scientific illustration


Science Fact Friday - Tapetum lucidum!

So why don’t all vertebrates have this adaptation? It’s an advantage to animals that are active in the dark - cats, dogs, owls, raccoons, crocodiles, and so on - but it makes everything slightly blurry. Many daytime vertebrates (including humans and most other primates) do not have one and instead have better day vision.

Illustration for the cover of my upcoming zine, Specimens, Collections and Curiosities II. It’s like a sequel to my first zine, but it has more witchy things! I’ll have them in my shop at the end of the month, AND I’ll have them at my table at MoCCA in NYC on April 1 and 2nd. It’ll be my first time back in the city so please come say hi!

Science Fact Friday: Wallace’s Line

This line may seem like small potatoes but Wallace discovered it before Darwin’s theory of evolution and long before scientists developed the theory of plate tectonics and continental drift. Scientists were still uncertain /why/ these two regions had such different wildlife. Tigers and monkeys on one side, kangaroos and platypus on the other. What gives?

Even though they are (relatively) close now, Australia and Asia haven’t been connected since the supercontinent Pangaea broke up about 175 million years ago. At that time, Australia was next to the Indian subcontinent and Antarctica. India gradually drifted upwards into Asia, Antarctica southwards to the pole, and Australia has been an island ever since. The consequence of this is that Australian species have been evolving, isolated, for about 80 million years.

The line has been modified a few times - Huxley proposed a small shift (pictured), and two other lines (Weber’s and Lydekker’s) have also been suggested.

Science Fact Friday: Salt Glands

Some people have noticed that this is a pretty efficient process and have asked if we can develop a technology based on this to improve our own desalination efforts…buuut I haven’t been able to find anyone who has actually looked into it further. If you find any info, I’d love to hear it!

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A curious herbal containing five hundred cuts, of the most useful plants, which are now used in the practice of physick engraved on folio copper plates, 

By Blackwell, Elizabeth,
John Nourse.
Samuel Harding.
Publication info
London : Printed for Samuel Harding, 1737-1739.
BHL Collections:
Blog Features
Missouri Botanical Garden’s Materia Medica
Missouri Botanical Garden’s Rare Books Collections