Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of pelagic fish from the family Scombridae. They are found in both temperate and tropical seas living along the coast or offshore in the oceanic environment. Mackerel species have vertical stripes on their backs and forked tails. Many are restricted in their distribution ranges and live in separate populations or fish stocks based on geography; some stocks migrate in large schools along the coast to suitable spawning grounds, where they spawn in shallow waters. After spawning they return the way they came in smaller schools to suitable feeding grounds near an area of upwelling. From there they may spend the winter in relative inactivity. Other stocks migrate across oceans. Smaller mackerel are forage fish including larger mackerel and Atlantic cod. Flocks of seabirds, dolphins and schools of larger fish such as tuna and marlin follow mackerel schools and attack them in sophisticated and cooperative ways. Mackerel flesh is intensively harvested by humans.
In 2009, over 5 million tons were landed by commercial fishermen. Sport fishermen value the fighting abilities of the king mackerel. Over 30 different species, principally belonging to the family Scombridae, are referred to as mackerel; the term "mackerel" means "marked" or "spotted", derives from the Old French maquerel, from around 1300, meaning a pimp or procurer. The connection is not altogether clear, but mackerel spawn enthusiastically in shoals near the coast, medieval ideas on animal procreation were creative. About 21 species in the family Scombridae are called mackerel; the type species for the scombroid mackerel is the Atlantic mackerel, Scomber scombrus. Until Atlantic chub mackerel and Indo-Pacific chub mackerel were thought to be subspecies of the same species. In 1999, Collette established, on molecular and morphological considerations, that these are separate species. Mackerel are smaller with shorter lifecycles than their close relatives, the tuna, which are members of the same family.
The true mackerels belong to the tribe Scombrini. The tribe consists of each belonging to one of two genera: Scomber or Rastrelliger; the Spanish mackerels belong to the tribe Scomberomorini, the "sister tribe" of the true mackerels. This tribe consists of 21 species in all—18 of those are classified into the genus Scomberomorus, two into Grammatorcynus, a single species into the monotypic genus Acanthocybium. In addition, a number of species with mackerel-like characteristics in the families Carangidae and Gempylidae are referred to as mackerel; some confusion had occurred between the Pacific jack mackerel and the harvested Chilean jack mackerel. These are now recognised as separate species; the term "mackerel" is used as a modifier in the common names of other fish, sometimes indicating the fish has vertical stripes similar to a scombroid mackerel: Mackerel icefish—Champsocephalus gunnari Mackerel pike—Cololabis saira Mackerel scad—Decapterus macarellus Mackerel shark—several species Shortfin mako shark—Isurus oxyrinchus Mackerel tuna—Euthynnus affinis Mackerel tail goldfish—Carassius auratusBy extension, the term is applied to other species such as the mackerel tabby cat, to inanimate objects such as the altocumulus mackerel sky cloud formation.
Most mackerel belong to the family Scombridae, which includes tuna and bonito. Mackerel are much smaller and slimmer than tuna, though in other respects, they share many common characteristics, their scales, if present at all, are small. Like tuna and bonito, mackerel are voracious feeders, are swift and manoeuvrable swimmers, able to streamline themselves by retracting their fins into grooves on their bodies. Like other scombroids, their bodies are cylindrical with numerous finlets on the dorsal and ventral sides behind the dorsal and anal fins, but unlike the deep-bodied tuna, they are slim; the type species for scombroid mackerels is the Atlantic mackerel, Scomber scombrus. These fish are iridescent blue-green above with a silvery underbelly and 200-30 near-vertical wavy black stripes running across their upper bodies; the prominent stripes on the back of mackerels are there to provide camouflage against broken backgrounds. That is not the case, because mackerel live in midwater pelagic environments which have no background.
However, fish have an optokinetic reflex in their visual systems that can be sensitive to moving stripes. For fish to school efficiently, they need feedback mechanisms that help them align themselves with adjacent fish, match their speed; the stripes on neighbouring fish provide "schooling marks", which signal changes in relative position. A layer of thin, reflecting platelets is seen on some of the mackerel stripes. In 1998, E J Denton and D M Rowe argued that these platelets transmit additional information to other fish about how a given fish moves; as the orientation of the fish changes relative to another fish, the amount of light reflected to the second fish by this layer changes. This sensitivity to orientation gives the mackerel "considerable advantages in being able to react while schooling and feeding."Mackerel range in size from small forage fish to larger game fish. Coastal mackerel tend to be small; the king mackerel is an example of a larger mackerel. Most fish are cold-blooded. Certain species of fish maintain elevated body temperatures.
