Stripping Turtles

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stripping Turtles

The very rare, 2-volume series, 'Anatome Testudinis Europaeae', by LH Bojanus was published in 1819-1821 (in Latin), and includes 39 stipple engravings by F Lehmann after drawings by the author.

[The images below have been cropped and background cleaned]

Anatome testudinis Europaeae 4

Anatome testudinis Europaeae 6

Anatome testudinis Europaeae 5

Anatome testudinis Europaeae 1

Anatome testudinis Europaeae 3

turtle cross-section drawing

turtle anatomy engraving

Anatome testudinis Europaeae l

sketch of turtle anatomy

Anatome testudinis Europaeae b

turtle anatomy sketch

Following completion of his medical training in Germany, Ludwig Heinrich (Louis Henri) Bojanus (1776-1827) somehow obtained a position at the University of Vilnius (Lithuania) as a professor of veterinary science.

Bojanus eventually specialised in comparative anatomy, an emerging discipline - originally steeped in philosophy - that had been championed by contemporary German thinker-polymaths such as Goethe, Lorenz Oken* and Johann Baptist von Spix*.
"[At] the University of Vilnius, Bojanus became the chairman of the school of “livestock medicine.” He was the first to describe the organ of secretion (kidney) of the lamellibranchia mollusk (Bojanus organ), but he erroneously identified it as the lung.
He studied equine anatomy and embryology and contagious animal diseases (anthrax, plague, and others). He established zoological and zootomical departments at the University of Vilnius, created the first helminthological collection in Russia, developed a curriculum, and introduced a program of veterinary studies. Bojanus’ basic works were in embryology, zoology, medicine, veterinary science, and zootechnology." [source]
Bojanus published a wide variety of scientific papers and was an Honorary Member of the Swedish Scientific Academy, but it was the turtle anatomy set that was his most famous publication and these volumes are still cited as primary sources.

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