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ESP Timelines

Comparative Timelines

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image Painting by Agnolo Bronzino: Portrait of a Young Man with a Book The Portrait of a Young Man with a Book is a c.1530s oil on board painting by Agnolo Bronzino. It likely depicts a literary friend of the artist holding open a collection of poetry. It entered the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1929, where it is still held.

image Painting by Parmigianino: Madonna with the Long Neck an Italian Mannerist oil painting depicting Madonna and Child with angels. The painting was begun in 1534 for the funerary chapel of Francesco Tagliaferri in Parma, but remained incomplete on Parmigianino's death in 1540. Ferdinando de' Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany purchased it in 1698 and it has been on display at the Uffizi since 1948. The painting depicts the Virgin Mary seated on a high pedestal in luxurious robes, holding a rather large baby Jesus on her lap. Six angels crowd together on the Madonna's right, adore the Christ-child. In the lower right-hand corner of the painting is an enigmatic scene, with a row of marble columns and the emaciated figure of St. Jerome. A depiction of St. Jerome was required by the commissioner because of the saint's connection with the adoration of the Virgin Mary. The painting is popularly called "Madonna of the Long Neck" because "the painter, in his eagerness to make the Holy Virgin look graceful and elegant, has given her a neck like that of a swan."

1540

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1541

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image Painting by Agnolo Bronzino: Portrait of Bia de' Medici The Portrait of Bia de' Medici is an oil-tempera on wood painting by Agnolo Bronzino, dating to around 1542 and now in the Uffizi in Florence. Some art historians once identified the child as a young Cosimo I de' Medici, but it is now generally accepted to be Giulia.

image Painting by Hans Holbein the Younger: Self Portrait The Self-portrait is a small drawing by the German Renaissance artist and printmaker Hans Holbein the Younger, completed around 1542-1543, and housed in the Uffizi, Florence. The gold background was added later by a different artist. According to art historian John Rowlands, "Although this drawing has been enlarged on all sides and heavily reworked, enough of it still shows to allow the assumption that the original work was executed by Holbein.

1542

image Leonhart Fuchs publishes his new herbal De historia stirpium commentarii insignes in Basel. It was illustrated by: Albrecht Meyer, who made drawings based on the actual plants; Heinrich Füllmaurer, who transferred the drawings to woodblock; and Vitus Rudolph Speckle, who cut the blocks and printed the drawings.[1] It covers about 497 plants and has over 500 woodcut illustrations. Over 100 of the plants in the book were first descriptions.[2][3] The University of Glasgow states that it is considered a landmark work in its field.[3] Stanford University Press considers it one of the best illustrated books of all time and a masterpiece of the German Renaissance.[4] It set a new standard for accuracy and quality, as well as being the first known publication of plants from the Americas, such as pumpkin, maize, marigold, potato, and tobacco. Plants were identified in German, Greek, and Latin, and sometimes English.[5] The book was initially published in Latin and Greek and quickly translated into German.[6] Just during Fuchs' lifetime the book went through 39 printings in Dutch, French, German, Latin, and Spanish and 20 years after his death was translated into English.[3]

image Painting by Titian: Portrait of the Vendramin Family a painting executed around 1543–1547. It presently hangs in the National Gallery in London. The canvas was commissioned by the noble Vendramin family, and portrays, as dictated by Venetian custom, only male members of the dynasty. It includes the brothers Andrea and Gabriele Vendramin, and Andrea's seven sons. Titian's painting has been described as, "one of the greatest group portraits in history". It balances youth and wisdom as well as demonstrating the power of this family and their public commitments to the Republic.

1543

image Andreas Vesalius (Andries van Wesel) publishes the anatomy treatise De humani corporis fabrica (On the Workings of the Human Body).

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1544

image Orto botanico di Pisa botanical garden established by Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, under the direction of Luca Ghini, who also creates the first herbarium.

William Turner's Avium praecipuarum, quarum apud Plinium et Aristotelem mentio est, brevis et succincta historia is published in Cologne, the first printed book devoted entirely to ornithology.

image Painting by Agnolo Bronzino: Portrait of Eleanor of Toledo One of his most famous works, it is housed in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, Italy and is considered one of the preeminent examples of Mannerist portraiture. The painting depicts Eleanor of Toledo, the wife of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, sitting with her hand resting on the shoulder of one of her sons. This gesture, as well as the pomegranate motif on her dress, referred to her role as mother. Eleanor wears a heavily brocaded dress with black arabesques. In this pose, she is depicted as the ideal woman of the Renaissance.

image Painting by Agnolo Bronzino: Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time (also called An Allegory of Venus and Cupid and A Triumph of Venus) is an allegorical painting by the Florentine artist Agnolo Bronzino. About 1546, Bronzino was commissioned to create a painting that has come to be known as Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time. It displays the ambivalence, eroticism, and obscure imagery that are characteristic of the Mannerist period, and of Bronzino's master Pontormo.

image Painting by Titian: Pope Paul III and His Grandsons was commissioned by the Farnese family and painted during Titian's visit to Rome between autumn 1545 and June 1546. It depicts the thorny relationship between Pope Paul III, born Alessandro Farnese, and two of his grandsons, Ottavio and Alessandro. Ottavio is shown in the act of kneeling, to his left; Alessandro, wearing a cardinal's dress, stands behind him to his right. The painting explores the effects of ageing and the manoeuvring behind succession; Paul was at the time in his late seventies and operating within an uncertain political climate as Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, came into ascendancy. Paul was not a religious man; he viewed the papacy as a means to consolidate his family's position. He appointed Alessandro as cardinal against accusations of nepotism, fathered a number of illegitimate children, and spent large sums of church money collecting art and antiquities.

1545

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image Michelangelo Buonarroti is made chief architect of St. Peter's Basilica.

image Painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder : The Fountain of Youth The image is an oil painting on a lime wood board, executed in landscape format with the dimensions 186.1 x 120.6 centimeters. It shows on the bottom center, a winged serpent in flight from Cranach's workshop and the year 1546. It shows a fountain where older women but not men bathe, are rejuvenated and finally indulge in music, dance and good food. Cranach presents in this fairy tale image, in many details the real bathing culture of the Middle Ages, that based on the belief that certain baths might heal and rejuvenate. Sensual pleasures belonged to the bathroom now.

1546

German minerologist Georgius Agricola publishes De Natura Fossilium (On the Nature of Fossils), the first published paleontological treatise.

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1547

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image Painting by Caterina van Hemessen: Self Portrait a small painting executed in oil on oak in 1548 by the Flemish Renaissance artist Caterina van Hemessen when she was 20 years old. The painting earned her a considerable reputation during her lifetime and is significant not only for being an early modern female portrait but also for representing an artist in the act of painting. This was very unusual for the time; although self-portraits were common, only a few, like those of Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), showed the artist's social position and everyday life. Artists of the time rarely directly referred to, much less showed the tools of their profession. Hemessen's portrait is one of the earliest in the Northern European tradition to show a painter not only with a brush but also a palette and easel. She inscribed it with the words: "I Caterina van Hemessen have painted myself / 1548 / Her aged 20".

1548

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1549

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image Painting by unknown artist from the school of Fontainbleau: Diana the Huntress This may be an allegorical portrait of Diane de Poitiers, mistress of the French King Henry II. It reveals the profound impact of Italian Mannerist painters on French court art.

1550

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image Painting by Pieter Aertsen: A Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms A large painting, it depicts a peasant market scene, with an abundance of meats and other foods. In the background, it shows a scene from the biblical theme of the flight into Egypt, where the Virgin Mary is seen stopped on the road, giving alms to the poor. Thus, although the painting seems to be at first sight an ordinary still life concentrating on foodstuffs, it is rich with symbolism; it in fact hides a symbolic religious meaning, and embodies a visual metaphor encouraging spiritual life. Aertsen made a name for himself during the 1550s painting scenes from everyday life in a naturalistic manner.

1551

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1552

image Cornelius Gemma publishes the first illustration of a human tapeworm.

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1553

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1554

image Guillaume Rondelet publishes a volume on Mediterranean fish — De Piscibus — and includes the assertion that glossopetrae, or tongue stones, resemble shark teeth. The hypothesis attracts little attention.

Roman naturalist Ippolito Salviani publishes History of Aquatic Animals.

image Painting by Titian: Venus with a Mirror The pose of the Venus resembles the classical statues of the Venus de' Medici in Florence or the Capitoline Venus in Rome, which Titian may have seen when he wrote that was "learning from the marvelous ancient stones." The painting is said to celebrate the ideal beauty of the female form, or to be a critique of vanity, or perhaps both. It was copied by several later artists, including Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck. Titian made a number of paintings of the same subject, but this is the believed to be the earliest and the only version to be entirely by the hand of Titian, without additions by his assistants. it remained in his house until his death in 1576. X-rays of the painting have revealed that Titian painted it over a double portrait which he had abandoned.

1555

image Pierre Belon publishes L'Histoire de la nature des oyseaux, a pioneering work in the comparative anatomy of birds.

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1556

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1557

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1558

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image Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Netherlandish Proverbs a 1559 oil-on-oak-panel painting that depicts a scene in which humans and, to a lesser extent, animals and objects, offer literal illustrations of Dutch language proverbs and idioms. Running themes in Bruegel's paintings are the absurdity, wickedness and foolishness of humans, and this is no exception. The painting's original title, The Blue Cloak or The Folly of the World, indicates that Bruegel's intent was not just to illustrate proverbs, but rather to catalog human folly. Many of the people depicted show the characteristic blank features that Bruegel used to portray fools.

1559

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image Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Children's Games The children, who range in age from toddlers to adolescents, roll hoops, walk on stilts, spin hoops, ride hobby-horses, stage mock tournaments, play leap-frog and blind man's bluff, perform handstands, inflate pigs' bladders and play with dolls and other toys. They have also taken over the large building that dominates the square: it may be a town hall or some other important civic building, in this way emphasizing the moral that the adults who direct civic affairs are as children in the sight of God. This crowded scene is to some extent relieved by the landscape in the top left-hand corner; but even here children are bathing in the river and playing on its banks. The artist's intention for this work is more serious than simply to compile an illustrated encyclopaedia of children's games, though some eighty particular games have been identified. Bruegel shows the children absorbed in their games with the seriousness displayed by adults in their apparently more important pursuits. His moral is that in the mind of God children's games possess as much significance as the activities of their parents.

1560

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1561

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image Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Fall of the Rebel Angels The depiction of this subject is taken from a passage from the Book of Revelation (12, 2-9) and reveals the artist's profound debt to Hieronymous Bosch, especially in the grotesque figures of the fallen angels, shown as half-human, half-animal monsters. Together with Dulle Griet and The Triumph of Death, which have similar dimensions, it was probably painted for the same collector and destined to become part of a series.

image Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Triumph of Death The painting shows a panorama of an army of skeletons wreaking havoc across a blackened, desolate landscape. Fires burn in the distance, and the sea is littered with shipwrecks. A few leafless trees stud hills otherwise bare of vegetation; fish lie rotting on the shores of a corpse-choked pond.

1562

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1563

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1564

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image Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Hunters in the Snow (Dutch: Jagers in de Sneeuw), also known as The Return of the Hunters, is a 1565 oil-on-wood painting by Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The Northern Renaissance work is one of a series of works, five of which still survive, that depict different times of the year. The Hunters in the Snow, and the series to which it belongs, are in the medieval and early Renaissance tradition of the Labours of the Months: depictions of various rural activities and work understood by a spectator in Breugel's time as representing the different months or times of the year.

1565

image Conrad Gessner publishes De Omni Rerum Fossilium ("A Book of Fossil Objects").

Antwerp doctor Samuel Quiccheberg publishes a description of the curiosity cabinet of Hans Jakob Fugger, including items from the animal, vegetable and mineral world.

image Painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo: The Four Elements a series of paintings that were commissioned by Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor. The portraits display figures in profile formed by different animals or objects. Earth is represented by land animals, Air by birds, Water by marine creatures and Fire by burning wood and cannons. This series attempts to express harmony out of chaos with wild animals forming distinct faces. It also praises Maximilian, suggesting that he is a ruler who controls even the four primal elements.

image Painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Wedding Dance The painting depicts 125 wedding guests. As was customary in the Renaissance period, the brides wore black and men wore codpieces. Voyeurism is depicted throughout the entire art work; dancing was disapproved of by the authorities and the church, and the painting can be seen as both a critique and comic depiction of a stereotypical oversexed, overindulgent, peasant class of the times.

1566

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1567

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1568

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1569

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image Painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo: Self Portrait

1570

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image Painting by François Clouet: A Lady in Her Bath The picture is in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. It is one of only three paintings signed by Clouet. The bather is unknown. It is possible that she is Diane de Poitiers, mistress of King Henry II of France. Scholar Roger Trinquet suggested in 1966 that the lady is Mary Queen of Scots. The lady's face resembles other portraits of Mary, especially a drawing by Clouet depicting Mary in mourning. Trinquet believes the painting was intended as a satire for a Huguenot patron. The painting set a fashion for portraits of bathers.

1571

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1572

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image Painting by Paolo Veronese: The Feast in the House of Levi is one of the largest canvases of the 16th century, measuring 555 cm × 1,280 cm (18.21 ft × 41.99 ft). It is now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice. It was painted by Veronese for the rear wall of the refectory of the Basilica di Santi Giovanni e Paolo, a Dominican friary, as a Last Supper, to replace an earlier work by Titian destroyed in the fire of 1571. However, the painting led to an investigation by the Roman Catholic Inquisition. Veronese was called to answer for irreverence and indecorum, and the serious offence of heresy was mentioned. He was asked to explain why the painting contained "buffoons, drunken Germans, dwarfs and other such scurrilities" as well as extravagant costumes and settings, in what is indeed a fantasy version of a Venetian patrician feast. Veronese was told that he must change his painting within a three-month period; instead, he simply changed the title to The Feast in the House of Levi, still an episode from the Gospels, but less doctrinally central, and one in which the Gospels specified "sinners" as present. After this, no more was said.

1573

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1574

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1575

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1576

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1577

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image Painting by El Greco: Lady in a Fur Wrap against a dark background a young woman gazes at the viewer, dressed in a fur robe covering the rest of her dress. A fine transparent veil covers her head, and vaguely a neckace can be seen that she is wearing underneath it. The robe falls into darkness behind its fur lining, that may be ermine or lynx. The painting is unsigned but has traditionally been attributed to El Greco since it was in the collection of French king Louis Philippe I and hung at the Louvre.

1578

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1579

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1580

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1581

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1582

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1583

image Andrea Cesalpino publishes De Plantis, ordering plants in families. In his works he classified plants according to their fruits and seeds, rather than alphabetically or by medicinal properties. In 1555, he succeeded Luca Ghini as director of the botanical garden in Pisa.

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1584

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1585

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1586

Jacques Daléchamps publishes Historia generalis plantarum in Lyon, describing 2,731 plants, a record number for this time.

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1587

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1588

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1589

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1590

José de Acosta publishes Natural and Moral History of the Indies describing such weird creatures as iguanas.

image Painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo: Vertumnus The painting is Arcimboldo's most famous work and is a portrait of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II re-imagined as Vertumnus, the Roman god of metamorphoses in nature and life; the fruits and vegetables symbolize the abundance of the Golden Age that has returned under the Emperor's rule. Looking from the distance, Arcimboldo's whimsical portraits might look like portraits, but they are assembled using vegetables, books, plants, kitchen utensils, oils, fruits, sea creatures, animals and tree roots, each individual object chosen to give the impression of anatomical trait of a human face. The portrait of the emperor is created out of plants — flowers and fruits from all seasons: gourds, pears, apples, cherries, grapes, wheat, artichokes, peapods, corns, onions, artichoke, cabbage foils, cherries, chestnuts, figs, mulberries, grapes, plums, pomegranates, various pumpkins and olives. Rudolf's portrait is composed of fruit, vegetables and flowers were to symbolize the perfect balance and harmony with nature that his reign represented. These portraits were an expression of the Renaissance mind's fascination with riddles, puzzles, and the bizarre.

1591

Girolamo Porro produces a plan for a botanical garden at Padua, arguably expecting to assemble all the world's plants. Over the next century, well-traveled naturalists will abandon such goals as unrealistic.

image Painting by Caravaggio: Boy Peeling Fruit This is the earliest known work by Caravaggio, painted soon after his arrival in Rome from his native Milan in mid 1592. The fruit being peeled by the boy is something of a mystery. Sources indicate it may be a pear, which is probably correct but has been questioned; it may be a nectarine or plum, several of which lie on the table, but these are not usually peeled; some have suggested a bergamot, a pear-shaped citrus fruit grown in Italy, but others object that the bergamot is sour and practically inedible. Seen as a simple genre painting, it differs from most in that the boy is not 'rusticated,' that is, he is depicted as clean and well-dressed instead of as a 'cute' ragamuffin. An allegoric meaning behind the painting is plausible, given the complex Renaissance symbology of fruit. Caravaggio scholar John T. Spike has recently suggested that the boy demonstrates resistance to temptation by ignoring the sweeter fruits (fruits of sin) in favour of the bergamot, but no specific reading is widely accepted.

1592

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1593

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image Painting by Caravaggio: Cardsharps The work represents an important milestone for Caravaggio. He painted it when he was attempting an independent career after leaving the workshop of the Cavaliere Giuseppe Cesari d'Arpino, for whom he had been painting "flowers and fruit", finishing the details for the Cavaliere's mass-produced (and massive) output. Caravaggio left Arpino's workshop in January 1594 and began selling works through the dealer Costantino, with the assistance of Prospero Orsi, an established painter of Mannerist grotesques (masks, monsters, etc.). Orsi introduced Caravaggio to his extensive network of contacts in the world of collectors and patrons. Composition The painting shows an expensively-dressed but unworldly boy playing cards with another boy. The second boy, a cardsharp, has extra cards tucked in his belt behind his back, out of sight of the mark but not the viewer, and a sinister older man is peering over the dupe's shoulder and signaling to his young accomplice. The second boy has a dagger handy at his side, and violence is not far away.

image Painting by unknown artist: Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de soeurs The painting now hangs at the Louvre in Paris and is usually thought to be the work of a painter from the Fontainebleau School. The painting portrays Gabrielle d'Estrées, mistress of King Henry IV of France, sitting nude in a bath, holding a ring. Her sister sits nude beside her and pinches her right nipple. The nipple-pinching gesture is often interpreted as a symbolic announcement that Gabrielle is pregnant with Henry's child, César de Bourbon. According to the Louvre's website: "The oddly affectionate way in which the sister is pinching Gabrielle d'Estrées' right breast has often been taken as symbolizing the latter's pregnancy with the illegitimate child of Henry IV. This interpretation would seem to be confirmed by the scene of the young woman sewing — perhaps preparing a layette for the coming child — in the background." The ring that Gabrielle holds is said to be Henry's coronation ring, which he supposedly gave to her as a token of his love shortly before she died.

1594

The tulip bulbs planted by Carolus Clusius in the Hortus Botanicus Leiden, Holland, first flower.

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1595

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image Painting by El Greco: View of Toledo is one of the two surviving landscapes painted by El Greco. The other, View and Plan of Toledo lies at Museo Del Greco, Toledo, Spain. View of Toledo is among the best known depictions of the sky in Western art, along with Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night and the landscapes of William Turner and Monet, among others. Most notable is the distinct color contrast between the dark and somber skies above and the glowing green hills below. While influenced by the Mannerist style, El Greco's expressive handling of color and form is without parallel in the history of art. In this painting, he takes liberties with the actual layout of Toledo insofar as certain building locations are re-arranged. However, the location of the Castle of San Servando, on the right, is accurately depicted. El Greco's signature appears in the lower-right corner.

1596

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image Painting by Caravaggio: Medusa Caravaggio painted two versions of Medusa, the first in 1596 and the other presumably in 1597. The first version is also known as Murtula, by the name of the poet who wrote about it, Gaspare Murtola (d. 1624): "Flee, for if your eyes are petrified in amazement, she will turn you to stone." It measures 48 by 55 cm and is signed Michel A F (Latin: Michel Angelo Fecit), "Michel Angelo made [this]", Michelangelo being Caravaggio's first name. This work is privately owned. The second version, shown here, is slightly bigger (60×55 cm) and is not signed; it is held in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

image Painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio: Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto According to an early biographer, one of Caravaggio's aims was to discredit critics who claimed that he had no grasp of perspective. The three figures demonstrate the most dramatic foreshortening imaginable. They contradict claims that Caravaggio always painted from live models. The artist seems to have used his own face for all three gods. The painting was done for Caravaggio's patron Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte and painted on the ceiling of the cardinal's garden casino of his country estate, which later became known as the Villa Ludovisi. The cardinal had a keen interest alchemy. Caravaggio has painted an allegory of the alchemical triad of Paracelsus: Jupiter stands for sulphur and air, Neptune for mercury and water, and Pluto for salt and earth. Each figure is identified by his beast: Jupiter by the eagle, Neptune by the hippocamp, and Pluto by the three-headed dog Cerberus. Jupiter is reaching out to move the celestial sphere in which the Sun revolves around the Earth. Galileo was a friend of Del Monte but had yet to make his mark on cosmology.

1597

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1598

Jean Bauhin, a former student of Conrad Gesner's, publishes a monograph of the medicinal waters and surrounding environment of the German fountains at Boll, the first publication of a complete set of fossils from a specific location.

image After being separated from the main Second Dutch Expedition to Indonesia fleet of Admiral Wybrand Van Warwyck, three ships under Jacob Cornelisz. van Neck land on the island which they name Mauritius and sight the dodo bird (Raphus cucullatus); it will become extinct around 1681.

image Painting by Caravaggio: Basket of Fruit a still life painting which hangs in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Ambrosian Library), Milan. It shows a wicker basket perched on the edge of a ledge. The basket contains a selection of summer fruit. Much has been made of the worm-eaten, insect-predated, and generally less than perfect condition of the fruit. In line with the culture of the age, the general theme appears to revolve about the fading beauty, and the natural decaying of all things. Scholars also describe the basket of fruit as a metaphor of the Church. A recent X-ray study revealed that it was painted on an already used canvas painted with grotesques in the style of Caravaggio’s friend Prospero Orsi, who helped the artist in his first breakthrough into the circles of collectors such as his first patron, Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte, around 1594/1595, and who remained close to him for many years thereafter.

image Painting by Caravaggio: David and Goliath The David and Goliath in the Prado was painted in the early part of the artist's career, while he was a member of the household of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte. It shows the Biblical David as a young boy (in accordance with the Bible story) fastening the head of the champion of the Philistines, the giant Goliath, by the hair. The light catches on David's leg, arm and flank, on the massive shoulders from which Goliath's head has been severed, and on the head itself, but everything else is dark. Even David's face is almost invisible in the shadows. A wound on Goliath's forehead shows where he has been felled by the stone from David's sling. The overwhelming impression is of some action intensely personal and private — no triumph, no armies, no victory.

image Painting by Caravaggio: Judith Beheading Holofernes The widow Judith first charms the Assyrian general Holofernes, then decapitates him in his tent. The painting was rediscovered in 1950 and is part of the collection of the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Rome. The deutero-canonical Book of Judith tells how Judith served her people by seducing and pleasuring Holofernes, the Assyrian general. Judith gets Holofernes drunk, then seizes her sword and slays him: "Approaching to his bed, she took hold of the hair of his head." (Judith, 13:7-8). Caravaggio's approach was, typically, to choose the moment of greatest dramatic impact, the moment of the decapitation itself. The figures are set out in a shallow stage, theatrically lit from the side, isolated against the inky, black background. Judith and her maid Abra stand to the right, partially over Holofernes, who is vulnerable on his back. X-rays have revealed that Caravaggio adjusted the placement of Holofernes' head as he proceeded, separating it slightly from the torso and moving it slightly to the right. The faces of the three characters demonstrate his mastery of emotion, Judith in particular showing in her face a mix of determination and repulsion. Artemisia Gentileschi and others were deeply influenced by this work, and even surpassed Caravaggio's physical realism, but it has been argued that none matched his capture of Judith's psychological ambivalence.

1599

image Lawyer Carlo Ruini's Anatomia del cavallo is published posthumously in Venice. This anatomy of the horse is the first published of any non-human animal.

image Ferrante Imperato publishes Dell'Historia Naturale (Natural History) attempting to catalog all of nature's animal, vegetable and mineral forms. He illustrated the book with his own cabinet of curiosities displayed at Palazzo Gravina in Naples. The engraving became the first pictorial representation of a Renaissance humanist's displayed natural history research collection.

1600

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image Painting by Caravaggio: Crucifixion of Saint Peter was painted for the Cerasi Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. Across the chapel is a second Caravaggio work depicting the Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus (1601). On the altar between the two is an Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Annibale Carracci. The painting depicts the martyrdom of St. Peter by crucifixion—Peter asked that his cross be inverted so as not to imitate his God, Jesus Christ, hence he is depicted upside down. The large canvas shows Ancient Romans, their faces shielded, struggling to erect the cross of the elderly but muscular apostle. Peter is heavier than his aged body would suggest, and his lifting requires the efforts of three men, as if the crime they perpetrate already weighs on them.

image Painting by Caravaggio: The Conversion of St. Paul records the moment when Saul of Tarsus, on his way to Damascus to annihilate the Christian community there, is struck blind by a brilliant light and hears the voice of Christ saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?...And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid, but they heard not the voice..." (Acts 22:6-11). Elsewhere Paul claims to have seen Christ during the vision, and it is on this basis that he grounds his claim be recognised as an Apostle: "Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?" (I Corinthians 9:1). Caravaggio biographer Helen Langdon describes style of Conversion as "an odd blend of Raphael and clumsy rustic realism," but notes how the composition, with its jagged shapes and irrational light which licks out details for their dramatic impact, creates "a sense of crisis and dislocation [in which] Christ disrupts the mundane world."

1601

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1602

Ulisse Aldrovandi publishes De Animalibus Insectis.

image Painting by Caravaggio: Sacrifice of Isaac The Sacrifice of Isaac is the title of two paintings from c. 1598 - 1603 depicting the sacrifice of Isaac. The paintings could be painted by the Italian master Caravaggio (1571–1610) but there is also strong evidence that they may have been the work of Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, a talented early member of the Caravaggio following who is known to have been in Spain about 1617-1619. The second Sacrifice of Isaac is housed in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. According to the early biographer Giovanni Bellori, Caravaggio painted a version of this subject for Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, the future Pope Urban VIII, and a series of payments totalling one hundred scudi were made to the artist by Barberini between May 1603 and January 1604. Caravaggio had previously painted a Portrait of Maffeo Barberini, which presumably pleased the cardinal enough for him to commission this second painting. Isaac has been identified as Cecco Boneri, who appeared as Caravaggio's model in several other pictures. Recent X-ray analysis showed that Caravaggio used Cecco also for the angel, and later modified the profile and the hair to hide the resemblance.

image Painting by Peter Paul Rubens: The Duke of Lerma on Horseback. When he visited the Spanish Court for the first time, Rubens (still in his twenties) used this picture to display his talents and to make his mark. It has already many elements of his mature Baroque style, which would have been novel and striking to his viewers. The way in which the horse seems to surge forward towards the spectator - an effect engineered by the low viewpoint and lack of balancing elements in the foreground, and recalling the techniques of Caravaggio - was spectacular, and broke with the traditional profile of equestrian portraits. Other devices used to enhance the spectacle were the eccentric colouring, the tempestuous lighting, and the rather disquieting energy of the horse's hair and the trees' foliage.

1603

(no entry for this year)

image Painting by Caravaggio: The Entombment of Christ, one of the artist's most admired altarpieces, was created for the second chapel on the right in Santa Maria in Vallicella (the Chiesa Nuova), a church built for the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. A copy of the painting is now in the chapel, and the original is in the Vatican Pinacoteca. The painting has been copied by artists as diverse as Rubens, Fragonard, Géricault and Cézanne.

1604

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1605

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1606

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1607

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1608

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1609

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1610

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1611

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1612

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image Painting by Juan Bautista Maíno: The Adoration of the Shepherds

1613

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1614

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1615

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image Painting by Frans Hals: Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Civic Guard Company of Haarlem is considered one of the main attractions of the Frans Hals Museum. Hals was in his thirties when he painted this piece, and was far from established as a portrait painter. To be safe, he based most of his design on the painting of his predecessor, Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem, who painted the same militia company in 1599. Given a nearly impossible task, namely to complete his assignment but to add theatrical elements at the same time, Hals must have spent lots of time judging the politics of the group. He knew these men well as he served in the St. Joris militia himself from 1612-1615. In his painting, he indicates the political position of each man in the group as well as managing to give each a characteristic portrait. In Cornelis van Haarlem's piece the figures seem crammed into a tight space, and each face seems to have a similar expression. In Hals' group, an illusion of space and relaxed conversation is given. Officers were selected by the council of Haarlem to serve for three years, and this group had just finished their tenure and celebrated their end of service with a portrait. The man with the orange sash heads the table and the second in command is on his right. The three ensigns stand and the servant is carrying a plate.

1616

Fabio Colonna publishes "Dissertation on Tongue Stones" arguing that "nobody is so stupid" that he or she will not agree that tongue stones are really shark teeth. Like Rondelet several decades earlier, he attracts little attention.

Italian philosopher Lucilio Vanini suggests that humans descended from apes. In 1618 Vanini is arrested and, after a prolonged trial, condemned to have his tongue cut out, to be strangled at the stake and to have his body burned to ashes. The sentence was executed on 9 February 1619.

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1617

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1618

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1619

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image Painting by Artemesia Gentileschi: Judith Beheading Holofernes shows the scene of Judith beheading Holofernes, common in art since the early Renaissance. The subject represents an episode (from the apocryphal Book of Judith in the Old Testament) which recounts the assassination of the Assyrian general Holofernes by the Israelite heroine Judith. The painting shows the moment when Judith, helped by her maidservant, beheads the general after he has fallen asleep drunk. The painting is relentlessly physical, from the wide spurts of blood to the energy of the two women as they perform the act. Although the painting depicts a classic scene from the Bible, Gentileschi drew herself as Judith and her mentor Agostino Tassi, who was tried in court for her rape, as Holofernes. Gentileschi's biographer Mary Garrard famously proposed an autobiographical reading of the painting, stating that it functions as "a cathartic expression of the artist's private, and perhaps repressed, rage."

1620

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1621

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1622

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1623

image Gaspard Bauhin publishes Pinax Theatri Botanici describing some 6,000 plants.

image Painting by Frans Hals: The Laughing Cavalier has been described as "one of the most brilliant of all Baroque portraits". The title is an invention of the Victorian public and press, dating from its exhibition in the opening display at the Bethnal Green Museum in 1872–75, just after its arrival in England, after which it was regularly reproduced as a print, and became among of the best known old master paintings in Britain. The unknown subject is in fact not laughing, but can be said to have an enigmatic smile, much amplified by his upturned moustache.

1624

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1625

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1626

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1627

image Aurochs go extinct.

image Painting by Nicolas Poussin: The Martyrdom of St. Erasmus

1628

image William Harvey publishes Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (Latin for "An Anatomical Exercise on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Living Beings"). The book established the circulation of the blood and was a landmark in the history of physiology. Just as important as its substance was its method. Harvey combined observations, experiments, measurements, and hypotheses in extraordinary fashion to arrive at his doctrine. His work is a model of its kind. It had an immediate and far-reaching influence on Harvey's contemporaries. In the book, Harvey investigated the effect of ligatures on blood flow. The book also argued that blood was pumped around the body in a "double circulation", where after being returned to the heart, it is recirculated in a closed system to the lungs and back to the heart, where it is returned to the main circulation.

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1629

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image Painting by José de Ribera: Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew

1630

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1631

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image Painting by Rembrandt: The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp shows Dr. Tulp explaining the musculature of the arm to medical professionals. Some of the spectators are various doctors who paid commissions to be included in the painting. The painting is signed in the top-left hand corner Rembrandt. f[ecit] 1632. This may be the first instance of Rembrandt signing a painting with his forename (in its original form) as opposed to the monogramme RHL (Rembrandt Harmenszoon of Leiden), and is thus a sign of his growing artistic confidence.

1632

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1633

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1634

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image Painting by Adriaen Brouwer: Tavern Scene. Brouwer left a small body of work amounting to about 60 works. Just a few of his works are signed, while none is dated. As Brouwer was widely copied, imitated and followed in his time, attributions of work to Brouwer are sometimes uncertain or contested. For instance, the The smoker (Louvre) showing a man exhaling smoke while holding a bottle of liquor was attributed for a long time to Brouwer, but is now given to Brouwer's follower and, possibly, pupil Joos van Craesbeeck. The principal subject matter of Brouwer are genre scenes with peasants, soldiers and other 'lower class' individuals engaging in drinking, smoking, card or dice playing, fights etc. often set in taverns or rural settings. Brouwer also contributed to the development of the genre of tronies, i.e. head or facial studies, which investigate varieties of expression.

image Painting by Diego Velázquez: The Surrender of Breda was inspired by Velázquez's visit to Italy with Ambrogio Spinola, the Genoese general who conquered Breda on June 5, 1625. It is considered one of Velázquez's best works. Jan Morris has called it "one of the most Spanish of all pictures".

image Painting by Frans Hals: Lucas de Clercq, a Dutch cloth merchant known today for his and his wife's pendant marriage portraits painted by Frans Hals.

image Painting by Guido Reni: The Archangel Michael vanquishing Satan

1635

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image Painting by Justus Sustermans: Portrait of Galileo Galilei. Justus Sustermans was a Flemish painter working in the Baroque style. He was born in Antwerp and died in Florence. Sustermans is chiefly notable for his portraits of members of the Medici family as he was their court painter. His work can be found in both the Palatina Gallery and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and in many other galleries around the globe. During his lifetime he was fêted as the finest portrait painter in Italy.

image Painting by Peter Paul Rubens: A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning is a landscape painting now in the National Gallery in London. A rare example of a work painted for the artist's own pleasure rather than for a commission, it shows a view of the Het Steen estate near Brussels, which he had acquired in 1635, set in an early-morning autumn landscape. He had initially intended a much smaller painting focussing on the house, using three small oak planks, probably spares from his studio – as the concept developed, seventeen more panels were added. It has influenced artists including John Constable, during his period working for Sir George Beaumont, who then owned the painting and later donated it to the National Gallery in 1823. The painting features the first convincing depiction of a mackerel sky.

image Painting by Rembrandt: The Blinding of Samson is now in the Städel. The painting is the first of its kind in pictorial tradition. No other artist at the time had painted this specific narrative moment. This painting was a gift to the House of Orange, Rembrandt's current patron of a few commissioned paintings.

