Caryn’s favorite biological drawings were made by Ernst Haeckel, a 19th-century German naturalist, philosopher, physician and extremely talented artist.
1. Muscinae or moss Haeckel was one of Charles Darwin’s contemporaries. When Darwin’s On the Origins of Species came out, in 1859, it was a huge success. Still, it was long and dense and had only a few drawings. That might be why, nine years later, Haeckel’s illustrated book on evolution, called The History of Creation was also so well received. 2. Actiniae or anemones
Haeckel made hundreds of illustrations in his lifetime. Here, I’ve showcased a few from one of his other books, Artforms of Nature. 3. Chaetopoda or worms The drawings highlight taxonomical classes, which he’s probably best known for:
1) This shows 16 different species of moss. In Haeckel’s time, these belonged to the Muscinae family; today, they belong to the Bryophyta family (and Muscinae actually refers to a group of houseflies).
2) Here’s the Actiniae family, showing 15 species of sea anemones. When they’re touched, these creatures release toxins that paralyze their prey (usually small fish and shrimp).
3) The Chaetopoda, of which seven species are shown here, are segmented worms.