The Search Beneath the Sea: The Story of the Coelacanth

The Search Beneath the Sea: The Story of the Coelacanth

by J. L. B. Smith

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One of the most sensational discoveries in natural history, told by the ichthyologist who was directly involved in its first capture off the South African coast in 1938. Prior to this, the fish, although known to scientists, was thought to have become extinct at least fifty million years ago. There was much professional scepticism that it was indeed a coelacanth and Professor Smith had many battles ahead of him before proof could be found.

A remarkable story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781787207943
Publisher: Muriwai Books
Publication date: 07/31/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 262
Sales rank: 816,357
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

J. L. B. Smith (26 October 1897 - 7 January 1968) was a South African ichthyologist, organic chemist and university professor. He was the first to identify a taxidermied fish as a coelacanth, at the time thought long extinct.

Born James Leonard Brierley Smith in Graaff-Reinet, the elder of two sons of Joseph Smith and his wife, Emily Ann Beck, he was educated at country schools at Noupoort, De Aar, and Aliwal North. He matriculated in 1914 from the Diocesan College, Rondebosch. He obtained a BA degree in Chemistry from the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1916 and an MSc degree in Chemistry at Stellenbosch University in 1918. He received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University in England in 1922. After returning to South Africa, he became Senior Lecturer and later on an Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.

Smith and his second wife Margaret worked jointly on the popular Sea Fishes of South Africa, which was first published in 1949, followed by other writings until 1968. Among these were over 500 papers on fish and the naming of some 370 new fish species.

He died in 1968 at the age of 70. In the same year, Rhodes University established the J. L. B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology in memory of J. L. B. Smith and to honour his lifetime achievements in ichthyology.

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The search beneath the sea; the story of the coelacanth 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So far it is using big words for a 5th grader, and I havn't gotten to the story yet and it is all big words, but I have read other books about coelacanths and so maybe this one will have more detail. Maybe I will try it again in 8th grade and than will understand it more.
LibrisAnnelid More than 1 year ago
The Search beneath the Sea chronicles the introduction to the scientific community and general public of a remarkable fish, the Coelacanth. It is a living fossil! J.L.B Smith, a South African Chemistry professor turned Icthyologist, explains how his world was rocked by a note and a fish scale sent by a museum curator in a small coastal town of Durban, South Africa. What follows, as seen through Smith's eyes is a profound discovery followed by an arduous search for the second Coelacanth. It is a needle in a haystack quest that crosses borders, develops international ramifications and above all, greatly expands our knowledge of a line of ancient fishes.It also serves to teach us humility before Nature.