These bright and beautiful barnacle illustrations are from a monograph of Darwin’s from 1851, Living Cirripedia. Barnacles, along with fancy pigeons, were an extremely important group to Darwin’s work, and he spent eight years studying them in minute detail and reclassifying the entire group. His studies, which interrupted to some extent his writing of On the Origin of Species, also helped to cement some of his ideas about homology and heredity through comparisons across the anatomy of his countless extant and fossil specimens.
Read more about Darwin’s work on barnacles here.
Extant: A living (as opposed to extinct) organism or group.
Homology: Similarity due to common ancestry.
4 Comments Add yours
I would love to have a poster with the barnacles! Is it possible to order?
They are beautiful, but I’m afraid we don’t sell any prints, sorry! I think this one was tidied up for a book called Opulent Oceans, so it might be worth having a look for that? Good luck!
What a pity! Thanks anyway for a quick answer, I’ll definetely have a look for that book.
No problem – sorry I can’t be more help!