Google doodle celebrates naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian's 366th birthday

Google doodle today honours Maria Sibylla Merian, the popular German naturalist known for her great contributions to entomology.

By Kul Bhushan Published Date
02 - Apr - 2013
| Last Updated
02 - Apr - 2013
Google doodle celebrates naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian's 366th...

Google today celebrates birth anniversary of Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), who is widely known for her significant contributions to the field of entomology. She is also considered as one of the finest artist-naturalists of her time.

Merian was born in Frankfurt into the family of a Swiss engraver and publisher. She started working as a botanic artist. Merian later published three collections of engravings of plants in 1675, 1677 and 1680.

Afterwards she studied insects, keeping her own live specimens, and also made drawings showing insect metamorphosis, in which all life stages of the insect (egg, larva, pupa, and adult) were depicted in the same drawing.

Merian went on to describe life cycles of as many as 186 insect species, amassing evidence that opposed the notion of the time that insects were "born of mud" by spontaneous generation.

Her work titled Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandlung und sonderbare Blumennahrung -- 'The Caterpillars' Marvelous Transformation and Strange Floral Food' was very popular in certain sections of the high society. But, her work was ignored by the contemporary scientists because the official language of science was still Latin. To know more about Merian's life, click here.

Today's doodle features plants, insects including moths, butterflies and caterpillars, and reptiles. The thin branches form Google logo's five letters. Check out Maria Sibylla Merian's Google doodle in the video below: