A Flea

Hooke describes the beauty of the flea

The strength and beauty of this small creature, had it no other relation at all to man, would deserve a description…

[A]s for the beauty of it, the Microscope manifests it to be all over adorn’d with a curiously polish’d suit of sable Armour, neatly jointed, and beset with multitudes of sharp pinns, shap’d almost like Porcupine’s Quills, or bright conical Steel-bodkins; the head is on either side beautify’d with a quick and round black eye, behind each of which also appears a small cavity, in which he seems to move to and fro a certain thin film beset with many small transparent hairs, which probably may be his ears; in the forepart of his head, between the two fore-leggs, he has two small long jointed feelers, or rather smellers, which have four joints, and are hairy […]; between these, it has a small proboscis, or probe, that seems to consist of a tube, and a tongue or sucker, which I have perceiv’d him to slip in and out.

Besides these, it has also two chaps or biters, which are somewhat like those of an Ant, but I could not perceive them tooth’d; these were shap’d very like the blades of a pair of round top’d Scizers, and were opened and shut just after the same manner; with these Instruments does this little busie Creature bite and pierce the skin, and suck out the blood of an Animal, leaving the skin inflamed with a small round red spot. These parts are very difficult to be discovered, because, for the most part, they lye covered between the fore-legs.