Ernst Haeckel embryo drawings
Comparing different embryonic stages of different animals is a tool that can be used to infer relationships between species, and thus biological evolution. This has been a source of quite some controversy, both now and in the past. Ernst Haeckel pioneered in this field. By comparing different embryonic stages of different vertebrate species, he formulated the Recapitulation theory. This theory states that an animal's embryonic development follows exactly the same sequence as the sequence of its evolutionary ancestors. Haeckel's work and the ensuing controversy linked the fields of developmental biology and comparative anatomy into comparative embryology. From a more modern perspective, Haeckel's drawings were the beginnings of the field of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo).