More Scientific illustrations

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...
Historically, sea urchins were known as sea hedgehogs due to their superficial resemblance to the spiny mammalian species. “Urchin” is, in fact, a Middle English term for hedgehog. Sand dollars (like...
Evidence shows that life probably began in the ocean at least 3.5 billion years ago. Photosynthesis began more than 2.5 billion years ago—the Great Oxidation Event. But it took hundreds of millions...
Rudist clams are mollusks that went extinct about 65 million years ago. They were the reef builders of the Cretaceous Period, the heyday of the dinosaurs. Today corals have taken over the role...
A scientific illustration of the most powerful fish of its time, Carcharodon megalodon , which swam the ocean 30 million years ago. This shark may have reached a size of 20 meters/66 feet. Meet other...
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 ,...
This 1837 sketch is Charles Darwin’s first diagram of an evolutionary tree. It appears in his First Notebook on Transmutation of Species (1837).
The waters of New Guinea teemed with exotic fishes and crabs, which were faithfully depicted by William Dampier’s artist. When Dampier’s book A Voyage to New Holland was published in 1703,...
Inside the giant squid's sharp beak is a tongue-like organ called the radula (shown in yellow). Covered with rows of tiny teeth, it rams bite size pieces of food down the squid's throat. The pieces...
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 .
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...
Of all of the species Haeckel described, he is most famous for his illustrations of radiolarians. Planktonic, unicellular marine eukaryotes, radiolarians are found in all of the world’s oceans. The...
This illustration shows the edge of a warm inland sea during the Cretaceous Period, heyday of the dinosaurs. Constantly shifting sediment supported new groups of organisms, including rudist clams—...
About 100 million years ago, during the heyday of the dinosaurs , reefs were built by mollusks called rudist clams . They looked very different from today's coral reefs . Discover more about the...
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...
Like the modern nautilus, this relative of modern squid hunted from inside the safe haven of a protective shell. Ammonites went extinct around the same time as the dinosaurs—65 million years ago...
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 .
As soon as Dampier set foot in Australia, he began making observations and collecting specimens of plants, which he carefully pressed between the pages of books to be studied by the “ingenious” and “...
Subscribe to Scientific illustrations