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No. 41: Sep-Oct 1985

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An Animal That Photosynthesizes

At a recent meeting of the American Society for Photobiology, chemist Pill-Soon Song, of Texas Tech University, reported the discovery of a blue-green, trumpet-shaped protozoan that employs photosynthesis to sustain itself. Called Stentor coeruleus, this protozoan is only 0.2 mm long and swims backward by rotating its cilia. According to the article, this is the first instance of a photosynthesizing animal.

(Anonymous; "Animal That Lives on Light," San Francisco Chronicle, June 28, 1985, p. 2. Cr. J. Covey)

Comment. Nothing was said about whether the protozoan also ate food in the conventional manner. If verified, this is not a trivial discovery. Of course, some plants eat meat, but animals seem to have found sunlight too weak to utilize for mobility and other energy-rich processes and activities.

From Science Frontiers #41, SEP-OCT 1985. 1985-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987