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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Animalcule ("little animal", from Latin animal + the diminutive suffix -culum) is an older term for a microscopic animal or protozoan. Some better-known animalcules include:

The term was also used by Anton van Leeuwenhoek, the 17th-century preformationist and discoverer of microorganisms, to describe spermatozoa.

The word appears in the Major-General's Song, in which Major-General Stanley sings, "I know the scientific names of beings animalculous..."

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Animalcule" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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