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Natural Science Illustration Program: Home

Sources for vertebrate anatomy illustrations

Lion anatomical engraving from Handbuch der Anatomie der Tiere für Künstler' - Hermann Dittrich, illustrator.

Der Lowe by Hermann Dittrich 
from 
Handbuch der Anatomie der Tiere für Künstler, 1911-1925.

Getting Started...

Illustrations of the gross anatomy of vertebrates can be difficult to locate since most of that type of research did not go beyond the early 20th century; most of the older scientific literature is not indexed in computerized databases. Before choosing your animal, consider exploring available illustrations;  many of the sources are listed on the Digital Resources pages.

If you decide on an animal without browsing the digital images first, locate the scientific name of that animal. Using the scientific name (genus and species) is the best way to search scientific literature.  Wikipedia is a good source for finding scientific name by searching the common name. Wikipedia will also indicate if changes to an animal's scientific name have occurred. You might need to use an older scientific name for some sources; remember that the majority of gross anatomy research extended into the late 19th and early 20th centuries, so older scientific papers will probably have the most useful illustrations.

Resources on the "Find Articles" page can help you locate descriptions and illustrations in academic journals. The  Web of Science database is best as indexing goes back to 1900.  Use the "Find Books" tab to search the collections of the UW Libraries.  

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Biological Sciences & Sciences Research Data Librarian