Endothermic bony fishes are all in the suborder Scombroidei and include the butterfly mackerel, a species of primiti
Marcus Elieser Bloch
Marcus Elieser Bloch was a German medical doctor and naturalist. Although he had limited education, he became a teacher in Hamburg, learned German and Latin and studied anatomy, he settled in Berlin where he became a physician. Always interested in natural history, he amassed a private collection of natural objects, he is considered one of the most important ichthyologists of the 18th century, wrote many papers on natural history, comparative anatomy, physiology. Bloch was born at Ansbach in 1723, his Jewish parents, being poor, gave him hardly any education, so that on arriving at manhood he was illiterate, till the age of nineteen could not read German. Some knowledge of Hebrew and rabbinical literature enabled him, however, to obtain a teacher's position in the house of a Jewish surgeon in Hamburg. Here he learned German and mastered some Latin, taking up the study of anatomy. Scientific enthusiasm being thus aroused, Bloch went to Berlin, with remarkable zeal, he devoted himself to the study of all branches of natural science and medicine, being supported by some relatives."After taking the degree of M.
D. at Frankfort-on-the-Oder in 1747, he settled in Berlin, where he established himself as a physician. He found means to collect there a valuable museum of objects from all the kingdoms of nature, as well as an extensive library, his first work of importance was an essay on the different species of worms found in the bodies of other animals, which gained the prize offered by the Academy of Copenhagen. Many of his papers on different subjects of natural history, comparative anatomy, physiology, were published in the collections of the various academies of Germany and Russia in that of the Friendly Society of Naturalists at Berlin.""In 1797 he paid a visit to Paris, in order to examine the large collections of such subjects of natural history as had been inaccessible to him on the shores of the Baltic Sea, he returned to Berlin by way of Holland. His health, which had hitherto been unimpaired, began to decline, he went to Carlsbad for its recovery, but his constitution was exhausted." He died in Carlsbad on August 6, 1799.
Bloch is best known for his encyclopedic work in ichthyology. Between 1782 and 1795 he published his Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische, a 12-volume, beautifully illustrated comprehensive work on fishes; the first three volumes describe fishes in Germany and were entitled Oeconomische Naturgeschichte der Fische Deutschlands, the remaining volumes dealt with fishes from other parts of the world and were entitled Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische. "His labour on this work occupied a considerable portion of his life, is considered to have laid the foundations of the science of ichthyology. The publication was encouraged by a large subscription, it passed through five editions in German and in French. Bloch made little or no alteration in the systematic arrangement of Peter Artedi and Carl Linnaeus, although he was disposed to introduce into the classification some modifications depending on the structure of the gills on the presence or absence of a fifth gill, without a bony arch. To the number of genera before established, he found it necessary to add nineteen new ones, he described 176 new species, many of them inhabitants of the remotest parts of the ocean, by the brilliancy of their colours, or the singularity of their forms, as much objects of popular admiration as of scientific curiosity."Bloch's collection of about 1500 specimens is today preserved at the Museum für Naturkunde of the Humboldt University of Berlin.
Oeconomische Naturgeschichte der Fische Deutschlands at the Wayback Machine, with images Gallica Illustrations de Ichtyologie ou histoire naturelle générale et particulière des Poissons text Marcus Elieser Bloch, Illustrations:Krüger, J. F. Hennig, Pater Plumier, Ludwig Schmidt, G. Bodenehr and J. F. Hennig Published 1795-1797 at the authors house in Berlin. In French Bloch’s Fishes revisited - eti.uva.nl
In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. While these definitions may seem adequate, when looked at more they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, in a ring species. Among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, each clone is a microspecies. All species are given a two-part name, a "binomial"; the first part of a binomial is the genus.
The second part is called the specific epithet. For example, Boa constrictor is one of four species of the genus Boa. None of these is satisfactory definitions, but scientists and conservationists need a species definition which allows them to work, regardless of the theoretical difficulties. If species were fixed and distinct from one another, there would be no problem, but evolutionary processes cause species to change continually, to grade into one another. Species were seen from the time of Aristotle until the 18th century as fixed kinds that could be arranged in a hierarchy, the great chain of being. In the 19th century, biologists grasped. Charles Darwin's 1859 book The Origin of Species explained how species could arise by natural selection; that understanding was extended in the 20th century through genetics and population ecology. Genetic variability arises from mutations and recombination, while organisms themselves are mobile, leading to geographical isolation and genetic drift with varying selection pressures.
