Indoor Sea Creatures
This chapter studies the work performed in one of the biggest, best-equipped, and most influential biological stations of the late-nineteenth century: the Stazione Zoologica in Naples, founded by the German zoologist Anton Dohrn. This iconic station, which combined a public aquarium with research facilities, has been rightfully celebrated for its ground-breaking laboratory work in evolutionary morphology and physiology. In his original program, however, Dohrn also included studies on the interaction of sea creatures with each other and their natural habitat. This chapter explores this (often overlooked) aspect of his program and the ways through which Dohrn tried to realize it. The chapter, furthermore, describes how the spatial and social make-up of the station eventually hindered the translation of Dohrn’s plans into concrete practice.
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