Science Frontiers
The Unusual & Unexplained

Strange Science * Bizarre Biophysics * Anomalous astronomy
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About Science Frontiers

Science Frontiers is the bimonthly newsletter providing digests of reports that describe scientific anomalies; that is, those observations and facts that challenge prevailing scientific paradigms. Over 2000 Science Frontiers digests have been published since 1976.

These 2,000+ digests represent only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The Sourcebook Project, which publishes Science Frontiers, also publishes the Catalog of Anomalies, which delves far more deeply into anomalistics and now extends to sixteen volumes, and covers dozens of disciplines.

Over 14,000 volumes of science journals, including all issues of Nature and Science have been examined for reports on anomalies. In this context, the newsletter Science Frontiers is the appetizer and the Catalog of Anomalies is the main course.


Subscriptions to the Science Frontiers newsletter are no longer available.

Compilations of back issues can be found in Science Frontiers: The Book, and original and more detailed reports in the The Sourcebook Project series of books.

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Please note that the publisher has now closed, and can not be contacted.


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Search results for: snails

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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 125: Sep-Oct 1999 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Snail-Trail Tale Homing pigeons home for sure. Many mammals, possibly even humans, also possess a homing instinct. But snails? Taxonomically lowly molluscs? But read this letter to the London Times. "For ten days I have tried to banish a large snail which threatens soon-toemerge seedlings. Each day the snail gets lobbed into long grass of a nearby paddock and each night it quits the paddock, crosses a concrete driveway and returns to lurk under its favourite rock. There is no question of mistaken identity because its shell was marked with white paint after the first return trip." (Roberts, M.I .L .; "Snail Tale," London Times, May 21, 1999. Cr. A.C .A . Silk.) References. Human homing capabilities (BHT18 in Humans I); other mammals (BMT2 in Mammals I); birds (BBT5 in Birds). Snail heading home! From Science Frontiers #125, SEP-OCT 1999 . 1999-2000 William R. Corliss ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 141  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf125/sf125p05.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 52: Jul-Aug 1987 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Parasites Control Snail Behavior A species of estuarine snail bearing the larvae of the trematode parasite Gynae cotyla adunca behaves radically different than it does when not infected. It lets itself become stranded high on beaches and sandbars, where it becomes easy prey to crustaceans living in this region. These crustaceans serve as the parasite's next host. Somehow, the parasite is able to modify the snail's behavior in a way that enhances its own chances for success. The question, as always in such cases, is how? And if it is a chemically induced change in behavior, how did it evolve? (Curtis, Lawrence A.; "Vertical Distribution of an Estuarine Snail Altered by a Parasite," Science, 235:1509, 1987.) Comment. Is present human behavior, thought by some to be irrational or suicidal, controlled by some unrecognized parasite that will ultimately benefit? Someone must have written a science fiction story on this theme. From Science Frontiers #52, JUL-AUG 1987 . 1987-2000 William R. Corliss ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 94  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf052/sf052b10.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 8: Fall 1979 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Convergent evolution or chance look-alikes Why should caddis fly larvae and a species of aquatic snail look alike? Mimicry is rather common in nature for it often confers some sort of advantage to one or both of the species in the turmoil of evolutionary pressures. Or so the theory goes. Most examples of convergent evolution involve closely related species. In the present case, though, the species are in different phyla. The caddis fly larva builds its snail-like shell by cementing grains of sand together with a silk-like secretion, while the snail's shell is a calcareous excretion. One would expect a strong advantage to be conferred on one or the other species, especially in the matter of predation. Using brook trout as predators, how ever, proved perplexing, for the trout would eat only the snails, avoiding the carbon-copy larvae. (Berger, Joel, and Kaster, Jerry; "Convergent Evolution between Phyla...." Evolution, 33:511, 1979.) Comment. This is a remarkable case of mimicry. One wonders how the caddisfly larvae know exactly what snails look like, and how the unique shell constructing methods were coded into its genes by evolution. Or did the snail emulate the larvae? From Science Frontiers #8 , Fall 1979 . 