I just had to share this amazing picture of a Copepod from the Smithsonian’s web site: “The World of Copepods” I discovered via Mark Liberman’s recent LanguageLog post. Mark’s post is also notable for pointing out that these tiny aquatic creatures are not “insects” but “crustaceans,” and therefore not kosher, as well as tracing the earliest use of the term “bug” to refer to a technical glitch.
This beautiful illustration is by Ernst Haeckel, (dated 1864). For more information on Haeckel, see this excellent post by Ray Girvan (whose blog was mentioned in another LanguageLog post…) It seems that Haeckel was prone to altering his illustrations to fit with his scientific theories.
Also see my earlier post on taxonomy.