Campanulariidae. That’s what 19th century biologist and illustrator Ernst Haeckel called the tiny animals he rendered in this drawing. I call it jewelry. Bead forms tied together in the most elegant fashion possible. Simply gorgeous.
Sea life and microscopic organisms are fantastic eye openers into the diversity of nature. The hydroid polyps featured in this drawing are plant like colonies of the order Hydroida. When mature, medusa heads will break free of the ends of the waving fronds and float freely like tiny jellyfish.
Copyright on Haeckel’s drawings has passed into the public domain, and they can be found all over the internet. Here are two places:
http://www.mblwhoilibrary.org/haeckel/wall_charts.html (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute).
http://caliban.mpiz-koeln.mpg.de/~stueber/haeckel/kunstformen/natur.html (helps if you read German).
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