The Reverend Jackson Whitehead served as the ship’s chaplain aboard the HMS Pica, sister
ship to the HMS Beagle, which accompanied the Beagle on its second survey expedition in
1831. As well as being a visually perceptive man of the cloth, Whitehead was also a keen
amateur collector of fauna as well as a typography enthusiast. Upon realizing that the majority
of both ships’ crews were either committed atheists or budding evolutionists, Whitehead
embarked on entertaining himself between landfalls by creating a whole series of natural
history specimens made up out of typographical characters. Some were based on the creatures
the expedition discovered, others mere flights of fancy.