How inexcusably curmudgeonly of me to bring up the error in the "Rondelet, Guillame" entry from the Facts on File Dictionary of Marine Science. The entry discusses this French physician's 1554 four-volume work, the Complete History of Fish, and contends that "[h]is description of the sea urchin is excellent and a worthy complement to that of Aristotle, and Rondelet's drawing of this creature is the earliest extant depiction of an invertebrate." (Aristotle's description of the sea-urchin is found in The History of Animals, Book Four, Part Five.)
Why do I have to be charitable and assume the author meant the earliest extant scientific depiction of an invertebrate, when I can find basically an entirely extant hallway in the Naples National Archaeological Museum depicting invertebrates in mosaics from Pompeii:
We're not playing Where's Waldo over here with the octopus attacking the lobster in this image, nor even with the slightly more Waldo-like shrimp at the top. There's some kind of wonderful eel or something, which I know is a vertebrate, but I thought it would be important to focus for a moment, via this detail, on its cute:
Sadly Wikipedia seems to have fallen for at least that wrong sentence, and one of the authors of the article on Guillame Rondelet, to avoid the paths of plagiarism and falsehood, chose the path of nonsense instead: "his anatomical drawing of a sea urchin is the earlier extant depiction of an invertebrate." Emphasis mine; earlier than what?
This isn't even the first strike against the Dictionary of Marine Science, as diverted as I am in perusing it otherwise in my hour of leisure: This is what it says about the Atlantic Ocean: "The Earth's largest body of water," actually that's the Pacific Ocean, "accounting for 20% of the Earth's surface." Oh yeah well the Pacific Ocean accounts for 30%. It's too easy to picture someone who would be happy to argue sincerely that I have the percentages switched. After years of debate, this person and I manage to agree on a source we both trust which says the percentages are right, and the person makes a new argument that 20% is more than 30%. Who's to say. How do I prove it, especially since dictionary.com has listed nine different senses of the word 'more,' each of which I must debate with this invincible foe for one hundred years.
Supposing you suggested that in the scope of eternity, the debate would eventually be won by the "Pacific Ocean is bigger" side. But I see eternity shooting up like a fountain, and I find out how to fast forward to see how long the debate will take. I fast forward ten thousand years, and they're still arguing. I figure ten thousand years is a silly eye-blink, and so next I go a googol eons into the future, with an eon being like a billion years. Still no dice, so I go a googolplex groups of that amount of time into the future. By the way, at this point eternity has not even begun, so it's no wonder the argument has still not been resolved.
With all these obvious mistakes, how am I supposed to detect whether there are any subtle ones, such as in the sentence, "The mesogleal jelly that forms the interstitial material of the jellyfish is fibrous."
If you think I actually care, which I don't, then you are bad