Genes can sometimes be exchanged between species by horizontal gene transfer. Viruses are a special case, driven by a balance of mutation and selection, can be treated as quasispecies. Biologists and taxonomists have made many attempts to define species, beginning from morphology and moving towards genetics. Early taxonomists such as Linnaeus had no option but to describe what they saw: this was formalised as the typological or morphological species concept. Ernst Mayr emphasised reproductive isolation, but this, like other species concepts, is hard or impossible to test. Biologists have tried to refine Mayr's definition with the recognition and cohesion concepts, among others. Many of the concepts are quite similar or overlap, so they are not easy to count: the biologist R. L. Mayden recorded about 24 concepts, the philosopher of science John Wilkins counted 26. Wilkins further grouped the species concepts into seven basic kinds of concepts: agamospecies for asexual organisms biospecies for reproductively isolated sexual organisms ecospecies based on ecological niches evolutionary species based on lineage genetic species based on gene pool morphospecies based on form or phenotype and taxonomic species, a species as determined by a taxonomist.
A typological species is a group of organisms in which individuals conform to certain fixed properties, so that pre-literate people recognise the same taxon as do modern taxonomists. The clusters of variations or phenotypes within specimens would differentiate the species; this method was used as a "classical" method of determining species, such as with Linnaeus early in evolutionary theory. However, different phenotypes are not different species. Species named in this manner are called morphospecies. In the 1970s, Robert R. Sokal, Theodore J. Crovello and Peter Sneath proposed a variation on this, a phenetic species, defined as a set of organisms with a similar phenotype to each other, but a different phenotype from other sets of organisms, it differs from the morphological species concept in including a numerical measure of distance or similarity to cluster entities based on multivariate comparisons of a reasonably large number of phenotypic traits. A mate-recognition species is a group of sexually reproducing organisms that recognize one another as potential mates.
Expanding on this to allow for post-mating isolation, a cohesion species is the most inclusive population of individuals having the potential for phenotypic cohesion through intrinsic cohesion mechanisms. A further development of the recognition concept is provided by the biosemiotic concept of species. In microbiology, genes can move even between distantly related bacteria extending to the whole bacterial domain; as a rule of thumb, microbiologists have assumed that kinds of Bacteria or Archaea with 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences more similar than 97% to each other need to be checked by DNA-DNA hybridisation to decide if they belong to the same species or not. This concept was narrowed in 2006 to a similarity of 98.7%. DNA-DNA hybri
Dogtooth tuna Gymnosarda unicolor known as white tuna, is a species of pelagic marine fish which belongs to the family Scombridae. Dogtooth tuna can reach a length of 190–248 centimetres in males. and a weight of 130 kg. The average size observed is around 40 to 120 cm, they have 12-13 anal soft rays. The lateral line is undulating; these large size tunas have a streamline shape and a distinctive body coloration: brilliant blue green on the back, silvery on the side and whitish on the belly, with two white tips on the two back fins close to its caudal peduncle. They are always swimming with open jaws; the upper jaw of the large mouth reaches the eye. The dogtooth tuna is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific area from the eastern coast of Africa, Red Sea included, to French Polynesia and oceanic islands of the Pacific Ocean, north to Japan, south to Australia; these offshore fishes can be found in reef environments with smaller fish being more found near shallow reef areas and larger ones haunting deep reef drop off areas and steep underwater walls.
They are solitary or occur in small schools, to a depth of 10–300 metres. The dogtooth tuna is one of the apex non-pelagic predators in its environment, sharing that position with giant trevally, Napoleon wrasse, large groupers, as well as reef and tiger sharks; these aggressive opportunistic predators feed on small schooling fishes and squids, are capable of taking a wide variety of prey items. In most areas, the mainstay of its diet consists of pelagic schooling fish found near reef habitat; these fishes are marketed canned and frozen. Adults may be ciguatoxic; the dogtooth tuna is appreciated in most of its range as a fine food fish and as a game fish sought by both rod and reel anglers and spearfishermen. Dogtooth tuna used to be taken as an incidental catch by anglers trolling for other gamefish - with natural baits for black marlin, for instance, or with lures for wahoo and Spanish mackerel. In the last 10 to 15 years there has been more dedicated effort directed at this species because of its rarity and sporting qualities.