1636

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1637

Francesco Stelluti publishes a summary of research on fossil wood conducted by himself and fellow Lincean Academy member Federico Cesi. Though resulting from meticulous research, the work reaches the wrong conclusion, describing the origin of fossil wood as inorganic.

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1638

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1639

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image Painting by Georges de La Tour: Magdalene with the Smoking Flame has been allotted the date of 1640, by analogy with the Saint Mary with a Mirror, which has been dated between 1635 and 1645. During the 17th century, great devotion was shown to Mary Magdalene in all Catholic countries. She was the perfect lover of Christ, her beauty made yet more appealing by reason of her repentance, which had a special attraction for a period so passionately interested in problems of mysticism, quietism and asceticism. The theme of the repentance of sinners and trials sent by God is illustrated in such subjects as the Repentance of St. Peter, Mary Magdalene and Job. A number of written works give evidence of the cult of the Magdalene and this cult was the more widespread since Provence owned two great sanctuaries dedicated to her: the grotto of La Sainte-Baume, and the Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. It has been suggested that Georges de La Tour took a gypsy as his model: at the time, there were many in Lorraine where he painted this picture.

1640

(no entry for this year)

image Painting by Frans Hals: Regents of the St. Elizabeth Hospital

image Painting by Simon Vouet: Presentation in the Temple

1641

Calvinist lawyer Isaac La Peyrère seeks permission to publish his manuscript claiming that people have existed before Adam, and that Chaldeans can legitimately trace their civilization back 470,000 years. Permission is denied, but he will publish Men Before Adam anonymously 14 years later, inciting both outrage and mild amusement among religious leaders.

Dutch anatomist Nicolaas Tulp produces the first formal description of an ape (a chimp, bonobo or orangutan).

image Painting by José de Ribera: The Clubfooted Boy is housed in the Musée du Louvre in Paris (part of the La Caze bequest of 1869), and was painted in Naples. Art historian Ellis Waterhouse wrote of it as "a touchstone by which we can interpret the whole of Ribera's art". Commissioned by a Flemish dealer, the painting features a Neapolitan beggar boy with a deformed foot. Behind him is a vast and luminous landscape, against which the boy stands with a gap-toothed grin, wearing earth-toned clothes and holding his crutch slung over his left shoulder. Written in Latin on the paper in the boy's hand is the sentence "DA MIHI ELEMOSINAM PROPTER AMOREM DEI" ("Give me alms, for the love of God"). This is one of the painter's last works, and one of the most bitter.

image Painting by Rembrandt: The Night Watch is renowned for three characteristics: its colossal size (363 cm × 437 cm (11.91 ft × 14.34 ft)), the effective use of light and shadow (tenebrism) and the perception of motion in what would have traditionally been a static military portrait. The painting was completed in 1642, at the peak of the Dutch Golden Age. It depicts the eponymous company moving out, led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq (dressed in black, with a red sash) and his lieutenant, Willem van Ruytenburch (dressed in yellow, with a white sash). With effective use of sunlight and shade, Rembrandt leads the eye to the three most important characters among the crowd: the two gentlemen in the centre (from whom the painting gets its original title), and the woman in the centre-left background carrying a chicken. Behind them, the company's colours are carried by the ensign, Jan Visscher Cornelissen.

1642

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1643

Workers dig up a skeleton in Flanders. A court physician to the Danish king observes the excavation, measures the skeleton in "Brabantian cubits," and attributes the skeleton to a giant. It will later be identified as a fossil proboscidian.

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1644

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1645

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1646

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1647

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image Painting by Nicolas Poussin: The Holy Family on the Steps

In France, King Louis XIV establishes The Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture.

1648

Franciscus Hackius publishes a lavish book on the natural history and medicines available from Brazil, Historia Naturalis Brasileae.

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1649

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image Painting by Diego Velázquez: Portrait of Innocent X is considered by many artists and art critics as the finest portrait ever created. It is housed in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj in Rome. The painting is noted for its realism, in that it is an unflinching portrait of a highly intelligent, shrewd but aging man. He is dressed in linen vestments, and the quality of the work is evident in the rich reds of his upper clothing, head-dress, and the hanging curtains. The pope, born Giovanni Battista Pamphilj, was initially wary of having his portrait taken by Velázquez, but relented after he was given reproductions of examples of Velázquez's portraiture. A contributing factor for this large advancement in the painter's career was that he had already depicted a number of members of Pamphilj's inner court. Yet the pope remained wary and cautious, and the painting was initially displayed to only his immediate family, and was largely lost from public view through the 17th and 18th centuries. The parchment held by the pope contains Velázquez's signature.

1650

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1651

William Harvey publishes Exercitationes de generatione animalium (On Animal Generation) explaining that all animal life begins as eggs, whether in birds, amphibians or mammals. According to Joseph Needham, in this work Harvey: (1) presented a doctrine of omne vivum ex ovo (all life comes from the egg), the first definite statement against the idea of spontaneous generation; (2) denied the possibility of generation from excrement and from mud, and pointed out that even worms have eggs; (3) identified the citricula as the point in the yolk from which the embryo develops and the blastoderm surrounding the embryo; (4) destroyed once and for all the Aristotelian (semen-blood) and Epicurean (semen-semen) theories of early embryogeny; and (5) settled the long controversy about which parts of the egg were nutritive and which was formative, by demonstrating the unreality of the distinction.

image Painting by Carel Fabritius: The Goldfinch is an animal painting by Carel Fabritius of a chained goldfinch. The work belongs to the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands. The painting is a trompe-l'œil of a European goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) on top of its feeder that is attached to the wall. The feeder consists of two half rings and a blue container. The bird is sitting on the top ring, to which it is chained by its foot. In the 17th century, goldfinches were popular pets because they could be trained to draw water from a bowl with a miniature bucket. The Dutch title of the painting pertains to the bird's nickname puttertje, which refers to this custom and translates literally as 'little weller'.

1652

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image Painting by Rembrandt: Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer was painted as a commission from Don Antonio Ruffo, from Messina in Sicily, who did not request a particular subject. Aristotle, world-weary, looks at the bust of blind, humble Homer, on which he rests one of his hands. This has variously been interpreted as the man of sound, methodical science deferring to Art, or as the wealthy and famous philosopher, wearing the jeweled belt given to him by Alexander the Great, envying the life of the poor blind bard. It has also been suggested that this is Rembrandt's commentary on the power of portraiture.

1653

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1654

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image Painting by Rembrandt: The Polish Rider depicts a young man traveling on horseback through a murky landscape. When the painting was sold by Zdzislaw Tarnowski to Henry Frick in 1910, there was consensus that the work was by the Dutch painter Rembrandt. This attribution has since been contested, though this remains a minority view. There has also been debate over whether the painting was intended as a portrait of a particular person, living or historical, and if so of whom, or if not, what it was intended to represent. Both the quality of the painting and its slight air of mystery are commonly recognized, though parts of the background are very sketchily painted or unfinished.

image Painting by Rembrandt: The Slaughtered Ox is an oil on beech panel painting by Rembrandt. It has been in the collection of the Louvre in Paris since 1857. A similar painting is in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, possibly by Rembrandt himself but probably by one of his pupils, perhaps Fabritius. Other similar, paintings attributed to Rembrandt or his circle, are held by museums in Budapest and Philadelphia. The work follows in a tradition of showing butchery, for example Pieter Aertsen's A Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms and Annibale Carracci's Butcher's Shop. Rembrandt made a drawing of a similar scene c.1635. Another, pre-1655, painting of a slaughtered ox (the example in Edinburgh, now attributed to Rembrandt's circle but formerly to Rembrandt) was perhaps inspired by a lost earlier work by Rembrandt himself. In northern Europe, the month of November was traditionally the season slaughtering livestock in northern Europe, before winter made feed difficult to find.

1655

Danish scholar Ole Worm publishes Musei Wormiani Historia, a successful book about his cabinet of natural curiosities.

image Painting by Diego Velásquez: Las Meninas (The Ladies-in-Waiting) has a complex and enigmatic composition that raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted. Because of these complexities, Las Meninas has been one of the most widely analyzed works in Western painting. The painting shows a large room in the Royal Alcazar of Madrid during the reign of King Philip IV of Spain, and presents several figures, most identifiable from the Spanish court, captured, according to some commentators, in a particular moment as if in a snapshot. Some look out of the canvas towards the viewer, while others interact among themselves. The young Infanta Margaret Theresa is surrounded by her entourage of maids of honour, chaperone, bodyguard, two dwarfs and a dog. Just behind them, Velázquez portrays himself working at a large canvas. Velázquez looks outwards, beyond the pictorial space to where a viewer of the painting would stand. In the background there is a mirror that reflects the upper bodies of the king and queen. They appear to be placed outside the picture space in a position similar to that of the viewer, although some scholars have speculated that their image is a reflection from the painting Velázquez is shown working on. Las Meninas has long been recognised as one of the most important paintings in Western art history. The Baroque painter Luca Giordano said that it represents the "theology of painting" and in 1827 the president of the Royal Academy of Arts Sir Thomas Lawrence described the work in a letter to his successor David Wilkie as "the true philosophy of the art". More recently, it has been described as "Velázquez's supreme achievement, a highly self-conscious, calculated demonstration of what painting could achieve, and perhaps the most searching comment ever made on the possibilities of the easel painting".

1656

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1657

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1658

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1659

John Tradescant deeds his family treasures to fellow collector Elias Ashmole. Ashmole will later donate the collection to Oxford University, stipulating that a separate building is to be constructed for it.

image Painting by Jacob von Ruisdale: The Jewish Cemetery is an oil on canvas painting. It is an example of Dutch Golden Age painting and is now in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. This painting was documented by John Smith in 1835, who wrote: "This grand and affecting picture exhibits the ruins of a church and convent upon the summit of a hill, occupying the whole extent of the view in the second distance, the declivity of which presents a cemetery, interspersed with large stones. On the foreground are a broken tree lying across a rapid stream, a tomb of black marble, with an inscription on it; a row of three sarcophagi extending along the front; and on the left stands a cluster of large umbrageous trees, the verdant hues of whose foliage is contrasted by the leafless trunk of a beech. Three persons in black are seen near a small tomb on the side of the hill, musing amidst the tombs. The grandeur and solemnity of the scene is strikingly enhanced by rolling stormy clouds, in which may be perceived the evanescent colours of a rainbow.

1660

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image Painting by Charles Le Brun: The Family of Darius Before Alexander represents the scene when the Queen of Persia is kneeling at the feet of Alexander the Great.

1661

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image Painting by Rembrandt: The Syndics of the Drapers Guild

1662

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1663

German physician Otto von Guericke pieces together bones from different species to make a fossil "unicorn."

image Painting by Frans Hals The Governors of the Almshouse is a regents' group portrait of five regents and their servant painted by Frans Hals in 1664 for the Oude Mannenhuis in Haarlem, the Netherlands. It forms a pendant with the Regentesses of the Old Men's Almshouse. Though it is no longer known which name belongs with which face, the regents portrayed were Jonas de Jong, Mattheus Everzwijn, dr. Cornelis Westerloo, Daniel Deinoot and Johannes Walles. Frans Hals painted them in his "loose style", with rough brush strokes. The painting is traditionally dated 1664, though no archival evidence has yet been found to confirm this. The date is chosen as the middle of the term that the sitters served as regents. Though the paintings as pendants seem to belong together, they did not hang together, and as was the case in the St. Elisabeth hospital across the street, they probably each hung in a separate regents' meeting room; the one for the ladies in the ladies' meeting room and the one for the men in the men's meeting room.

1664

In his private museum in Rome, Virgilio Romano exhibits a Hippopotamus major canine tooth found in Pleistocene gravels along the Via Nomentana.

Thomas Willis publishes The Anatomy of the Brain and Nerves.

image Painting by Rembrandt The Jewish Bride

1665

image Robert Hooke observes cork under a microscope and uses the word cells to describe the tiny chambers that he sees. He publishes drawings of these cells, of fleas, and of other small creatures, in his book Micrographia.

image Painting by Jacob von Oost: The Painter's Studio

1666

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image Painting by Jan Vermeer: The Art of Painting is one of Vermeer's most famous. In 1868 Thoré-Bürger, known today for his rediscovery of the work of painter Johannes Vermeer, regarded this painting as his most interesting. Svetlana Alpers describes it as unique and ambitious; Walter Liedtke "as a virtuoso display of the artist's power of invention and execution, staged in an imaginary version of his studio ..." According to Albert Blankert "No other painting so flawlessly integrates naturalistic technique, brightly illuminated space, and a complexly integrated composition." Many art historians think that it is an allegory of painting, hence the alternative title of the painting. Its composition and iconography make it the most complex Vermeer work of all.

1667

Niels Stensen (Steno) describes his dissection of the head of a giant white shark and correctly identifies shark teeth, still generally thought (despite arguments to the contrary from Rondelet and Colonna in the preceding century) to be serpent tongues.

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1668

Natural historian John Somner finds woolly rhino teeth near Canterbury in Kent, and figures they might be the remains of a sea monster. As he will die before he can publish his conclusions, his brother William will print his article A Brief Relation of Some Strange Bones There Lately Digged Up In Some Grounds of Mr. John Somner.

image Francesco Redi publishes Esperienze Intorno alla Generazione degli Insetti (Experiments on the Generation of Insects), which is regarded as his masterpiece and a milestone in the history of modern science. At the time, prevailing wisdom was that maggots arose spontaneously from rotting meat. Redi took six jars and divided them into two groups of three: In one experiment, in the first jar of each group, he put an unknown object; in the second, a dead fish; in the last, a raw chunk of veal. Redi covered the tops of the first group of jars with fine gauze so that only air could get into it. He left the other group open. After several days, he saw maggots appear on the objects in the open jars, on which flies had been able to land, but not in the gauze-covered jars. In the second experiment, meat was kept in three jars. One of the jars was uncovered, and two of the jars were covered, one with cork and the other one with gauze. Flies could only enter the uncovered jar, and in this, maggots appeared. In the jar that was covered with gauze, maggots appeared on the gauze but did not survive. Knowing full well the terrible fates of out-spoken thinkers such as Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei, Redi was careful to express his new views in a manner that would not contradict theological tradition of the Church; hence, his interpretations were always based on biblical passages, such as his famous adage: omne vivum ex vivo ("All life comes from life").

Jan Swammerdam dissects a caterpillar for Cosimo de Medici, demonstrating that the butterfly wings already exist inside the caterpillar's body. A year later, he will publish Historia Insectorum Generalis.

image Painting by Willem Kalf: Still Life with a Chinese Porcelain Jar is a sumptuous still life displaying the sort of costly wares that flowed through the Netherlands during its heyday as a trade center. In Still Life with a Chinese Porcelain Jar, Kalf selected an array of precious objects with which to showcase the wealth and refinement of the Netherlands and his own skills as a painter. Everything is expensive, imported, or both. The citrus fruit, glassware from Venice, and Chinese porcelain jar are evidence of Dutch sailors' enterprise. Local talent is displayed by Dutch silver and a rummer, or wineglass, with a cherub holding a cornucopia at its base. They stand on a marble tabletop with a carelessly crumpled oriental rug. Amid all that luxury is a lesson: a ticking watch on the silver platter reminds the viewer that such earthly riches are fleeting, and worth far less than eternal salvation. The carefully balanced composition, rich colors, and warm tonalities make this painting an object of beauty as well as moral edification.

1669

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image Painting by José Antolínez: The Picture Merchant

1670

Agostino Scilla publishes Vain Speculation Undeceived by Sense arguing for the organic origin of fossils.

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1671

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1672

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1673

image Apothecary and antiquary John Conyers finds an elephant tusk and a nearby handaxe about 12 feet below ground at Gray's Inn Lane, London. The Gray's Inn Lane handaxe will later be dated at 350,000 years old.

Leeuwenhoek begins corresponding with the Royal Society of London describing his discoveries under the microscope.

image Painting by Jan Steen: Merrymaking at an Inn combines the Flemish tradition of low-life tavern scenes with the more elegant Dutch merry companies.

1674

image Antonie van Leeuwenhoek creates a simple microscope with only one lens. He developed glass-handling techniques that allowed him to create lenses with magnifying power up to 270x — by far the most powerful magnifying lenses available. Although compound microscopes had been invented in the 1590s, nearly forty years before Leeuwenhoek was born, there were technical difficulties in building them, meaning that early compound microscopes (such as used by Robert Hooke) had a maximum magnification of only 20x or 30x. Leeuwenhoek's more powerful lenses allowed him to discover protozoa and other single-celled organisms and to be the first to observe bacteria.

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1675

Jan Swammerdam publishes a treatise on the mayfly entitled A Figure of Man's Miserable Life.

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1676

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1677

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1678

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1679

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1680

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1681

Royal Society member Neremiah Grew examines the "sea serpent teeth" found by John Somner in 1668 and recognizes that they are rhino teeth.

Amsterdam physician Gerard Blasius publishes Anatome Animalium examining animals' internal anatomy and skeletal structure.

image Painting by Claude Lorraine: Landscape with Ascanius Shooting the Stag of Sylvia was painted in Rome for Prince Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna (1637–1689), Claude's most important patron in his last years, and is now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. It is signed, dated with the year, and inscribed with the subject (at centre bottom), as Claude sometimes did with his less common subjects. It was Claude's last painting, and is perhaps not quite finished; it therefore does not appear in the Liber Veritatis, where he made drawings to record his finished works. His date of birth is uncertain, but he was at least in his late seventies when he painted it, perhaps as old as 82.

1682

Neremiah Grew publishes The Anatomy of Plants with microscopic observations of plant features.

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1683

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1684

Dublin doctor Thomas Molyneux shows that a "giant's tooth" from the collection of Ole Worm really belongs to a whale, and a "giant's hand" shown in London is really the fin of a porpoise.

image Filippo Buonanni publishes Ricreatione dell' occhio e della mente. — perhaps the first book devoted entirely to shells, for which he is considered a founder of conchology.

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1685

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1686

Timothy Nourse anticaptes eugenics with the argument that a gentleman "ought at least to be as careful of his race as he is of that of his horses, where the fairest and most beautiful are made choice of for breed."

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1687

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1688

Giovanni Ciampini describes remains of the extinct straight-tusked elephant, Elephas antiquus, found in the town of Vitorchiano in the region of Latium.

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1689

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1690

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1691

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1692

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1693

Naturalist John Ray publishes Three Physicotheological Discourses about the Creation, the Deluge and the Conflagration, discussing conflicting theories about the nature of fossils.

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1694

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image Painting by Rachel Ruysch: Flowers on a Ledge. Ruysch's skill lay in the minute observation of each flower in a totally realistic way which is then composed into an elaborate arrangement which would be very difficult to achieve in nature, as the flowers would not support each other so well under such an arrangement. In common with most flower pieces from the last third of the 17th century, the colors of the flowers are much more carefully balanced than in the earlier pictures.

1695

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1696

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1697

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1698

Edward Lhwyd publishes a description of a "flatfish" in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. (The flatfish is really a trilobite, an ancient marine arthropod.)

image Painting by Alexandre-François Desportes: Autoportrait en chasseur (Self-portrait as hunter). Desportes was born in Champigneulle, Ardennes. He studied in Paris, in the studio of the Flemish painter Nicasius Bernaerts, a pupil of Frans Snyders. During a brief soujourn in Poland, 1695–96, he painted portraits of John III Sobieski and Polish aristocrats; after the king's death Desportes returned to Paris, convinced that he should specialise in animals and flowers. He was received by the Académie de peinture et de sculpture in 1699, with the Self-Portrait in Hunting Dress now in the Musée du Louvre. In 1712–13 he spent six months in England. He received many commissions for decorative panels for the royal châteaux: Versailles, Marly, Meudon, Compiègne and, his last royal commission, for Louis XV at Choisy, 1742. He also did decorative paintings for the duc de Bourbon at Chantilly. Both Louis XIV and Louis XV commissioned portraits of their favorite hunting dogs.

1699

Edward Lhwyd publishes a book devoted to British fossils. In it, he describes ichthyosaur remains as those of a fish.

Based on a dissection he performed the year before, Edward Tyson publishes Orang Outan, sive Homo sylvestris pointing out similarities between chimpanzee and human anatomy. (Although he has dissected an infant chimp, Tyson uses the term "orang-outan.")

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1700

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1701

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1702

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1703

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1704

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1705

A giant fossil tooth is found along the banks of the Hudson River. It will initially be identified (by Cotton Mather) as that of a human giant who perished in Noah's flood, then correctly identified (by Georges Cuvier) as that of a mastodon.

Maria Sibylla Merian publishes Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium describing insect species and other animals she has studied in Surinam.

The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet by G.E. Rumphius is published. It provides detailed descriptions of soft and hard shellfish, minerals, rocks and fossils from Indonesia.

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1706

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1707

Hans Sloane publishes the first of two volumes describing the natural wonders of Jamaica. (The second volume will be published in 1725.)

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1708

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1709

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1710

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1711

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1712

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1713

In Physico-theology, or a demonstration of the being and attributes of God from His works of creation William Derham tries to show that this is the best of all possible worlds.

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1714

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1715

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1716

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1717

William Stukely publishes An Account of the Almost Entire Sceleton of a Large Animal in a Very Hard Stone. The fossil is a plesiosaur, but is identified as a crocodile.

Dutch pharmacist Albertus Seba inventories his wonder cabinet for the avid collector Peter the Great, including 1,000 European insects and 400 animal specimens. The czar buys the inventory, and Seba begins his second collection, which he will describe in print starting in 1734.

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1718

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1719

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1720

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1721

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1722

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1723

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1724

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1725

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1726

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1727

Balthasar Ehrhart identifies belemnites as fossil cephalopods.

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1728

Hans Sloane publishes two papers on fossils found in Siberia and North America arguing that they are fossil elephants, not giants or monsters.

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1729

In An Attempt towards a Natural History of England, John Woodward describes three "pinecones" that, upon later examination, will prove to be coprolites.

Louis Bourget's Lettres philosophiques sur la formation des sels et de cristaux et sur la génération et la méchanique organique (Philosophical letters on the formation of salts and crystals and on generation and organic mechanisms) makes the distinction between organic and inorganic growth.

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1730

Otto Müller is among the first to see bacteria since Leeuwenhoek and the first to classify them into types.

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1731

image Jethro Tull's Horse-hoeing husbandry advocates the use of manure, pulverization of the soil, growing crops in rows, and hoeing to remove weeds.

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1732

image Nöel-Antoine Pluche publishes the first of eight volumes of Le spectacle de la nature (Spectacle of nature), popularizing "natural theology" in France.

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1733

image Stephen Hales' Statical essays, containing haemastatics, etc., two volumes, reports his investigations on blood flow and pressure in animals and the hydrostatics of sap in plants.

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1734

image René de Réamure's Mémaoires pour servir à l'histoire des insects (History of insects) is one of the foundation works in entomology.

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1735

image Systema Naturae (System of Nature) by Carolus Linnaeus introduces the system of classification for organisms that is still in use today.

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1736

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1737

Hermann Boerhaave prints Jan Swammerdam's Biblia naturae (Bible of nature), which was originally published to little notice in 1658. It contains his reports on the dissection of insects under a microscope.

image Linnaeus's Genera Plantorum (Genera of Plants) explains his method of systematic botany and classifies 18,000 species of plants.

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1738

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1739

Native Americans traveling with French soldiers find mastodon fossils along the Ohio River. The bones will be shipped back to France and become the first American fossils studied by scientists.

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1740

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1741

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1742

Abraham Trembley makes the first permanent graft of animal tissue, using the Hydra.

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1743

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1744

Abraham Trembley's Mémoires summarizes his research on the hydra and his discovery of regeneration in polyps.

Scholar and teacher Abraham Trembley publishes Mémoires Concerning the Natural History of a Type of Freshwater Polyp with Arms Shaped Like Horns. After watching them move and eat, he has concluded that the simple creatures (later to be classified as cnidarians) are animals, not plants.

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1745

image Traité d'insectologie (Treatise on insect ecology) by Charles Bonnet describes his observations on parthenogenetic reproduction and metamorphosis of aphids.

Bologna physician Vincenzo Menghini roasts the blood of fish, birds and mammals (including humans) then sifts through the residue with a magnetic blade, noting that roasted-blood particles adhere to it. The experiment provides evidence that blood contains iron.

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1746

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1747

image Andreas Marggraf discovers sugar in beets, laying the foundation for Europe's sugar-beet industry.

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1748

image L'homme Machine (Man the Machine) by Julien Offray de la Mettrie describes humans as machines, without freedom or will.

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1749

image Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon publishes the first volume of Historie Naturelle. Thirty-six volumes came out between 1749 and 1789, followed by eight more after his death. The Histoire Naturelle was meant to address the whole of natural history, but actually covers only minerals, birds, and the quadrupeds among animals. It is accompanied by some discourses and a theory of the earth by way of introduction, and by supplements including an elegantly written account of the epochs of nature. The Histoire Naturelle had a distinctly mixed reception in the eighteenth century. Wealthy homes in both England and France purchased copies, and the first edition was sold out within six weeks. But Buffon was criticised by some priests for suggesting (in the essay Les Epoques de Nature, Volume XXXIV) that the earth was more than 6,000 years old and that mountains had arisen in geological time. The Paris faculty of theology, acting as the official censor, wrote to Buffon with a list of statements in the Histoire Naturelle that were contradictory to Roman Catholic Church teaching. In June, 2017, an antiquarian book deal offered a complete second edition of the Historie Naturelle for 14500 €.

image Painting by Thomas Gainsborough: Mr and Mrs Andrews is one of his most famous works. However, it remained in the family of the sitters until 1960 and was very little known before it appeared in an exhibition in Ipswich in 1927. The work is an unusual combination of two common types of painting of the period: a double portrait, here of a recently married couple, and a landscape view of the English countryside. Gainsborough's work mainly consisted of these two different genres, but their striking combination side-by-side in this extended horizontal format is unique in Gainsborough's oeuvre, and extremely rare in other painters.

1750

image Carolus Linnaeus's Philosophia Botanica rejects any notion of evolution and continues his work in classifying plants.

John Needham publishes Nouvelles Observations Microscopiques arguing that decomposing plant and animal matter can spontaneously generate new life. Fifteen years later, Italian polymath Lazzaro Spallanzani will conduct a more careful set of experiments then publish a report rejecting Needham's conclusions.

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1751

image Linnaeus's Species Plantarum completes his development of the use of binary nomenclature in botany. The work still provides the foundation for the modern classification of species.

image Pierre-Louis de Maupertuis's Système de la Nature provides a theoretical speculation on heredity and the origin of species by chance.

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1752

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1753

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1754

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1755

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1756

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1757

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1758

Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau discovers that when he turns a seedling upside down, its roots and shoots reorient so that the root continues to grow downward while the shoot continues to grow upward.

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1759

image In Theoria Generationis (his MD dissertation), Caspar Friedrich Wolff claims the existence of a vis essentialis — an essential force — that is at the heart of all living matter. He also describes the differentiation of tissues in a developing embryo, refuting the preformation concept — the idea that development consists in the growth of a fully formed, but miniature individual. His views were not well received.

The Kew Botanical Gardens open in London.

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1760

image Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter'S Vorläufige nachricht von einigen das geschlecht der pflantzen betreffende versuche and beobachtungen describes his research in heredity in plants.

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1761

Jean-Baptiste Robinet's five-volume De la nature claims that organic species form a linear scale of progress, without gaps.

image Between 1761 and 1766, Joseph Gottlieb Kölreuter (Germany) demonstrates that hybrid offspring receive traits from both parents (pollen and ovule transmit genetic information), and are intermediate in most traits. First scientific hybrid produced (tobacco). Demonstrates the identity of reciprocal crosses. Notes hybrid vigor, segregation of offspring (parental and non-parental types) from a hybrid.

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1762

image Charles Bonnet's Considerations sur les corps organisées gives his theory of "preformation" — the idea that each creature is already preformed in miniature in the egg, and that the egg contains all future generations in even smaller scale, ad infinitum.

image Painting by Joseph-Marie Vien: The Cupid Seller depicts a business transaction — the offer for sale of several wriggling cupids. The customers seem unimpressed.

1763

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1764

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image Painting by John Singleton Copley: The Boy with a Squirrel, a portrait highly praised when exhibited in London. The subject is Copley's half-brother, Henry Pelham, seated at a table and playing with a pet squirrel. This picture, which made the young Boston painter a Fellow of the Society of Artists of Great Britain, by vote of September 3, 1766, had been painted the preceding year

1765

image Italian biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani suggests preserving food by sealing it in containers that do not permit air to penetrate.

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1766

image Albrecht von Haller is the first to show that nerves stimulate muscles to contract and that all nerves lead to the spinal cord and the brain.

image Painting by Claude Joseph Vernet: A Storm on a Mediterranean Coast. Perhaps no painter of landscapes or sea-pieces has ever made the human figure so completely a part of the scene depicted or so important a factor in his design. In this respect he was heavily influenced by Giovanni Paolo Panini, whom he probably met and worked with in Rome. Vernet's work draws on natural themes, but in a way that is neither sentimental or emotive. The overall effect of his style is wholly decorative.

image Painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard: The Swing (French: L'Escarpolette), also known as The Happy Accidents of the Swing (French: Les Hasards heureux de l'escarpolette, the original title), is an 18th-century oil painting in the Wallace Collection in London. It is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the rococo era, and is Fragonard's best known work. From a contemporary perspective, it would be hard to imagine a more frilly piece of trivia.

1767

Benjamin Franklin writes a thank-you letter to a wealthy Irish trader for a box of proboscidian "tusks and grinders." Franklin believes the remains belong to elephants but makes astute observations about how their climate must have differed from the present.

image Painting by Alexander Roslin: The Lady with the Veil is one of the Nationalmuseum’s best loved paintings. The woman in the portrait is partially hidden by a black silk veil. Beneath the veil she is dressed for a special occasion in white lace and pink silk. During the 18th century, theatre was an important part of the life of the upper classes. Dressing up, disguising oneself and playing dramatic roles was a common pastime. The Lady with the Veil shows how one could dress up à la bolonaise – in the style of Bologna.

1768

image Lazzaro Spallanzani's Prodromo d'un ouvrage sur les reproductions animales (Foreword to a work on animal reproduction) tells of his demonstration that spontaneous generation of animals does not take place in tightly closed bottles that have been boiled for more than 30 minutes.

image Caspar Friedrich Wolff's De formatione intestinarum establishes principles of the formation of organs in embryos.

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1769

image Charles Bonnet's Philosophical palingenesis, or ideas on the past and future states of living beings contains his view that the females of every species contain the germs of all future generations.

image Painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard: Young Girl Reading, or The Reader (French: La Liseuse), is an 18th-century oil painting, purchased by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC in 1961 using funds donated by Ailsa Mellon Bruce, the daughter of Andrew W. Mellon, following her father's death. The work is more a genre painting of an everyday scene than a portrait, and the name of the sitter is not known. X-ray photography has revealed that the canvas originally featured a different head looking towards the viewer, which Fragonard painted over.

image Painting by Thomas Gainsborough: The Blue Boy. Perhaps Gainsborough's most famous work, it is thought to be a portrait of Jonathan Buttall (1752–1805), the son of a wealthy hardware merchant, although this has never been proven. It is a historical costume study as well as a portrait: the youth in his 17th-century apparel is regarded as Gainsborough's homage to Anthony van Dyck, and in particular is very close to Van Dyck's portrait of Charles II as a boy.

1770

Erasmus Darwin has the allegorical motto E conchis omnia or "Everything from shells" painted on his carriage, promoting the idea of common descent. Bowing to social pressure, he removes it shortly thereafter.

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1771

In Gailenreuth Cave in Germany, Father Johann Esper finds human bones underlying those of extinct animals. He concludes that the bones got there by accident, an opinion Cuvier will share.

image Italian anatomist Luigi Galvani discovers accidentally the action of electricity on the muscles of the dissected frog: it causes a twitch.

Joseph Priestly discovers that a plant can produce enough breathable air to sustain a mouse and keep a candle burning. Though he describes it in different terms, he has discovered oxygen.

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1772

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1773

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1774

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1775

image Franz Anton Mesmer suggests that "animal magnetism" causes attractions between certain persons. Mesmer's name becomes the root of the English verb "mesmerize".

image Johann Christian Fabricius's Systema Entomologiae classifies insects based on the structure of mouth organs rather than wings.

image Painting by Joseph Wright: Vesuvius in Eruption is the subject of thirty paintings and at least one preliminary sketch by Joseph Wright of Derby, who travelled in Italy in the years 1773-1775. It appears that whilst Wright was in Italy Vesuvius was not erupting.

1776

Abbé Jacques-François Dicquemare describes reptilian fossils in Journal de Physique but refrains from speculating about their sources.

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1777

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image Painting by John Singleton Copley: Watson and the Shark about a shark attack on a swimmer, Brook Watson, that occurred in Havana, Cuba in 1749. Copley had never visited Havana, and it is likely that he had never seen a shark, much less a shark attack. It is probable that he gleaned details of Havana harbor from prints and book illustrations: he includes the real landmark of Morro Castle in the background of the painting. The shark is less convincing; it includes details not found in sharks, such as forward-facing eyes and lips.

1778

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1779

image Jan Ingenhousz discovers two distinct respiratory cycles in plants: at night oxygen is absorbed and carbon dioxide is exhaled; during the day carbon dioxide is absorbed and oxygen is exhaled. The exact nature of the exhaled gases becomes clear with the later discoveries by Lavoisier.

Jan Ingenhousz discovers photosynthesis: In Experiments on Vegetables Ingenhousz shows that sunlight is essential for the production of oxygen by leaves.

The peculiar inheritance of human color-blindness reported to The Royal Society of London by Michael Lort.

image Lazzaro Spallanzani studies the role of semen in fertilization and learns that the sperm must make physical contact with the egg for fertilization to take place.

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1780

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image Painting by Henry Fuseli: The Nightmare shows a woman in deep sleep with her arms thrown below her, and with a demonic and apelike incubus crouched on her chest. The painting's dream like and haunting erotic evocation of infatuation and obsession was a huge popular success. After its first exhibition, at the 1782 Royal Academy of London, critics and patrons reacted with horrified fascination and the work became widely popular, to the extent that it was parodied in political satire, and an engraved version was widely distributed. In response, Fuseli produced at least three other versions.

