The Upright Ape: A New Origin of the Species

by Aaron G. Filler, MD, PhD

Figure 2-1 Goethe's Proteus Theory for Plant and Animal Design from Zur Morphologie

Goethe's drawing showing his interest in insect segments

Figure 2-1 – Goethe’s sketch of modular units in plants and insects

This partially completed drawing by Goethe included in his 1790 “Zur Morphologie” shows that he appeared to be looking for a common approach to a fundamental monomeric module in both plants and animals. Beyond the vertebral theory for which he is famous, this drawing shows he was trying to develop a concept that incorporated insect segments as well.

Figure credit -

Goethe, J. W. v. (1817). Zur Naturwissenschaft überhaupt, besonders zur Morphologie. Stuttgard; Tübingen.

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