Did you know that Philip Henry Gosse was born today in 1810? He was an English naturalist. Instead of conducting experiments, a naturalist observes and studies the animals, plants, and environments found in nature. While Philip Gosse studied insects, birds, and reptiles, he is best known for his studies on marine life. He experimented with ways to keep sea creatures alive outside of the ocean so they could be observed without having to dive underwater. In 1853, Philip Henry Gosse created the first public aquatic habitats in the London Zoo and created the word ‘aquarium’ to describe them.
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In 1827, Philip Henry Gosse worked as a counting house clerk in Newfoundland and studied and recorded the entomology of the island. In 1835 he moved to Lower Canada and continued his observations of insect life and submitted specimens to the Natural History Society of Montreal. In 1838 he moved to Alabama and drew and wrote Entomologia Alabamenisis, a collection of drawings and descriptions of the insect life in Alabama.
In 1844, Philip Henry Gosse lived in Jamaica and collected specimens for Hugh Cuming.
Philip Henry Gosse also wrote and illustrated articles and books of the animals and environments he studied.
While Philip Henry Gosse did not invent the aquarium, with the creation of the public aquarium in the London Zoo, he was responsible for starting the ‘aquarium craze’ in Victorian England.
Before the word ‘aquarium’ the phrases ‘aqua-vivarium’ or ‘aquatic vivarium’ were used to describe man-made aquatic habitats.