1781

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1782

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1783

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image Painting by Jacques-Louis David: Oath of the Horatii (French: Le Serment des Horaces), is now on display in the Louvre in Paris. The painting immediately became a huge success with critics and the public, and remains one of the best known paintings in the Neoclassical style. It depicts a scene from a Roman legend about a dispute between two warring cities, Rome and Alba Longa. Instead of the two cities sending their armies to war, they agree to choose three men from each city; the victor in that fight will be the victorious city. From Rome, three brothers from a Roman family, the Horatii, agree to end the war by fighting three brothers from a family of Alba Longa, the Curiatii. The three brothers, all of whom appear willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of Rome, are shown saluting their father who holds their swords out for them. Aside from the three brothers depicted, David also represents, in the bottom right corner, a woman crying whilst sitting down. She is Camilla, a sister of the Horatii brothers, who is also betrothed to one of the Curiatii fighters, and thus she weeps in the realisation that, in any case, she will lose someone she loves. The painting is considered a paragon of neoclassical art.

1784

Historian and naturalist Cosimo Alessandro Collini publishes a description of the first known pterosaur.

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1785

image Lazzaro Spallanzani performs artificial insemination on a dog.

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1786

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1787

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image Painting by Francisco de Goya: Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zúñiga, also known as Goya's Red Boy. Vicente Joaquin Osorio de Moscoso y Guzmán Fernández de Córdoba (1756–1816), Count of Altamira, had hired Goya for several family portraits. Altamira held many titles and was also a director of the Banco de San Carlos. In 1786, after painting several portraits of the court, Goya was nominated painter to Charles III. This painting, from 1787–88, is of his youngest son, Manuel, who was born in April 1784 and died at age eight on June 12, 1792.

1788

Juan-Bautista Bru mounts the first relatively accurate fossil reconstruction of an extinct animal from South America. Georges Cuvier classifies it as a giant sloth.

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1789

image Gilbert White's The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, a series of notes about animal and plant life in Selborne, England, is the first recognizable work of ecology. It goes through about 300 different editions and is still in print today.

image Johann Wolfgang Goethe's Versuch, die Metamorphose der Pflanzen zu erklären (Attempt to explain the metamorphosis of plants) claims incorrectly that all plant structures are modified leaves, but clearly espouses evolution.

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1790

German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe writes The Morphology of Plants stating that all plant organs, flowers included, began as leaves — an assertion that will enjoy some support from 21st-century genetic research.

image Painting by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun: Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante Emma, Lady Hamilton, model and actress, is best remembered as the mistress of Lord Nelson and as the muse of George Romney. She was born Amy Lyon in Ness near Neston, Cheshire, England, the daughter of Henry Lyon, a blacksmith who died when she was two months old. She was raised by her mother, the former Mary Kidd, at Hawarden, and received no formal education. She later changed her name to Emma Hart.

1791

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1792

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image Painting by Jacques-Louis David: The Death of Marat (French: La Mort de Marat or Marat Assassiné) is one of the most famous images of the French Revolution. David was the leading French painter, as well as a Montagnard and a member of the revolutionary Committee of General Security. The painting shows the radical journalist lying dead in his bath on 13 July 1793 after his murder by Charlotte Corday. Painted in the months after Marat's murder, it has been described by T. J. Clark as the first modernist painting, for "the way it took the stuff of politics as its material, and did not transmute it".

1793

Reverend James Douglas publishes Nenia Britannica; or, A Sepulchral History of Great Britain providing perhaps the first record of a fossil (sea urchin) at an archaeological site.

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1794

image Erasmus Darwin (Charles' grandfather) publishes Zoonomia, or the Laws of Organic Life.

James Hutton publishes An Investigation of the Principles of Knowledge. Buried in the 2,138-page philosophical tome is a chapter about variety in nature in which Hutton anticipates Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection.

image John Dalton's Extraordinary facts relating to the vision of colors gives an early account of red-green color blindness, which he refers to as Daltonism, since he is afflicted with the condition.

image Zoonomia, or the Laws of Organic Life by Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles Darwin) contains his ideas about evolution, which are Lamarckian in that they assume the environment has a direct influence on organisms, causing permanent changes in the germ line.

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1795

image James Hutton's Theory of the Earth published, interpreting certain geological strata as former sea beds. Hutton proposes geological theory of gradualism.

Johann Friedrich Blumenbach publishes De generis humani varietate nativa liber arguing that humans comprise a single species with five varieties: Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, (American) Indian and Malayan.

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1796

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1797

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1798

image Publication of Thomas Malthus' Essay on the Principle of Population, a work that Darwin asserted helped him frame the principle of evolution by natural selection.

image Painting by Jacques-Louis David: The Intervention of the Sabine Women shows a legendary episode following the abduction of the Sabine women by the founding generation of Rome. The genesis of Les Sabines and the work itself represented a significant departure for the day. Historical depictions had been typically commissioned. David however, conceived, produced and promoted his work for profit. He produced marketing material to accompany the first exhibition. Le Tableau des Sabines, Exposé Publiquement au Palais National des Sciences et des Arts "the Tableau of the Sabines, Public Exhibition at the National Palace of Arts and Science" contained his own account of the episode and anticipated the controversy over his use of nudity with an end-note explaining his rationale. Its 1799 exhibition attracted a large number of paying visitors for several years and in 1819 he sold Les Sabines and his Léonidas at Thermopylae to the Royal Museums for 10,000 francs.

1799

image The first mammoth fossil fully documented by modern science is discovered near the delta of the Lena River in 1799 by Ossip Schumachov, a Siberian hunter. Schumachov allows it to thaw (a process taking several years) until he can retrieve the tusks for sale to the ivory trade in Yakutsk. He then abandons the specimen, allowing it to decay before its recovery. In 1806, Russian botanist Mikhail Adams rescues what remained of the specimen and brought it to the Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. The specimen, which became known as the Adams Mammoth, is stuffed and mounted, and continues to be on display at the Zoological Institute.

Charles White publishes An Account of the Regular Gradation in Man, and in Different Animals and Vegetables, a treatise on the great chain of being, showing people of color at the bottom of the human chain.

Faujas publishes a description of the Maastricht animal, a spectacular mosasaur found in chalk quarries in the Netherlands, describing it as a crocodile.

Thomas Jefferson publishes a paper describing Megalonyx, a North American fossil ground sloth similar to the one found in South America.

George Shaw publishes a description of a platypus even though he suspects the odd animal might be a hoax.

image Painting by Francisco de Goya: The Nude Maja (Spanish: La Maja Desnuda) portrays a nude woman reclining on a bed of pillows, and was probably commissioned by Manuel de Godoy, to hang in his private collection in a separate cabinet reserved for nude paintings. Goya created a pendant of the same woman identically posed, but clothed, known today as La maja vestida (The Clothed Maja); also in the Prado, it is usually hung next to La maja desnuda. The subject is identified as a maja based on her costume in La maja vestida. The painting is renowned for the straightforward and unashamed gaze of the model towards the viewer. With this work Goya not only upset the ecclesiastical authorities, but also titillated the public and extended the artistic horizon of the day. It has been in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1901.

1800

image Between 1800 and 1803, naturalist Alexander von Humboldt visits Mexico and writes influential accounts of his observations.

image Karl Friedrich Burdach coins the term BIOLOGY to denote the study of human morphology, physiology and psychology.

Erasmus Darwin publishes Phytologia declaring that leaves breathe air through tiny pores, sugar and starch are the products of plant "digestion," and nitrates and phosphorus promote vegetation.

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1801

image Jean-Baptiste Lamarck's Système de Animaux sans Vertèbres (System for Animals without Vertebrae) includes a classification system for invertebrates and a preliminary view of his ideas of evolution.

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1802

In Natural Theology, William Paley uses the analogy of a watch requiring a watchmaker to argue that the universe implies an intelligent designer.

image image Gottfried Treviranus and Jean Baptiste de Lamarck independently broaden the meaning of BIOLOGY to include the study of all living things.

image Painting by Francisco de Goya: The Clothed Maja (Spanish: La maja vestida) is a clothed version of the earlier La maja desnuda (1797–1800) and is exhibited next to it in the same room at the Prado Museum in Madrid. It was twice in the collection of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, also in Madrid, being "sequestered" by the Spanish Inquisition between 1814 and 1836, and has been in the Museo del Prado since 1901.

1803

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1804

Georges Cuvier suggests that fossils found in the area around Paris are "thousands of centuries" old. This casual observation pushes the age of the Earth well beyond its commonly accepted limits. Cuvier also publishes a paper explaining that the fossil animals he has studied bear no resemblance to anything still living, an unambiguous endorsement of the theory of extinction.

James Parkinson publishes the first of a three-volume work entitled Organic Remains of a Former World. In this volume, he describes fossils as the remains of Noah's Flood. In the next several years, he will recognize fossils as the remains of a world before people, and acknowledge as much in the third volume, published in 1811.

Nicolas-Théodore de Saussure's Recherches chimiques sur la végétation "Chemical researches on vegetation" shows that plants require carbon dioxide from the air and nitrogen from the soil. Earlier researchers had assumed the plants got carbon from the soil instead of from the air.

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1805

image The field of comparative anatomy begins, with the publications of Baron Georges Cuvier's Lesson in Comparative Anatomy

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1806

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1807

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1808

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1809

image 12 Feb 1809

Charles Darwin is born

image Jean Baptiste de Lamarck's theory of evolution presented with the publication of his Philosophie Zoologique, which emphasized the fundamental unity of life and the capacity of species to vary.

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1810

Mary Anning's brother Joseph discovers the world's first recognized fossil ichthyosaur. Mary Anning will collect the fossil the next year.

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1811

Georges Cuvier identifies the "biblical flood" victim, described by Johann Jakob Scheuchzer in 1731, as a giant salamander.

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1812

Georges Cuvier correctly identifies pterosaurs as flying reptiles. His conclusions will be largely ignored for many years.

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1813

image Swiss-French botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle introduces the word TAXONOMY in his lifelong project of a 21-volume plant encyclopedia. Seven volumes are published during his lifetime, the remainder after his death.

image Painting by Francisco de Goya: The Third of May 1808 (also known as El tres de mayo de 1808 en Madrid or Los fusilamientos de la montaña del Príncipe Pío, or Los fusilamientos del tres de mayo) is now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. In the work, Goya sought to commemorate Spanish resistance to Napoleon's armies during the occupation of 1808 in the Peninsular War. Along with its companion piece of the same size, The Second of May 1808 (or The Charge of the Mamelukes), it was commissioned by the provisional government of Spain at Goya's suggestion. The painting's content, presentation, and emotional force secure its status as a groundbreaking, archetypal image of the horrors of war. Although it draws on many sources from both high and popular art, The Third of May 1808 marks a clear break from convention. Diverging from the traditions of Christian art and traditional depictions of war, it has no distinct precedent, and is acknowledged as one of the first paintings of the modern era. According to the art historian Kenneth Clark, The Third of May 1808 is "the first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in style, in subject, and in intention".

image Painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres: Grande Odalisque, also known as Une Odalisque or La Grande Odalisque depicts an odalisque, or concubine. Ingres' contemporaries considered the work to signify Ingres' break from Neoclassicism, indicating a shift toward exotic Romanticism. Grande Odalisque attracted wide criticism when it was first shown. It has been especially noted for the elongated proportions and lack of anatomical realism. The work is displayed in the Louvre, Paris. The painting was commissioned by Napoleon's sister, Queen Caroline Murat of Naples, and finished in 1814. Ingres drew upon works such as Dresden Venus by Giorgione, and Titian's Venus of Urbino as inspiration for his reclining nude figure, though the actual pose of a reclining figure looking back over her shoulder is directly drawn from the 1809 Portrait of Madame Récamier by Jacques-Louis David. Madame Récamier painted by Jacques-Louis David (1800). Ingres portrays a concubine in languid pose as seen from behind with distorted proportions. The small head, elongated limbs, and cool color scheme all reveal influences from Mannerists such as Parmigianino, whose Madonna with the Long Neck was also famous for anatomical distortion. This eclectic mix of styles, combining classical form with Romantic themes, prompted harsh criticism when it was first shown in 1814. Critics viewed Ingres as a rebel against the contemporary style of form and content

1814

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1815

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1816

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1817

Russian biologist Heinz Christian Pander studies the chick embryo and discovers the germ layers (i.e., three distinct regions of the embryo that give rise to the specific organ systems). Because of these findings, he is considered by many to be the "founder of embryology".

image Georges Cuvier's Le règne animal distribué d'après son organisation (The animal kingdom, distributed according to its organization) gives an account of the whole animal kingdom, dividing it into four distinct groups.

image painting by Caspar David Friedrich: Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (German: Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer), also known as Wanderer Above the Mist or Mountaineer in a misty Landscape, currently resides in the Kunsthalle Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany. Wanderer above the Sea of Fog is true to the Romantic style and Friedrich's style in particular. Gorra's (2004) analysis was that the message conveyed by the painting is one of Kantian self-reflection, expressed through the wanderer's gazings into the murkiness of the sea of fog.

1818

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image Painting by Théodore Géricault: The Raft of the Medusa (French: Le Radeau de la Méduse) was completed when the artist was 27. The work has become an icon of French Romanticism. At 16' 1" × 23' 6", it is an over-life-size painting that depicts a moment from the aftermath of the wreck of the French naval frigate Méduse, which ran aground off the coast of today's Mauritania on 2 July 1816. On 5 July 1816, at least 147 people were set adrift on a hurriedly constructed raft; all but 15 died in the 13 days before their rescue, and those who survived endured starvation and dehydration and practised cannibalism. Géricault chose to depict this event in order to launch his career with a large-scale uncommissioned work on a subject that had already generated great public interest. The event fascinated him, and before he began work on the final painting, he undertook extensive research and produced many preparatory sketches. He interviewed two of the survivors and constructed a detailed scale model of the raft. He visited hospitals and morgues where he could view, first-hand, the colour and texture of the flesh of the dying and dead. As he had anticipated, the painting proved highly controversial at its first appearance in the 1819 Paris Salon, attracting passionate praise and condemnation in equal measure. However, it established his international reputation, and today is widely seen as seminal in the early history of the Romantic movement in French painting.

1819

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1820

image Christian Friedrich Nasse formulated Nasse's law: hemophilia occurs only in males and is passed on by unaffected females.

Gideon Mantell discovers, in England, a fossil trunk of a tree resembling that of a tropical palm, evidence of a much warmer climate.

image Painting by John Constable: The Hay Wain depicts a rural scene on the River Stour between the English counties of Suffolk and Essex. It hangs in the National Gallery in London and is regarded as "Constable's most famous image" and one of the greatest and most popular English paintings. Painted in oils on canvas, the work depicts as its central feature three horses pulling what in fact appears to be a wood wain or large farm cart across the river. Willy Lott's Cottage, also the subject of an eponymous painting by Constable, is visible on the far left. The scene takes place near Flatford Mill in Suffolk, though since the Stour forms the border of two counties, the left bank is in Suffolk and the landscape on the right bank is in Essex.

1821

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1822

Etienne Geoffroy publishes Anatomical Philosophy discussing similarities between skeletal structures — such as bat wings, paws and hands — that support the evolutionary claims of Lamarck. He also argues that arthropods and vertebrates have similar but inverse body plans, an assertion that will ultimately be widely accepted.

image Between 1822-1824, Thomas Andrew Knight, John Goss, and Alexander Seton all independently perform crosses with the pea and observe dominance in the immediate progeny, and segregation of various hereditary characters in the next generation. However, they do not study later generations or determine the numerical ratios in which the characters are transmitted.

William Buckland publishes an account of how ancient hyenas lived and fed in Kirkdale Cave, based on their fossil remains. This is one of the first descriptions of living habits based on fossil evidence.

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1823

image Thomas Andrew Knight confirms reports of dominance, recessivity, and segregation in peas, but does not detect regularities.

William Buckland finds a skeleton covered in ocher. Called the Red Lady, it will later be identified as Cro-Magnon (and male).

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1824

William Buckland publishes Notice on the Megalosaurus ("giant lizard"), the first dinosaur fossil to be described and named, although the term "dinosaur" doesn't yet exist. Buckland also announces the discovery of the first fossil mammal from the Mesozoic.

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1825

Father John MacEnery starts digging in Kent's Cave in Devon. He'll eventually find human remains in the same layer as those of extinct mammals, a finding that will be dismissed by Buckland.

Gideon Mantell publishes Notice on the Iguanodon, the second description of a dinosaur and the first description of an herbivorous fossil reptile.

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1826

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1827

image Karl Ernst von Baer first demonstrated the mammalian ovum; he regarded the sperm cells as "Entozoa," i.e., parasites, and named them spermatozoa.

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1828

A year after discovering the mammalian egg cell, Karl Ernst von Baer publishes Entwickelungsgeschichte der Thiere tracing the developmental history of animals.

image Publication of Karl Ernst von Baer's The Embryology of Animals which strongly opposed preformationism.

Adolphe Brongniart publishes Prodrome d'une histoire des Végétaux Fossils, a study of fossil plants. He outlines four distinct phases in plant prehistory: (1) primitive plants from the Coal Measures, (2) the first conifers, (3) domination by cycads and conifers, and (4) flowering plants.

Mary Anning discovers Britain's first recognized pterosaur fossil. (Gideon Mantell has already found pterosaur remains, but has attributed them to a bird).

image Chemist Friedrich Wöhler (1800-1882) synthesizes the organic compound urea, a feat previously thought impossible because of the vital force thought to be a part of organic substances.

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1829

Philippe-Charles Schmerling discovers a Neanderthal fossil, the partial cranium of a small child. The fossil will not be accurately identified as Neanderthal, however, for a century, though Charles Lyell will illustrate it in Antiquity of Man in 1863.

image Painting by Eugène Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People (French: La Liberté guidant le peuple) commemorates the July Revolution of 1830, which toppled King Charles X of France. A woman personifying the concept and the Goddess of Liberty leads the people forward over a barricade and the bodies of the fallen, holding the flag of the French Revolution — the tricolour flag, which remains France's national flag — in one hand and brandishing a bayonetted musket with the other. The figure of Liberty is also viewed as a symbol of France and the French Republic known as Marianne. By the time Delacroix painted Liberty Leading the People, he was already the acknowledged leader of the Romantic school in French painting.

1830

image Charles Lyell's multi-volume Principles of Geology appear (between 1830 amd 1833), advancing the theory of uniformitarianism, i.e., the view that geological formations are explainable in terms of forces and conditions observable at present.

Georg Goldfuss announces that he sees "hairs" on a pterosaur fossil. This outlandish assertion will be supported by later finds.

image The first edition of Birds of America, by the painter and ornithologist John James Audubon (1785-1851), appears.

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1831

image Charles Darwin joins the crew of the HMS Beagle as the ship's naturalist. The Beagle plans a two-year voyage to map the coast of South America. This turns out to be a five-year trip.

Patrick Matthew publishes On Naval Timber and Arboriculture with an appendix describing what Charles Darwin will later name natural selection. After becoming aware of Matthew's hypothesis, Darwin will acknowledge it in a reprint of On the Origin of Species.

image Robert Brown published his observations reporting the discovery and widespread occurrence of nuclei in cells.

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1832

Gideon Mantell finds the first fossil Hylaeosaurus, an ankylosaur. He will formally name it the following year, making it the third identified dinosaur species.

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1833

image The first volume of the five-volume Recherches sur les poissons fossiles (Researches on Fossil Fishes) by Jean-Louis-Rodolphe Agassiz is published.

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1834

Based on a vertebrae and other fragments from Alabama, anatomist Richard Harlan identifies Basilosaurus as a fossil reptile. It will later be identified as a fossil whale.

image Painting by Caspar David Friedrich: The Stages of Life (German: Die Lebensstufen) is an allegorical oil painting completed just five years before his death. This picture, like many of his works, forms a meditation both on his own mortality and on the transience of life. The painting is set on a sea shore and shows in the foreground an aged man with his back turned to the viewer, walking towards two adults and two children on a hilltop overlooking a harbour. The figures are echoed by five ships shown in the harbour, each at a different distance from the shore, an allegorical reference to the different stages of human life, to the end of a journey, to the closeness of death. The figures have been identified as Friedrich and his family. The aged man is the artist himself, the small boy is his young son Gustav Adolf, the young girl is his daughter Agnes Adelheid, the older girl is his daughter Emma, and the man in the top hat is his nephew Johann Heinrich.}The Stages of Life (German: Die Lebensstufen) is an allegorical oil painting of 1835 by the German Romantic landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich. Completed just five years before his death, this picture, like many of his works, forms a meditation both on his own mortality and on the transience of life. The painting is set on a sea shore and shows in the foreground an aged man with his back turned to the viewer, walking towards two adults and two children on a hilltop overlooking a harbour. The figures are echoed by five ships shown in the harbour, each at a different distance from the shore, an allegorical reference to the different stages of human life, to the end of a journey, to the closeness of death. The figures have been identified as Friedrich and his family. The aged man is the artist himself, the small boy is his young son Gustav Adolf, the young girl is his daughter Agnes Adelheid, the older girl is his daughter Emma, and the man in the top hat is his nephew Johann Heinrich.

1835

image While serving as scientific officer on the HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin visits the Galapagos Islands. He observes that the many varieties of finches on the islands seem to have developed from a common ancestor found on the mainland of South America.

image Painting by : View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm, commonly known as The Oxbow, is a seminal landscape painting by Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School. The painting depicts a Romantic panorama of the Connecticut River Valley just after a thunderstorm. It has been interpreted as a confrontation between wilderness and civilization.

1836

Henry Riley and Samuel Stutchbury name Thecodontosaurus, the fourth named dinosaur species.

image Elements of Botany, by the naturalist Asa Gray (1810-1888), is published. It is the first botanical textbook.

image German biologist Theodor Schwann discovers the enzyme pepsin — the first known animal enzyme. He reports the discovery in Über das Wesen der Verdauungsprozesses (On the essence of digestion).

image Daguerreotype by Louis Daguerre: Still life with plaster casts is the earliest, reliably dated daguerreotype.

1837

Charles Darwin formulates the theory of natural selection to explain evolution. Fearful of the reaction his theory will cause, he delays publishing.

Hermann von Meyer names Plateosaurus, the fifth named dinosaur species.

image Daguerreotype by Louis Daguerre: The earliest reliably dated photograph of people, taken one spring morning in 1838 from the window of the Diorama, where Daguerre lived and worked. It bears the caption huit heure du matin (8 a.m.). Though it shows the busy Boulevard du Temple, the long exposure time (about ten or twelve minutes) meant that moving traffic cannot be seen; however, the bootblack and his customer at lower left remained still long enough to be distinctly visible. The building signage at the upper left shows that the image is laterally (left-right) reversed, as were most daguerreotypes.

1838

image image M. J. Schleiden and T. Schwann develop the cell theory. Schleiden notes nucleoli within nuclei.

image Chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1779-1848) shows that the presence of iron is what enables blood to absorb as much oxygen as it does.

image image The word PROTEIN first appears in the chemical literature in a paper by G. J. Mulder. The term, however, was invented by J. J. Berzelius.

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1839

image Czech scientist Jan Evangelista Purkyně (also written Johannes Evangelist Purkinje) coins the word PROTOPLASM to describe the contents of a cell.

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1840

image Charles Darwin's Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle appears.

Martin Barry expressed the belief that the spermatozoon enters the egg.

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1841

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1842

image Charles Darwin's book The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, is published. During the year Darwin composes an abstract of his theory of species evolution.

image Carl Wilhelm von Nägeli (1817-1891) publishes Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte des Pollens. His paper describes cell division in plants with remarkable accuracy, and discusses seed formation in flowering plants.

Richard Owen names Cetiosaurus, the sixth named dinosaur species.

image Die Thierchemie, by chemist Baron Justus von Liebig (1803-1873), is published, and the science of biochemistry begins.

image The term DINOSAUR is coined by Richard Owen (1804-1892) to describe a class of animals that we now believe were dominant on the Earth for approximately 175 million years.

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1843

Louis Agassiz completes Les Poissons Fossiles describing fossil fish of the world. This single monograph increases tenfold the formally described vertebrates known to science.

image That the nervous system uses electricity in communicating between different parts of the body is demonstrated by Emil Heinrich du Bois-Reymond (1818-1896). He founds the field of electrophysiology.

image The Open Door is an early calotype, included in The Pencil of Nature, the first commercially published book to be illustrated with photographs.

image The Pencil of Nature, published in six installments between 1844 and 1846, was the "first photographically illustrated book to be commercially published" or "the first commercially published book illustrated with photographs". It was wholly executed by the new art of Photogenic Drawing, without any aid whatever from the artist's pencil and regarded as an important and influential work in the history of photography. Written by William Henry Fox Talbot and published by Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans in London, the book detailed Talbot's development of the calotype process and included 24 calotype prints, each one pasted in by hand, illustrating some of the possible applications of the new technology. Since photography was still very much a novelty and many people remained unfamiliar with the concept, Talbot felt compelled to insert the following notice into his book: The plates of the present work are impressed by the agency of Light alone, without any aid whatever from the artist's pencil. They are the sun-pictures themselves, and not, as some persons have imagined, engravings in imitation.

1844

image Charles Darwin first outlines his thoughts on natural selection in an unpublished essay.

image Robert Chambers, a Scottish journalist, publishes (anonymously) his Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, an early book outlining an evolutionary view of the natural world.

image The second part of the Geology of the Beagle, Charles Darwin's Geological Observations on Volcanic Islands Visited During the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, is published. Darwin's book claims to supply evidence for the geological theories of Charles Lyell (1797-1875), from areas that Lyell himself had never seen.

image That all the cells in an organism are generated from successive divisions of the egg cell is described by Rudolf Albert von Kölliker (1817-1905). Kölliker shows that the egg is itself a cell.

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1845

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1846

image Karl Wilhelm Von Nägeli shows that plant cells are not formed as buds from the surfaces of existing cells, as was proposed by Theodore Schwann.

Joseph Leidy identifies in pork the parasite that causes trichinosis, a potentially fatal human disease.

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1847

Jakob Mathias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann announce that cells are the basic units of all living structures.

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1848

image On the archetype and homologies of the vertebrate skeleton, by Richard Owen (1804-1892), is published. In the book Owen argues that the skull, and other parts of the body, are formed by the modification of the vertebra of different animals.

Richard Owen describes "homologies" — similarities of design in bird wings, fish fins and human hands.

A Neanderthal skull is excavated from Forbes Quarry on the northern side of the Rock of Gibraltar. Over the next few decades, the skull will be stashed in a library cabinet in Gibraltar, dusted off and sent to London, accurately likened to the ancient skullcap from Neander Valley in Germany, nearly named Homo calpicus, and finally stored and largely forgotten in the Royal College of Surgeons.

image Painting by Gustave Courbet: The Stone Breakers (French: Les Casseurs de pierres) is a work of social realism, depicting two peasants, a young man and an old man, breaking rocks. The painting was first exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1850. It was destroyed during World War II, along with 154 other pictures, when a transport vehicle moving the pictures to the castle of Königstein, near Dresden, was bombed by Allied forces in February 1945.

1849

image Botanist Carl Friedrich von Gärtner (1772-1850) publishes Versuche und Beobachtungen über die Bastarderzeugung im Pflanzenreiche. The book describes thousands of experiments, many involving the production of hybrids, on more than 500 species of plants. Mendel will study this book in detail when he attends the University of Vienna in the early 1850s, and will cite the book in the opening of his paper of 1865.

Based on a humerus 58 inches in circumference, Mantell names a new dinosaur species: Pelorosaurus, the first recognized sauropod.

image Painting by Gustave Courbet: A Burial At Ornans (French: Un enterrement à Ornans, also known as A Funeral At Ornans) represents one of the major turning points of 19th-century French art. The painting records the funeral in September 1848 of his great-uncle in the painter's birthplace, the small town of Ornans. It treats an ordinary provincial funeral with unflattering realism, and on the giant scale traditionally reserved for the heroic or religious scenes of history painting. Its exhibition at the 1850–51 Paris Salon created an "explosive reaction" and brought Courbet instant fame. It is currently displayed at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, France.

1850

image German physicist Gustav Theodor Fechner discovers that an increase in the intensity of a stimulus does not produce a one-to-one increase in the intensity of sensation. Instead, the sensation seems to increase as the logarithm of the excitation.

image Daguerreotype by John Adams Whipple: Daguerreoype of the moon. Whipple was an American inventor and early photographer. He was the first in the United States to manufacture the chemicals used for daguerreotypes; he pioneered astronomical and night photography; he was a prize-winner for his extraordinary early photographs of the moon; and he was the first to produce images of stars other than the sun — the star Vega and the Mizar-Alcor stellar sextuple system, which was thought to be a double star until 2009.

1851

(no entry for this year)

image Daguerreotype by John Adams Whipple: Henry Winthrop Sargent and His Family. Whipple kept several distinctive pieces of furniture in his studio that he used to solidify his compositions by disposing them within an image in characteristic ways without having the sitter use them. In fact, it is this unique posing style that identifies Whipple as the artist of the portrait of Henry Winthrop Sargent and his family, taken in Boston in the early 1850s. Here, Whipple’s composition is complex and masterful. The empty armchair at the lower left faces the viewer and draws the eye in. The covered table at the far right connects an occupied chair to the edge of the plate and suggests a vanishing point while giving diagonal movement to what is basically a horizontal composition. The corner of a plain backdrop, barely perceptible at the right, aids the illusion of movement and space. The empty armchair acts as a backrest for young Francis Sargent, who is actually supported by a posing stand, the base of which can be seen between his feet and his mother’s skirts. Caroline Olmsted Sargent appears to be reading a letter to her assembled family. Her oldest son, Winthrop Henry Sargent, sits facing her, and their profiles echo across the space as he leans toward her. Henry Winthrop Sargent, at the apex of the composition, leans dynamically into the gathering, supporting his weight on the back of a carved side chair. The division of the family into two pairs of linked figures creates powerful parallel diagonals; but despite this calculated arrangement, all of the sitters appear to be at ease and engaged with one another.

1852

image Albrecht von Kölliker publishes the first textbook of histology, Handbuch der Gewebelehre.

image Hermann Ludwig von Helmholtz becomes the first to discover how fast a message travels along a nerve, measuring the speed of transmission in a frog nerve cell.

image Daguerreotype by John Adams Whipple: Cornelius Conway Felton with His Hat and Coat. Felton was Eliot Professor of Greek Literature at Harvard University, reaching for his felt hat and duster. The first son of a poverty-stricken furniture maker, Felton became one of the most renowned classical scholars in the country and, in 1860, Harvard's president. This witty photograph lampoons the rigid formality of the portrait process through narrative gesture (the implied reach across two separate images) and nuance (the delicate crush of the soft hat's crown). As opposed to the inflexible silk top hat worn by dandies and professors alike, the broad-brimmed felt hat was worn by outdoorsmen and was practical, casual, and fundamentally democratic.

1853

image Rudolph Albert von Kölliker discovers the cellular origin of spermatozoa, which were believed by some to originate from a fermentation process.

image Painting by Gustave Courbet: The Meeting (French: La rencontre) is traditionally interpreted as Courbet greeted by his patron Alfred Bruyas, his servant Calas, and his dog while traveling to Montpellier. The composition is based on the Wandering Jew. The Meeting was exhibited in Paris at the 1855 Exhibition Universelle, where critics ridiculed it as "Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet". Bruyas did not exhibit The Meeting until he donated it to the Musée Fabre in Montpellier in 1868.

1854

(no entry for this year)

(no entry for this year)

1855

image Alfred Russel Wallace publishes "On the Law which has Regulated the Introduction of New Species," anticipating Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.

image Rudolf Virchow states the principle that new cells come into being only by division of previously existing cells: Omnis cellula e cellula.

image Recherches sur la putréfaction, by Louis Pasteur, is published. The book describes how fermentation is caused by microorganisms.

image Painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres: The Source (French: La Source), was begun in Florence around 1820 and not completed until 1856, in Paris. When Ingres completed The Source, he was seventy-six years old, already famous, and president of the École des Beaux-Arts. The pose of the nude may be compared with that of another by Ingres, the Venus Anadyomene (1848), and is a reimagination of the Aphrodite of Cnidus or Venus Pudica. Two of Ingres' students, painters Paul Balze and Alexandre Desgoffe, helped to create the background and water jar. The first exhibition of The Source was in 1856, the year it was completed. The painting was received enthusiastically. Duchâtel acquired the painting in 1857 for a sum of 25,000 francs. The state assumed title to the painting in 1878 and it passed to the Musée du Louvre. In 1986 it was transferred to the Musée d'Orsay. The painting has been frequently exhibited and widely published. Haldane Macfall in A History of Painting: The French Genius describes The Source as Ingres' "superb nude by which he is chiefly known". Kenneth Clark in his book Feminine Beauty observed how The Source has been described as "the most beautiful figure in French painting."

1856

image The remains of the first known example of what come to be known as the "Neanderthals" is found in a cave near Düsseldorf, in the Neander Valley. The discovery was made by limestone quarry miners and consists of a skullcap, two femora, the three right arm bones, two of the left arm bones, ilium, and fragments of a scapula and ribs. The fossils were given to Johann Carl Fuhlrott, a local teacher and amateur naturalist. The first description of the remains was made by anatomist Hermann Schaaffhausen and the find was announced jointly in 1857.In 1997, the specimen was the first to yield Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA fragments. The description of this discovery represents the beginning of paleoanthropology as a scientific discipline.

Louis Agassiz publishes Essay on Classification advocating a theory of multiple creations and contradicting both evolution and Noah's ark.

image Gregor Mendel, a monk at the Augustinian monastery of St. Thomas in Brünn, Austria (now Brno, Czechoslovakia), begins breeding experiments with the garden pea, Pisum sativum.

Heinz Christian Pander describes conodonts — toothy microfossils that will puzzle paleontologists for many years.

image Photograph by Gustave Le Gray: Lighthouse and Jetty, le Havre, an albumen print.

image Photograph by Gustave Le Gray: The Great Wave. The dramatic effects of sunlight, clouds, and water in Le Gray's seascapes stunned his contemporaries and immediately brought him international recognition. At a time when photographic emulsions were not equally sensitive to all colors of the spectrum, most photographers found it impossible to achieve proper exposure of both landscape and sky in a single picture. Le Gray solved this problem by printing two negatives on a single sheet of paper: one exposed for the sea, the other for the sky, and sometimes made on separate occasions or in different locations. Le Gray's marine pictures caused a sensation not only because their simultaneous depiction of sea and heavens represented a technical tour de force, but also because the resulting poetic effect was without precedent in photography.

image Painting by Jean-François Millet: The Gleaners (Des glaneuses) depicts three peasant women gleaning a field of stray grains of wheat after the harvest. The painting is famous for featuring in a sympathetic way what were then the lowest ranks of rural society; this was received poorly by the French upper classes. The painting immediately drew negative criticism from the middle and upper classes, who viewed the topic with suspicion: one art critic, speaking for other Parisians, perceived in it an alarming intimation of "the scaffolds of 1793." Its size (33×44 inches) was also considered offensive, as it was too large for an image depicting mere labor.

