The Department of Amphibological Research was started as a fictional academic project during the first Digital Naturalism Conference – DiNaCon 2018, but humans have a long and rich history of misunderstanding and reinventing the natural world, with sometime inspiring results.

If you are an illustrator interested in joining this great tradition please feel free to get in touch, we are always looking for new collaborators.

Here are a some of our favourite amphibological examples from the past:

Tractatus de Herbis 1440 - Elephant


Bird Rabbit
Jost Amman, Pliny the Elder’s accounts of Natural History (1568)
Ulisse Aldrovandi, Monstrorum historia (1642)
Fortunio Liceti monsters
Fortunio Liceti’s De Monstris (1665)
Albrecht Dürer Rhinoceros (1515)
History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents 1658 Boa
“The Boas” from History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents (1658)
Histoire Générale des Voyages 1747-1780
Tropical Fishes, Histoire Générale des Voyages 1747-1780
Louis Renard
Poissons, Ecrevisses et Crabes (1754) 
“Horned frog” from George Shaw, The Naturalist’s Miscellany (1789–1813)
Dougal Dixon, After Man: A Zoology of the Future (1981)