Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 50: Mar-Apr 1987

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Lunar Magnetic Mollusc

From the abstract of a paper in Science:

"Behavioral experiments indicated that the marine opisthobranch mollusk Tritonia diomedea can derive directional cues from the magnetic field of the earth. The magnetic direction toward which nudibrachs spontaneously oriented in the geomagnetic field showed recurring patterns of variation correlated with lunar phase, suggesting that the behavioral response to magnetism is modulated by circa-lunar rhythm."

The magnetic and lunar-phase detectors of this mollusc are not known. In fact, the authors remark in their introductory paragraph that, even in organisms possessing ferromagnetic materials in their systems, there exists no "direct neurophysiological evidence implicating ferromagntic particles in the the detection of magnetic fields."

(Lohmann, Kenneth J., and Willows, A.O. Dennis; "LunarModulated Geomagnetic Orientation by a Marine Mollusk," Science, 235:331, 1987.)

From Science Frontiers #50, MAR-APR 1987. 1987-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "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