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The Dutch scientist Jan Swammerdam did his dissertation in 1667 on “De respiratione” [1]. On the engraved frontispiece we see two garden snails, their genitalia entwined. This behaviour was only noticed by a few years before by John Ray, who made observations in a Cambridge garden [2].

1667 Swammerdam_1667 Swammerdam_d

These snails seem two specimens of Cepaea nemoralis (Linnaeus, 1758), but likely from a Dutch garden, and quite realistically figured; both shells are dextral. The copulation is the first printed illustration of snail sex.

See also this blogpost [3] for notes on this engraving and the embedded reference system.

Notes:
[1] Swammerdam, J. (1667). Tractatus Physico-Anatomico-Medicus De Respiratione Usuque Pulmonum: In Quo, Praeter Primam Respirationis in Foetu Inchoationem, Aëris Per Circulum Propulsio Statuminatur, Attractio Exploditur; Experimentaque Ad Explicandum Sanguinis in Corde Tam Auctum Quam Diminutum Motum in Medium Producuntur. Lugduni Batavorum: Apud Danielem, Abraham, & Adrian. à Gaasbeeck.
[2] Heppel, D. The long dawn of malacology: a brief history of malacology from the prehistory to the year 1800. Archives of Natural History 22: 301–319. See p. 309.
[3] http://inke-archbook.blogspot.nl/2012/01/notes-on-frontispiece-as-graphical.html (31.i.2014).

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