1857

(no entry for this year)

(no entry for this year)

1858

Rudolf Virchow finalizes the cell theory originally announced by Schleiden and Schwann 11 years earlier by declaring that cells are the basic units of all living things, and all cells are formed by the division of existing cells.

image Alfred Russel Wallace sends to Darwin a manuscript — "On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type" — that shows clearly that Wallace has independently formulated a model of evolution by natural selection.

image image Darwin's and Wallace's ideas are jointly presented to the Linnaean Society of London.

The first relatively complete dinosaur skeleton, of Hadrosaurus foulkii, is found in New Jersey.

image Physician Henry Gray publishes Anatomy of the Human Body, Descriptive and Surgical. Gray's Anatomy will be a standard textbook of anatomy for more than a century.

image Photograph by Gustave Le Gray: The Pont du Carrousel Seen from the Pont Royal, an albumen print.

1859

image Charles Darwin publishes On the Origin of Species.

An exceptionally well-preserved skeleton is discovered in Bavaria. Two years later, this bird-like, bipedal dinosaur will be named Compsognathus, meaning "dainty jaw."

Catholic priest Jean-Jacques Pouech describes fossil eggshell fragments. They will eventually prove to be the first described dinosaur eggs.

image "A Veteran with his Wife", taken by an anonymous photographer, shows a British veteran of the Napoleonic era Peninsular Wars. It is a hand-tinted ambrotype using the set collodion positive process, made circa 1860.

image Daguerreotype by Unknown Photographer: Portrait of a Woman with a Mandolin. Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum.

1860

image Louis Agassiz attacks Darwin's the origin of species, rejecting the idea of evolution of the species and arguing that each species was created separately.

image Thomas Henry Huxley (sometimes known as Darwin's bulldog) clashes with Bishop "Soapy Sam" Wilberforce about evolution at the annual meeting of The British Association for the Advancement of Science, in what has come to be known as the Huxley-Wilberforce debate.

Bishop Wilberforce is supposed to have asked Huxley sarcastically whether "it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed descent from a monkey." Huxley responded, "If then the question is put to me whether I would rather have a miserable ape for a grandfather or a man highly endowed by nature and possessed of great means of influence and yet employs these faculties and that influence for the mere purpose of introducing ridicule into a grave scientific discussion, I unhesitatingly affirm my preference for the ape." Or words to that effect.

John Phillips diagrams the progressive but fluctuating diversity of life on Earth based on the fossil record. His work evidences massive extinctions at the end of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic, and increased diversity in each subsequent age.

image Louis Pasteur becomes significantly involved in biological research with the publication of "Mémoir sur la fermentation alcoolique" in which he showed that alcoholic fermentation seemed to be carried out by yeast, which were themselves living organisms.

image Painting by Edgar Degas: The Bellelli Family, also known as Family Portrait, is housed in the Musée d'Orsay. A masterwork of Degas' youth, the painting is a portrait of his aunt, her husband, and their two young daughters. While finishing his artistic training in Italy, Degas drew and painted his aunt Laura, her husband the baron Gennaro Bellelli, and their daughters Giulia and Giovanna. Although it is not known for certain when or where Degas executed the painting, it is believed that he utilized studies done in Italy to complete the work after his return to Paris. Laura, his father's sister, is depicted in a dress which symbolizes mourning for her father, who had recently died and appears in the framed portrait behind her. Laura Bellelli's countenance is dignified and austere, her gesture connected with those of her daughters. Her husband, by contrast, appears to be separated from his family. His association with business and the outside world is implied by his position at his desk. Giulia holds a livelier pose than that of her sister Giovanna, whose restraint appears to underscore the familial tensions.

1861

image image Between 1861 and 1862, Max Johann Sigismund Schultze (Germany) and Heinrich Anton de Bary (Germany) establish the essential unity of protoplasm in all living cells.

image First recognized fossil Archaeopteryx lithographica skeleton is found in the stone quarries of Solnhofen.

image In "Mémoires sur les corpuscles organisés qui existent dans l'atmosphère," Pasteur applies heat to bent-neck flasks to show unequivocally that the "organized bodies" (microbes) which drive fermentation originate from "organized bodies" that exist in the atmosphere. In this elegant series of experiments, Pasteur laid to rest the long-held belief in spontaneous generation."

image Photograph by Alexander Gardner: President Abraham Lincoln, Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, near Antietam, an albumen silver print. Allan Pinkerton stands to Lincoln's right, General John A. McClernand to Lincoln's left.

image Painting by Gustave Courbet: The Source shows a nude in an unflinchingly naturalistic style and is devoid of the trappings of academic allegory to which the painting’s title alludes. Courbet is thought to have intended it as a response to Ingres’s own La Source (1856, Musée d’Orsay, Paris), which was exhibited at the Galerie Martinet, Paris, in 1861. The picture by Ingres depicts an idealized nude holding a jar from which water pours, an allusion to a spring or river source, and symbolizing poetic inspiration.

1862

(no entry for this year)

image Photograph by John Adams Whipple: Asa Gray, an albumen print. Gray was considered the most important American botanist of the 19th century. His Darwiniana was considered an important explanation of how religion and science were not necessarily mutually exclusive. As a professor of botany at Harvard University for several decades, Gray regularly visited, and corresponded with, many of the leading natural scientists of the era, including Charles Darwin, who held great regard for him. Gray made several trips to Europe to collaborate with leading European scientists of the era, as well as trips to the southern and western United States. He also built an extensive network of specimen collectors.

image Painting by Édouard Manet: Olympia shocked the art world with its style (strong brush strokes, considered childish and unskilled) and its subject matter, a nude white woman ("Olympia"), presumably a courtesan, lying on a bed being brought flowers by a black servant. When hung in the Salon of Paris in 1865, it was met with jeers, laughter, criticism, and disdain, and was attacked by the public, the critics, the newspapers. Guards were stationed to protect it, until it was moved to a spot high above a doorway, out of reach.

image Painting by Édouard Manet: Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (English: The Luncheon on the Grass) is a large oil on canvas painting depicting a female nude and a scantily dressed female bather on a picnic with two fully dressed men in a rural setting. Rejected by the Salon jury of 1863, Manet seized the opportunity to exhibit this and two other paintings in the 1863 Salon des Refusés where the painting sparked public notoriety and controversy. The piece is now in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. A smaller, earlier version can be seen at the Courtauld Gallery, London. The painting features a nude woman casually lunching with two fully dressed men. Her body is starkly lit and she stares directly at the viewer. The two men, dressed as young dandies, seem to be engaged in conversation, ignoring the woman. In front of them, the woman's clothes, a basket of fruit, and a round loaf of bread are displayed, as in a still life. In the background, a lightly clad woman bathes in a stream. Too large in comparison with the figures in the foreground, she seems to float above them. The roughly painted background lacks depth — giving the viewer the impression that the scene is not taking place outdoors, but in a studio. This impression is reinforced by the use of broad "studio" light, which casts almost no shadows. The man on the right wears a flat hat with a tassel, of a kind normally worn indoors. Despite the mundane subject, Manet deliberately chose a large canvas size, measuring 81.9 by 104.1 inches, normally reserved for historical, religious, and mythological subjects. The style of the painting breaks with the academic traditions of the time. He did not try to hide the brush strokes; the painting even looks unfinished in some parts of the scene.

image Painting by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres: The Turkish Bath (Le Bain Turc) depicts a group of nude women in the bath of a harem, and is painted in a highly erotic style that evokes both the near east and earlier western styles associated with mythological subject matter. Painted on canvas laid down on wood, it measures 108 x 108 cm. The work is signed and dated 1862, when Ingres was around 82 years old, and was completed in 1863. In that year Ingres altered the painting's original rectangular format, and cut the painting to its present tondo form. Photographs of the painting in its original format survive. It seems based on an April 1717 written description of a Turkish harem by Lady Mary Montagu, where she mentions having viewed some two hundred nude women. The painting develops and elaborates a number of motifs Ingres had explored in earlier paintings, in particular his 1808 The Valpinçon Bather and Grande Odalisque of 1814. Its erotic content did not provoke a scandal, since for much its existence it has remained in private collections. It is now in the Louvre, Paris.

1863

Anti-evolutionist James Hunt, founder of the Anthropological Society of London, gives a presidential address to the society stating that human races were created separately. He further argues that the African species is closer in ability to apes than to Europeans.

Alfred Russel Wallace describes the "Wallace line," the dividing line between Indo-Malayan and Austro-Malayan fauna, in Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London.

image image Dominique Alexandre Godron and Charles Victor Naudin (France) independently report experiments in plant hybridization. Naudin confirmed Sageret's work, in general discussed work of the early hybridizers, and reported dominance and segregation in Datura (jimsonweed) hybrids. He did not deal with single characters and reported no statistical observations on the second generation. His theoretical explanation of his facts was a forerunner of Mendel's ideas, but inferred rather than deduced.

T. H. Huxley publishes Man's Place in Nature discussing human and primate paleontology, and showing similarities between humans and other animals.

image Father-and-son glassworkers Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka begin making glass models of marine invertebrates. Marine biologists will refer to their exquisitely detailed, accurate models 150 years later while trying to see how many of the depicted species can still be found in the wild.

(no entry for this year)

1864

image Ernst Haeckel (Häckel) outlines the essential elements of modern zoological classification.

image Painting by Ford Madox Brown: Work is generally considered to be his most important achievement. It exists in two versions. The painting attempts to portray, both literally and analytically, the totality of the Victorian social system and the transition from a rural to an urban economy. Brown began the painting in 1852 and completed it in 1865, when he set up a special exhibition to show it along with several of his other works. He wrote a detailed catalogue explaining the significance of the picture. The picture depicts a group of so-called "navvies" digging up the road to build an underground tunnel. It is typically assumed that this was part of the extensions of London's sewerage system, which were being undertaken to deal with the threat of typhus and cholera. The workers are in the centre of the painting. On either side of them are individuals who are either unemployed or represent the leisured classes. Behind the workers are two wealthy figures on horseback, whose progress along the road has been halted by the excavations. The painting also portrays an election campaign, evidenced by posters and people carrying sandwich boards with the name of the candidate "Bobus". A poster also draws attention to the potential presence of a burglar. The setting is an accurate depiction of The Mount on Heath Street in Hampstead, London, where a side road rises up above the main road and runs alongside it. Brown made a detailed study of the location in 1852.

1865

John Lubbock publishes Prehistoric Times dividing what has previously been understood to be the Stone Age into two parts: the older Paleolithic and the newer Neolithic. In the same book, he also argues that modern Tasmanians and Fuegians are throwbacks to archaic humans.

Franz Schweigger-Seidel and A. von la Valette St. George (Germany) independently prove that a spermatozoon is a single cell and contains nucleus and cytoplasm

image Gregor Mendel presents his work on inheritance in peas to the Brünn Natural History Society. The results are published the following year.

Sir John William Dawson of McGill University identifies "shells" of huge foraminiferal protozoans. Known as Eozoön or "dawn animal," this find is used as an argument against evolution because it shows a relatively "modern" animal early in the fossil record. It will prove, however, to be a geologically young pseudofossil formed by heat and pressure on limestone.

Paolo Mantegazza publishes Degli Innesti Animali e della Produzione Artificiale delle Cellule (On Animal Grafts and Artificial Cell Production) describing the results of a series of interspecies animal grafts, such as the transplant of a cockspur onto a cow ear. Grafts described include transplants between dogs, frogs and rodents. Mantegazza reports that some grafts decomposed while others became "pathological tumours."

(no entry for this year)

1866

German zoologist Ernst Haeckel publishes General Morphology of Organisms, the first detailed genealogical tree relating all known organisms, incorporating the principles of Darwinian evolution.

image Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (Häckel) hypothesizes that the nucleus of a cell transmits its hereditary information.

image Mendel publishes his work on heredity, Versuche über Pflanzen Hybriden.

image Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (Häckel) first used the term ECOLOGY to describe the study of living organisms and their interactions with other organisms and with their environment.

(no entry for this year)

1867

H. S. Bidwell (United States) reports controlled pollination in maize.

(no entry for this year)

1868

image Charles Darwin publishes The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, in which he offers his own theory of heredity, which he called the "Provisional Hypothesis of Pangenesis."

Ernst Haeckel publishes Natürliche Schöpfungsgeschichte, subdividing humanity into 12 separate species. He also asserts that evolution consists of 22 phases, the 21st being the "missing link" between apes and humans.

Thomas Henry Huxley publishes "On the Animals which are Most Nearly Intermediate between Birds and Reptiles," arguing that birds are descendants of dinosaurs. This suggestion will not be taken very seriously for another century.

Three human skulls and other skeletal remains, roughly 30,000 years old, are discovered at a rock shelter called Cro-Magnon (old French for "big hole").

image Painting by : At the Races in the Countryside. This painting was one of the first works that Degas sold (in 1872) to Paul Durand-Ruel, the dealer who became the early champion of the Impressionists. It is not only a landscape but also a scene from everyday life and - most of all - a family portrait. The driver of the carriage is Degas’s friend Paul Valpinçon, who is shown with his wife, a wet nurse, and in the nurse’s lap, the couple’s son, Henri.

1869

image Francis Galton publishes Hereditary Genius. In it he describes a scientific study of human pedigrees from which he concludes that intelligence has a genetic basis.

(no entry for this year)

1870

O. C. Marsh discovers the first North American pterosaur, from chalk deposits in Kansas. He calculates the wingspan at 20 feet. The following year, he will collect more fossils that confirm this calculation.

Quarry workers in the Valley Forge area discover the Port Kennedy Bone Cave, under roughly the same site where the Continental Army wintered over a century earlier. The site proves rich in Pleistocene plant and animal fossils, but will be accidentally flooded decades later. The site will be lost to science until its rediscovery after the turn of the 21st century.

The rivalry between fossil collectors O. C. Marsh and E. D. Cope turns ugly when Marsh publicly points out Cope's error in reconstructing a fossil marine reptile (putting its head on the tip of its tail). Their rivalry is the public's gain as they try to outdo each other in identifying new dinosaur species — over 130.

image Painting by Ilia Efimovich Repin: Barge Haulers on the Volga or Burlaki (Russian: Burlaki na Volge) is an 1870–73 oil-on-canvas painting depicting laboring men dragging a barge on the Volga River. The men seem to almost collapse forward in exhaustion under the burden of hauling a large boat upstream in heavy, hot weather. The work is both a celebration of the men's dignity and fortitude, and a highly emotional condemnation of those who sanctioned such inhumane labor. Although they are presented as stoical and accepting, the men are largely defeated; only one stands out: in the center of both the row and canvas, a brightly colored youth fights against his leather binds and takes on a heroic pose.

image Painting by James McNeill Whistler: Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1, best known under its colloquial name Whistler's Mother, depicts Whistler's mother, Anna McNeill Whistler. The painting is 56.81 by 63.94 inches, displayed in a frame of Whistler's own design. It is exhibited in and held by the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, having been bought by the French state in 1891. It is one of the most famous works by an American artist outside the United States. It has been variously described as an American icon and a Victorian Mona Lisa.

1871

image Publication of Charles Darwin's Descent of Man, in which the role of sexual selection in evolution is described for the first time.

Lord Kelvin suggests that "the germs of life might have been brought to the Earth by some meteorite," an idea that will enjoy support a century later.

image Johann Friedrich Miescher isolates a substance which he calls NUCLEIN from the nuclei of white blood cells. The substance was soluble in alkalis but not in acids and came to be known as nucleic acid.

image Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet showed the importance of statistical analysis for biologists and laid the foundation of biometry.

image Painting by Claude Monet: Impression, Sunrise (French: Impression, soleil levant) was shown at what would later be known as the "Exhibition of the Impressionists" in April 1874. The painting depicts the port of Le Havre, Monet's hometown, and is his most famous painting of the harbor. Monet claimed that he titled the painting Impression, Sunrise due to his hazy painting style in his depiction of the subject: "They asked me for a title for the catalogue, it couldn't really be taken for a view of Le Havre, and I said: 'Put Impression.'" In addition to this explanation for the title of the work, art historian Paul Smith claims that Monet might have named the painting Impression to excuse his painting from accusations of being unfinished or lacking descriptive detail, but Monet received these criticisms regardless of the title

1872

image Ferdinand Julius Cohn coined the term BACTERIUM and founded the study of bacteriology.

image Painting by Claud Monet: Boulevard des Capucines. From the late 1860s, Monet and other like-minded artists, met with rejection from the conservative Académie des Beaux-Arts which held its annual exhibition at the Salon de Paris. During the latter part of 1873, Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, and Sisley organized the Société anonyme des artistes peintres, sculpteurs et graveurs to exhibit their artworks independently. At their first exhibition, held in April 1874, Monet exhibited the work that was to give the group its lasting name, Impression, Sunrise. Among the works Monet included in the first Impressionist exhibition was The Luncheon, 1868, which features Camille Doncieux and Jean Monet. The painting was rejected by the Paris Salon of 1870. Also in this exhibition was a painting titled Boulevard des Capucines, a painting of the boulevard done from the from the studio of Monet's friend, the photographer Felix Nadar.

image Painting by Edgar Degas: A Cotton Office in New Orleans depicts the artist's uncle Michel Musson's cotton brokerage business (which several years later went bankrupt in an economic crash, according to Michael McMahon of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette when the firm was swamped by the postwar growth of the much larger Cotton Exchange). In the painting, Musson is seen examining raw cotton for its quality while Degas' brother René reads The Daily Picayune. Another brother, Achille, rests against a window wall at left while others, including Musson's partners, go about their business. A Cotton Office in New Orleans was the first painting by Degas to be purchased by a museum, and the first by an Impressionist. Degas' sale of the piece marked a turning point in his career as he moved from being a struggling, unrecognized artist to a recognized and financially stable artist, according to Marilyn Brown in her book Degas and the Business of Art: A Cotton Office in New Orleans. Degas traveled from Europe to New Orleans in late 1872 with his brother, René, to visit his mother's brother, Michael Musson. After the American Civil War, René had joined his uncle's cotton business in New Orleans. Degas was to return to Europe in January 1873, but when his return trip was delayed, he was asked by his relatives to paint their portraits, and decided to show them as a group, at work in the family office.

1873

image Anton Schneider observed and described the behavior of nuclear filaments (chromosomes) during cell division in his study of the platyhelminth Mesostoma. His account was the first accurate description of the process of mitosis in animal cells.

Francis Galton publishes a paper entitled "Hereditary Improvement" arguing that people "of really good breed" should be encouraged to reproduce while their inferiors should be discouraged from doing so. This, he argues, will improve humanity the way selective breeding improves livestock.

image Painting by Edgar Degas: The Ballet Class (French: La Classe de danse) is in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France. It was commissioned by Jean-Baptiste Faure. Degas temporarily abandoned work on this painting, and delivered a work of a similar name to Faure. The painting depicts dancers at the end of a lesson under ballet master Jules Perrot. Perrot and Degas were friends, and Perrot allowed Degas access to dance classes.

image Painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir: La Loge (The Theatre Box) depicts an elegant-looking couple sitting in an elevated theater box. This tribute to Parisian modern life was also the artist's principal contribution to the very first Impressionist exhibition of the same year, and it was met with much acclaim. It is now part of the collection at Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

1874

The Hamburg Tierpark features an "anthropological-zoological" display of Lapps acting out "daily life" with reindeer. The show draws enthusiastic crowds.

image Painting by Claude Monet: Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son, sometimes known as The Stroll (French: La Promenade) depicts his wife Camille Monet and their son Jean Monet in the period from 1871 to 1877 while they were living in Argenteuil, capturing a moment on a stroll on a windy summer's day. The work is a genre painting of an everyday family scene, not a formal portrait. The work was painted outdoors, en plein air, and quickly, probably in a single period of a few hours. It measures 100 × 81 centimetres (39 × 32 in), his largest work in the 1870s, and is signed "Monet 75" in the lower right corner.

image Painting by Thomas Eakins: The Gross Clinic, or, The Clinic of Dr. Gross, is large painting, measuring 8 feet (240 cm) by 6.5 feet (200 cm). Dr. Samuel D. Gross, a seventy-year-old professor dressed in a black frock coat, lectures a group of Jefferson Medical College students. Admired for its uncompromising realism, The Gross Clinic has an important place documenting the history of medicine—both because it honors the emergence of surgery as a healing profession (previously, surgery was associated primarily with amputation), and because it shows us what the surgical theater looked like in the nineteenth century. In 1875, anesthesia was used, but sterile procedures were not.

1875

image Eduard Strasburger accurately described the processes of mitotic cell division in plants.

image Francis Galton demonstrates the usefulness of twin studies for elucidating the relative influence of nature (heredity) and nurture (environment) upon behavioral traits.

image Oscar Hertwig concludes from a study on sea urchins that fertilization in both animals and plants consists of the physical union of the two nuclei contributed by the male and female parents.

Paleontologist Roberto Lawley collects a badly eroded Pliocene whale bone near Pisa, Italy, and donates it to the paleontology museum of Florence. In the 21st century, close examination will indicate boreholes of Osedax, mouthless, gutless marine worms (nicknamed zombie worms) that extract nutrients by drilling into bones.

image Painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Bal du moulin de la Galette (commonly known as Dance at Le moulin de la Galette) is housed at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and is one of Impressionism's most celebrated masterpieces. The painting depicts a typical Sunday afternoon at Moulin de la Galette in the district of Montmartre in Paris. In the late 19th century, working class Parisians would dress up and spend time there dancing, drinking, and eating galettes into the evening. Like other works of Renoir's early maturity, Bal du moulin de la Galette is a typically Impressionist snapshot of real life. It shows a richness of form, a fluidity of brush stroke, and a flickering light.

1876

Charles Doolittle Walcott becomes the first to successfully find and describe elusive trilobite legs, ending speculation about how the animals moved.

image Early color photo of Agen, France, by Louis Ducos du Hauron, 1877. The cathedral in the scene is the Cathédrale Saint-Caprais d'Agen.

image Painting by Claude Monet: The Gare Saint-Lazare: Arrival of a Train. The Gare Saint-Lazare has been represented in a number of artworks. It attracted artists during the Impressionist period and many of them lived very close to the Gare St-Lazare during the 1870s and 1880s. In 1877, painter Claude Monet rented a studio near the Gare Saint Lazare. That same year he exhibited seven paintings of the railway station in an impressionist painting exhibition. He completed several paintings of this subject. The Gare Saint-Lazare is far different than Monet's previous paintings of harbors, boats and oceans that viewers had seen before. The Gare Saint-Lazare series of paintings lead the viewers through a tour of the train station in different points of the day. “Monet exemplifies the modern life, in all its chaos and instability,” The steam coming from the trains creates a way of dissolving the train and showing the impressionistic style of blending colors and light. Everything dissipates with the steam of the train and turns into a flurry of blended colors. As said by Émile Zola, “Monet is able to turn a normally dirty and gritty place into a peaceful and beautiful scene…You can hear the trains rumbling in, see the smoke billow up under the huge roofs…that is where painting is today…our artists have to find the poetry in train station, the way their fathers found the poetry in forests and rivers.” “Monet’s work on the Gare Saint-Lazare is unparalleled in its evocation of steamm and the smoke-filled station. In spite of the impressionist style, the work reproduces accurately the topography of the area, even allowing one to deduce the precise point where the artist was standing while painting. This is the first time an artist had showed a single theme through a series of variations”

image Painting by Claude Monet: The Gare Saint-Lazare. The Gare Saint-Lazare has been represented in a number of artworks. It attracted artists during the Impressionist period and many of them lived very close to the Gare St-Lazare during the 1870s and 1880s. In 1877, painter Claude Monet rented a studio near the Gare Saint Lazare. That same year he exhibited seven paintings of the railway station in an impressionist painting exhibition. He completed several paintings of this subject. The Gare Saint-Lazare is far different than Monet's previous paintings of harbors, boats and oceans that viewers had seen before. The Gare Saint-Lazare series of paintings lead the viewers through a tour of the train station in different points of the day. “Monet exemplifies the modern life, in all its chaos and instability,” The steam coming from the trains creates a way of dissolving the train and showing the impressionistic style of blending colors and light. Everything dissipates with the steam of the train and turns into a flurry of blended colors. As said by Émile Zola, “Monet is able to turn a normally dirty and gritty place into a peaceful and beautiful scene…You can hear the trains rumbling in, see the smoke billow up under the huge roofs…that is where painting is today…our artists have to find the poetry in train station, the way their fathers found the poetry in forests and rivers.” “Monet’s work on the Gare Saint-Lazare is unparalleled in its evocation of steamm and the smoke-filled station. In spite of the impressionist style, the work reproduces accurately the topography of the area, even allowing one to deduce the precise point where the artist was standing while painting. This is the first time an artist had showed a single theme through a series of variations”

image Painting by Gustave Caillebotte: Paris Street; Rainy Day (French Rue de Paris, temps de pluie) is his best known work. It shows a number of individuals walking through the Place de Dublin, in 1877 known as the Carrefour de Moscou, at an intersection to the east of the Gare Saint-Lazare in north Paris. Although Caillebotte was a friend and patron of many of the impressionist painters, and this work is part of that school, it differs in its realism and reliance on line rather than broad brush strokes. Caillebotte's interest in photography is evident. The figures in the foreground appear "out of focus", those in the mid-distance (the carriage and the pedestrians in the intersection) have sharp edges, while the features in the background become progressively indistinct. The severe cropping of some figures — particularly the man to the far right — further suggests the influence.

1877

image Hermann Fol reports watching the spermatozoan of a starfish penetrate the egg. He was able to see the transfer of the intact nucleus of the sperm into the egg, where it became the male pronucleus.

image A new Archaeopteryx fossil is discovered in Solnhofen, complete with a toothy jaw. This well-preserved fossil, which will become known as the Berlin Archaeopteryx, supports Huxley's previous observations about its reptilian affinities.

Comparative anatomy professor François Louis Paul Gervais undertakes thin-section microscopy studies of fossil eggs. His work will be largely forgotten until Roy Chapman Andrews discovers dinosaur eggs in Mongolia in the 1920s.

image Germ Theory of Disease: Louis Pasteur presented his Germ Theory of disease. Joseph Lister went on to initiate the practice of insuring that surgeons were clean before they conducted surgery.

image Photograph by Eadweard Muybridge: Sallie Gardner at a Gallop, also known as The Horse in Motion, is a series of photographs consisting of a galloping horse, the result of a photographic experiment on June 15, 1878. Sometimes cited as an early silent film, the series and later experiments like it were precursors to the development of motion pictures. The series consists of 24 photographs shot in rapid succession that were shown on a zoopraxiscope. Muybridge was commissioned by Leland Stanford, the industrialist and horseman, who was interested in gait analysis. The purpose of the shoot was to determine whether a galloping horse ever lifts all four feet completely off the ground during the gait; at this speed, the human eye cannot break down the action. Muybridge arranged 24 cameras, 27 inches apart, along a track parallel to the horse's path, with their shutters controlled by trip wires triggered by the horse's legs. The stop-action photographs showed the mare lifted all four legs off the ground at certain points during the gallop. Run together, the photographs produced the effect of the horse in motion, or a film.

1878

image Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne proposed the term ENZYME (meaning "in yeast") and distinguished enzymes from the micro-organisms that produce them.

Charlotte Hill collects a well-preserved fossil butterfly, later named Prodryas persephone, from the Florissant Formation in Colorado. The fossil is about 35 million years old.

Entire skeletons of Iguanodon are discovered in Belgium, enabling a more accurate reconstruction of this dinosaur than those of Owen and Waterhouse Hawkins in the 1850s. Engineer-turned-paleontologist Louis Dollo will publish the first of several papers on these fossils in 1882.

(no entry for this year)

1879

image From 1879 through 1882, Walther Flemming describes and names CHROMATIN, MITOSIS, and the SPIREME. He makes the first accurate counts of chromosome numbers and accurately drew the "longitudinal splitting" of chromosomes.

Eight-year-old Maria de Sautuola finds a Paleolithic cave drawing of bison on her father's property in Spain. It is the oldest artwork yet discovered, but it will be dismissed as a forgery for years, considered too beautiful to be the work of prehistoric savages.

(no entry for this year)

1880

image image image Throughout the decade of 1880-1890, Walther Flemming, Eduard Strasburger, Edouard van Beneden, and others elucidate the essential facts of cell division and stressed the importance of the qualitative and quantitative equality of chromosome distribution to daughter cells.

Charles Darwin and his son Francis publish the results of their studies on plant responses to light, explaining that phototropism (bending toward the light) results from light reaching the top of a plant's shoot.

image Painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir: The Umbrellas (French: Les Parapluies) is an oil-on-canvas painting, painted in two phases in the 1880s. It is owned by the National Gallery in London as part of the Lane Bequest, but is displayed alternately in London and at the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. In May 2013, it returned to Dublin for a six-year period. Renoir began the painting in about 1880-81, using the loose brushwork with dark and bright tones typical of the Impressionist movement. In about 1885-6, after losing his attachment to Impressionism and drawing inspiration from classical art he had seen in Italy and the works of Ingres and Cézanne, he reworked parts of the painting, particularly the principal female figure to the left of the frame, in a more classical linear style using more muted colours, and added the background and the umbrellas themselves. X-ray photography has shown that the clothing of the female figure was originally different: she wore a hat and her dress had horizontal rows of frills, with white lace at its cuffs and collar, suggesting that she was middle class, whereas the simpler clothes in the revised painting mark her out as a member of the working class, a grisette not a bourgeoise. The x-ray analysis and then the changing fashions allow the periods of work to be dated with reasonable accuracy.

1881

(no entry for this year)

image Painting by Édouard Manet: A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (French: Un bar aux Folies Bergère), is considered Manet's last major work. It depicts a scene in the Folies Bergère nightclub in Paris. It originally belonged to the composer Emmanuel Chabrier, who was Manet's neighbor, and hung over his piano. The painting exemplifies Manet's commitment to Realism in its detailed representation of a contemporary scene. Many features have puzzled critics but almost all of them have been shown to have a rationale, and the painting has been the subject of numerous popular and scholarly articles. The central figure stands before a mirror, although critics — accusing Manet of ignorance of perspective and alleging various impossibilities in the painting — have debated this point since the earliest reviews were published. In 2000, however, a photograph taken from a suitable point of view of a staged reconstruction was shown to reproduce the scene as painted by Manet.

image Painting by John Singer Sargent: Lady with the Rose (Charlotte Louise Burckhardt). The subject of this portrait was the twenty-year-old daughter of a Swiss merchant and his American wife, members of the artist’s cosmopolitan circle in Paris. Did she enjoy the experience? Look at her expression.

image Sculpture by Auguste Rodin: The sculpture, The Kiss, was originally titled Francesca da Rimini, as it depicts the 13th-century Italian noblewoman immortalised in Dante's Inferno (Circle 2, Canto 5) who falls in love with her husband Giovanni Malatesta's younger brother Paolo. Having fallen in love while reading the story of Lancelot and Guinevere, the couple are discovered and killed by Francesca's husband. In the sculpture, the book can be seen in Paolo's hand. The lovers' lips do not actually touch in the sculpture, suggesting that they were interrupted and met their demise without their lips ever having touched. When critics first saw the sculpture in 1887, they suggested the less specific title Le Baiser (The Kiss).

1882

Walther Flemming publishes accurate depictions of cell division (mitosis) in Zellsubstanz, Kern und Zelltheilung.

image Eduard Strasburger coins the terms CYTOPLASM and NUCLEOPLASM.

image W. Flemming discovers lampbrush chromosomes and coins the term MITOSIS.

Karl Alfred von Zittel describes an exceptionally well-preserved pterosaur wing showing flight membranes in detail.

Charles Darwin publishes his final letter to Nature, on the dispersal of freshwater bivalves. His obituary appears the same month. In this paper, Darwin acknowledges the assistance of W. D. Crick or Northampton. Later, Crick's grandson — Francis Crick — will be one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA.

(no entry for this year)

1883

image August Weismann points out the distinction in animals between the somatic cell line and the germ cells, stressing that only changes in germ cells are transmitted to further generations.

image Edouard van Beneden announced the principles of genetic continuity of chromosomes and reported the occurrence of chromosome reduction at germ cell formation. The sperm and egg are haploid and fertilization restores the diploid chromosome number.

image Wilhelm Roux offers a possible explanation for the function of mitosis.

image William Keith Brooks, a professor at The Johns Hopkins University, publishes The Law of Heredity: A Study of the Cause of Variation and the Origin of Living Organisms. Although this speculative work did not significantly advance the understanding of heredity, brooks' thinking is important because during his career he provided instruction to and supervised the early research of Thomas H. Morgan, Edmund Beecher Wilson, and William Bateson — ultimately some of the most important contributors to the new science of genetics.

image Pierre Émile Duclaux introduces the custom of designating an enzyme by the by the name of the substrate on which its action was first reported and adding the suffix -ase.

(no entry for this year)

1884

image image image image During 1884-88, identification of the cell nucleus as the basis for inheritance was independently reported by Oscar Hertwig, Eduard Strasburger, Albrecht von Kölliker, and August Weismann.

image Gregor Mendel dies on January 6th, without ever knowing that his work on peas would lead to the transformation of biological research.

image image image Walther Flemming, Eduard Strasburger and Edouard van Beneden demonstrate that chromosome doubling occurs by a process of longitudinal splitting. Strasburger describes and names the PROPHASE, METAPHASE, and ANAPHASEstages of chromosomal division.

image Painting by Vincent van Gogh: The Potato Eaters (Dutch: De Aardappeleters). Van Gogh said he wanted to depict peasants as they really were. He deliberately chose coarse and ugly models, thinking that they would be natural and unspoiled in his finished work: "You see, I really have wanted to make it so that people get the idea that these folk, who are eating their potatoes by the light of their little lamp, have tilled the earth themselves with these hands they are putting in the dish, and so it speaks of manual labor and — that they have thus honestly earned their food. I wanted it to give the idea of a wholly different way of life from ours — civilized people. So I certainly don't want everyone just to admire it or approve of it without knowing why."