Dogtooth tuna are now a coveted prize by many European and Asian sports anglers. Large specimens are found where there is significant fishing pressure and can be one of the most difficult gamefish to capture, their habit of making high-speed downward runs when hooked on heavy tackle sees the line being cut as it contacts deep bottom structure. Sharks mutilate both hooked and speared fish during the stages of the fight, adding to the difficulty in landing them; the majority of dogtooth tuna captures have tended to be made by trolling with dead and live baits or with lures deep-swimming plugs. These techniques are still used, with one niche specialty being the use of live bait such as rainbow runners to tease dogtooth tuna within range of light tackle and fly-casting anglers. High speed jigging with a variety of metal lures has increased tremendously in popularity in the last several years as advancements in tackle technology have resulted in lightweight rods and reels that are capable of handling heavy spectra-type braided lines.
Some of the more popular destinations for anglers seeking this species include Okinawa and other islands of southern Japan and other Indian Ocean islands such as the Maldives, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and elsewhere in Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia, the Great Barrier Reef and its outlying atolls, many Western Pacific islands such as Vanuatu, Tonga and Palau. "Gymnosarda unicolor". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 18 April 2006
The Black Sea is a body of water and marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Western Asia. It is supplied by a number of major rivers, such as the Danube, Southern Bug, Dniester and the Rioni. Many countries drain into the Black Sea, including Austria, Belarus and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine; the Black Sea has an area of 436,400 km2, a maximum depth of 2,212 m, a volume of 547,000 km3. It is constrained by the Pontic Mountains to the south, Caucasus Mountains to the east, Crimean Mountains to the north, Strandzha to the southwest, Dobrogea Plateau to the northwest, features a wide shelf to the northwest; the longest east–west extent is about 1,175 km. Important cities along the coast include Batumi, Constanța, Istanbul, Novorossiysk, Ordu, Rize, Sevastopol, Sukhumi, Varna and Zonguldak; the Black Sea has a positive water balance. There is a two-way hydrological exchange: the more saline and therefore denser, but warmer, Mediterranean water flows into the Black Sea under its less saline outflow.
This creates a significant anoxic layer well below the surface waters. The Black Sea drains into the Mediterranean Sea, via the Aegean Sea and various straits, is navigable to the Atlantic Ocean; the Bosphorus Strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, the Strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean Sea region of the Mediterranean. These waters separate the Caucasus and Western Asia; the Black Sea is connected, to the North, to the Sea of Azov by the Strait of Kerch. The water level has varied significantly. Due to these variations in the water level in the basin, the surrounding shelf and associated aprons have sometimes been land. At certain critical water levels it is possible for connections with surrounding water bodies to become established, it is through the most active of these connective routes, the Turkish Straits, that the Black Sea joins the world ocean. When this hydrological link is not present, the Black Sea is an endorheic basin, operating independently of the global ocean system, like the Caspian Sea for example.
The Black Sea water level is high. The Turkish Straits connect the Black Sea with the Aegean Sea, comprise the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Black Sea as follows: On the Southwest. The Northeastern limit of the Sea of Marmara. In the Kertch Strait. A line joining Cape Takil and Cape Panaghia. Current names of the sea are equivalents of the English name "Black Sea", including these given in the countries bordering the sea: Abkhazian: Амшын Еиқәа, IPA: Adyghe: Хы шӏуцӏэ, IPA: Bulgarian: Черно море, IPA: Crimean Tatar: Къара денъиз, Qara deñiz IPA: Georgian: შავი ზღვა, translit.: shavi zghva, IPA: Laz and Mingrelian: უჩა ზუღა, IPA:, or ზუღა, IPA:, "Sea" Romanian: Marea Neagră, pronounced Russian: Чёрное мо́рe, IPA: Turkish: Karadeniz, IPA: Ukrainian: Чорне море, IPA: Such names have not yet been shown conclusively to predate the 13th century, but there are indications that they may be older. In Greece, the historical name "Euxine Sea", which holds a different meaning, is still used: Greek: Éfxeinos Póntos.
