This is one of those rare occasions when I just want to share some pictures, and few words. For a terrific, creatively written account of Haeckel’s roles in history, see: The Heavenly Zoo of Ernst Haeckel, an enjoyable read whether you like Haeckel or not, and a far better piece than I would write.
Below are some marvelous illustrations by the amazing Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), “German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms …” (quoted from Wikipedia biography of Haeckel). If he were here today, he’d be a blogger, too.
I ran into Haeckel during research for my post on British Soldier Lichens (Cladonia cristatella). He grabbed my attention with this illustration of Cladonia lichens, with an index, that he created at the age of 26 (click to enlarge):
Key to index:
1. Cladonia retipora
2. Cladonia perfoliata
3. Cladonia verticillata
4. Cladonia squamosa
5. Cladonia fimbriata
6. Cladonia cornucopiae
7. Sticta pulmonaria
8. Parmelia stellaris
9. Parmelia olivacea
But THAT, as they say, is NOTHING. Here is just a splash of other Haeckel work and some pictures of him (click to open pictures in carousel mode, then look at the bottom right corner of any picture for the full view link):
If you like that glimpse of reality according to Haeckel, there are hundreds more examples of his magic.
And he’s a handsome fella, too!