1885

image August Weismann formulates the germ-plasm theory which held that the germ plasm was separate from the somatoplasm and was continuous from generation to generation.

image Carl Rabl theorized the individuality of chromosomes in all stages of the cell cycle.

image Walther Flemming observed sister chromatids passing to opposite poles of the cell during mitosis.

image Painting by Georges Seurat: A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (French: Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte) is one of the artist's most famous works. It is a leading example of pointillism technique, executed on a large canvas. Seurat's composition includes a number of Parisians at a park on the banks of the River Seine. Inspired by optical effects and perception inherent in the color theories of Michel Eugène Chevreul, Ogden Rood and others, Seurat adapted this scientific research to his painting. Seurat contrasted miniature dots or small brushstrokes of colors that when unified optically in the human eye were perceived as a single shade or hue. He believed that this form of painting, called divisionism at the time but now known as pointillism, would make the colors more brilliant and powerful than standard brushstrokes.

1886

image Francis Galton devised a new useful statistical tool, the correlation table.

image Hugo de Vries (Holland) discovers aberrant evening primrose plants at Hilversum, Holland. Experiments with these extending over 15 years formed the basis for his mutation theory of evolution.

image A. Ficatier publishes an account of the discovery of a trilobite perforated with two holes (perhaps to hang on a thread) at a Magdalenian-age site in France. The fossil lends the site its name of La Grotte du Trilobite.

John Bell Hatcher develops the "ant hill method of collecting minute fossils," collecting hundreds of tiny fossil teeth and jaws pushed to the surface by ants. He even carries shovelfuls of ants and sediment to other fossil localities in need of excavation by the arthropods.

(no entry for this year)

1887

image August Weismann elaborated an all-encompassing theory of chromosome behavior during cell division and fertilization and predicted the occurrence of a reduction division (meiosis) in all sexual organisms.

image Edouard van Beneden demonstrated chromosome reduction in gamete maturation, thereby confirming August Weismann's predictions.

image Wilhelm Roux put forth the suggestion that the linearly arranged qualities of the chromosomes were equally transmitted to both daughter cells at meiosis.

image Harry Govier Seeley determines that dinosaurs consist of "lizard-hipped" (saurischian) and "bird-hipped" (ornithischian) branches.

image Painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema: The Roses of Heliogabalus shows a group of Roman diners at a banquet, being swamped by drifts of pink rose petals falling from a false ceiling above. The Roman emperor Elagabalus reclines on a platform behind them, wearing a golden robe and a tiara, watching the spectacle with other garlanded guests. A woman plays the double pipes beside a marble pillar in the background, wearing the leopard skin of a maenad, with a bronze statue of Dionysus, based on the Ludovisi Dionysus, in front of a view of distant hills. The painting depicts a (probably invented) episode in the life of the Roman emperor Elagabalus, also known as Heliogabalus, (204–222), taken from the Augustan History. Although the Latin refers to "violets and other flowers", Alma-Tadema depicts Elagabalus smothering his unsuspecting guests with rose petals released from a false ceiling.

image Painting by Vincent van Gogh: Sunflowers (original title, in French: Tournesols). Sunflowers are the subject of two series of still life paintings by the Dutch painter . The earlier series, executed in Paris in 1887, depicts the flowers lying on the ground, while the second set, executed a year later in Arles, shows bouquets of sunflowers in a vase. In the artist's mind both sets were linked by the name of his friend Paul Gauguin, who acquired two of the Paris versions. About eight months later van Gogh hoped to welcome and to impress Gauguin again with Sunflowers, now part of the painted Décoration for the Yellow House that he prepared for the guestroom of his home in Arles, where Gauguin was supposed to stay. After Gauguin's departure, van Gogh imagined the two major versions as wings of the Berceuse Triptych, and finally he included them in his Les XX in Bruxelles exhibit

1888

German anatomist W. von Waldeyer names chromosomes.

image Heinrich Wilhelm Gottfried von Waldeyer names the CHROMOSOME.

image Theodor Boveri verifies August Weismann's predictions of chromosome reduction by direct observation in Ascaris.

image Painting by Vincent van Gogh: The Starry Night depicts the view from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, just before sunrise, with the addition of an idealized village. It is regarded as among Van Gogh's finest works, and is one of the most recognized paintings in the history of Western culture. In the aftermath of the 23 December 1888 breakdown that resulted in the self-mutilation of his left ear, Van Gogh voluntarily admitted himself to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole lunatic asylum on 8 May 1889. Housed in a former monastery, Saint-Paul-de-Mausole catered to the wealthy and was less than half full when Van Gogh arrived, allowing him to occupy not only a second-story bedroom but also a ground-floor room for use as a painting studio.

1889

image Francis Galton publishes Natural Inheritance. In it he describes the quantitative measurement of metric traits in populations. He thus founds biometry and the statistical study of variation. Ultimately, he formulates the Law of Ancestral Inheritance, a statistical description of the relative contributions to heredity made by one's ancestors.

(no entry for this year)

1890

image The numerical equality of paternal and maternal chromosomes at fertilization was established by Theodor Boveri and Jean-Louis-Léon Guignard.

(no entry for this year)

1891

(no entry for this year)

image Painting by Paul Gauguin: Spirit of the Dead Watching (Manao tupapau) is an oil on burlap canvas depicting a naked Tahitian girl lying on her stomach. An old woman is seated behind her. Gauguin said the title may refer to either the girl imagining the ghost, or the ghost imagining her. The subject of the painting is Gauguin's young native wife Teha'amana (called Tehura in his letters), who one night, according to Gauguin, was lying in fear when he arrived home late: " ... motionless, naked, belly down on the bed: she stared up at me, her eyes wide with fear, '... Perhaps she took me, with my anguished face, for one of those legendary demons or specters, the Tupapaus that filled the sleepless nights of her people."

1892

image Publication of August Weismann's book Das Keimplasma (The Germ Plasm) emphasized meiosis as an exact mechanism of chromosome distribution.

Joseph Whiteaves describes Anomalocaris, meaning "anomalous shrimp," from the Cambrian. The fossil that Whiteaves identifies as a shrimp will later prove to be part of a much larger animal.

image Painting by Edvard Munch: The Scream (Norwegian: Skrik). The same title — The Scream — is the popular name given to each of four versions of a composition, created as both paintings and pastels, by Norwegian Expressionist artist between 1893 and 1910. The German title Munch gave these works is Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature). The works show a figure with an agonized expression against a landscape with a tumultuous orange sky. Arthur Lubow has described The Scream as "an icon of modern art, a Mona Lisa for our time." Edvard Munch created the four versions in various media. The National Gallery in Oslo, Norway, holds one of two painted versions (1893, shown here). The Munch Museum holds the other painted version and a pastel version from 1893. The fourth version (pastel, 1895) was sold for $119,922,600 at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art auction on 2 May 2012 to financier Leon Black, the fourth highest nominal price paid for a painting at auction. The painting was on display in the Museum of Modern Art in New York from October 2012 to April 2013.

image Painting by Franz Stuck: The Sin (German: Die Sünde) depicts the nude Eve with a big serpent wrapped around her body. In the upper right corner is a bright field, while the rest of the surroundings are dark. The motif was conceived as a development of Stuck's 1889 painting Sensuality (Die Sinnlichkeit). The Sin was first exhibited in 1893, at the inaugural exhibition of the Munich Secession, where it caused a sensation. It was bought by the Neue Pinakothek in Munich and became a critical and commercial breakthrough for Stuck. It has since become an emblematic painting for the symbolist movement. Stuck made twelve known versions of the painting. Some of these can be viewed at the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, the National Gallery in Berlin, the Galleria di arte Moderna in Palermo, the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, and at the Villa Stuck in Munich, where it is enshrined in the artist's Künstleraltar.

1893

Entomologist E.B. Poulton studies caterpillars from the species Gastropacha quercifolia, noting how siblings look different depending on where they live and what they eat. His discovery will become known as phenotypic plasticity.

image Painting by Claude Monet: The Rouen Cathedral, Full Sunlight was one of a series, with each painting in the series intended to capture the facade of the Rouen Cathedral at different times of the day and year, reflecting changes in its appearance under different lighting conditions. The Rouen Cathedral paintings, more than thirty in all, were made in 1892 and 1893, then reworked in Monet's studio in 1894. Monet rented spaces across the street from the cathedral, where he set up temporary studios for the purpose. In 1895, he selected what he considered to be the twenty best paintings from the series for display at his Paris dealer's gallery, and of these he sold eight before the exhibition was over. Pissarro and Cézanne visited the exhibition and praised the series highly. When Monet painted the Rouen Cathedral series, he had long since been impressed with the way light imparts to a subject a distinctly different character at different times of the day and the year, and as atmospheric conditions change. For Monet, the effects of light on a subject became as important as the subject itself.

1894

image Hans Driesch expounded the view that all nuclei of an organism were equipotential but varied in their activity in accordance with the differentiation of tissues.

image Karl Pearson published the first in a long series of contributions to the mathematical theory of evolution. Methods for analyzing statistical frequency distributions were developed in detail.

image William Bateson's Materials for the Study of Variation emphasized the importance of discontinuous variations, foreshadowing the rediscovery of Mendel's work.

Eugène Dubois publishes his monograph of Pithecanthropus erectus, or Java Man, a missing link between humans and apes.

French paleontologist Charles Brongniart describes a fossil dragonfly from the Carboniferous with a 2-foot (63-centimeter) wingspan. The find implies a higher oxygen content in the Earth's ancient atmosphere.

image The intricately carved mammoth ivory figurine known as the Lady (or Venus) of Brassempouy is discovered in France. At roughly 25,000 years old, it ranks among the earliest known depictions of a human face.

(no entry for this year)

1895

A team of paleontologists, including Samuel Williston, Elmer Riggs and Barnum Brown, successfully excavates a Triceratops fossil in Wyoming.

(no entry for this year)

1896

image E. B. Wilson publishes The Cell in Development and Heredity. This influential treatise (ultimately reprinted in several editions) distills the information compiled concerning cytology in the half-century since Schleiden and Schwann put forth the cell theory.

Dublin anatomist Daniel Cunningham concludes that Neanderthals represent an intermediate step between Pithecanthropus erectus and modern humans.

J. de Morgan describes nine pierced fossil urchins found in a Chalcolithic tomb at Toukh.

image Painting by : The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning. In the late 1890s, Pissarro painted a series of works depicting the boulevards, as seen from his windows, at various times of year.

image Painting by Paul Gauguin: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?. Gauguin inscribed the original French title in the upper left corner: D'où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous. The inscription the artist wrote on his canvas has no question mark, no dash, and all words are capitalized. In the upper right corner he signed and dated the painting: P. Gauguin / 1897. The painting was created in Tahiti, and is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Gauguin had been a student at the Petit Séminaire de La Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin, just outside Orléans, from the age of eleven to the age of sixteen. His subjects there included a class in Catholic liturgy; the teacher for this class was the Bishop of Orléans, Félix-Antoine-Philibert Dupanloup. Dupanloup had devised his own catechism to be lodged in the minds of the young schoolboys, and to lead them towards proper spiritual reflections on the nature of life. The three fundamental questions in this catechism were: "Where does humanity come from?" "Where is it going to?", "How does humanity proceed?". Although in later life Gauguin was vociferously anticlerical, these questions from Dupanloup's catechism obviously had lodged in his mind, and "where?" became the key question that Gauguin asked in his art.

1897

image Gabriel Bertrand coined the term COENZYME to designate inorganic substances which were necessary to activate certain enzymes.

(no entry for this year)

1898

(no entry for this year)

(no entry for this year)

1899

image image L. Cuénot (France) working with animals, and Strasburger (Germany) working with plants, advance theory that sex is controlled within the germ cell, not by environment.

Richard Altmann renames "nuclein" as NUCLEIC ACID.

The First International Congress of Genetics held in London.

image William Bateson writes a paper on hybridisation and cross-breeding as a method of scientific investigation that anticipates Mendel's rediscovery.

image Eugène Atget: Marchand d'Abat-Jours, an albumen silver print, now in the J. Paul Getty Museum.

image Painting by Gustav Klimt: Judith and the Head of Holofernes (also known as Judith I) depicts the biblical character of Judith holding the severed head of Holofernes. Judith I reveals a curious symbolic and compositional consonance with The Sin by Franz Stuck: the temptation illustrated by the German painter becomes the model for Klimt's femme fatale by suggesting the posture of the disrobed and evanescent body as focal piece of the canvas, as well as the facial set. Judith's force originates from the close-up and the solidity of posture, rendered by the orthogonal projection of lines: to the body's verticality (and that of Holofernes') corresponds to the horizontal parallels in the lower margin: those of the arm, the shoulders joined by the collier, and finally the hair base.

1901

image H. de Vries adopts the term MUTATION to describe sudden, spontaneous, drastic alterations in the hereditary material of Oenothera.

T. H. Montgomery studies spermatogenesis in various species of Hemiptera. He concludes that maternal chromosomes only pair with paternal chromosomes during meiosis.

image Harry Govier Seeley publishes Dragons of the Air, the first popular book on pterosaurs, arguing that they were warm-blooded and should be classified parallel to birds, in between reptiles and mammals. This is in direct opposition to Richard Owen's classification of pterosaurs as cold-blooded and poor flyers.

(no entry for this year)

1902

image Archibald Garrod, a British physician, reports that alkaptonuria (a human disease) seems to be inherited as a Mendelian recessive.

image C. E. McClung argues that particular chromosomes determine the sex of the individual carrying them, not just in insects, but perhaps in other species (including man).

image Walter Sutton concludes that (a) chromosomes have individuality, (b) that they occur in pairs, with one member of each pair contributed by each parent, and (c) that the paired chromosomes separate from each other during meiosis.

image T. Boveri studies sea urchin embryos and finds that in order to develop normally, the organism must have a full set of chromosomes, and from this he concludes that the individual chromosomes must carry different essential hereditary determinants.

image William Bateson coins terms that will become essential to describing findings in the new science of heredity: GENETICS, F1, F2, ALLELOMORPH (later shortened to ALLELE), HOMOZYGOTE, HETEROZYGOTE, and EPISTASIS.

Barnum Brown of the American Museum of Natural History discovers Tyrannosaurus rex.

image Painting by Pablo Picasso: The Old Guitarist depicts an old, blind, haggard man with threadbare clothing weakly hunched over his guitar, playing in the streets of Barcelona, Spain. It is currently on display in the Art Institute of Chicago as part of the Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection. At the time of The Old Guitarist's creation, Modernism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Symbolism had merged and created an overall movement called Expressionism which greatly influenced Picasso's style. Furthermore, El Greco, Picasso's poor standard of living, and the suicide of a dear friend influenced Picasso's style at the time which came to be known as his Blue Period. In the early 1960s, nearly forty percent of all college dorm rooms had a poster of this painting on the wall.

1903

image The concepts of PHENOTYPE, GENOTYPE, and SELECTION were introduced and clearly defined by Wilhelm Ludwig Johannsen.

L. de Vesly describes first- to third-century remains at Gallo Roman temples and wells near Rouen, France. Finds there include a cache of Neolithic axes and fossil sea urchins — evidence of association of axes and urchins over thousands of years.

image Carl Neuberg first used the term BIOCHEMISTRY.

image Photograph by Edward Steichen: The Flatiron Building.

image Painting by Henri Matisse: Luxe, Calme et Volupté is an oil painting by the French artist Henri Matisse. Both foundational in the oeuvre of Matisse and a pivotal work in the history of art, Luxe, Calme et Volupté is considered the starting point of Fauvism. Luxe, Calme et Volupté was painted by artist called Matisse in 1904, after a summer spent working in St. Tropez on the French Riviera alongside the neo-Impressionist painters Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross. The painting is Matisse's most important work in which he used the Divisionist technique advocated by Signac.

image Painting by Maxfield Parrish: The Dinky Bird, an illustration from Poems of Childhood exemplifies Parrish's characteristic use of androgynous figures. To a modern eye, Parrish's early work — characterized by himself as "girls on rocks" — may bring to mind the words kitsch or schlock or schmaltz or maudlin, but to many who were enduring the Great Depression or World War II, his images, like Busby Berkeley musicals, inspired a bit of hope — an imagining that things did not always have to be this bad. During those hard times, many a lower middle class American living room had one or more cheap Parrish prints, sometimes just a page from a magazine, adorning the wall.

1904

image Entomologist George Willis Kirkaldy publishes species descriptions of a series of insects whose names all end in "-chisme" (pronounced "kiss me"), such as Ohchisme, Dolichisme, Elachisme, Florichisme, Isachisme, Marichisme, Nanichisme, Peggichisme, and Polychisme. Kirkaldy's proposed names preface -chisme with the names of various women from alleged romantic conquests. In 1912 a letter to the International Entomological Congress from Lord Walsingham sought to make these names invalid on the basis of their being non-classical in their derivation. Kirkaldy himself had been a firm adherent to the principle of priority and was against any form of orthographic emendation to the spelling proposed by the original authors.

image Painting by Gustav Klimt: Margaret "Gretl" Stonborough-Wittgenstein. Stonborough-Wittgenstein, a member of the prominent and wealthy Viennese Wittgenstein family, was a sister of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and the pianist Paul Wittgenstein. She was the subject of a portrait painted for her wedding by the artist Gustav Klimt (Stonborough-Wittgenstein and other members of the Wittgenstein family were among Klimt's most important patrons), which was sold in 1960 by her son Thomas and may now be seen in the Neue Pinakothek gallery in Munich. Aside: The painting appears briefly behind Ava, an AI robot, in the film Ex Machina (a film that is an excellent exploration of artificial intelligence, the nature of consciousness, and passing a Turing Test).

image Painting by Henri Matisse: Woman with a Hat (La femme au chapeau) depicts Matisse's wife, Amelie. It was painted in 1905 and exhibited at the Salon d'Automne during the fall of the same year, along with works by André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck and several other artists known as "Fauves". Woman with a Hat was at the center of the controversy that led to the term Fauvism. It was also a painting that marked a stylistic shift in the work of Matisse from the Divisionist brushstrokes of his earlier work to a more expressive style. Its loose brushwork and "unfinished" quality shocking viewers as much as its vivid, non-naturalistic colors. Although the Fauve works on display were condemned by many — "A pot of paint has been flung in the face of the public", declared the critic Camille Mauclair — they also gained some favorable attention. The painting that was singled out for attacks was Matisse's Woman with a Hat.

1905

K. S. Merezhkovsky suggests that chloroplasts originated as a cyanobacterium swallowed by a protozoan, i.e., algal and plant cells result from two independent organisms that became symbionts. The idea will be largely forgotten until it is suggested again in the 1960s.

image Lucien Claude Cuénot performs crosses between mice carrying a gene that gives them yellow fur. Since they always produce yellow furred and agouti offspring in a 2:1 ratio, he concludes they are heterozygous. (In 1910, W. E. Castle and C. C. Little will show that yellow homozygotes die in utero. This dominant allele is thus the first gene shown to behave as a homozygous lethal.)

image The Swimming Reindeer — the largest ivory carving from the late Ice Age yet found — is pieced together by Abbé Henri Breuil from two reindeer carved from mammoth ivory found decades earlier by Peccadeau de l'Isle.

image painting by Henri Matisse: Le bonheur de vivre (The Joy of Life) is (along with Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon) regarded as one of the pillars of early modernism. The monumental canvas was first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants of 1906, where its cadmium colors and spatial distortions caused a public expression of protest and outrage. "The work is known to have invigorated fellow artists, especially Pablo Picasso, who, in an effort to outdo Matisse in terms of shock value, immediately began work on his watershed Les Demoiselles D'Avignon," writes Martha Lucy, associate curator at the Barnes Foundation.

1906

image image William Bateson and Reginald Crundall Punnett report the discovery of two new genetic principles: LINKAGE and GENE INTERACTION.

In his presidential address to the Geological Society of America, Raphael Pumpelly claims that the end of the Pleistocene started the Neolithic Revolution.

image Painting by Gustav Klimt : The Kiss (Lovers) was painted by the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt between 1907 and 1908, the highpoint of his "Golden Period", when he painted a number of works in a similar gilded style. A perfect square, the canvas depicts a couple embracing, their bodies entwined in elaborate robes decorated in a style influenced by both linear constructs of the contemporary Art Nouveau style and the organic forms of the earlier Arts and Crafts movement. The work is composed of oil paint with applied layers of gold leaf, an aspect that gives it its strikingly modern, yet evocative appearance. The painting is now in the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere palace, Vienna, and is widely considered a masterpiece of the early modern period. It is a symbol of Vienna Jugendstil—Viennese Art Nouveau—and is considered Klimt's most popular work

image Painting by Gustav Klimt: Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (also called The Lady in Gold or The Woman in Gold) was completed between 1903 and 1907. The portrait was commissioned by the sitter's husband, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a Jewish banker and sugar producer. It is the final and most fully representative work of Klimt's golden phase. The portrait was the first of two depictions of Adele by Klimt — the second was completed in 1912; these were two of several works by the artist that the family owned. Adele died in 1925; her will asked that the artworks by Klimt were to be left to the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, although these belonged to Ferdinand, not her.

image Painting by Ivan Grohar: The Sower (Slovene: Sejalec), is an image of a peasant sowing seeds on a ploughed field in an early and foggy morning. A hayrack, typical of the Slovene landscape, stands in the back, and even farther, the rocks of the small hill Kamnitnik near Škofja Loka. It has been a metaphor for the 19th-century myth of Slovenes as a vigorous nation in front of an unclear destiny, a symbol for the Slovene nation that sows in order that it could harvest, and a depiction of human interrelatedness with the nature. It is also a reflection of the context of Slovene transition from a rural to an urban culture. It has become one of the most characteristic and established Slovene creations in visual arts.

image Painting by Pablo Picasso: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, and originally titled The Brothel of Avignon) portrays five nude female prostitutes from a brothel on Carrer d'Avinyó (Avinyó Street) in Barcelona. Each figure is depicted in a disconcerting confrontational manner and none are conventionally feminine. In this adaptation of Primitivism and abandonment of perspective in favor of a flat, two-dimensional picture plane, Picasso makes a radical departure from traditional European painting. This proto-Cubist work is widely considered to be seminal in the early development of both Cubism and Modern art. Les Demoiselles was revolutionary and controversial, and led to widespread anger and disagreement, even amongst the painter's closest associates and friends. Matisse considered the work something of a bad joke, yet indirectly reacted to it in his 1908 Bathers with a Turtle. Braque too initially disliked the painting, yet perhaps more than anyone else, studied the work in great detail. And effectively, his subsequent friendship and collaboration with Picasso led to the Cubist revolution

Henri Matisse coins the term "Cubism" — the first Cubist exhibition opens in Paris.

image Sculpture by Constantin Brâncusi: The Kissis an early example of his proto-cubist style of non-literal representation. This plaster was exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show and published in the Chicago Tribune, 25 March 1913. This early plaster sculpture is one of six casts that Brancusi made of the 1907–08 The Kiss. The original stone carving is in the Muzeul de Arta at Craiova, Romania. Brâncusi created many versions of The Kiss, further simplifying geometric forms and sparse objects in each version, tending each time further toward abstraction. His abstract style emphasizes simple geometrical lines that balance forms inherent in his materials with the symbolic allusions of representational art. Here, the shape of the original block of material is maintained.

1907

Chemist Bertram Boltwood measures the ratio of isotopes of uranium and lead in a mineral from Connecticut. He concludes the mineral formed 410 million years ago. His estimate will later be changed to 265 million, but this experiment lays the groundwork for radiometric dating techniques.

P. Raymond describes a Neolithic deposit in Saône-et-Loire in France containing an axe with three fossil sea urchins.

image The Mauer jaw is discovered in Germany. On October 21, 1907, Daniel Hartmann, a worker at a sand mine in the Grafenrain open field system of the Mauer community unearthed a mandible at a depth of 24.63 m (80.81 ft), which he recognized as of human origin.[4] He was aware of the likelihood of finds, as for 20 years the Heidelberg scholar Otto Schoetensack had asked that the workers at the sand mine be encouraged to look out for fossils, after the well-preserved skull of a straight-tusked elephant had come to light there in 1887. Schoetensack had the workers taught the characteristics of human bones based on recent examples on his regular visits to the sand mine in search for "traces of mankind". The mandible will become the type specimen for Homo heidelbergensis (Archaic Homo sapiens, precursors to Neanderthals).

image Painting by Georges Braque: Houses at l'Estaque (French: Maisons à l'Estaque) is considered either an important Proto-Cubist landscape or the first Cubist landscape. The painting prompted art critic Louis Vauxcelles to mock it as being composed of cubes which led to the name of the movement. This painting by Braque was refused at the Salon d'Automne in 1908. Louis Vauxcelles recounted how Matisse told him at the time, "Braque has just sent in [to the 1908 Salon d'Automne] a painting made of little cubes". The critic Charles Morice relayed Matisse's words and spoke of Braque's little cubes. The motif of the viaduct at l'Estaque had inspired Braque to produce three paintings marked by the simplification of form and deconstruction of perspective. Six landscapes painted at L'Estaque signed Georges Braque were presented to the Jury of the Salon d'Automne: Guérin, Marquet, Rouault and Matisse rejected Braque's entire submission. Guérin and Marquet elected to keep two in play. Braque withdrew the two in protest, placing the blame on Matisse.

1908

image Godfrey Harold Hardy, a Cambridge mathematician, writes a letter to the editor of Science, suggesting that Mendelian mechanisms acting alone have no effect on allele frequencies. The letter begins, I am reluctant to intrude in a discussion concerning matters of which I have no expert knowledge, and I should have expected the very simple point which I wish to make to have been familiar to biologists. However,... This short (less than one page) letter constitutes Hardy's entire lifetime contribution to the field of biology, yet still forms the mathematical basis for population genetics.

Amadee and Jean Bouyssonie find a Neanderthal skeleton in a pit at La Chapelle-aux-Saints. The find spurs hypotheses of intentional Neanderthal burial of the dead, although some anthropologists will dispute this interpretation several decades later.

Charles and George Sternberg discover a dinosaur mummy, a duckbill dinosaur with skin, tendons and bits of flesh all fossilized.

image Painting by Henri Matisse: Dance (La Danse). The title refers to either of two related paintings made between 1909 and 1910. The first, preliminary version is Matisse's study for the second version. The composition or arrangement of dancing figures is reminiscent of Blake's watercolour "Oberon, Titania and Puck with fairies dancing" from 1786.

1909

image T. H. Morgan, later to become the first recipient of the Nobel Prize for work in genetics, writes a paper expressing doubts about the profusion of Mendelian explanations for inherited properties.

image A. E. Garrod publishes Inborn Errors of Metabolism, the earliest discussion of the biochemical genetics of man (or any other species).

image George H. Shull advocates the use of self-fertilized lines in production of commercial seed corn. The hybrid corn program that resulted, created an abundance of foodstuffs worth billions of dollars.

H. Nilsson Ehle puts forward the multiple-factor hypothesis to explain the quantitative inheritance of seed-coat color in wheat.

image W. Johannsen's studies of the inheritance of seed size in self-fertilized lines of beans leads him to realize the necessity of distinguishing between the appearance of an organism and its genetic constitution. He invents the terms PHENOTYOPE and GENOTYPE to serve this purpose, and he also coins the word GENE.

Abbé Breuil depicts a presumed Neanderthal burial at La Ferrassie.

Arthur Smith Woodward lectures the British Association for the Advancement of Science on "excess growth" and tooth loss in dinosaurs, citing these things as evidence of "racial senility" that doomed the dinosaurs to extinction.

Charles Doolittle Walcott starts digging fossils of soft-bodied animals in the Burgess Shale in the Canadian Rockies. He proceeds to publish several papers in which he describes these animals, which lived over 500 million years ago, as primitive ancestors of modern groups.

image Painting by Henri Rousseau: The Dream (French: Le Rêve, occasionally also known as Le Songe or Rêve exotique) is a large oil-on-canvas painting, one of more than 25 Rousseau paintings with a jungle theme. His last completed work, it was first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants from 18 March to 1 May 1910, a few months before his death on 2 September 1910. Rousseau's earlier works had received a negative reception, but poet and critic Guillaume Apollinaire remarked on its debut: "The picture radiates beauty, that is indisputable. I believe nobody will laugh this year." The Dream is the largest of the jungle paintings, measuring 6' 8.5" × 9' 9.5". It features an almost surreal portrait of Yadwigha (Jadwiga), Rousseau's Polish mistress from his youth, lying naked on a divan to the left of the painting, gazing over a landscape of lush jungle foliage, including lotus flowers, and animals including birds, monkeys, an elephant, a lion and lioness, and a snake. French art dealer Ambroise Vollard (the same Vollard who purchased 250 paintings from Cézanne for 50 francs each) bought the painting from Rousseau in February 1910

image Painting by Pablo Picasso: Girl with a Mandolin is an early example of the artist's analytic cubist style. By the winter of 1909/10 Picasso's pictorial language had already become increasingly hard to decipher. He was steadily divesting his paintings of mere likeness, not that this was synonymous with a progressive elimination of the subject: his paintings were becoming more abstract but not entirely so.

1910

image T. H. Morgan discovers white eye and consequently sex linkage in Drosophila. Drosophila genetics begins.

image A few years after the find of some isolated teeth from the same species, British paleontologist Clive Forster Cooper finds better specimens of what will later be identified as Paraceratherium in an area that will later be part of Pakistan. A century later, Paraceratherium will still hold the title of the biggest land mammal yet discovered.

While digging the foundation for an imposing home, two laborers, Mercer and Crittenden, discover the remains of a cremation from the Iron Age, including a Neolithic axe and a fossil echinoid.

image Painting by Georges Braque: The Portuguese

image painting by Wassily Kandinsky: Composition IV is the fourth of a series of paintings that explore the artist's attempts to represent the structure and form of music through the medium of painting. The painting measures 62 7/8 × 98 5/8 inches, and it is in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was made using oil paints on canvas.

1911

image T. H. Morgan proposes that the genes for white eyes, yellow body, and miniature wings in Drosophila are linked together on the X chromosome.

image A hand axe, possibly 200,000 years old and of Neanderthal design, is found in Norfolk, England. The axe has been fashioned to give prominence to a fossil bivalve.

Charles Dawson discovers the Piltdown skull in southern England. Excavations of faked fossils will continue for years.

image Painting by Giacomo Balla: Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash (Italian: Dinamismo di un cane al guinzaglio), sometimes called Dog on a Leash or Leash in Motion, depicts a dachshund on a leash and the feet of a lady walking it, both in rapid motion as indicated by the blurring and multiplication of their parts. It is considered one of his best-known works, and one of the most important works, in Futurism. Chronophotograpic studies of animals in motion, created by scientist Étienne–Jules Marey beginning in the 1880s, led to the introduction in painting of techniques to show motion, such as blurring, multiplication, and superimposition of body parts — perhaps in an effort to imitate these mechanical images. Such multiplication can be see in Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, painted the same year as Balla's painting. Balla's interest in capturing a single moment in a series of planes was inspired by his fascination with chronophotography. In later, more abstract works created during World War I, Balla used planes of color to suggest movement.

image Painting by Marcel Duchamp: Nude Descending a Staircase causes an uproar at the 1913 Armory show in New York City. In interviews, Duchamp suggested that he had been influenced by seeing stop-motion images and that his aim was to achieve " a static representation of movement, a static composition of indications of various positions taken by a form in movement." In a New York Times review, an art critic described the painting as resembling "an explosion in a shingle factory."

1912

(no entry for this year)

image Painting by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Street, Berlin shows Berlin in 1913,` before the outbreak of World War 1. At this time, Kirchner painted several different street scenes that illustrated the chaos of city life and the relationship between men and women. The mass of men in the background do not have any identifying features, but instead appear as a copy of each other. Their clothes flow into one another and their non-distinct facial features cause you to connect with the women because they are the only two with a sense of identity. Kirchner uses some anti-naturalistic color in this piece including the skin of the figures which varies between shades of pink and orange as well as the blue and pink shades in the scenery. The anti-naturalistic tones are common in the German Expressionism and his other work during this time period.

image Painting by Georges Braque: Woman with a Guitar. A relatively large painting it is 130 cm by 73 cm, and utilised both oil paint and charcoal. While the painting is abstracted the basic subject can still be seen towards the top in the feminine mouth and eye, as well as the brown trapezoid shape containing the strings of a guitar.

image Painting by Umberto Boccioni: Dynamism of a Cyclist (Dinamismo di un Ciclista) demonstrates the Futurist preoccupation with speed, modern methods of transport, and the depiction of the dynamic sensation of movement. Futurism was an early twentieth-century movement in Italy that sought to free the country from what the Futurists saw as the dead weight of its classical past. The Futurists were preoccupied with the technology and dynamism of modern life. The movement found its expression primarily in literature and art.

image Sculpture by Umberto Boccioni: Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (Italian: Forme uniche della continuità nello spazio) is seen as an expression of movement and fluidity. The sculpture is depicted on the obverse of the Italian-issue 20 cent euro coin. The Futurist movement was striving to portray speed and forceful dynamism in their art. Boccioni, though trained as a painter, began sculpting in 1912. He exclaimed that "these days I am obsessed by sculpture! I believe I have glimpsed a complete renovation of that mummified art." The following year Boccioni completed the sculpture. His goal for the work was to depict a "synthetic continuity" of motion instead of an "analytical discontinuity" that he saw in artists like František Kupka and Marcel Duchamp.

1913

image A. H. Sturtevant, an undergraduate working with Morgan at Columbia, provides the experimental basis for the linkage concept in Drosophila and produces the first GENETIC MAP.

image Photograph by Alvin Langdon Coburn: Vortograph — a kaleidoscopic effect — created by placing mirrors in triangular arrangements around a lens.

image Painting by Giorgio de Chirico: The Song of Love (also known as Le chant d'amour or Love Song; 1914) is one of the most famous works by de Chirico and an early example of the surrealist style, though it was painted ten years before the movement was "founded" by André Breton in 1924. It depicts an outdoor architectural setting similar to other works by de Chirico at this time. This time however, the main focus is a small wall on which is mounted a Greek sculpted head and a surgeon's glove. Below it is a green ball. On the horizon is the outline of a locomotive, an image that recurs several times during this period of de Chirico's career.

image Painting by Piet Mondrian: The Ocean 5 is basically an abstracted pier that is composed of vertical lines that touch the base of the oval, which stretches into the ocean and short crosses that give the impression of light flickering on the water surface.

1914

image Calvin Blackman Bridges reports nondisjunction of sex chromosomes as PROOF of the chromosome theory of heredity.

Charles Doolittle Walcott identifies fossil bacteria in Cryptozoon-like structures (stromatolites).

