More Scientific illustrations

This 1837 sketch is Charles Darwin’s first diagram of an evolutionary tree. It appears in his First Notebook on Transmutation of Species (1837).
Sea anemones are members of the phylum Cnidaria, and as such are related to corals and jellyfish. Unlike jellyfish, however, anemones (and other anthozoans like corals) lack the free-swimming medusa...
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...
The basic body plans of all modern animals were set during the Cambrian Period, 542 - 488 million years ago. Your friends, family, and pet turtle may not look much like the creatures here. But we and...
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...
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...
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...
This rendering shows life at the end of the Cretaceous Period, before the impact of a 6.2 mi (10 km) asteroid triggered mass extinctions on land and sea. Dinosaurs are the most famous victims of the...
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...
This slideshow features illustrations of some of the plants and animals that William Dampier, a naturalist and pirate, observed in Australia (then known as New Holland) and New Guinea. Learn more...
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...
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...
A reconstruction of a new fossil beluga relative, Bohaskaia monodontoides , described by Smithsonian scientists, is in the foreground. Its living relatives, the beluga and narwhal, are illustrated...
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...
This illustration shows one old idea of what the ancient shark Helicoprion might have looked like. There once was room for many ideas—some more plausible than others—because the only fossils of the...
Today’s discoveries about our planet’s biological diversity build upon the research of previous generations of scientists. The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a digital library committed to...
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...
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...
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