The principal Greek name "Póntos Áxeinos" is accepted to be a rendering of Iranian word *axšaina-, compare Avestan axšaēna-, Old Persian axšaina-, Middle Persian axšēn/xašēn, New Persian xašīn, as well as Ossetic œxsīn. The ancient Greeks, most those living to the north of the Black Sea, subsequently adopted the name and altered it to á-xenos. Thereafter, Greek tradition refers to the Black Sea as the "Inhospitable Sea", Πόντος Ἄξεινος Póntos Áxeinos, first attested in Pindar; the name was considered to be "ominous" and was changed into the euphemistic name "Hospitable sea", Εὔξεινος Πόντος Eúxeinos Póntos, for the first time attested in Pindar. This became the used designation for the sea in Greek. In contexts related to mythology, the older form Póntos Áxeinos remained favored, it has been erroneously suggested that the name was derived from the color of the water, or was at least related to climatic conditions. Black or dark in this context, referred to a system in which colors represent the cardinal points of the known world.
Black or dark represented the north. The symbolism based on cardinal points was used in multiple occasions and is therefore attested. For example, the "Red Sea", a body of water reported since the time of Herodotus in fact designated the Indian Ocean, together with bodies of water now known as the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. According to the same explanation and reasoning, it is therefore considered to be impossible
Actinopterygii, or the ray-finned fishes, constitute a class or subclass of the bony fishes. The ray-finned fishes are so called because their fins are webs of skin supported by bony or horny spines, as opposed to the fleshy, lobed fins that characterize the class Sarcopterygii; these actinopterygian fin rays attach directly to the proximal or basal skeletal elements, the radials, which represent the link or connection between these fins and the internal skeleton. Numerically, actinopterygians are the dominant class of vertebrates, comprising nearly 99% of the over 30,000 species of fish, they are ubiquitous throughout freshwater and marine environments from the deep sea to the highest mountain streams. Extant species can range in size from Paedocypris, at 8 mm, to the massive ocean sunfish, at 2,300 kg, the long-bodied oarfish, at 11 m. Ray-finned fishes occur in many variant forms; the main features of a typical ray-finned fish are shown in the adjacent diagram. In nearly all ray-finned fish, the sexes are separate, in most species the females spawn eggs that are fertilized externally with the male inseminating the eggs after they are laid.
Development proceeds with a free-swimming larval stage. However other patterns of ontogeny exist, with one of the commonest being sequential hermaphroditism. In most cases this involves protogyny, fish starting life as females and converting to males at some stage, triggered by some internal or external factor. Protandry, where a fish converts from male to female, is much less common than protogyny. Most families use external rather than internal fertilization. Of the oviparous teleosts, most do not provide parental care. Viviparity, ovoviviparity, or some form of parental care for eggs, whether by the male, the female, or both parents is seen in a significant fraction of the 422 teleost families. Viviparity is rare and is found in about 6% of teleost species. Male territoriality "preadapts" a species for evolving male parental care. There are a few examples of fish; the mangrove rivulus is an amphibious, simultaneous hermaphrodite, producing both eggs and spawn and having internal fertilisation.
This mode of reproduction may be related to the fish's habit of spending long periods out of water in the mangrove forests it inhabits. Males are produced at temperatures below 19 °C and can fertilise eggs that are spawned by the female; this maintains genetic variability in a species, otherwise inbred. The earliest known fossil actinopterygiian is Andreolepis hedei. Remains have been found in Russia and Estonia. Actinopterygians are divided into the subclasses Neopterygii; the Neopterygii, in turn, are divided into the infraclasses Teleostei. During the Mesozoic and Cenozoic the teleosts in particular diversified and as a result, 96% of all known fish species are teleosts; the cladogram shows the major groups of actinopterygians and their relationship to the terrestrial vertebrates that evolved from a related group of fish. Approximate dates are from al.. 2012. The polypterids are the sister lineage of all other actinopterygians, the Acipenseriformes are the sister lineage of Neopterygii, Holostei are the sister lineage of teleosts.