Peyrony finds the remains of Neanderthal baby in southwestern France. Because no one knows the bones are Neanderthal, they are not examined closely and are later believed lost. They will be rediscovered and described nearly 90 years later.

image Photograph by Alfred Stieglitz: The Steerage has been hailed as one of the greatest photographs of all time because it captures in a single image both a formative document of its time and one of the first works of artistic modernism. Stieglitz first published The Steerage in the October 1911 issue of Camera Work, which he had devoted to his own photography. It appeared the following year on the cover of the magazine section of the Saturday Evening Mail (20 April 1912), a New York weekly magazine. It was first exhibited in a show of Stieglitz's photographs at "291" in 1913. In 1915 Stieglitz devoted the entire No 7-8 issue of 291 to The Steerage. The only text in the issue were comments on the photo by Paul Haviland and Marius de Zayas.

image Work by Francis Picabia: Ici, C'est Ici Stieglitz Foi et Amour (Here, this is Stieglitz. Faith and Love) was published in 1915 as the cover of the avant-garde American journal 291. The work was one of a series of witty "machine portraits" by French artist Francis Picabia, soon to become a leading figure in the developing Dada art movement in New York City. The journal's title, named after Alfred Stieglitz's 291 Gallery on Fifth Avenue, pays tribute to the photographer's role in promoting modern art. But the symbolic portrait suggests that he has lost his momentum: it portrays its subject as a limp and broken camera striving toward, but not reaching, the "Ideal," with an automobile gearshift lodged in neutral and a hand brake engaged.

1915

image Calvin Bridges identifies strains of mutant fruit flies with extra pairs of wings. Decades later, these strains will help biologists understand Hox genes that control the head-to-toe anatomy of widely varying animals.

image Frederick Twort discovers a virus capable of infecting and destroying bacteria.

image image image image Thomas Hunt Morgan, Alfred Henry Sturtevant, Calvin Blackman Bridges, and Hermann Joseph Muller publish The Mechanism of Mendelian Heredity. This monograph provides the first systematic description of the actual mechanisms that control inheritance as evidenced in the Mendelian model. Here, for the first time, the gene is made real.

image Photograph by Paul Strand:: Blind, taken as part of a series of street portraits. He used a camera outfitted with a special false lens that allowed him to point the camera in one direction while actually taking a photograph ninety degrees to the side. The result was a collection of remarkably natural and unposed photographs.

1916

Two duckbill dinosaur fossils, with extremely rare skin impressions, sink to the bottom of the Atlantic when the ship carrying them to London — the SS Mount Temple — is stopped by the German military vessel, the SMS Möwe. The German ship takes the passengers prisoner and then sinks the Mount Temple.

image Painting by Egon Schiele: Portrait of the Composer Arnold Schönberg (German: Bildnis des Komponisten Arnold Schönberg)

image "Sculpture" by Marcel Duchamp: Fountain. Duchamp submits this work to the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists. The piece is actually a porcelain urinal, signed R. Mutt, 1917. The work (originally conceived as a prank) is regarded by art historians as a major landmark in 20th-century art.

1917

image British polymath D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson publishes On Growth and Form arguing that the forms Darwinian natural selection can produce through evolution are constrained by physical and mathematical laws, and that organic structures often emulate inorganic natural structures. His analysis led the way for the scientific explanation of morphogenesis, the process by which patterns and body structures are formed in plants and animals. Thompson's description of the mathematical beauty of nature and the mathematical basis of the forms of animals stimulated thinkers as diverse as Julian Huxley, Conrad Hal Waddington, Alan Turing, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Eduardo Paolozzi, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe.

image C. B. Bridges discovers the first chromosome deficiency in Drosophila.

image Felix Hubert D'Herelle, independently of Frederick Twort, discovers a virus capable of infecting and destroying bacteria, which he calls a BACTERIOPHAGE.

image Painting by Marcel Duchamp: Tu m'. This was Duchamp's last painting and was commissioned by Katherine Dreier to be hung over a bookcase in her library, hence the unusual length and frieze-like shape of the work. Executed in 1918, it is Marcel Duchamp's last painting on canvas and sums up his previous artistic concerns. Ranging across the canvas from left to right are cast shadows that refer to three "ready-mades": a bicycle wheel, a corkscrew, and a hat rack. Several objects are rendered illusionistically, such as a painted hand with a pointed finger in the lower center. Providing counterpoints to these trompe l'oeil elements are real objects: a bottle brush, a bolt, and safety pins. Duchamp summarizes different ways in which a work of art can suggest reality: as shadow, imitation, or actual object. The title lends a sarcastic tone to the work, for the words, perhaps short for the French "tu m'emmerdes" (you annoy me) or "tu m'ennuies" (you bore me), seem to express his attitude toward painting as he was casting it aside.

image Joan Miró first exhibits his works.

1918

(no entry for this year)

image Painting by John Singer Sargent: Gassed is a very large (7.5 × 20 feet) oil painting completed in March 1919 by John Singer Sargent. It depicts the aftermath of a mustard gas attack during the First World War, with a line of wounded soldiers walking towards a dressing station. Sargent was commissioned by the British War Memorials Committee to document the war and visited the Western Front in July 1918 spending time with the Guards Division near Arras, and then with the American Expeditionary Forces near Ypres. The painting was finished in March 1919 and voted picture of the year by the Royal Academy of Arts in 1919. It is now held by the Imperial War Museum.

image Work by Marcel Duchamp: L.H.O.O.Q., was one of what Duchamp referred to as a readymade, or more specifically a rectified ready-made. The readymade involves taking mundane, often utilitarian objects not generally considered to be art and transforming them, by adding to them, changing them, or (as in the case of his most famous work Fountain) simply renaming them and placing them in a gallery setting. In L.H.O.O.Q. the objet trouvé ("found object") is a cheap postcard reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa onto which Duchamp drew a moustache and beard in pencil and appended the title. The name of the piece, L.H.O.O.Q., is a pun; the letters pronounced in French sound like "Elle a chaud au cul", "She is hot in the arse"; "avoir chaud au cul" is a vulgar expression implying that a woman has sexual restlessness. In a late interview, Duchamp gives a loose translation of L.H.O.O.Q. as "there is fire down below". As was the case with a number of his readymades, Duchamp made multiple versions of L.H.O.O.Q. of differing sizes and in different media throughout his career, one of which, an unmodified black and white reproduction of the Mona Lisa mounted on card, is called L.H.O.O.Q. Shaved.

1919

image Thomas Hunt Morgan and coworkers publish The Physical Basis of Heredity, a book-length summary of the rapidly growing findings in genetics.

image C. B. Bridges discovers chromosomal duplications in Drosophila.

image T. H. Morgan calls attention to the equality in Drosophila melanogaster between the number of linkage groups and the haploid number of chromosomes.

Swedish geologist Johann Andersson discovers a major "dragon bone works" in northern China. Otto Zdansky also examines the works several years later, discovering that the fossils are referred to as dragons even though the workers recognize them as more pedestrian species such as horses and deer.

image Sculpture by Raoul Hausmann: Mechanischer Kopf (Der Geist Unserer Zeit) — "The Mechanical Head (The Spirit of Our Time)" is the only surviving assemblage that Hausmann produced around 1919-20. Constructed from a hairdresser's wig-making dummy, the piece has various measuring devices attached including a ruler, a pocket watch mechanism, a typewriter, some camera segments and a crocodile wallet. "Der Geist Unserer Zeit — Mechanischer Kopf specifically evokes the philosopher George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. For Hegel...everything is mind. Among Hegel's disciples and critics was Karl Marx. Hausmann's sculpture might be seen as an aggressively Marxist reversal of Hegel: this is a head whose "thoughts" are materially determined by objects literally fixed to it. However, there are deeper targets in western culture that give this modern masterpiece its force. Hausmann turns inside out the notion of the head as seat of reason, an assumption that lies behind the European fascination with the portrait. He reveals a head that is penetrated and governed by brute external forces.

1920

(no entry for this year)

image Assemblage by Kurt Schwitters: Merzpicture 46A. The Skittle Picture — an early example of Schitters' assemblages in which two and three dimensional objects are combined. The word "Merz," which Schwitters used to describe his art practice as well as his individual pieces, is a nonsensical word, like Dada, that Schwitters culled from the word "commerz", the meaning of which he described as follows: "In the war, things were in terrible turmoil. What I had learned at the academy was of no use to me.... Everything had broken down and new things had to be made out of the fragments; and this is Merz". In his Merzpictures, which have been called "psychological collages," he arranged found objects — usually detritus — in simple compositions that transformed trash into beautiful works of art. Whether the materials were string, a ticket stub, or a chess piece, Schwitters considered them to be equal with any traditional art material. Merz, however, is not ideological, dogmatic, hostile, or political as is much of Dada art.

image Painting by Max Ernst: The Elephant Celebes (or short Celebes) is among the most famous of Ernst's early surrealist works and "undoubtedly the first masterpiece of Surrealist painting in the de Chirico tradition." It combines the vivid dreamlike atmosphere of Surrealism with the collage aspects of Dada. The painting attempts to apply Dada's collage effects to simulate different materials. Ernst's realistic portrayal of the constituent elements produces a hallucinatory effect that he associated with collage, and was trying to achieve in this painting. Regarding the art of collage, Ernst said, "It is the systematic exploitation of the coincidental or artificially provoked encounter of two of more unrelated realities on an apparently inappropriate plane and the spark of poetry created by the proximity of these realities."

1921

Fossil mammal expert William Diller Matthew suggests dinosaurs were driven extinct by mountain building, continental uplift and replacement by mammals.

Miners at Broken Hill in the British colony of Northern Rhodesia, Africa, find leg bones and a skull that will later be classified as Homo heidelbergensis.

image Painting by Paul Klee: Twittering Machine (Die Zwitscher-Maschine). Like other artworks by Klee, it blends biology and machinery, depicting a loosely sketched group of birds on a wire or branch connected to a hand-crank. Interpretations of the work vary widely: it has been perceived as a nightmarish lure for the viewer or a depiction of the helplessness of the artist, but also as a triumph of nature over mechanical pursuits. It has been seen as a visual representation of the mechanics of sound. Originally displayed in Germany, the image was declared "degenerate art" by Adolf Hitler in 1933 and sold by the Nazi Party to an art dealer in 1939, whence it made its way to New York. One of the better known of more than 9,000 works produced by Klee, it is among the more famous images of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It has inspired several musical compositions and, according to a 1987 magazine profile in New York Magazine, has been a popular piece to hang in children's bedrooms.

1922

Lillian V. Morgan discovers attached-X chromosomes in Drosophila.

The American Museum of Natural History begins a series of excavations in central Mongolia, led by Roy Chapman Andrews. Hoping to find fossil human remains, Chapman's team instead finds dinosaurs.

(no entry for this year)

1923

A. E. Boycott and C. Diver describe "delayed" Mendelian inheritance controlling the direction of the coiling of the shell in the snail Limnea peregra. A. H. Sturtevant suggests that the direction of coiling of the Limnea shell is determined by the character of the ooplasm, which is in turn controlled by the mother's genotype.

image C. B. Bridges discovers chromosomal translocations in Drosophila.

Jesuit priests Émile Lincent and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin discover ancient stone tools at Shuidonggou, China. Their discoveries resemble those of the Middle Paleolithic industry in Europe.

image Photograph by Man Ray: Le Violon d'Ingres, a surrealistic photograph inspired by La Baigneuse Valpinçon, an 1808 painting by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. The model is Alice Ernestine Prin (nicknamed Queen of Montparnasse, and often known as Kiki de Montparnasse), a French artist's model, nightclub singer, actress, memoirist, and painter. She flourished in, and helped define, the liberated culture of Paris in the 1920s. As an artist's model and Parisian sophisticate, she appeared often as the subject of paintings and sculpture.

image Painting by Joan Miró: The Harlequin's Carnival (Spanish: Carnaval de Arlequín) is an oil painting rendered by Joan Miró between 1924 and 1925. It is one of the most outstanding surrealist paintings of the artist, and it is preserved in the Albright–Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo. Created between 1924 and 1925, Harlequin’s Carnival is one of Miró’s best-known pieces. Harlequin is the name of an Italian comic theater character, generally identified by his checkered costume. The ‘carnival’ in the title of the painting may refer to Mardi Gras, the celebration that occurs before the fasting of Lent begins.

1924

Winifred Goldring publishes a description of a fossil forest discovered during excavations for the Gilboa Dam. Dating from the Devonian Period, the site will become known as the world's oldest fossil forest.

image Painting by Joan JMiró: The Birth of the World depicts "a sort of genesis" — the amorphous beginnings of life. To make this work, Miró poured, brushed, and flung paint on an unevenly primed canvas so that the paint soaked in some areas and rested on top in others. Atop this relatively uncontrolled application of paint, he added lines and shapes he had previously planned in studies. The bird or kite, shooting star, balloon, and figure with white head may all seem somehow familiar, yet their association is illogical. Describing his method, Miró said, "Rather than setting out to paint something I began painting and as I paint the picture begins to assert itself, or suggest itself under my brush.... The first stage is free, unconscious." — like other Surrealists, Miró derived much inspiration from psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud's theories on dreams and the workings of the subconscious mind.

1925

Tennessee schoolteacher John Thomas Scopes is tried for teaching evolution in the famous "Scopes Monkey Trial." Two-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan leads the prosecution. Labor lawyer Clarence Darrow leads the defense and goads Bryan into declaring that humans are not mammals. The conviction will be overturned on a technicality, and the anti-evolution law will remain on the books for decades.

image A. H. Sturtevant analyzes the Bar-eye phenomenon in Drosophila and discovers position effect.

Francis Turville-Petre finds Galilee Man, the first fossil hominid discovered in Western Asia. The fossil will later be dated to more than 250,000 years old, and classified as neither modern Homo sapiens nor Neanderthal.

Raymond Dart publishes a description of the "Taung Child," a hominid child's skull from Africa. He classifies it as Australopithecus africanus and concludes that it's the missing link between humans and apes.

image Painting by Otto Dix: "Bildnis der Journalistin Sylvia von Harden" (Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden, 1926). Sylvia von Harden was a German journalist and poet. During her career as a journalist, she wrote for many newspapers in Germany and England. An ambivalent image of the New Woman, it depicts von Harden with bobbed hair and monocle, seated at a cafe table with a cigarette in her hand and a cocktail in front of her. This painting is recreated in an opening scene of the 1972 film Cabaret. In 1959, von Harden wrote an article, "Erinnerungen an Otto Dix" ("Memories of Otto Dix"), in which she described the genesis of the portrait. Dix had met her on the street, and declared: 'I must paint you! I simply must! ... You are representative of an entire epoch!' 'So, you want to paint my lacklustre eyes, my ornate ears, my long nose, my thin lips; you want to paint my long hands, my short legs, my big feet — things which can only scare people off and delight no-one?' 'You have brilliantly characterized yourself, and all that will lead to a portrait representative of an epoch concerned not with the outward beauty of a woman but rather with her psychological condition.' The painting, an important example of the New Objectivity movement, is now in the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

1926

A. H. Sturtevant finds the first inversion in Drosophila.

image Painting by Paul Klee: Prestidigitator (Conjuring Trick). Klee's highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually deeply explored color theory, writing about it extensively; his lectures Writings on Form and Design Theory (Schriften zur Form und Gestaltungslehre), published in English as the Paul Klee Notebooks, are held to be as important for modern art as Leonardo da Vinci's A Treatise on Painting for the Renaissance.

1927

image Bernard O. Dodge initiates genetic studies on Neurospora.

image H. J. Muller reports the artificial induction of mutations in Drosophila by x-rays.

image J. B. S. Haldane suggests that the genes known to control certain coat colors in various rodents and carnivores may be evolutionarily homologous.

Excavations in Kent's Cavern in southern England turn up a fragment of a human upper jaw, roughly 43,000 years old. Arthur Keith will provisionally identify it as anatomically modern human, and this finding will be confirmed in a 2011 study.

Johns Hopkins University biologist Raymond Pearl publishes an article entitled "Why Lazy People Live the Longest." He will expand on this rate-of-living hypothesis in a book the next year, arguing that a faster rate of biochemical reactions leads to a shorter lifespan. This hypothesis is quickly dismissed and generally considered buncombe. Later, however, Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States will be discovered to hold similar views.

(no entry for this year)

1928

image Frederick Griffith discovers type-transformation of pneumococci. This lays the foundation for the work of Avery, MacLeod, and McCarthy (1944).

image L. J. Stadler reports the artificial induction of mutations in maize, and demonstrates that the dose-frequency curve is linear.

In a letter to Science, Louise Sudbury states that fossil plants, Cycadeoidea Etrusca, were collected by Etruscans over 4,000 years ago.

In trying to piece together a Burgess Shale organism over 500 million years old, Danish zoologist K. L. Henriksen glues an Anomalocaris appendage to a Tuzoia carapace to make what he thinks is a reasonable looking shrimp-like animal. This mistaken interpretation will persist for years.

John Henry Pull, a postman and amateur archaeologist, finds fossil urchins in two separate Neolithic burial sites. His efforts to publish on his findings, however, will be thwarted due to his pedestrian background.

image Painting by René Magritte: The Treachery of Images (French: La trahison des images, 1928–29, sometimes translated as The Treason of Images) shows a pipe. Below it, Magritte painted, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe.", French for "This is not a pipe." Magritte's comment: "The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture 'This is a pipe', I'd have been lying!" The painting is sometimes given as an example of meta message conveyed by paralanguage. Compare with Korzybski's "The word is not the thing" and "The map is not the territory" or Freud's "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

image Painting by Wassily Kandinsky: Upward (Empor). Geometric abstraction, oil on cardboard.

1929

Davidson Black announces the find of Sinanthropus pekinensis, or Peking Man, discovered at Zhoukoudian, China. Over the next several years, five nearly-complete skulls will be recovered from the same site. Peking Man will be lost, however, during World War II.

Estonian paleobiologist Alexander Audova publishes a paper rejecting racial senility as the cause of dinosaur extinction and instead pointing to environmental change.

image Photograph by Man Ray: Yeshwant Rao Holkar II and Sanyogita Devi of Indore. The Maharaja of Indore spent much time in Europe and the United States (one of his homes was in Santa Ana, California). He became a patron of many important artists and designers of his day. The Paris-based American avant-garde photographer Man Ray photographed Yeshwant Rao Holkar extensively. This informal and intimate image of the Maharaja and his wife were probably taken when they were on holiday in Cannes, in the south of France.

image Painting by Grant Wood: American Gothic. Wood's inspiration came from what is now known as the American Gothic House, and his decision to paint the house along with "the kind of people I fancied should live in that house." Created in 1930, it depicts a farmer standing beside a woman that has been interpreted to be either his wife or his daughter. The figures were modeled by Wood's sister, Nan Wood Graham, and a local dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby. The woman is dressed in a colonial print apron evoking 19th-century Americana, and the man is holding a pitchfork. It is one of the most familiar images in 20th-century American art, and has been widely parodied in American popular culture.

image Painting by Piet Mondrian: Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow

1930

image R. A. Fisher publishes Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, a formal analysis of the mathematics of selection.

Themistocles Zammit publishes Prehistoric Malta: The Tarxien Temples about excavations showing fossil sea urchins in Bronze Age temples.

image Painting by Salvador Dalí: The Persistence of Memory (Catalan: La persistència de la memòria) is one of his most recognizable works. First shown at the Julien Levy Gallery in 1932, since 1934 the painting has been in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, which received it from an anonymous donor. The well-known surrealist piece introduced the image of the soft melting pocket watch. It epitomizes Dalí's theory of "softness" and "hardness", which was central to his thinking at the time. As Dawn Adès wrote, "The soft watches are an unconscious symbol of the relativity of space and time, a Surrealist meditation on the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order". This interpretation suggests that Dalí was incorporating an understanding of the world introduced by Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity. Asked by Ilya Prigogine whether this was in fact the case, Dalí replied that the soft watches were not inspired by the theory of relativity, but by the surrealist perception of a Camembert melting in the sun.

1931

C. Stern, and independently H. B. Creighton and B. McClintock, provide the cytological proof of crossing over.

The highly influential paleobotanist Sir Albert Charles Seward rejects the biologic interpretation of Cryptozoon fossils (stromatolites). This rejection will become known among paleontologists as "Seward's folly."

image Painting by Pablo Picasso: Le Rêve (French, "The Dream") portrays his 22-year-old mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. It is said to have been painted in one afternoon, on 24 January 1932. It belongs to Picasso's period of distorted depictions, with its oversimplified outlines and contrasted colors resembling early Fauvism. In 2001, casino magnate Steve Wynn purchased the work for an undisclosed sum, estimated to be about $60 million. In October 2006, Wynn told a group of his friends that he had agreed the day before to sell the painting for $139 million to Steven A. Cohen. At the time, this price would have made Le Rêve the most expensive piece of art ever. While Wynn was showing the painting to his friends, he put his right elbow through the canvas, puncturing the left forearm of the figure and creating a six-inch tear. After a $90,000 repair, the painting was re-valued at $85 million. Wynn filed a claim to recover the $54 million perceived loss from his Lloyd's of London insurers, an amount which would have covered most of the initial cost of buying the painting. When the insurers balked, Wynn sued them in January 2007. The case was eventually settled out of court in March 2007. Cohen bought the painting from Wynn in 2013 for $155 million. The price is estimated to be the highest ever paid, up to that time, for an artwork by a U.S. collector

1932

image A Harvard expedition to Australia collects Kronosaurus queenslandicus, a 135-million-year-old marine reptile fossil with a 9-foot skull and banana-sized teeth. Researchers excavate the fossil from a limestone quarry with the aid of explosives.

Fossil diggers discover a 25-million-year-old toothed, dwarf whale in Australia. Seven years later it will be named Mammalodon. More than 70 years later, it will be described as a "bottom-feeding mud-sucker."

(no entry for this year)

1933

Robert Broom publishes The Coming of Man: Was it Accident or Design? arguing that evolution is really driven by spiritual agencies, some with conflicting priorities, and that mankind is the ultimate aim of all evolution.

image T. H. Morgan receives a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his development of the theory of the gene. He is the first geneticist to receive this award.

image Barbara McClintock demonstrates in maize that a single exchange within the inversion loop of a paracentric inversion heterozygote generates an acentric and a dicentric chromatid.

T. S. Painter initiates cytogenetic studies on the salivary gland chromosomes of Drosophila.

image Fresco by Diego Rivera: Man at the Crossroads was intended for New York City's Rockefeller Center. The painting was controversial because it included an image of Lenin and a Soviet Russian May Day parade. Despite protests from artists, Nelson Rockefeller ordered its destruction before it was completed. Only black-and-white photographs exist of the original incomplete mural, taken when Rivera was forced to stop work on it. Using the photographs, Rivera repainted the composition in Mexico under the variant title Man, Controller of the Universe. The creation and destruction of the mural is dramatized in the films Cradle Will Rock (1999) and Frida (2002).

1934

With funding from Sinclair Oil, Barnum Brown begins excavating in Wyoming's Howe Quarry. His finds will lead to the green dinosaur logo for Sinclair's gas stations. Many of them will simply be named "Dino."

image Architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright: Fallingwater or the Kaufmann Residence is a house in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, 43 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The home was built partly over a waterfall on Bear Run in the Mill Run section of Stewart Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, in the Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains. The house was designed as a weekend home for the family of Liliane Kaufmann and her husband, Edgar J. Kaufmann, owner of Kaufmann's department store. Time cited it after its completion as Wright's "most beautiful job"; it is listed among Smithsonian's Life List of 28 places "to visit before you die". It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. In 1991, members of the American Institute of Architects named the house the "best all-time work of American architecture" and in 2007, it was ranked 29th on the list of America's Favorite Architecture according to the AIA.

1935

image C. B. Bridges publishes the salivary gland chromosome maps for Drosophila melanogaster.

G. W. Beadle and B. Ephrussi and A. Kuhn and A. Butenandt work out the biochemical genetics of eye-pigment synthesis in Drosophila and Ephestia, respectively.

image J. B. S. Haldane is the first to calculate the spontaneous mutation frequency of a human gene.

M. Baudouin describes more than 80 fossil sea urchins drilled for use as jewelry, some worked as long as 35,000 years ago.

image Photograph by Dorothea Lange: Migrant Mother is one of a series of photographs that Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her children in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo, California. Lange was concluding a month's trip photographing migratory farm labor around the state for what was then the Resettlement Administration. The images were made using a Graflex camera. The original negatives are 4x5" film. In 1960, Lange gave this account of the experience: I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean- to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it.

image Photograph by Walker Evans: Bud Fields with His Wife Ivy, and His Daughter Ellen, Hale County, Alabama, now in the J. Paul Getty Museum.

image Sculpture by Méret Oppenheim: Object (Le Déjeuner en fourrure) [Object (Breakfast in Fur)]. The sculpture consists of a teacup, saucer and spoon that the artist covered with fur from a Chinese gazelle. The fur suggests an expensively decked-out woman; the cup, hollow yet round, can evoke female genitalia; the spoon with its phallic shape further eroticizes the hairy object. It was purchased by Alfred Barr for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and included the museum's first surrealist exhibition Fantastic Art: Dada and Surrealism in 1936. Oppenheim was willing to sell the piece for one thousand francs, but Barr only offered her $50 and she accepted. This was the first piece of art that the museum acquired, and Oppenheim became known as the First Lady of MoMA. The enormous success of this early work would later create problems for Oppenheim as an artist. Soon after its creation she drifted away from the Surrealists. Decades later, in 1972, she artistically commented on its dominance of her career by producing a number of "souvenirs" of Le Déjeuner en fourrure.

1936

A. H. Sturtevant and T. Dobzhansky publish the first account of the use of inversions in constructing a chromosomal phylogenetic tree.

Robert Broom finds the first skull of an adult australopithecine near Johannesburg.

image Painting by Pablo Picasso: Guernica is a mural-sized work that Picasso completed in June 1937, at his home on Rue des Grands Augustins, in Paris. The painting, which uses a palette of gray, black, and white, is regarded by many art critics as one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history. Standing at 3.49 meters (11 ft 5 in) tall and 7.76 meters (25 ft 6 in) wide, the large mural shows the suffering of people wrenched by violence and chaos. Prominent in the composition are a gored horse, a bull, and flames. The painting was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country village in northern Spain, by Nazi German and Fascist Italian warplanes at the request of the Spanish Nationalists. Upon completion, Guernica was exhibited at the Spanish display at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (Paris International Exposition) in the 1937 World's Fair in Paris and then at other venues around the world. The touring exhibition was used to raise funds for Spanish war relief. The painting became famous and widely acclaimed, and it helped bring worldwide attention to the Spanish Civil War.

image Painting by Pablo Picasso: The Weeping Woman. Picasso was intrigued with the subject, and revisited the theme numerous times that year. This painting was the final and most elaborate of the series. It has been in the collection of the Tate in London since 1987, and is on exhibition at the Tate Modern, London. Dora Maar was Picasso's mistress from 1936 until 1944. In the course of their relationship, Picasso painted her in a number of guises, some realistic, some benign, others tortured or threatening. Picasso explained: For me she's the weeping woman. For years I've painted her in tortured forms, not through sadism, and not with pleasure, either; just obeying a vision that forced itself on me. It was the deep reality, not the superficial one.

1937

T. Dobzhansky publishes Genetics and the Origin of Species — a milestone in evolutionary genetics.

image Painting by René Magritte: Time Transfixed (La Durée poignardée) is part of the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and is usually on display in the museum's new Modern Wing. The painting was one of many done for surrealist patron and Magritte supporter Edward James. The painting depicts a locomotive jutting out of a fireplace, at full steam, in an empty room. Above the mantelpiece is a tall mirror. Only the clock and one candlestick standing on the mantelpiece are reflected in the mirror. The title of the painting translates to English literally as "Ongoing Time Stabbed by a Dagger" and Magritte was reportedly unhappy with the generally accepted translation of "Time Transfixed".

1938

image Fishermen find a coelacanth, a fish long believed to be extinct, off the coast of South Africa. Margaret Courtney-Latimer, a curator at the East London Museum in South Africa, keeps the fish preserved long enough for its identity to be confirmed by ichthyologist J.L.B. Smith.

(no entry for this year)

1939

E. L. Ellis and M. Delbrück perform studies on coliphage growth that mark the beginning of modem phage work. They devise the "one-step growth" experiment, which demonstrates that after the phage adsorbs onto the bacterium, it replicates within the bacterium during the "latent period," and finally the progeny are released in a "burst."

About 200 worked ivory fragments, roughly 32,000 years old, are found in the Hohlenstein-Stadel Cave in Germany. Three decades later, the pieces will be reassembled as statue of a lion-headed man.

(no entry for this year)

1940

Frank Morton Carpenter collects a 2.5-foot wing from a dragonfly-like giant insect that lived in Oklahoma during the Permian Period.

(no entry for this year)

1941

G. W. Beadle and E. L. Tatum publish their classic study on the biochemical genetics of Neurospora and promulgate the ONE-GENE, ONE-ENZYME theory.

K. Mather coins the term polygenes and describes polygenic traits in various organisms.

Anthropologist E. T. Hall excavates the ruins of a dwelling in New Mexico occupied between 700 and 900 AD. He finds two fossil jawbones of Eocene mammals that were deliberately carried to the dwelling by Paleo-Indians.

German paleontologist H. Kirchner suggests that dinosaur tracks in the Rhine Valley might have inspired the legend of Siegfried slaying the dragon Fafnir.

(no entry for this year)

1942

Ernst Mayr publishes Systematics and the Origin of Species, and Julian Huxley publishes Evolution: The Modern Synthesis. Both books are significant contributions to the neo darwinian synthesis combining elements of natural selection, genetics, mutation, population biology and paleontology.

S. E. Luria and T. F. Anderson publish the first electron micrographs of bacterial viruses. T2 has a polyhedral body and a tail.

image Painting by Piet Mondrian: Broadway Boogie Woogie was completed in 1943, shortly after Mondrian moved to New York in 1940. Compared to his earlier work, the canvas is divided into a much larger number of squares. Although he spent most of his career creating abstract work, this painting is inspired by clear real-world examples: the city grid of Manhattan, and the Broadway boogie woogie, a type of music Mondrian loved. The painting was bought by the Brazilian sculptor Maria Martins for the price of $800 at the Valentine Gallery in New York City, after Martins and Mondrian both exhibited there in 1943. Martins later donated the painting to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

1943

image Triptych by Francis Bacon: Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion comprises three canvasses that are based on the Eumenides — or Furies — of Aeschylus's Oresteia, and that depict three writhing anthropomorphic creatures set against a flat burnt orange background. It was executed in oil paint and pastel on Sundeala fibre board and completed within two weeks. The triptych summarises themes explored in Bacon's previous work, including his examination of Picasso's biomorphs and his interpretations of the Crucifixion and the Greek Furies. The Three Studies are generally considered Bacon's first mature piece. When the painting was first exhibited in 1945 it caused a sensation and established him as one of the foremost post-war painters. Remarking on the cultural significance of Three Studies, the critic John Russell observed in 1971 that "there was painting in England before the Three Studies, and painting after them, and no one ... can confuse the two".

1944

Theoretical physicist Erwin Schrödinger publishes What is Life? arguing that living organisms store and pass along information, perhaps using something like Morse code. This book will inspire James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, who will share the Nobel prize for discovering the structure of DNA.

O. T. Avery, C. M. MacLeod, and M. McCarty describe the pneumococcus transforming principle. The fact that it is rich in DNA suggests that DNA and not protein is the hereditary chemical.

(no entry for this year)

1945

image S. E. Luria demonstrates that mutations occur in bacterial viruses.

(no entry for this year)

1946

James B. Sumner, John H. Northrop, and Wendell M. Stanley share a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for Sumner's discovery that enzymes can be crystallized and for Northrop and Stanley's preparation of enzymes and virus proteins in a pure form.

image Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded to H. J. Muller for his contributions to radiation genetics

Genetic recombination in bacteriophage is demonstrated by M. Delbrück and W. T. Bailey and by A. D. Hershey.

J. Lederberg and E. L. Tatum demonstrate genetic recombination in bacteria.

Along the Kolyma River in northeastern Siberia, Gulag prisoners discover a nest with three frozen, mummified ground squirrel carcasses. They turn the carcasses over to the Gulag camp geologist, Yuriy Popov, who relays them to other Soviet scientists. Seventy years later, radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis of the ground squirrel mummies will identify their age at over 30,000 years old, and indicate that they are not direct ancestors of modern ground squirrels in the region.

Geologist Reg Sprigg discovers fossils near the Ediacara Hills in Australia. The fossils are of multicellular organisms that predated the Cambrian Period, making them the oldest complex fossils yet discovered. At least some of the fossils are generally assumed to be related to modern cnidarians like jellyfish and corals.

image Painting by Jackson Pollock: Reflections of the Big Dipper, consisting of built up layers of paint with dripped enamel as the final touch, concluding the composition. It was around 1947 that Jackson Pollock traded in his brushes for sticks, trowels and knives and began adding foreign matter, such as sand, broken glass, nails, coins, paint-tube tops and bottle caps to his canvases. Reflection of the Big Dipper was exhibited at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1948, along with sixteen other paintings by Jackson Pollock. The show received positive reviews. Pollock's works from this time are a transitional step between a more traditional handling of paint and his revolutionary technique of dripping paint on canvases off a large scale.

1947

American Museum of Natural History curator Edwin Colbert finds a massive quarry of Coelophysis dinosaurs in New Mexico and concludes from their skeletons that these Triassic dinosaurs were swift runners with a bird-like posture. Later examination of two fossils will lead Colbert to conclude they were also cannibals, but the "last meals of juvenile coelophyses" will eventually prove to be crocodilian.

Rudolph Zallinger completes The Age of Reptiles mural in the Yale Peabody Museum. His image of slow-moving dinosaurs will prevail until the 1960s.

image Painting by Barnett Newman: Onement I features the first full incarnation of what Newman later called a 'zip', a vertical band of color. This motif would play a central role in many of his subsequent paintings. The painting's title is an archaic derivation of the word 'atonement', meaning, "the state of being made into one."

1948

image H. J. Muller coins the term dosage compensation.

J. Lederberg and N. Zinder, and, independently, B. D. Davis develop the penicillin selection technique for isolating biochemically deficient bacterial mutants.

