More Scientific illustrations

How do right whales size up? North Atlantic Right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis ) are big, but they're not the biggest whales. That distinction goes to the Blue whale ( Balaenoptera musculus ), the...
Published in 1882 by Yale Professor A.E. Verrill, this is the first scientific illustration of a giant squid. More about the giant squid can be found in the Giant Squid section .
Earth’s first animals had soft bodies. This illustration shows a community of soft-bodied Ediacaran (edi-A-karan) animals. Some species resemble living ocean creatures. Others are unlike any known...
Where ocean currents were strong, ancient rudist “recliners” lay unattached on the seabed. Notice the pink tentacles, which were used to filter feed. Learn more about ocean life throughout deep time...
Offshore Peru, during the Eocene (~56-34 million years ago), showing three archaeocetes (ancient whales), along with a previously described fossil penguin. Top to bottom: Perudyptes devriesi ,...
An adult giant squid struggles for survival in an encounter with a sperm whale - its only known predator. The whale will probably overpower and eat the squid. More about the giant squid can be found...
The giant squid is among the largest invertebrates on Earth, but this deep sea creature has rarely been observed by humans -- alive. Over the centuries, many dead giant squid have washed up on the...
This illustration shows how Scarlet Knight , the first unmanned, underwater robot or glider to cross an ocean basin, faced an entire fleet of fishing ships, equipped with nets, threatening the glider...
Dampier was not able to collect specimens of fishes and other ocean life. But he had his shipboard artist carefully record the species that Dampier found new and unusual.
Vertebrates evolved in the sea and eventually moved onto land. The ancestors of whales later returned to the sea, taking advantage of its rich food supplies. As early whales adapted to their new...
Like octopods and cuttlefishes, giant squid have eight arms. But they use their two much longer feeding tentacles to seize prey. The tentacles have powerful suckers at the ends. More about the giant...
Hundreds of powerful suckers stud the flattened club at the end of the giant squid’s long feeding tentacle. They help the squid capture and hang on tightly to its prey. They also leave deep scars in...
People once thought giant squid (right) were Sea Monks, or mermen (left)—mythical creatures that were part fish-like and part human male. Learn more giant squid facts and legend in the Giant Squid...
What makes a top predator? Razor-sharp teeth? Speed? Strength? Size? Who is the most fearsome hunter? It depends on where and when you look.
Squids come in a wide range of sizes but despite differences in size and shape, all work basically the same way inside. More about the giant squid can be found in the Giant Squid section .
Humans have long been captivated by what we now call the giant squid ( Architeuthis ). This image gallery gives a glimpe into our fascination with the animal. For a long time, people saw mysterious...
As Dampier studied the plants he encountered in Australia, he wrote that they were “for the most part unlike any I had seen elsewhere.” In fact, nearly all the plants Dampier observed were entirely...
A sea monster attacks a ship in an illustration for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. The illustration is by publisher and artist Pierre-Jules Hetzel, who is most famous for his drawings...
Subscribe to Scientific illustrations