The Elopomorpha appears to be the most basic teleosts. The listing below follows Phylogenetic Classification of Bony Fishes with notes when this differs from Nelson, ITIS and FishBase and extinct groups from Van der Laan 2016. Order †? Asarotiformes Schaeffer 1968 Order †? Discordichthyiformes Minikh 1998 Order †? Paphosisciformes Grogan & Lund 2015 Order †? Scanilepiformes Selezneya 1985 Order †Cheirolepidiformes Kazantseva-Selezneva 1977 Order †Paramblypteriformes Heyler 1969 Order †Rhadinichthyiformes Order †Palaeonisciformes Hay 1902 Order †Tarrasiiformes sensu Lund & Poplin 2002 Order †Ptycholepiformes Andrews et al. 1967 Order †Redfieldiiformes Berg 1940 Order †Haplolepidiformes Westoll 1944 Order †Aeduelliformes Heyler 1969 Order †Platysomiformes Aldinger 1937 Order †Dorypteriformes Cope 1871 Order †Eurynotiformes Sallan & Coates 2013 Subclass Cladistii Pander 1860 Order †Guildayichthyiformes Lund 2000 Order Polypteriformes Bleeker 1859 Clade Actinopteri Cope 1972 s.s. Order †Elonichthyiformes Kazantseva-Selezneva 1977 Order †Phanerorhynchiformes Order †Saurichthyiformes Berg 1937 Subclass Chondrostei Order †Birgeriiformes Jin 2001 Order †Chondrosteiformes Order Acipenseriformes Berg 1940 Subclass Neopterygii Regan 1923 sensu Xu & Wu 2012 Order †Pholidopleuriformes Berg 1937 Order †Peltopleuriformes Lehman 1966 Order †Perleidiformes Berg 1937 Order †Luganoiiformes Lehman 1958 Order †Pycnodontiformes Berg 1937 Infraclass Holostei Muller 1844 Division Halecomorpha Cope 1872 sensu Grande & Bemis 1998 Order †Parasemionotiformes Lehman 1966 Order †Ionoscopiformes Grande & Bemis 1998 Order Amiiformes Huxley 1861 sensu Grande & Bemis 1998 Division Ginglymodi Cope 1871 Order †Dapediiformes Thies & Waschkewitz 2015 Order †Semionotiformes Arambourg & Bertin 1958 Order Lepisosteiformes Hay 1929 Clade Teleosteomorpha Arratia 2000 sensu Arratia 2013 Order †Prohaleciteiformes Arratia 2017 Division Aspidorhynchei Nelson, Grand & Wilson 2016 Order †Aspidorhynchiformes Bleeker 1859 Order †Pachycormiformes Berg 1937 Infraclass Teleostei Müller 1844 sensu Arratia 2013 Order †?
Araripichthyiformes Order †? Ligulelliiformes Taverne 2011 Order †? Tselfatiiformes Nelson 1994 Order †Pholidophori
Wilhelm Peter Eduard Simon Rüppell was a German naturalist and explorer. Rüppell is transliterated to "Rueppell" for the English alphabet. Rüppell was born at Frankfurt-on-Main, the son of a prosperous banker, he was destined to be a merchant, but after a visit to Sinai in 1817 he developed an interest in natural history. He attended lectures at the University of Pavia and University of Genoa in zoology. Rüppell set off on his first expedition in 1821, accompanied by surgeon Michael Hey as his assistant, they travelled through the Sinai desert, in 1822 were the first European explorers to reach the Gulf of Aqaba. They proceeded to Alexandria via Mount Sinai. In 1823 they travelled up the Nile to Nubia, collecting specimens in the area south of Ambukol, returning to Cairo in July 1825. A planned journey through Ethiopia only reached as far as Massawa, where the party suffered ill health. Rüppell returned to Europe in 1827. During his absence Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar had used specimens sent back by Rüppell to produce the Atlas zu der Reise im nordlichen Afrika.
In 1830 Rüppell returned to Africa, became the first naturalist to traverse Ethiopia. Rüppell published an account of his travels, Travels in Abyssinia. Species bearing his name include: Rüppell's agama, Agama rueppelli Rüppell's black chat, Myrmecocichla melaena Rüppell's broad-nosed bat, Scoteanax rueppellii Rüppell's bustard, Eupodotis rueppellii Rüppell's desert chameleon, Trioceros affinis Rüppell's fox, Vulpes rueppellii Rüppell's horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus fumigatus Rüppell's parrot, Poicephalus rueppellii Rüppell's pipistrelle, Pipistrellus rueppellii Rüppell's robin-chat, Cossypha semirufa Rüppell's snake-eyed skink, Ablepharus rueppellii Rüppell's starling, Lamprotornis purpuroptera Rüppell's vulture, Gyps rueppellii Rüppell's warbler, Sylvia rueppelli Rüppell's weaver, Ploceus galbula Barbara and Richard Mearns. Biographies for Birdwatchers. ISBN 0-12-487422-3 Obituary. Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography, New Monthly Series, Vol. 8, No. 10, pp. 654