V0038808 Credit: Wellcome Library, London
Two young boys have caught a cuttlefish and brought it home for their aquarium. The women are shocked, some crabs have escaped from a bucket, one is attacking the dog. Wood engraving by P. Swain.
Published: [s.n.][S.l.] :
Size: image 12.3 x 20 cm.
Collection: Iconographic Collections
Library reference no.: ICV No 39365
Full Bibliographic Record Link to Wellcome Library Catalogue
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 2.0, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Alessandro Nocentini（Italian, b.1949）
La Razza 2002 tecnica mista su carta intelata
Calamaro 2007 acquerello su carta
La seppia 2010 acquerello su carta
ANGLERFISH MERMAID OH MY FUCKING GOD
she looks like an illustration from a 1970s beauty product ad and I am so here for that
via Agence Eureka
The Terrifying Mouths of the Sea
1) The Shark Goblin
Considered a living fossil, the rare goblin shark lives deep in the ocean. It’s the only living representative of the Mitsukurinidae family, a lineage that goes back about 125 million years. Adults grow to about 10 to 13 feet long and feature a long flattened snout and highly protrusile jaws. Its long snout is covered with a specialized organ that enable it to sense minute electric fields produced by nearby prey, which it then snatches up by rapidly extending and snapping its horrendous-looking jaws.
2) Hag Fish
In response to physical attack, the hagfish secretes a microfibrous slime. When this goo is combined with water it expands into a cohesive, gelatinous muck (picture 4). A few drops of this stuff is sufficient to bind water dozens of times its own volume and, unlike a simple slime, the proteins it contains unravel to give it some tensile strength and durability. Why the horrifying teeth?
3) The Leatherback Sea Turtle
Those hundreds of jagged stalactites that line the turtle’s mouth and esophagus all the way down to its horrible, horrible gut are called papillae, and they exist because the leatherback turtle’s diet consists entirely of jellyfish and other soft-bodied, slimy invertebrates.
4) The Vampire Fish
Local to the Amazon, the vampire fish is packing a mouth full of knives designed to shank other fish. The teeth are so long - up to 6 inches - that it has to sheathe them in a holster built into the front of its face. They are closely related to piranhas, and piranhas also constitute most of their diet.
5) The Cookie Cutter Shark
Appearing only in deep water under cover of night, the cookie cutter shark is only 2 feet long, but it has the largest teeth relative to its size of any shark. As small as it is, the cookie cutter prefers to inflict hit-and-run attacks. As its name suggests, its signature move is to use the razor-sharp cookie cutter built into its face to quickly rip a circular chunk out of its prey.
Floating around the margins and swimming through the middle of maps between the eighth and sixteenth centuries was a whole aquarium of magical, fantastical sea monsters.
Chet Van Duzer makes the introductions to all these various leviathans, sirens, mermaids, and sea serpents, who inhabit the pages of his book, Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps.
Artistic interpretations of sea life, birds, and reptiles
Between the beginning of the Scientific Revolution (which began in the mid-17th century) and the early-19th Century movement towards dry and clinical accuracy in both anatomical and zoological illustrations, there was a period of extravagance, showiness, and artistic expression in the sciences.
Instead of being solely geared towards other scientists, the artists sought to entice the general public and show off their vast collections, in many of their works. This can be seen in the medical illustrations of Frederick Ruysch, as well as here, in the zoological illustrations of Albertus Seba.
[h/t to Biodiversity Library’s blog for tipping me off to the interesting connections between two collections already in my archive]
Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descripto, tome II & III. Albetus Seba, 1735.
The Zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Samarang, under the command of Captain Sir Edward Belcher, C.B., F.R.A.S., F.G.S., during the years 1843-1846 /.
London :Reeve and Benham,1850 [i.e. 1848-1850].