anemones ring

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On the twelfth Day of Taxonomy

My true love sent to me

A riotous display of sea anemones!

To ring in 2015, how could we resist the undersea fireworks of taxonomist and illustrator Ernst Haeckel’s sea anemones from Kunstformen der Natur? A popularizer of the then-recent theory of evolution, German biologist Ernst Haeckel helped put Charles Darwin on the map. His 1866 illustration in Generelle Morphologie der Organismen is often cited as the first published depiction of a phylogenetic tree of all life—a map of the evolutionary development of species.

A copy of Haeckel's Kunstformen der Natur resides in the Museum’s Rare Book Collection, along with many classics of scientific classification. Satisfy your taxonomy craving on the Shelf Life website, and see more beautiful oceanic illustrations in the new book from Museum Curator Melanie Stiassny, Opulent Oceans

We hope you enjoyed the Twelve Days of Taxonomy–Happy New Year!