More Scientific illustrations

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...
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 .
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”...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Nudibranchs (often casually called sea slugs) are soft-bodied, marine snails that have lost all trace of an external shell. The name “nudibranch” translates from the Latin as “naked gills.”...
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...
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...
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,...
In 1699, accompanied by a shipboard artist, William Dampier conducted the first scientific investigation of the plants and animals of Australia (then known as New Holland). From there he and his crew...
Crinoids (echinoderms related to sea stars and sea urchins) dominate the Paleozoic shallow water habitat in this illustration. They evolved a variety of stalk heights, which enabled them to capture...
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...
Haeckel was inspired by nature to create not only stunning scientific illustrations but also decorative pieces for home interiors. Haeckel discovered a species of rhizostome jellyfish in Bellagemma,...
Sea squirts, or ascidians, are a diverse class of marine invertebrates representing about 2,300 species. As adults they are sessile animals (attached to the bottom) that feed by filtering food from...
This 1837 sketch is Charles Darwin’s first diagram of an evolutionary tree. It appears in his First Notebook on Transmutation of Species (1837).
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