Mary Leakey finds the skull of the ape Proconsul, about 16 million years old. Although a very significant find, it does little to bolster Louis and Mary Leakey's meager research funding.

image Alberto Giacometti completes Three Men Walking II

1949

A. D. Hershey and R. Rotman demonstrate that genetic recombination occurs in bacteriophage.

J. V. Neel provides genetic evidence that the sickle-cell disease is inherited as a simple Mendelian autosomal recessive.

French prehistorian André Leroi-Gourhan discovers the Cave of the Reindeer near the village of Arcy-sur-Cure where he will conduct a 15-year excavation. Discoveries at Arcy will suggest to some researchers an artistic sense among Neanderthals, including the collection of fossil mollusk shells and fossil coral. Doubts about ages of objects, however, will leave the subject open to debate.

(no entry for this year)

1950

At a Cold Spring Harbor Symposium, Ernst Mayr argues that all hominid specimens so far found should be categorized in the genus Homo: H. transvaalensis, H. erectus, and H. sapiens.

E. Chargaff lays the foundations for nucleic acid structural studies by his analytical work. He demonstrates for DNA that the numbers of adenine and thymine groups are always equal and so are the numbers of guanine and cytosine groups. These findings later suggest to Watson and Crick that DNA consists of two polynucleotide strands joined by hydrogen bonding between A and T and between G and C.

E. M. Lederberg discovers lambda, the first viral episome of E. coli.

image Painting by Salvador Dalí: Christ of Saint John of the Cross depicts Jesus Christ on the cross in a darkened sky floating over a body of water complete with a boat and fishermen. Although it is a depiction of the crucifixion, it is devoid of nails, blood, and a crown of thorns, because, according to Dalí, he was convinced by a dream that these features would mar his depiction of Christ. Also in a dream, the importance of depicting Christ in the extreme angle evident in the painting was revealed to him.

1951

Barbara McClintock publishes a paper describing "jumping" genes that can move around within an organism's genome.

image Painting by Jackson Pollock: Number 11, 1952, also known as Blue Poles, is one of the most famous works by American artist Jackson Pollock. It was purchased amid controversy by the National Gallery of Australia in 1973 and today remains one of the gallery's major paintings. At the time of the painting's creation, Pollock preferred not to assign names to his works, but rather numbers; hence, the original title of the painting was simply "Number 11"' or "No. 11" for the year 1952. In 1954, the new title Blue Poles was first seen at an exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery and reportedly originated from Pollock himself. According to art historian Dennis Phillips, the specific rather than ambiguous title "limits our field of comprehension and does the painting a singular disservice. Because we look for the poles and miss much of the rest, the name is simply too distracting."

1952

A. D. Hershey and M. Chase demonstrate that the DNA of phage enters the host, whereas most of the protein remains behind.

F. Sanger and his colleagues work out the complete amino acid sequence for the protein hormone insulin, and show that it contains two polypeptide chains held together by disulfide bridges.

J. Lederberg and E. M. Lederberg invent the replica plating technique.

N. D. Zinder and J. Lederberg describe transduction in Salmonella.

image Painting by Francis Bacon: Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X shows a distorted version of the Portrait of Innocent X painted by Spanish artist Diego Velázquez in 1650. The work is one of a series of over 45 variants of the Velázquez painting which Bacon executed throughout the 1950s and early 1960s. The picture was described by Gilles Deleuze as an example of creative re-interpretation of the classical. When asked why he was compelled to revisit the subject so often, Bacon replied that he had nothing against the Popes, that he merely sought "an excuse to use these colours, and you can't give ordinary clothes that purple colour without getting into a sort of false fauve manner".

1953

image image J. D. Watson and F. H. C. Crick propose a model for DNA comprised of two helically intertwined chains tied together by hydrogen bonds between the purines and pyrimidines.

W. Hayes discovers polarized behavior in bacterial recombinations. He isolates the Hfr H strain of E. coli and shows that certain genes are readily transferred from Hfr to F- bacteria, whereas others are not.

Piltdown Man is determined to be a hoax: the jaw of an ape and a human skull.

image Painting by Jasper Johns: Flag is an encaustic painting created when Johns was 24 (1954-55), two years after he was discharged from the US Army. This painting was the first of many works that Johns has said were inspired by a dream of the U.S. flag in 1954. It is arguably the painting for which Johns is best known. The US flag was in the news repeatedly in 1954. The McCarthy hearings came to a close on 17 June 1954, only three days after Flag Day. On Flag Day, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an amendment to the pledge of allegiance to add the words "under God." The New York Times ran article on facts and myths associated with the flag on the day before Flag Day, and then an article on the "discipline" of the flag on Flag Day itself, saying, with reference to a national air-raid drill "we are all soldiers now". Francis Scott Key, composer of "The Star Spangled Banner", was born in 1779, 175 years before 1954. The Iwo Jima Marine Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, with its large US flag, was dedicated on 11 November 1954. Johns and his father were both named after Sergeant William Jasper, who saved the fallen flag of the Americans at Fort Moultrie in the American Revolutionary War. The work measures 42.2 inches by 60.6 inches. It is made using encaustic, oil paint, and newsprint collage on three separate canvases, mounted on a plywood board. The painting reflects the three colors of the US flag: red, white and blue; the flag is depicted in the form it took between 1912 and 1959, with 48 white stars on a blue canton representing the then-US states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), and with thirteen red and white stripes. Newsprint is visible under the stripes. Reading the texts, it is clear that the newsprint was not selected at random: Johns steered clear of headlines, or national or political news, and used inconsequential articles or adverts. The painting has a rough-textured surface, and the 48 stars are not identical. It is dated 1954 on its reverse.

1954

Elso Barghoorn and Stanley Tyler report the discovery of bacterial cells in Canadian rock formations that are nearly 2 billion years old.

Philip Abelson and his team detect amino acids in fish that are over 300 million years old.

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1955

image S. Benzer works out the fine structure of the rII region of phage T4 of E. coli, and coins the terms CISTRON,RECON, and MUTON.

image Professional pipefitter and amateur paleontologist Francis Tully finds an enigmatic fossil near Morris, Illinois. Dating from about 300 million years ago, the fossil will be formally named Tullimonstrum gregarium and nicknamed the Tully monster. Although it will defy classification for decades, it will nevertheless be named the state fossil of Illinois.

image Collage by Richard Hamilton: Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? measures 10.25 in (260 mm) × 9.75 in (248 mm). The work is now in the collection of the Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. It was the first work of pop art to achieve iconic status. Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? was created in 1956 for the catalogue of the exhibition This Is Tomorrow in London, England in which it was reproduced in black and white. In addition, the piece was used in posters for the exhibit. Hamilton and his friends John McHale and John Voelcker had collaborated to create the room that became the best-known part of the exhibition.

1956

F. Jacob and E. L. Wollman are able experimentally to interrupt the mating process in E. coli and show that a piece of DNA is inserted from the donor bacterium into the recipient.

Fifteen-year-old English schoolgirl Tina Negus finds a specimen of the fossil species that will later be named Charnia masoni, from the geologic period that will later be named the Ediacaran. Unfortunately, Negus can't convince her geography teacher that the fossil she has found is Precambrian and gives up, leaving the fossil to be extracted by local schoolboy Roger Mason the next year.

Keith Runcorn publishes a paper describing polar wandering based on paleomagnetic studies of Europe and North America. He suggests continental drift, but his paper attracts little attention.

Paleontologist M. W. de Laubenfels publishes a paper suggesting that the dinosaurs were driven to extinction by a meteorite impact. His paper will not be taken seriously, but this hypothesis will be presented again in 1980 with more compelling evidence.

Brian Logan and fellow geologists find living stromatolites in Shark Bay, Australia. The find is somewhat surprising as stromatolites have no defenses against mouth-bearing organisms and have probably been relatively rare since the Cambrian Period.

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1957

Francis Crick proposes the "central dogma" of genetic information transfer: DNA specifies RNA and RNA specifies cell proteins.

V. M. Ingram reports that normal and sickle-cell hemoglobin differ by a single amino acid substitution.

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1958

Frederick Sanger receives a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the structure of proteins, especially that of insulin.

George W. Beadle, Edward L. Tatum, and Joshua Lederberg share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for Beadle and Tatum's discovery that genes act by regulating definite chemical events, and for Lederberg's discoveries concerning genetic recombination and the organization of the genetic material of bacteria.

image F. H. C. Crick suggests that during protein formation the amino acid is carried to the template by an adaptor molecule containing nucleotides and that the adaptor is the part that actually fits on the RNA template. Crick thus predicts the discovery of transfer RNA.

F. Jacob and E. L. Wollman demonstrate that the single linkage group of E. coli is circular and suggest that the different linkage groups found in different Hfr strains result from the insertion at different points of a factor in the circular linkage group that determines the rupture of the circle.

M. Meselson and F. W. Stahl use the density gradient equilibrium centrifugation technique to demonstrate the semiconservative distribution of density label during DNA replication in E. coli.

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1959

Severo Ochoa and Arthur Kornberg share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxiribonucleic acid.

J. Lejeune, M. Gautier, and R. Turpin show that Down syndrome is a chromosomal aberration involving trisomy of a small telocentric chromosome.

R. L. Sinsheimer demonstrates that bacteriophage phiX174 of E. coli contains a single-stranded DNA molecule.

Mary Leakey finds hominid skull belonging to Paranthropus boisei.

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1960

Alister Hardy promotes his Homo aquaticus or "aquatic ape" hypothesis to the British Sub Aqua Club. He will follow up this announcement with several magazine articles.

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1961

image image F. Jacob and J. Monod publish "Genetic regulatory mechanisms in the synthesis of proteins," a paper in which the theory of the OPERON is developed.

Martin Glaessner determines fossils in the Ediacara Hills of South Australia (Ediacaran fauna) to be Precambrian in age (approximately 600 million years old), making them the oldest-known multicelled organisms.

(no entry for this year)

1962

Human geneticist James Neel develops the "thrifty genotype" hypothesis that human ancestors endured feast-famine cycles that made the human body very effective in storing fat for lean times.

image image image James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work in elucidating the structure of DNA.

(no entry for this year)

1963

Lantian Man, a 500,000-year-old Homo erectus specimen, is found in Lantian County, China, just north of Xi'an.

image painting by Roy Lichtenstein: Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But... (sometimes Oh, Jeff). Like many of Lichtenstein's works its title comes from the speech balloon in the painting. Although many sources, such as the Encyclopedia of Art, describe Whaam! and Drowning Girl as Lichtenstein's most famous works, artist Vian Shamounki Borchert believes it is this piece, calling it his Mona Lisa. The Daily Mail listed it along with Whaam! and Drowning Girl as one of his most famous at the time of its 2013 Retrospective at the Tate Modern. Borchert notes that this painting captures "the magic" of its "anguished and yes [sic] beautiful blue eyed, blond hair, full lips" female subject while presenting "sad eyes that seem to give in to what seems to be a doomed love affair". Lichtenstein in 1967 Measuring 48 in × 48 inches, Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But... is among the most famous of his early romance comic derivative works from the period when he was adapting cartoons and advertisements into his style via Ben-Day dots.

image An art exhibit is held at Stanford University, featuring Brancusi's Bird in Space (loaned by student Richard Holkar) as its major piece. Another work entitled Soul in Flight — a "sculpture" consisting of two bent coat hangers — is surreptitiously added to the exhibit by D. Heskett and R. Robbins (student colleagues of Holkar), without the bother of going through the submission process. The coat-hanger piece remains as part of the exhibit for several days, until it is accidentally bumped and comes apart during an evening cleaning of the displays.

1964

Louis Leakey describes Homo habilis, meaning "handy." The new species designation is not well received by the scientific community.

Two deciduous molars, roughly 44,000 years old, are collected at Grotta del Cavallo in southeastern Italy. After an initial classification as Neanderthal, they will be assigned to modern humans in a 2011 study.

Vincent Dethier publishes "Microscopic Brains," an article on insect behavior, in Science. He calls for a more empathetic approach to animal subjects, even tiny invertebrates.

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1965

image image image François Jacob, André Lwoff, and Jacques Monod share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis.

N.H. Field publishes "Fossil sea-echinoids from a Romano-British site" describing the centuries-long occupation of a Romano-British settlement in Dorset. Newer buildings have been built upon older ones, with fossil urchins in each.

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1966

Willi Hennig works on a new approach to assessing evolutionary relationships, known as cladistics. Although it will be hotly debated, this technique will eventually become standard practice in paleontology, botany and zoology.

Harry Whittington begins reexamining Burgess Shale fossils originally identified by Charles Walcott starting in 1909. Over the next two decades, Whittington (with the assistance of his graduate students Simon Conway Morris and Derek Briggs), will eventually overturn some of Walcott's theories and propose that most of the animals left no living relatives.

(no entry for this year)

1967

Lynn Sagan (later Lynn Margulis) hypothesizes that chloroplasts originated as cyanobacteria, and that mitochondria originated as bacteria. She suggests that both were engulfed by other cells and began functioning as symbionts.

Graduate student S.B. Misra discovers a well-preserved sea floor with numerous fossils dating from the late Precambrian (later to be dubbed the Ediacaran Period) at Mistaken Point, Newfoundland.

P. S. Martin suggests that fast-moving bands of human hunters caused the extinctions of Pleistocene big-game species.

Richard Leakey finds two fossil skulls, Omo I and Omo II, in Ethiopia. Though initially dated at 130,000 years, the fossils will later be dated (using argon decay) at 195,000 years, and designated as the oldest examples so far found of Homo sapiens.

Daniel Janzen argues that, because they live under "easy" conditions, tropical plants cannot likely survive a wide range of temperature, light, or hydrologic conditions.

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1968

A.G. Cairns-Smith publishes a paper suggesting that the first life on Earth might have been fine-grained clay crystals. He will publish on this topic several more times before his death, but the experimental evidence will remain scant, perhaps in part because sufficient technology doesn't yet exist to test the hypothesis.

Robert W. Holley, Har Gobind Khorana, and Marshall W. Nirenberg share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis.

Richard Fox describes a Paleocene mammal, Prothryptacodon albertensis, retrieved from a well dug in Alberta, Canada. This find eerily resembles that of another Paleocene mammal recovered from a Louisiana oil well and described in 1932 by George Gaylord Simpson.

Teenaged fossil enthusiast Tadashi Suzuki finds a plesiosaur fossil in his hometown of Iwaki City, Japan. The fossil turns out to be a new species, but it won't be identified as such for nearly 40 years.

(no entry for this year)

1969

R. H. Whittaker proposes to divide all living things into five kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista and Monera.

Max Delbrück, Alfred D. Hershey, and Salvador E. Luria share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses.

Archaeologist Joachim Hahn pieces together the fragments of the lion-headed man found 30 years earlier the Hohlenstein-Stadel Cave in Germany.

image John Ostrom publishes Osteology of Deinonychus antirrhopus, an Unusual Theropod from the Lower Cretaceous of Montana — a description of Deinonychus with a frontispiece illustration by Bob Bakker, suggesting that the dinosaur is alert, agile and intelligent.

(no entry for this year)

1970

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1971

Five pairs of adult wall lizards are moved between two islands in Croatia. Over the next few decades, the lizards on the new island will evolve larger heads, stronger bites, and a greater tolerance for an herbivorous diet than the original lizard population.

A. G. Sharov describes a pterosaur with fossil "hair" impressions as Sordes pilosus (hairy devil).

Grad student Douglas Lawson discovers the humerus of a giant pterosaur in Texas. Over the next four years, he will continue collecting and finally publish a description of Quetzalcoatlus northropi, the largest flying animal ever found, with an estimated wingspan of 39 feet.

Polish and Mongolian paleontologists discover the entwined skeletons of a Protoceratops and a juvenile Velociraptor in the Gobi Desert, most likely locked in mortal combat.

(no entry for this year)

1972

Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge publish their theory of punctuated equilibrium, stating that evolution often occurs in short bursts, followed by long periods of stability.

Christian B. Anfinsen, Stanford Moore, and William H. Stein share a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, with Anfinsen cited for his work on ribonuclease, especially concerning the connection between the amino acid sequence and the biologically active conformation, and Moore and Stein cited for their contribution to the understanding of the connection between chemical structure and catalytic activity of the active centre of the ribonuclease molecule.

Bob Bakker publishes "Anatomical and Ecological Evidence of Endothermy in Dinosaurs" in Nature, arguing that dinosaurs were warm-blooded animals.

Harry Whittington shows a preliminary reconstruction of the Burgess Shale species Opabinia at a Palaeontological Association meeting, and the crowd roars with laughter.

(no entry for this year)

1973

Half in jest, Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel suggest that ancient aliens may have seeded the early Earth with DNA, and all life on this planet arose from that.

Peter and Rosemary Grant begin a long-term study of finches on the Galápagos Islands. In succeeding years, as they watch finches adapt to alternating wet and dry conditions, the Grants will uncover evidence that evolution proceeds more rapidly than what Darwin estimated.

Taking a line from Through the Looking Glass, Leigh Van Valen establishes the "Red Queen" hypothesis of coevolution between predator and prey: "it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"

Heinz Tobien collects a primate tooth fragment from limestone rocks in southern Germany. Studies published decades later, in 2001 and 2011, will suggest that the fossil is 17 million years old, and that a hominoid migration into Eurasia occurred 3 million years earlier than previously thought.

(no entry for this year)

1974

Donald Johanson and his team discover a female fossil hominid (to be later named Australopithecus afarensis) and call her Lucy. Lucy's discovery establishes that hominids walked upright before developing large brains, overturning some long-held beliefs about hominid evolution. Her status as a direct ancestor of modern humans, however, will remain controversial.

Heavy equipment operator Porky Hansen accidentally uncovers a mammoth tusk while leveling ground for a building. The site will reveal many more mammoths, becoming a tourist attraction for Hot Springs, South Dakota.

John Ostrom publishes a paper titled "Archaeopteryx and the Origin of Flight" reviving Thomas Henry Huxley's arguments from the 1860s.

(no entry for this year)

1975

Mary-Claire King and Allan Wilson publish their finding that human and chimpanzee DNA sequences differ by roughly 1 percent, meaning humans have more in common with chimps than chimps do with gorillas. King and Wilson suggest that humans and chimps differ largely in the DNA that switches on and off genes.

David Baltimore, Renato Dulbecco, and Howard Temin share Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumour viruses and the genetic material of the cell.

Armed with an old geological map, selt-taught fossil hunter Joan Wiffin finds New Zealand's first recognized dinosaur fossil, a theropod tail vertebra, in the Maungahouanga Valley.

(no entry for this year)

1976

Overturning the classifications introduced by R. H. Whittaker seven years earlier, Carl Woese proposes to divide all living things into three categories: Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya.

Paleontologists looking for cave bear remains explore Sima de los Huesos ("Pit of the Bones") at Atapuerca, Spain. For many years afterwards, it will remain the densest accumulation of fossil human bones ever discovered, including the remains of more than 30 Homo heidelbergensis individuals.

(no entry for this year)

1977

Submersible vehicle Alvin reveals deep sea vents on the ocean floor that give rise to an ecosystem owing nothing to photosynthesis. This finding prompts speculation that life on Earth first arose in deep-sea, not shallow-water, ecosystems.

Fred Sanger and collaborators publish the first complete DNA sequence of an organism, a bacteriophage, or virus infecting bacteria.

(no entry for this year)

1978

Werner Arber, Dan Nathans, and Hamilton Smith share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to problems of molecular genetics.

J. W. Kitching discovers a clutch of prosauropod eggs in South Africa, the oldest dinosaur embryos yet found. They will show that sauropods walked on all fours as small animals, but the significance of this find will be overlooked for nearly three decades.

Mary Leakey announces the discovery of fossil footprints at Laetoli demonstrating that hominids walked upright 3.6 million years ago.

(no entry for this year)

1979

image Fresh out of law school and short on cash, Robert Heggestad buys an antique cabinet on an installment plan from a Virginia antique shop. The cabinet turns out to contain some 1,700 plant and invertebrate specimens from the personal collection of Alfred Russel Wallace.

Crystal Bennett finds a human-altered sea urchin fossil in Islamic (Fatimid) deposits dating from the 10th to 12th centuries in the Amman Citadel.

(no entry for this year)

1980

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus describe genetic mutations affecting the body plan of the fruit fly Drosophila, and identify genes controlling the basic body plans of all animals. These genes will eventually be known as Hox genes.

Paul Berg, Walter Gilbert, and Frederick Sanger share a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, with Berg cited for his fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with particular regard to recombinant-DNA, and Gilbert and Sanger cited for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids. This is Sanger's second Nobel, the first having come in 1958 for his work on the structure of insulin.

(no entry for this year)

1981

(no entry for this year)

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1982

(no entry for this year)

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1983

Barbara McClintock receives the Nobel Prize in Medicine for her discovery of mobile genetic elements.

German paleobiologist Adolf Seilacher suggests that most of the Ediacaran fossils discovered in the 1940s are not related to any modern forms. Calling them vendobionts, he argues that they went extinct after the emergence of large predators. Seilacher's interpretation, however, will remain in dispute.

(no entry for this year)

1984

David Raup and Jack Sepkoski publish the controversial claim that mass extinctions are regularly spaced at 26 million years.

Richard Leakey and his team discover Turkana Boy, the most complete Homo erectus fossil yet discovered.

(no entry for this year)

1985

Kenneth Oakley publishes Decorative and Symbolic Uses of Fossils describing, among other things, a hand axe crafted by Homo heidelbergensis featuring a fossil sea urchin, and a fossil urchin set within a bronze locket from a Gallo-Roman temple.

Paleoanthropologists excavate an artifact-rich portion of Cueva de los Aviones in Iberia. Fifty-thousand-year-old perforated and pigment-stained shells from the cave will prompt researchers to argue, 25 years later, that Neanderthals wore both makeup and jewelry.

(no entry for this year)

1986

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1987

Allan Wilson and Rebecca Cann announce that all humans share a common ancestor who lived in Africa as recently as 150,000 years ago. Because the discovery is based on examination of mitochondrial DNA, the ancestral entity will be given the popular (and somewhat misleading) name of "Mitochondrial Eve." The controversial finding will be supported by another discovery in 2000.

Jenny Clack finds Acanthostega, the most complete Devonian tetrapod yet discovered. It has evidence for functional gills as well as legs, strongly suggesting that animals evolved legs while still living in the water.

Kansas rancher Charles Bonner collects a plesiosaur mother-and-fetus fossil. Nearly 25 years later, O'Keefe and Chiappe will describe this as evidence that that plesiosaurs gave live birth and might have been attentive mothers.

(no entry for this year)

1988

Molecular biologist John Cairns describes experiments suggesting that bacteria facing environmental stress can "direct" their mutations to produce favorable adaptations. Directed mutation will remain a controversial idea, but the possibility that organisms mutate at a greater rate (hypermutation) under environmental stress will gain more acceptance.

(no entry for this year)

1989

Sidney Altman and Thomas R. Cech share a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery of catalytic properties of RNA.

Ned Colbert finally completes his definitive species description of the Coelophysis dinosaurs he found in 1947.

Philip Gingerich finds a fossil whale, Basilosaurus in Egypt. It has tiny legs, just inches long, retaining all five toes. Five years later, he will discover an even more primitive whale ancestor, Rodhocetus, with even bigger hind legs, in Pakistan. Eighteen years later, Hans Thewissen will announce the discovery of another missing link in cetacean evolution: fox-like Indohyus found in Kashmir.

(no entry for this year)

1990

The Human Genome Project is launched with the goal of sequencing all 3 billion base pairs of human DNA by 2005.

Mongolia invites the American Museum of Natural History to reinstate excavations in the Gobi desert.

Scott Wing of the Smithsonian Institution discovers the Big Cedar Ridge fossil plant site in Wyoming. The locality will become known as the Pompeii of Cretaceous plants.

image Scultpure by Damien Hirst: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living consists of a large (14 foot) tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde in a vitrine. It is considered the iconic work of British art in the 1990s, and has become a symbol of Britart worldwide. The work was funded by Charles Saatchi, who in 1991 had offered to pay for whatever artwork Hirst wanted to create. Saatchi sold the work in 2004 to Steven A. Cohen for an estimated $8 million. When the original shark showed signs of deterioration (it rotted from the inside out and a fin fell off), it was replaced with a new specimen in 2006, thereby raising a Ship of Theseus problem: Does a work of art remain the same work if its components are replaced with new components?

1991

Chicxulub crater is discovered in the Yucatán Peninsula, supporting the asteroid impact theory first suggested in 1980.

(no entry for this year)

1992

A team led by Tim White finds the first traces of a hominid fossil that will later be named Ardipithecus ramidus. Seventeen years later, the team will publish a detailed description of a 4.4-million-year-old, 120-centimeter-tall, nearly complete adult female, along with fossils from 35 other individuals. The team will argue that "Ardi" should supplant Lucy at the base of the hominid tree.

Ian Campbell and collaborators publish a paper pointing to the Siberian Traps, an area of massive volcanic activity, as the cause of the Permo-Triassic mass extinction 251 million years ago.

Paleontologists led by Jim Kirkland discover Utahraptor, a super-sized velociraptor that conveniently supports the super-sized velociraptors that will appear in the screen version of Jurassic Park a year later.

Suburban San Diego roadwork uncovers mastodon bones and broken rocks at what becomes known as the (Richard) Cerutti Mastodon site. Roadwork halts while paleontologist Tom Deméré examines the find. Twenty-five years later, Deméré, Cerutti and nine other researchers will contend that the site is evidence of human presence in North America 130,000 years ago.

(no entry for this year)

1993

Kary Mullis and Michael Smith share a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, with Mullis cited for his contributions to the developments of methods within DNA-based chemistry and Smith for his fundamental contributions to the establishment of oligonucleiotide-based, site-directed mutagenesis and its development for protein studies.

Richard J. Roberts, and Phillip A. Sharp share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries of split genes.

A calcite-encrusted hominid skeleton is discovered in a karst cave near Altamura, Italy. About two decades later, researchers will date the rock layers and test a scapula fragment, eventually concluding that the skeleton is probably 128,000 to 187,000 years old, and ranks among so-called "early Neanderthals."

Geology student Iwan Stossel stumbles across a nearly 400-million-year-old tetrapod fossil trackway on the island of Valentia, County Kerry, Ireland.

J. William Schopf publishes a description of microfossils of the Apex Basalt in Australia. His claims that they are 3.5-billion-year-old microbes that could photosynthesize and produce oxygen will later be challenged. One of his challengers, Martin Brasier, will coauthor a 2011 study on microfossils from a nearby outcrop, claiming that the 3.4-billion-year-old microbes fed off sulfur.

On an expedition in the Gobi desert, paleontologists from the American Museum of Natural History discover the skeleton of an Oviraptor dinosaur crouching over a nest of eggs, apparently incubating them in the same fashion as modern birds.

Roland Anderson and Jennifer Mather publish "Personalities of Octopuses" in the Journal of Comparative Psychology.

(no entry for this year)

1994

Anthropologist Ron Clarke finds previously overlooked foot bones, showing both ape and human qualities, from Sterkfontein. Future finds will associate these bones with a skeleton nicknamed Little Foot.

image In what will later be named Chauvet Cave, French cavers discover 32,000-year-old paintings showing 400 animal images.

(no entry for this year)

1995

Edward B. Lewis, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, and Eric F. Wieschaus share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development.

Lee Berger and Ron Clarke publish an article in the Journal of Human Evolution arguing that the Taung child, discovered in 1924, may have been killed by a bird of prey.

(no entry for this year)

1996

Using "molecular clock" estimates of mutation rates, Greg Wray and collaborators hypothesize that metazoan phyla diverged from each other 1 billion years ago, or even earlier. In other words, they argue that metazoans existed hundreds of millions of years before the earliest metazoan fossils (about 600 million years old) yet found.

Alan Walker and Pat Shipman publish a description of advanced Vitamin A poisoning in a 1.7-million-year-old Homo erectus skeleton. They assert that it is evidence of both meat eating, caused by consuming the liver of a large carnivore, and sufficient sociability in Homo erectus to care for an ill and incapacitated individual.

image Chen Pei Ji unveils Sinosauropteryx prima from Liaoning, China, the first feathered dinosaur discovered, at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology's annual meeting. Fourteen years later, a team of Chinese and British paleontologists will argue that this animal had a striped tail, a reddish color alternating with white, based on pigment-rich microscopic spheres in the fossilized feathers.

The roughly 9,000-year-old Kennewick Man skeleton is found in the northwestern United States. Craniometric analysis initially suggests an affiliation to Ainu and Polynesian groups. Better DNA sampling methods will finally allow genetic analysis nearly 20 years later, and that will indicate a relationship closest to modern Native Americans.

Tim White's team discovers horse, antelope and other mammal bones with cut marks from stone tools — evidence of tool use 2.5 million years ago.

(no entry for this year)

1997

A team of archaeologists finds evidence of human occupation 14,000 years ago at Monte Verde, Chile, pushing back the arrival date of humans in the Americas.

Excavations near Koblenz in northern Germany turn up a Neanderthal skullcap, estimated at 170,000 years old, that was apparently used as a bowl.

Paleontologist Karen Chin receives a 17-inch coprolite excavated in Saskatchewan. Estimated at 65 million years old and full of crunched bone, it is likely the calling card of a T. rex.

Paleontologist Paul Sereno discovers the delicate Darth Vader-like skull of a dinosaur he will later name Nigersaurus taqueti and nickname the "Mesozoic Cow."

Two 5-foot-long Humboldt squid in the Sea of Cortez "mug" a diver working on a PBS documentary, making off with the gold chain hanging around the diver's neck, and demonstrating that Humboldt squid have bad manners but good taste.

(no entry for this year)

1998

Andrew Parker publishes a paper suggesting that some Cambrian animals (Wiwaxia, Canadia and Marella) developed flickering displays of iridescent color at about the same time that eyes evolved.

Aterian artifacts (named for stone tools discovered in Algeria in 1917) are estimated at 70,000 years old at sites in Libya. Over the next dozen years, the age of artifacts found at various sites in northern Africa will be pushed back to at least 110,000 years old.

Xiao, Zhang and Knoll describe fossilized animal embryos in Nature. Li, Chen and Hua simultaneously describe embryos in Science. The fossils all come from the Doushantuo phosphorites in southern China, and all are estimated to be about 570 million years old, making them the oldest fossil embryos so far discovered. Nine years later, however, Bailey and collaborators will challenge this interpretation, arguing the "fossil embryos" could just as easily be large bacteria. That challenge will be answered by the announcement of fossil embryos inside egg cysts.

(no entry for this year)

1999

Chinese paleontologists discover an exceptionally well-preserved feathered dinosaur, probably a juvenile dromaeosaur. Citing the confusion caused by language barriers and jet lag, the paleontologists' American collaborators nickname the fossil "Dave the fuzzy raptor," after a character alluded to in a Cheech and Chong routine. This fossil will be assigned to the genus Sinornithosaurus. (The next fuzzy discovery will be nicknamed "Chong.")

(no entry for this year)

2000

Based on studies of Y chromosomes, Peter Underhill publishes his finding that all modern humans share a common ancestor, bolstering the 1987 announcement from Cann and Wilson. This suggests a "bottleneck" event (population crash) among human ancestors living in Africa roughly 150,000 years ago.

Sally McBearty and Alison Brooks publish "The Revolution that Wasn't" challenging the long-held notion of a "big bang" in human intellectual evolution approximately 40,000 years ago. Instead, they cite evidence for earlier appearances of modern behavior.

A research team led by Paul Sereno discovers Rugops primus ("first wrinkle face") in the Sahara. This dinosaur's resemblance to South American fossils suggests that Africa separated from the ancient landmass of Gondwana more recently than previously thought.

Phil Currie publishes a paper suggesting that T. rex was a social animal that hunted in packs.

(no entry for this year)

2001

image Alfred Sturtevant's A History of Genetics is republished jointly by the Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. Sturtevant provides an insider's perspective (he created the FIRST GENETIC MAP ) to this first-rate summary of the foundations of classical genetics.

CLICK HERE TO BUY THIS BOOK

The International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium (Human Genome Project) publishes the initial sequence and analysis of the human genome in Nature Magazine. Celera Genomics simultaneously publishes a draft human genome sequence in Science Magazine.

Leland H. Hartwell, R. Timothy Hunt, and Sir Paul M. Nurse share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle.

image Chris Henshilwood and collaborators discover and describe 77,000-year-old artwork: stones carved with lines and triangles, from Blombos Cave on the Southern Cape coast of Africa. Three years later, Henshilwood and collaborators will describe more Blombos artifacts: tiny snail shells that were apparently pierced and worn as jewelry about 76,000 years ago. A few years after that, another research team will describe similar shell beads, at least 100,000 years old, in Israel and Algeria.

Joshua Smith and collaborators publish a description of a giant sauropod from Egypt, possibly the largest Cretaceous sauropod yet discovered. It is considered a possible food source for three large carnivorous dinosaur species discovered decades earlier by Ernst Stromer.

Luann Becker and collaborators publish a paper describing carbon fullerenes (buckyballs) at the Permo-Triassic boundary in China, Japan and Hungary. Because they can occur in meteorites, the fullerenes are cited as evidence of a meteorite impact at the end of the Permian. Other scientists will have difficulty reproducing their results, however, and the researchers' claim will remain controversial.

Odin and Néraudeau publish a description of a Neanderthal flint tool found in southwestern France with a fossil sea urchin on one side.

(no entry for this year)

2002

Sydney Brenner, H. Robert Horvitz, and John E. Sulston share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death.

David Lordkipanidze and collaborators excavate a 1.77-million-year-old Homo erectus skull of a "toothless old man" in Dmanisi. New bone growth after the loss of his teeth suggests that he was cared for by others, the oldest evidence yet found of care for the sick in fossil hominids.

Michel Brunet and collaborators publish a description of Sahelanthropus tchadensis, a hominid fossil from western central Africa. Suspected to be 6 to 7 million years old, it is possibly the oldest hominid fossil yet found. Its location, in Chad, is expected to spur hominid fossil hunting west of Africa's Rift Valley.

(no entry for this year)

2003

M.R. Sánchez-Villagra, O. Aguilera and I. Horovitz publish a description of Phoberomys, a fossil rodent from Venezuela the size of a buffalo.

Paleontologists in Germany identify the world's oldest pantry: an underground burrow system probably dug by an extinct species of ground squirrel or hamster. Estimated at 17 million years old, the food stash is stuffed with more than 1,800 fossilized nuts.

Paleontologists led by John Horner find a T. rex fossil that will later yield evidence of blood vessels and blood cells. The fossil will also prove to be an egg-laying female.

Two separate teams, digging 2,000 miles apart, find two new Antarctic dinosaurs in the same week. One appears to be a Jurassic sauropod, the other a Cretaceous theropod.

