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am Michael Richardson, a developmental biologist working at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Leiden is a great place to work: peaceful, safe, beautiful, and close to Amsterdam. I even have a windmill outside my living room window.

From Necturus NT. Click to enlarge

At work, I study the development of embryos in different animal species. Developmental biology is not only of great intrinsic interest; it can also help us understand the evolution of animal life. Furthermore, by studying development, we can find clues about how cancer and other medical conditions arise. We are currently working on development of the zebrafish, research that we hope will lead to new ways of finding medicines to treat bone and joint disease.

eanwhile enjoy browsing this site. The main purpose of this website is to share a large collection of illustrations of embryos, mainly from the old literature. I think these old pictures are important because they come from journals and books that are not widely read any more, and may even be unavailable to most people. Yet they come from a time when some of the best studies of embryonic anatomy were carried out. I wanted to make these pictures better known. Feel free to download and use them – they are all out of copyright. You do not need to ask me for permission!


Michael Richardson