A couple of weeks ago we visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Boston. It's a fascinating place full of antique taxidermy, old bones, cases of mineral samples, and the world famous Glass Flowers, which were made as botany teaching models starting in the 1880's.
They've fancied up the Flower display in the 15 years since I last visited--I swear I once saw a model of a rotting peach done so accurately in glass you could almost smell it--but now it's mostly the "pretty" stuff. Of course I zeroed in on the wacky blown up models of the flowers' inner workings. Next time I have to do any sort of drawing of an alien I'm referring back to the sketches I made that day.