The Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary Environmental Biology of Fishes (EBF), in which defines the first meaning of a 'preface' as 'a my students and I contributed to the concept, its eucharistic prayer of thanksgiving forming in the main attraction became the chance to arrange most Roman rite an introduction to the can'. Prayer, in one volume, with a new explanatory introduc- thanks and introduction cover rather well what I tion and synthesis. During the past three decades interest in early have in mind (after a similar idea by Greenwood life history has mushroomed into a fruitful field of 1981), but to compare the rest of this book to a can is obviously wishful thinking. May I there- science with a steadily increasing breadth and so- fore be forgiven for the latter and allowed to elab- phistication. The emphasis, however, has been orate on the former. mostly on life histories from the population biology It is over 30 years ago that my first paper on fish point of view, limited to an interpretation of pat- ontogeny appeared (Balon & Frank 1953). Many terns or a few easy to monitor variables (e. g. Roff such papers later, I began to formulate the life- 1984, Thresher 1984). I had my share in this approach history models (Balon 1975a), classification of re- (e. g.