Arabische Korallen (1876) by Ernst Haeckel is one of his lesser known publications. Written in German, this book blends scientific explorations of Red Sea coral and travel observations and anecdotes about life in Egypt.
Frontispiece from Arabische Korallen. Inclusion of decorative title pages like this one was a common practice in historical natural history publications.
The header illustration features a Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea) with a Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana). Read more about digitizing Catesby’s remarkable works on Biodiversity Heritage Library’s blog, as well as another post about the taxonomy additions to BHL’s Flickr albums. I was able to add taxonomy to these images with the published research found in The Curious Mister Catesby (2015). You can also read about Catesby’s SciArt Methodology here.
Seahorses belong to the genus Hippocampus, and there are 47 different species. The word “hippocampus” comes from Greek, “hippos” for horse and “kampos” for sea monster! The human brain and the brains of most vertebrates have a structure called the hippocampus, which is involved in memory and internal brain communication.
This part of the brain was named after the seahorse. As you can see from the next image, the brain’s hippocampus and fornix closely resemble a seahorse.
Professor Laszlo Seress’ preparation of a human hippocampus and fornix alongside a seahorse. (CC BY-SA 3.0)