12 Awesome Vintage Anatomical Illustrations of Animals

Get a look at what makes animals work with these gorgeous vintage anatomical illustrations.

1. Phormosoma indicum

These illustrations of a sea urchin appeared in the 1906 book Anatomie der Echinothuriden; the creature's outer layers appear to have been peeled away to reveal its inner workings. Volume 34 of Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy at Harvard College notes that "the color of this species is rather variable, ranging from yellow to dark brown, lighter above than below, and often with a reddish tinge." This species, and several others, are now included under the umbrella of Phormosoma placenta.

2. Cat Brain

As you might guess from its title, the 1882 book Anatomical technology as applied to the domestic cat tells you more than you could ever possibly want to know about the inner workings of felines. But though it might have shown you what a cat's brain looked like, it still couldn't tell you what was going on inside of it.

3. Green Frog

This gorgeous engraving appeared in Rösel von Rosenhof's Historia naturalis ranarum nostratium, which was devoted entirely to frogs and was published between 1753 and 1758. There are many species of green frog; this one might be of the genus Pelophylax, which is comprised of 25 species from Europe and Asia.

4. Xylocopa violacea

Xylocopa violacea, or the violet carpenter bee, is one of the largest bees in Europe. The illustration on the left, which appeared in the 1896 edition of Faune de France, shows the insect's head and mouthparts.

5. Eledone moschata

It's hard to tell from this illustration, which appeared in the 1890 book Atlas d'anatomie comparée des invertébrés, that what you're looking at is actually an octopus—the musky octopus, to be exact. The mollusk lives in the Mediterranean Sea.

6. Bat

This spooky-but-beautiful drawing of a bat's skeleton comes from Eduard Alton and Christian Heinrich Pander's 1821 book Die vergleichende Osteologie.

7. Anglerfish

I can't find any information about where this illustration—which appears to show three different species of female anglerfish—first appeared, or who drew it, but you can buy it for your wall right here. There are more than 200 species of anglerfish; to mate, the males latch on to the females and eventually fuse onto their bodies, providing sperm whenever she's ready to spawn.

8. Limulus polyphemus

You know Limulus polyphemus as an Atlantic horseshoe crab, but it's actually more closely related to arachnids than to crustaceans; the creatures, which have blue blood, are also captured and bled for biomedical purposes. This illustration is also from Atlas d'anatomie comparée des invertébrés; according to a translation of the text, Figure 2 shows a "Limulus whose dorsal integument have [been] removed to expose the heart and main arterial trunks dorsal."

9. Salamander

This flayed salamander appeared in the 1802 book Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière, des reptiles.

11. Horse Head

Much better than waking up to find a horse head in your bed is to examine this illustration, drawn by medical illustrator Hermann Dittrich, which details the musculature, bones, and ear mechanics of an equine. It appeared in Handbuch der Anatomie der Tiere für Künstler, which was published in 1898 and 1911 through 1925.

12. Turtle

This scary turtle illustration—which appears to show the animal's musculature, in addition to an empty shell—comes from the 1819 book Anatome testudinis Europaeae.

Courtesy of The National Aviary
Watch This Live Stream to See Two Rare Penguin Chicks Hatch From Their Eggs
Courtesy of The National Aviary
Courtesy of The National Aviary

Bringing an African penguin chick into the world is an involved process, with both penguin parents taking turns incubating the egg. Now, over a month since they were laid, two penguin eggs at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are ready to hatch. As Gizmodo reports, the baby birds will make their grand debut live for the world to see on the zoo's website.

The live stream follows couple Sidney and Bette in their nest, waiting for their young to emerge. The first egg was laid November 7 and is expected to hatch between December 14 and 18. The second, laid November 11, should hatch between December 18 and 22.

"We are thrilled to give the public this inside view of the arrival of these rare chicks," National Aviary executive director Cheryl Tracy said in a statement. "This is an important opportunity to raise awareness of a critically endangered species that is in rapid decline in the wild, and to learn about the work that the National Aviary is doing to care for and propagate African penguins."

African penguins are endangered, with less than 25,000 pairs left in the wild today. The National Aviary, the only independent indoor nonprofit aviary in the U.S., works to conserve threatened populations and raise awareness of them with bird breeding programs and educational campaigns.

After Sidney and Bette's new chicks are born, they will care for them in the nest for their first three weeks of life. The two penguins are parenting pros at this point: The monogamous couple has already hatched and raised three sets of chicks together.

[h/t Gizmodo]

Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album

Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.


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