Preface top ↑
This book cannot replace the special literature, and the specialist in a certain field will certainly find gaps. Books confined to certain aspects, for example those concerning the physiology of the various organs of the fish body, often contain more precise and newer descriptions of morphological, histological and ultrastructural details, but it was not possible to thoroughly review all of these works here. A person who is especially interested in one particular organ system will hardly confine himself to a textbook, which can only encompass more general data. He will in any case consult the special literature and only use the textbook as an introduction to his field of interest. The literature references are by no means complete, and do not pretend to constitute a bibliography of fish anatomy. For technical reasons it was not possible to increase the size of the illustrative volume to the same extend as that of the text volume. Many readers will object to the uneven quality of the drawings. It was, however, impossible to avoid this.
Redoing all of them with the same graphic technique would, at best, have improved them optically, but most likely would have worstened their informative value. To prepare completely new drawings was not possible and would have been much too expensive. When, as is customary, illustrations are shoved between portions of the text, differences in their quality are only less apparent. Placing the illustrations in a separate volume, however, allows the reader to always have those pertaining to the portion of the text being studied in front of him. This has widely been recognised as an advantage by the users of the first edition. It is unfortunately not possible for me to individually thank all those who gave me impotent tips; the list would be too long and nervertheless remain incomplete. I would like to express my special thanks to the publishers, the late Mr. I. Nagele, and his successor, Dr. E. Nagele, for their readiness to considerably enlarge this book and to fulfill my various other wishes and suggestion. I also thank the translator, Mr. Stephen Sokoloff, a graduate biologist, for his painstaking work and self-sacrifice. I hope this book will be as well received as the first edition, and will be of help to a great number of ichthyologists.