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Insecta
Now open through September 4, 2017
John and Peggy Maximus Gallery

On the gallery walls are prize examples of this species-rich class from our antique natural history print collection. There is a whole world of literature devoted to insects. Three hundred years of describing this class has yielded countless treatises on the subject from every part of the globe-most with fascinating and often beautiful illustrations.

Highlights of the exhibit include a special display of antique microscopes and rare books of great scientific merit: Robert Hooke’s Micrographia with its famous pull-out flea illustration and Jan Swammerdam’s book on insect dissection-both from the 1600’s. Swammerdam laid the foundation of modern insect classification and Hooke used the word “cell”, the basic unit of life, for the first time.
 

Hooke book, Leeuwenhoek and Marshall microscopes

Female katydid     scarab beetle

Musschenbroek microscope c. 1700

 

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