mary Evans

Ciliata Donovan Fishes Gadus Ichthyology Mustela Rockling


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This exquisitely detailed hand-colored copperplate print showcases the Fivebeard Rockling, Ciliata mustela, also known as the Five-bearded Codfish or the Fivebeard, a fascinating marine species belonging to the Gadidae family. The print, drawn and engraved by the renowned Irish naturalist Edward Donovan, is an essential contribution to his seminal work, "The Natural History of British Fishes," published between 1802 and 1808 by Donovan and Rivington in London. The Fivebeard Rockling is a small, elongated fish, typically measuring between 15 and 30 centimeters in length. Its most striking feature is the five barbels or "beards" that encircle its mouth, which it uses to detect prey in the sandy seabed. These barbels are not only essential for foraging but also aid in camouflage, helping the fish blend in with the sandy ocean floor. The Fivebeard Rockling inhabits both the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Seas, preferring shallow waters with a sandy or muddy bottom. It is an essential component of various marine ecosystems, playing a crucial role in maintaining the balance of the food chain. This stunning illustration not only serves as a testament to Donovan's exceptional artistic skills but also highlights the importance of ichthyology and zoology in the scientific exploration of the natural world. The intricate details of the Fivebeard Rockling's anatomy and behavior, as depicted in this print, have contributed significantly to our understanding of this fascinating marine species and its role in the broader marine ecosystem.

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