(no entry for this year)

2004

Peter Brown, Mike Morwood and collaborators announce the find of a 1-meter-tall hominid skeleton on the Indonesian island of Flores. Found near the remains of giant lizards and pygmy elephants, the new species is formally named Homo floresiensis and nicknamed the "hobbit." Though some suspect it's a kind of malformed, small-brained midget, this interpretation will be answered by braincase scans, wrist bones too primitive to be Homo sapiens, and the announcement of several more individuals of the same species. Later studies will suggest direct ancestry from Homo erectus, although another study will argue the remains really indicate Down syndrome. The species is initially given an estimated age as young as 11,000 years, but later research will indicate an age of at least 50,000 years.

A 70-million-year-old mammal jaw is found in Pui, Romania, some 100 miles from Vlad Dracula's castle. Eleven years later, the animal will be formally named Barbatodon transylvanicus by scientists who note that strengthening iron, not blood drinking, gives the teeth their bright red color.

D. Néraudeau describes deposits in western France revealing hundreds of Acheulian and Mousterian tools, 12 of them bearing fossils.

Heather Wilson and Lyall Anderson publish a paper describing the oldest land animal fossil yet discovered: Pneumodesmus newmani, a 428-million-year-old, centimeter-long millipede found by amateur fossil hunter Mike Newman.

M.-Y. Zhu and collaborators publish a description of munched trilobite parts inside another arthropod, confirming earlier suspicions that other animals snacked on the little water bugs.

Naama Goren-Inbar and her team announce the discovery of controlled fire use by hominids at a 790,000-year-old site in Israel, pushing the earliest known use of fire back 300,000 years from previous estimates.

Qingjin Meng and collaborators publish a description of an adult Psittacosaurus dinosaur associated with 34 juveniles, apparent evidence of parental care.

The British Museum begins an excavation project at Happisburgh in Norfolk. Over the next six years, researchers will uncover artifacts pushing back the earliest evidence of human activity at such a high latitude — 45 degrees — to perhaps as much as 950,000 years ago.

Using CT scans on femurs of the early hominid Orrorin tugenensis discovered in Kenya, Galik and collaborators push back the development of bipedalism in hominids to 6 million years ago (2 million years earlier than in Australopithecus anamensis).

X. Wang and Z. Zhou publish a description of the first known pterosaur egg containing an exquisitely preserved embryo. Though the egg is slightly smaller than the average chicken egg, the embryo sports a 27-centimeter wingspan. Several months later, Z. Zhou and F. Zhang publish a description of a Cretaceous bird embryo, the first found with feathers.

image A team of Japanese researchers take the first photograph ever of a giant squid in the wild. Unfortunately, they rip off one of the poor creature's tentacles in the process.

(no entry for this year)

2005

M.A. Whyte announces the discovery of a 330-million-year-old trackway of a 5-foot-long, six-legged water scorpion (eurypterid) that could walk on land while the first tetrapods tried to do the same thing. Two years later, Simon Braddy, Markus Poschmann and collaborators will announce the find of fossil claw from an 8-foot eurypterid.

Yaoming Hu, Jin Meng, Yuanqing Wang and Chuankui Li publish a description of two large carnivorous mammals from the Cretaceous, one of which appears to have the remains of a diminutive dinosaur in its stomach. These fossils overturn long-held notions that Mesozoic mammals were all rat-sized plebeians scurrying around dinosaur feet.

Yohannes Haile-Selassie and colleagues announce the find of a nearly 4-million-year-old hominid from Ethiopia, possibly the remains of Australopithecus anamensis.

image Adrian Glover and Thomas Dahlgren announce the discovery of a new species of marine worm, discovered off the Swedish coast, that lives on whale bones on the sea floor. They name the species Osedax mucofloris.

(no entry for this year)

2006

Jean Moliner, Gerhard Ries, Cyril Zipfel and Barbara Hohn publish their findings on stressed plants that not only mutate at a greater rate, but also pass an increased mutation tendency to their offspring.

Andrew Z. Fine and Craig C. Mello share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of RNA interference — gene silencing by double-stranded RNA.

Roger D. Kornberg was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription.

Jin Meng and collaborators describe a Mesozoic gliding mammal that pushes back the origin of mammalian flight by 70 million years, and suggests mammals maybe dabbled in flight earlier than birds.

Qiang Li and colleagues describe Castorocauda lutrasimilis, a Jurassic mammal that looked something like a mix between a beaver, otter, and platypus. Their discovery pushes back mammalian adaptation to an aquatic lifestyle by more than 100 million years.

The Research Council of Norway announces that oil drillers have struck a piece of dinosaur bone off the country's coast. At 1.4 miles below the North Sea, the bone fragment obtains the status of the world's deepest dinosaur.

Zeresenay Alemseged and collaborators publish a description of a 3.3-million-year-old partial skeleton from a juvenile Australopithecus afarensis from Ethiopia. The remains indicate that the australopithecene toddler walked upright and climbed trees.

Paleontologist Neil Clark suggests that some Loch Ness "sightings" may have been inspired by partial glimpses of traveling circus elephants taking dips in the lake.

image Sculpture by Damien Hirst: For the Love of God consists of a platinum cast of an 18th-century human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a pear-shaped pink diamond located in the forehead that is known as the Skull Star Diamond. The skull's teeth are actual human teeth, and were purchased by Hirst in London. The artwork is a Memento mori, or reminder of the mortality of the viewer. In 2007, art historian Rudi Fuchs, observed: 'The skull is out of this world, celestial almost. It proclaims victory over decay. At the same time it represents death as something infinitely more relentless. Compared to the tearful sadness of a vanitas scene, the diamond skull is glory itself.' Costing £14 million to produce, the work was placed on its inaugural display at the White Cube gallery in London in an exhibition Beyond belief with an asking price of £50 million. This would have been the highest price ever paid for a single work by a living artist. The base for the work is a human skull bought in a shop in Islington. It is thought to be that of a 35-year-old European who lived between 1720 and 1810. The work's title was supposedly inspired by Hirst's mother, who once asked, "For the love of God, what are you going to do next?” Hirst said that the work was sold on 30 August 2007, for £50 million, to an anonymous consortium. Christina Ruiz, editor of The Art Newspaper, claims that Hirst had failed to find a buyer and had been trying to offload the skull for £38 million. Immediately after these allegations were made, Hirst claimed he had sold it for the full asking price, in cash, leaving no paper trail. The consortium that bought the piece included Hirst himself.

2007

Mario R. Capecchi, Sir Martin J. Evans, and Oliver Smithies share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells.

Fred Spoor, Meave Leakey and collaborators describe remains of Homo habilis and Homo erectus from the same rock layer a short distance apart. The finds suggest that the two species coexisted in the same area for up to 500,000 years, and that H. erectus probably did not descend from H. habilis as previously thought.

John Kappelman and collaborators announce the find of a 500,000-year-old hominid skull from Turkey showing signs of tuberculosis. The researchers argue that condition could be induced by a Vitamin D deficiency resulting from a dark-skinned individual migrating to an area with less sunlight.

Kate Trinajstic and collaborators announce the discovery of 380-million-year-old Australian fossil fish sporting fossilized muscle.

Xing Xu and collaborators describe Gigantoraptor erlianensis, a 25-foot-long, 3,000-pound, bird-like dinosaur from Inner Mongolia. The find runs counter to earlier assumptions that dinosaurs necessarily got smaller as they acquired more features resembling those of birds.

(no entry for this year)

2008

After studying grunting fish, Andrew Bass and colleagues report that the part of the brain controlling volcalization is extremely primitive, and propose that vertebrates evolved the ability to communicate through sound some 400 million years ago.

Based on studies of fossils and extant carnivores, Chris Carbone and collaborators suggest that sabertooth cats were sociable animals that hunted in packs.

Chinese and Brazilian researchers describe a sparrow-sized pterosaur from northeastern China. Although a juvenile, the pterosaur is no hatchling, and it's more mature than any of the smaller pterosaurs so far found. The researchers name the species Nemicolopterus crypticus meaning "hidden flying forest dweller."

Susan Evans, Marc Jones and David Krause describe a bowling-ball-sized fossil frog from Madagascar. Because the Cretaceous creature's closest living relative is in South America, the scientists posit a land link connecting South America, Antarctica and Madagascar. The frog is named Beelzebufo ampinga, translated loosely as "armored devil toad" or more loosely as "fossil frog from hell."

(no entry for this year)

2009

Gabriele Gentile and colleagues describe a previously overlooked pink iguana, referred to as "rosada," on the Galápagos Islands. The pink lizard species may represent the earliest divergence of land animals on the island chain that Charles Darwin made famous.

Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider, and Jack W. Szostak share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz, and Ada E. Yonath share a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.

Anthony Martin and colleagues announce the discovery of three 106-million-year-old burrows in Australia that they identify as dinosaur burrows, perhaps used by the ancient reptiles to keep warm during the winter when Australia was closer to the South Pole.

Australian paleontologists announce the find of Zac, a plant-munching sauropod, on a sheep farm — the same sheep farm where paleontologists discovered Cooper, an armor-plated titanosaur, in 2004.

Chris Henshilwood and collaborators describe 13 engraved ochre artifacts from South Africa's Blombos Cave, some dating back 100,000 years. This discovery supplements earlier finds pushing back the advent of human artwork.

Erik Seiffert and coauthors argue that "missing link" Darwinius masillae described earlier in the year is not an ancestor of modern apes and monkeys but instead of modern lemurs and lorises.

image Nicholas Conard and collaborators describe 35,000-year-old flutes, one nearly complete flute carved from bird bone, and flute fragments carved from ivory, discovered in Hohle Fels Cave in Ulm, Germany.

(no entry for this year)

2010

Ryan Kerney announces the discovery of algae (Oophila amblystomatis) living inside spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) embryo cells — the first discovery of a photosynthetic symbiont living inside vertebrate cells.

Candy makers Hershey and Mars finance competing genomic sequences for cacao (the primary ingredient of chocolate).

Abderrazak El Albani and colleagues describe 2.1-billion-year-old macroscopic fossils from Gabon. The authors argue that the fossils are multicellular, pushing back the record of macroscopic life by more than 200 million years. The team also contends that the complex shapes of the fossils suggest cell signaling and coordinated growth.

Adam Brumm, Mike Morwood and colleagues publish a paper arguing that more than 40 stone artifacts found in situ and dated to approximately 1 million years ago indicate that the ancestors of Homo floresiensis (the "hobbits") arrived on Flores some 120,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Bulldozer operator Jesse Steele uncovers bones while digging a reservoir in Snowmass, Colorado. Excavations at the site will turn up more than 40 kinds of Ice Age animals.

Grzegorz Niedzwiedzki and colleagues publish a description of 395-million-year-old tetrapod tracks from Poland — 18 million years before tetrapods were thought to exist. The tracks' early date, large size and marine environment cause some skepticism about the find.

In the same week, separate research teams announce the finds of a 100-million-year-old mammal hair preserved in amber, and a 30-million-year-old pelican fossil with a 30-centimeter-long beak.

Meijer and Due announce the discovery of a 1.8-meter-tall, 16-kilogram, likely landlubbing, carnivorous stork (Leptoptilos robustus) on the island of Flores. Whether the storks ate Homo floresiensis juveniles, the hobbits hunted the storks, or everybody left each other alone is unresolved.

Nicholas Longrich describes a new dinosaur species from previously misidentified fossils at the American Museum of Natural History. Perhaps nudged by drinking buddies, he names the ceratopsian — with pretty heart shapes in its crest — Mojoceratops.

Scott Sampson and colleagues describe two species of exuberantly horned ceratopsian dinosaurs from late Cretaceous sediments in Utah: Utahceratops gettyi and Kosmoceratops richardsoni.

The Smithsonian opens its new human origins hall. A week later, Johannes Krause and colleagues announce the find of a fossil finger fragment from an unknown hominid from Siberia coincident with Neanderthals and modern humans (later dubbed Denisovans, and found distantly related to modern New Guineans). A few weeks after that, Lee Berger and colleagues announce the find of a new hominid from South Africa, Australopithecus sediba. Several weeks later, an international team announces a small DNA overlap between modern humans and Neanderthals that suggests interbreeding.

(no entry for this year)

2011

Two studies released in the same week indicate that modern Melanesians and Aboriginal Australians descended from an earlier migration out of Africa than did other populations. Further, the studies suggest that participants in the earlier migration interbred with Denisovans.

Bruce Archibald and coauthors describe a hummingbird-sized flying ant species that hopped continents during the early Eocene.

Darren Naish and coauthors describe a 27.5-centimeter bird jaw from the Late Cretaceous found in Kazakhstan. With only the jaw, the paleontologists can't be sure whether it loped like an ostrich, or pelted unfortunate land lubbers with effluvia missiles from above.

Jianni Liu and colleagues describe Diania cactiformis, or "walking cactus." It's a kind of leggy worm known as a lobopodian that lived in the Cambrian Period some 520 million years ago. The authors indicate that it might be close to the ancestral line for arthropods — jointed animals ranging from lobsters to ladybugs.

John Paterson and coauthors report their findings on Anomalocaris, a meter-long Cambrian predator so weird its remains were once mistaken for a shrimp and a jellyfish. They find that its eyes, mounted on the ends of stalks, were compound eyes, each with 16,000 separate lenses. Like dragonfly eyes but supersized.

Junchang Lü and colleagues announce the find of a Jurassic fossil from China, a probable female pterosaur who died while laying an egg. The egg is tiny compared to the mother, and has a parchment-like eggshell. The find suggests that pterosaurs buried their eggs, and that females lacked head crests.

Lee Berger and coauthors publish several papers on Australopithecus sediba arguing that the species is a direct ancestor of modern humans and the family tree will need to be redrawn. Other paleoanthropologists aren't so sure. They do agree that the Sediba's weird mix of primitive and advanced features demonstrates remarkable hominid diversity.

Longrich and Olson describe a newly discovered wing feature on an extinct, flightless Jamaican bird named Xenicibis: built-in nunchucks.

Michael Waters and coauthors describe a stone tool assemblage at the Buttermilk Creek Complex in Texas documenting the presence of humans in the New World about 15,500 years ago — more than 2,000 years before the earliest Clovis sites.

On the sesquicentennial of its discovery, a new study challenges the status of Archaeopteryx as the earliest known bird. Xing Xu and coauthors argue that Archaeopteryx and newly discovered Xiaotingia are closer to nonavian dinosaurs. Reactions to the paper are mixed.

Relying on molecular dating and some (literally) lousy fossils, Vincent Smith and colleagues assert that lice have been rapidly evolving since well before the end of the Cretaceous, and may have hung out on feathered dinosaurs before annoying other species.

Esther Ullrich-Lüter and colleagues describe photoreceptors in sea urchin tube feet, meaning the animals may have functioned as big, compound eyes.

(no entry for this year)

2012

A boy named Evgeniy Solinder discovers a well-preserved mammoth in the Siberian Arctic. Later examination will show evidence that the mammoth was killed by spear-wielding humans, and radiocarbon dating will indicate that the animal is 45,000 years old, pushing back the earliest known human occupation of the region by 10,000 years.

After examining fossil feathers with an electron microscope and comparing them to modern feathers, a team of American and Chinese scientists announces that Microraptor, a four-winged dinosaur from China probably had an iridescent sheen to its feathers.

Chinese and Canadian researchers announce the discovery of Yutyrannus huali, a distant T. rex relative in which the 1.5-ton adult still sported long filamentous feathers.

Clive Finlayson and coauthors argue that Neanderthals collected bird feathers for use in personal adornment.

Extrapolating from contemporary cows, a team of British scientists contends that sauropod flatulence, releasing the potent greenhouse gas methane, played a significant role in the Mesozoic's warm, moist climate.

Gregory Retallack publishes a paper arguing that Ediacaran fossils long thought to be marine animals were actually land-based lichens. His argument pushes back the beginning of land-based life by 65 million years. Anticipating "sharp intakes of breath in the paleontological community," Nature sets up a comment forum at the same time it publishes Retallack's paper.

Two studies, released the same week in Science and Nature and done partly by the same researchers, describe two groups of ancient tools from South Africa. The studies say that one group, estimated to be about 71,000 years old, has small bladelets likely made from heat-treated stone, and the other group, estimated to be about 500,000 years old, has spear tips.

Walter Joyce and coauthors announce a new discovery in Germany's Messel Pit, a famous Eocene fossil site. The discovery includes multiple pairs of fossil turtles petrified in a state of indelicacy.

A team of British and U.S. scientists describe the color mechanism of a brilliant iridescent blue African fruit, Pollia condensata. Like some beetle shells, butterfly wings, and bird feathers, the fruit gets its color from microscopic structures rather than pigments, but the fruit's coiled strands of cellulose are like nothing before discovered in nature.

An international team of researchers publishes a study indicating that aphids might be able to engage in a photosynthesis-like process, using carotenoids for the "capture of light energy."

Eric Rittmeyer and coauthors describe Paedophryne amauensis, a 7.7-millimeter-long frog from New Guinea, "the smallest known vertebrate species."

Frank Glaw and coauthors describe several new species of miniature chameleons from Madagascar. Among the tiniest is Brookensia micra, with juveniles little enough to stand on the head of a match.

While sorting and relocating the Cambridge Herbarium, a university librarian finds fungi and seaweed collected by Charles Darwin on his Beagle voyage, still wrapped in newspaper from 1828.

image Photograph by Hilda Clayton: Photographer records her own death. On 2 July 2013, Spec. Hilda Clayton, a combat photographer in the U.S. Army, was documenting a live-fire exercise in Afghanistan when a mortar tube accidentally exploded in front of her. This picture records the explosion that killed her, the soldier in the image, and three others,

2013

Based on new genetic research, David Reich, Svante Pääbo and collaborators announce at a Royal Society of London meeting that Denisovans bred with Neanderthals, ancestors of people now living in East Asia and Oceania, and another group of extinct archaic humans who were genetically dissimilar to both Neanderthals and modern humans. A few weeks later, Matthias Meyer, Svante Pääbo and coauthors describe the oldest hominin DNA sequence to date, from a 400,000-year-old femur from Spain's Sima de los Huesos. The mitochondrial DNA indicate an unexpected link to Denisovans.

Using genetic material from more than 300 individuals, including aboriginal Australians from the Northern Territory, a team of geneticists argues that Australians — long believed isolated from other populations for some 45,000 years — received substantial gene flow from India about 4,230 years ago.

Dale Greenwalt and coauthors describe a 46-million-year-old fossil female mosquito from Montana with traces of her last bloody meal (iron and porphyrin) in her bloated abdomen — strong evidence that these bugs have been irritating nicer animals for tens of millions of years.

David Legg describes a Cambrian arthropod with scissor-like front appendages. He names the species Kootenichela deppi after Johnny Depp.

David Lordkipanidze and coauthors publish a new paper on the hominid fossils from Dmanisi, Georgia. They argue that all the fossils from the site are Homo erectus, and make the controversial claim that hominid species found worldwide from that period — Homo erectus, Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis — might all belong to one species with a lot of variability.

Marie Soressi and coauthors contend that Neanderthals made leather-working tools similar to modern-day lissoirs used on pricey handbags.

Reporting on some 12 years of research at La Chapelle-aux-Saints, William Rendu and coauthors support the original interpretation of intentional Neanderthal burials. They conclude that the burial pits are not explained by natural processes and, unlike the site's scavenged animal bones, the relatively undamaged human remains at the site must have been buried quickly.

Robert DePalma and coauthors describe a likely T. rex tooth lodged between hadrosaur vertebrae. The authors also describe regenerated bone that "massively overgrew" after the hadrosaur was bitten. They cite the find as evidence that T. rex hunted, at least some of the time, and that this lucky hadrosaur lived to munch leaves another day.

Robert Reisz and collaborators announce the "discovery of an embryonic dinosaur bone bed from the Lower Jurassic of China, the oldest such occurrence in the fossil record." The find includes the remains of many individual dinosaurs at different stages of development.

(no entry for this year)

2014

image After reexamining mussel shells collected by Eugène Dubois in Indonesia in the 1890s, a team of researchers announces that one of the shells bears the oldest-yet-known geometric engraving. They date the shell at around 500,000 years and attribute the handiwork to Homo erectus.

Ainara Sistiaga and colleagues describe what they contend is the oldest human coprolite yet positively identified: a roughly 50,000-year-old Neanderthal calling card from El Salt, Spain. Their analysis indicates that Neanderthals balanced their meaty diets with nuts, berries and vegetables. Other researchers find the study intriguing but hope for confirmation that the fossil turd is from a human and not, say, a bear.

An international research team announces the age of Indonesian cave art, originally discovered in the 1950s. The authors state that radiometric dating indicates the artwork is about 40,000 years old, making it comparable in age to the oldest reliably dated art found in Europe. The authors describe one hand stencil from Sulawesi's Maros karsts as "the oldest known hand stencil in the world."

Matt Lamanna and coauthors describe Anzu wyliei, an bipedal, bird-like feathered dinosaur found in North and South Dakota. Measuring 11 feet and 500 pounds, the oviraptorosaur is nicknamed the "chicken from hell."

Nick Ashton and coauthors describe human footprints discovered along England's east coast in May 2013 — exposed and eroded by ocean water in a matter of weeks. Based on the geologic setting, the researchers estimate the tracks at about 800,000 years old (making them the oldest hominid footprints yet found outside Africa), and suggest the footprints might have been left by Homo antecessor.

Nizar Ibrahim, Paul Sereno and collaborators describe the aquatic adaptations of Spinosaurus, a massive carnivorous dinosaur species first studied by Ernst Stromer around 1912. Citing the animal's tiny nostril high on the head, dense limb bones, long forelimbs and flat feet, the authors argue that the dinosaur lived a semiaquatic life.

Researchers affiliated with the Museum of Paleontlogy Egidio Feruglio announce the discovery of the biggest dinosaur yet discovered: a seven-storey-tall titanosaur from Patagonia. A few months later, an international research team names the species Dreadnoughtus schrani, and states that multiple aspects of the skeleton indicate the animal was still growing when it died.

Xiaoya Ma and coauthors describe a well preserved 520-million-year-old fossil arthropod of the species Fuxianhuia protensa. The team identifies the animal's circulatory system from dark carbon lines in the fossil. The researchers argue that this fossil preserves the oldest cardiovascular system yet known, and that complex cardiovascular systems evolved early in the Cambrian Period.

Bryan Sykes and colleagues publish their DNA analysis of 37 hair samples purported to be remains of Bigfoot or Yeti, collected from Russia, the Himalaya and the United States. They announce that two samples match the DNA of fossil polar bears, and the rest match animals such as dogs, cows, horses, raccons, and goat-like serows.

(no entry for this year)

2015

Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, Arhat Abzhanov and colleagues announce that they have reverse engineered dinosaur snouts in chicken embryos by altering beak-building gene expressions.

Stephen Hackley publishes a review article arguing that human brains retain vestigial neural circuitry, the same circuitry that currently allows other mammals (and once allowed our ancient ancestors) to orient their ears toward novel stimuli.

A team led by Sonia Harmand announces the discovery of stone tools at Lomekwi, Kenya, estimated to be 3.3 million years old, meaning older than the genus Homo. The heaviest of the tools prompt archaeologist David Braun to ask about their makers, "What the hell do these things look like if they can use 15-kilogram tools?"

After recruiting skinny spelunkers to excavate a cave he can't reach, and recruiting "early career scientists" to interpret the fossils, Lee Berger, with his coauthors, announces Homo naledi from South Africa. Berger and coauthors suggest that the hominid might be more than 2 million years old and that it might have intentionally disposed of its dead. In an accompanying commentary, Chris Stringer expresses surprise at "the apparent lack of attempts" to date the fossils.

After studying Chinle Formation rocks at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, Jessica Whiteside and coauthors argue that weather extremes, drought and fires kept dinosaurs from dominating Earth's tropics for the first 30 million years of the Mesozoic Era.

An international research team announces that Sterkfontein Cave's "Little Foot," classified as Australopithecus prometheus, is 3.67 million years old, making the fossil older than the iconic Lucy.

An international research team describes Aegirocassis benmoulae, a 480-million-year-old arthropod similar to Anomalocaris that might have measured as much as 2 meters (6 feet) long. Found in Morocco, the fossils have been preserved in three dimensions, and indicate that the giant arthropod was a filter feeder.

Based on new specimens from Burgess Shale, Martin Smith and Jean-Bernard Caron describe the elusive head of the Cambrian animal Hallucigenia, noting that it is shaped like a spoon with "a really cheeky semicircular smile" next to multiple appendages. They also note that what had previously been mistaken for the head was at the other end of the body — "decay fluids" squeezed out of the gut during fossilization.

Caleb Brown and Donald Henderson describe Regaliceratops peterhewsi, a new species of ceratopsid dinosaur that they have nicknamed "Hellboy." At the very end of the paper, Brown proposes to a fellow researcher and sweetheart, "Lorna, will you marry me?"

Emily Mitchell and coauthors hypothesize that Fractofusus, an Ediacaran Period rangeomorph (unlike a modern plant or animal, but big enough to leave a distinctive fossil), reproduced in two ways: by sprouting clones from its body, and by releasing propagules (akin to seeds) into the ocean water.

Fernando Novas and coauthors describe Chilesaurus diegosuarezi, a "bizarre herbivorous" theropod, i.e., a member of a group of typically carnivorous dinosaurs, from Jurassic-aged rocks in Chile. The dinosaur species is named for Diego Suárez, who found the first fossil bones in the rock formation when he was seven years old.

James Lamsdell and coauthors describe the oldest-yet-known sea scorpion (eurypterid), from 467-million-year-old rocks in Iowa. The researchers state that Pentecopterus decorahensis grew to over 5 feet long and, unlike any other arthropod known (living or extinct), radically changed limb shape during the growth process. The authors suggest that eurypterids either diversified very quickly, or originated much earlier than previously thought.

Nohemi Sala and coauthors describe a 430,000-year-old skull from Spain's Sima de los Huesos Cave bearing two fractures indicative of deadly blunt-force trauma. The authors describe the find as "the earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence in the hominin fossil record."

Silvia Danise and Nicholas Higgs describe trace fossils suggesting that the marine worm genus Osedax fed on the bones of Cretaceous plesiosaurs that fell to the ocean floor 100 million years ago. They hypothesize that the genus of the species Osedax mucofloris ("bone-eating snot flower" first described in 2005) ate the bones of Mesozoic marine reptiles and sea turtles before whales evolved into the worms' favorite food.

Xiaoya Ma and coauthors argue that brain tissue has been fossilized in seven specimens of the Cambrian arthropod Fuxianhuia protensa from the Chenjiang fossil beds in southwest China.

Xing Xu and colleagues describe Yi qi, a small Jurassic dinosaur with weird rod-like bones projecting from its wrists, and traces of membranes. The researchers assert that the rod-like bones might have supported membranes that might have been used in flight, but probably just gliding. They also note that the dinosaur had a relatively heavy behind and would have occasionally stalled.

A team of scientists describes Acmella nana collected from the forests of Borneo. The shells range in size from 0.60 to 0.79 millimeters, roughly 0.30 millimeters smaller than the previous tiniest-snail-species record holder identified just a month before.

Jérémie Teyssier and coauthors attribute panther chameleons' ability to quickly change color to their ability to rapidly tune a network of photonic crystals under their skin. The authors also argue that a deeper layer of larger crystals in the chameleons' skin reflects sunlight, especially in the near-infrared. In short, the crystals keep the chameleons both cool and colorful.

Nature publishes "Here Be Dragons" explaining that medieval dragons, who engaged in a centuries-long slumber encouraged by the Little Ice Age and "a bewildering lack of knights," might undergo a resurgence due to global warming since higher temperatures benefit "buccal and nasal furnaces." The article is published online on April 1 with the editorial note that "some of its content may merit a degree of scepticism."

(no entry for this year)

2016

image A team led by Victoria McCoy publishes an analysis of Tullimonstrum gregarium (the Tully monster, originally found in 1955) concluding that the animal was a vertebrate related to lampreys. One of the paper authors, Carmen Soriano, remarks, "If you put in a box a worm, a mollusk, an arthropod and a fish, and you shake, then what you have at the end is a Tully monster."

Allen Nutman and colleagues argue that a group of metamorphic rocks from the Isua Supracrustal Belt in southwest Greenland preserve 3.7-billion-year-old stromatolites. If the claim is correct, the fossils are the oldest so far discovered, but other researchers express doubts.

Błażej Błażejowski and coauthors argue that Trimerocephalus chopini, 365-million-year-old eyeless Devonian trilobites, migrated by forming single-file lines, keeping their queues together through touch and/or chemical signals such as pungent urine.

David Norman and colleagues announce that a mineral lump found on a Sussex beach in 2004 is fossilized brain tissue from a 133-million-year-old dinosaur, perhaps an Iguanodon or related species.

Elizabeth Martin-Silverstone and coauthors describe fossil pterosaur fragments (an upper arm bone and some vertebrae) from Hornby Island, British Columbia. The researchers state that the internal structure of the humerus and the partially fused condition of the vertebrae suggest the individual was nearly full grown when it died, and had a wingspan of just 1.5 meters (5 feet). If the pterosaur was as little as the researchers suspect, then when it was perched, it would be about as short as a house cat.

Frido Welker and coauthors argue that 40,000-year-old jewelry, collected decades earlier from Arcy-sur-Cure, was made by Neanderthals. The researchers base their claim on the amino acids found in the collagen of bone fragments associated with the ancient bits of bling — amino acids indicative of Neanderthals as opposed to archaic humans.

Gerrit van den Bergh and coauthors announce the find of Homo floresiensis-like fossils from a new site on the island of Flores, about 50 miles east of the 2004 "hobbit" discovery site. The new find, including a partial mandible and some teeth, is estimated at 700,000 years old, more than half a million years older than the fossils found in 2004.

John Kappelman and colleagues claim that the Australopithecus africanus specimen Lucy fell from a tree more than 30 feet high, dying in the fall that left observable fractures in her fossil bones. The claim attracts skepticism from Donald Johanson and Tim White, members of the original Lucy discovery team.

Lida Xing and coauthors describe the feathered tail of a theropod dinosaur, perhaps a young coelurosaur. The fossil is preserved in Cretaceous amber from Myanmar (Burma).

Mary Higby Schweitzer and coauthors publish a study of medullary bone (known as a ready-to-use source of calcium for making eggshells in modern birds) in a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil. The researchers argue that the medullary tissue shows that this T. rex was not only female but also knocked up.

Mikkel Pedersen and coauthors argue that Beringia did not shed glaciers and gain vegetation early enough to support the ancestors of Clovis people, though later migrants to the Americas might have traveled that route.

Nichole Gunter and coauthors hypothesize that dung beetles probably evolved during the Cretaceous Period to eat dinosaur poo, and that "the switch in dinosaur diet to incorporate more nutritious and less fibrous angiosperm foliage provided a palatable dung source that ultimately created a new niche for diversification."

Julius Nielsen and coauthors publish an account of the longest-lived vertebrate so far discovered: a Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) that ranges in age from 272 to 512 years old.

image Painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat: Untitled, sells for a record-breaking $110.5 million at auction — the highest sum ever paid at auction for a U.S.-produced artwork. The work was created in 1982 when the artist was 21 years old. Until shortly before Thursday's auction, it hadn't been shown in public since a private collector bought it for $19,000 in 1984.

image Sculptures by Damien Hirst: Treasures From the Wreck of the Unbelievable — his first major show of new work since the financial collapse of 2009. The collection is being shown at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, the two Venetian venues of the Pinault Collection. The conceit behind the show is that the works were originally a stash of ancient treasures, lost in a shipwreck nearly 2000 years ago, and recently recovered. The long-lost treasures include giant sculptures of sea monsters encrusted with coral and semiprecious stones; golden monkeys, unicorns and tortoises; as well as a goddess whose face looks oddly like Kate Moss, a marble pharaoh that resembles Pharrell Williams and a bronze statue of Mickey Mouse (pictured), covered with centuries of marine growth.

2017

A Chinese-U.S. team announces the discovery of two hominid skullcaps, 105,000 to 125,000 years old, from eastern China. Although the researchers don't assign the crania to any species, some of their peers speculate that the fossils might be Denisovan.

After studying von Ebner lines (microscopic daily growth lines in teeth) from Protoceratops andrewsi and Hypacrosaurus stebingeri embryos, Gregory Erickson and coauthors argue that the dinosaurs had months-long gestation periods, developing more like slow-growing reptiles than fast-growing birds.

An international research team describes a well-preserved baby bird specimen in a 99-million-year-old piece of amber collected from Burma. The scientists classify the hatchling as a member of the enantiornithes, extinct relatives of modern birds that still had clawed wings and teeth.

An international team describes California's Cerutti Mastodon site, found in 1992. The researchers argue that the assemblage of broken mastodon bones and rocks comprises evidence of human activity. Based on measures of radioactive uranium and thorium in the bones, they argue that the site is 130,000 years old. Because this date is generally understood to precede modern Homo sapiens spreading beyond Africa, the paper suggests that Neanderthals, Denisovans or even late Homo erectus might have reached North America via the Bering Land Bridge and Pacific Coast. Nature, the paper's publisher, calls the study a "jaw-dropping claim." Parties to the announcement anticipate skepticism.

Darren Naish and Mark Witton describe a robust cervical verterbra from the Transylvanian azhdarchid pterosaur Hatzegopteryx. The researchers argue that the animal had a short, thick neck that could withstand torsion and compression, and could bear heavy loads. Considering the fossil locality (the Romanian town of Haţeg) was an island during the Cretaceous, and therefore lacked typical terrestrial predators, the authors contend that Hatzegopteryx might have occupied the top of the food chain. Witton describes these pterosaurs as "giraffe-sized, quadrupedal Panzer-storks."

Gerald Mayr and colleagues describe a 150-centimeter- (60-inch-) long, 61-million-year-old fossil penguin, almost the biggest fossil penguin ever found, and the oldest of that size. The researchers state that this fossil's differences from more primitive penguins implies that penguins arose earlier than previously thought, probably during the Mesozoic.

Thomas Hegna and coauthors describe possible eggs from a roughly 450-million-year-old pyritized trilobite, Triarthrus eatoni. The tiny eggs are clustered near the animal's head, indicating that the head was the gamete-ejection point. (Crazy as that sounds, modern horseshoe crabs keep their naughty bits in their heads, too.)

(no entry for this year)

2018

(no entry for this year)

(no entry for this year)

2019

(no entry for this year)

ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

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ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 06 MAR 2017 )