I've always been an admirer of scientific illustrations. When I was young, I had a number of field guides for flowers, birds and animals, and would pour over them; especially when I found something outside that I didn't recognize. (I still do this when visiting my parents up north).
Last autumn I was asked to illustrate three full pages of botanical, ornithological and zoological species found in the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. It was a chance to do a little image research and create some of my own scientific illustrations.
Checking through one of my favourite blogs, Bibliodyssey, this morning, I found some gorgeous colour plates created by painter Comingio Merculiano in 1885 for a monograph (n.23) titled, I Cefalopodi di Napoli. You can find more illustrations and little information on the collection here.