More Scientific illustrations

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 “...
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...
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 .
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...
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...
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...
Scientists met the robotic glider Scarlet Knight about halfway along its journey of scientific exploration from the United States to Spain, discovering that barnacles were growing on the glider’s...
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...
After leaving Australia, Dampier and his men reached the western coast of New Guinea on New Year’s Day 1700. There Dampier observed birds that he had never seen before, like the “stately land-fowl”...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Squids come in a wide range of sizes, from smaller-than-your-thumb to the enormous giant squid. Giant squid grow up to 16 meters (50 feet). Learn more the life, range, and ecology of the giant squid...
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...
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...
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 .
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...
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