1979-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... mention this spider. It is because the bite of the funnel web is deadly only to insects and humans. All other mammals are said to be immune. Analysis of the venom yields the remarkable fact that it consists of 45 active compounds. One of these is specific to insect brain cells; another, to human nerve cells. (da Silva, Wilson; "Spider Gives Kiss of Death to Pests," New Scientist, p. 23, May 17, 1997.) Comment. Since humans are not on the funnel web's menu, it must be only a coincidence that its venom kills people so selectively. It would be nice to know if chimps, gorillas, and orangs really are immune. A related phenomenon is seen in the venoms of cone shells. These snails are much more dangerous to humans, particularly naive shell collectors. Their venoms are extraordinarily complex and contain hundreds, perhaps thousands, of toxins. Many of these are specific to potential prey. Once again, humans are not on the menu but are included anyway. (Concar, David; "Doctor Snail," New Scientist, p. 26, October 19, 1996.) Comment. Both cone shells and the funnel web spider seem to possess venom factories capable of concocting wide ranges of toxins, even though some are of no practical use. Whence this amazing versatility in sophisticated chemical synthesis; how did these extraordinary glandular factories evolve? From Science Frontiers #115, JAN-FEB 1998 . 1998-2000 William R. Corliss ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 25  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf115/sf115p05.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 13: Winter 1981 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects The Human Compass In recent years, scientists have found magnetic material (magnetite) in birds, snails, porpoises, bacteria, and other animals. The utility of these biologically manufactured compasses is obvious. Humans, too, seem to have a magnetic sense, although no one has yet dissected the human head to search for magnetite crystals. Rather, the proof of a magnetic sense comes from direction-finding experiments by Robin R. Baker, in England. In a series of tests involving many subjects, blindfolded humans have been taken far afield and then asked, while still blindfolded, to point "home" and north. The results were surprising. Sense of direction was not lost despite long journeys. Furthermore, tests after removal of the blindfolds showed a marked deterioration of the directionfinding ability. The attachment of magnets and simulated magnets to the subjects proved that the magnets upset di-rection-finding capabilities. The controls with brass "magnets" retained their magnetic sense. (Baker, Robin R.; "A Sense of Magnetism," New Scientist, 87:844, 1980.) Reference. To read more about the human navigation sense, see BHT18 in our Catalog: Biological Anomalies: Humans I. This book is described here . From Science Frontiers #13, Winter 1981 . 1981-2000 William R. Corliss ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 15  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf013/sf013p09.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 125: Sep-Oct 1999 Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues Last Issue Next Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Contents Archaeology The power of a paradigm Pre-columbiana Astronomy Ice-covered lake on mars? Leonid luminosity puzzle Biology Trannies of the tiny Snail-trail tale Dr. internet Geology Fossil meteorites The ups and downs of plate tectonics Geophysics Two down-falls Two non-falls Psychology Our untapped talents Sorrat Physics 10 YEARS OF COLD FUSION Unclassified More nominative determinism ...
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... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 99: May-Jun 1995 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Did darwin get it all right?Believe it or not, the above title appeared in Science rather than the Creation Research Society Quarterly. (We never thought we'd see the day!) And right beneath, in large type, is: "The most thorough study yet of species formation in the fossil record confirms that new species appear with a most un-Darwinian abruptness after long periods of stability." In the article that follows, R.A . Kerr reviews several recent studies of fossil bryozoans and snails. Some of these painstaking dissections of the fossil record were carried out by scientists initially committed to Darwinian gradualism. Even these researchers have been forced to acknowledge that much biological evolution proceeds not in minute steps but by large jumps or saltations. Such abrupt speciation is tough enough to explain, but even more daunting are those species untouched by change over millions, even hundreds of millions of years. Indeed, the major characteristic of the fossil record and, therefore, earth life as a whole, has been stasis rather than speciation, despite all manner of asteroid impacts and climatic traumas. Nevertheless, many biologists think that species are somehow frozen in time by environmental forces that keep them from straying from their little niches. This being so, paleontologist D. Jablonski, University of Chicago, asks: If stability is the rule, how do you get large-scale shifts in morphology? How do you get ...
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... the deepsea floors, where hydrothermal vents supply the energy and chemicals necessary for life. Here are found free-living bacteria, tube worms, molluscs, and several other species that prosper without the benefit of photosynthesis. These chemosynthetic, thermal-vent communities are separated by thousands of kilometers of sea-floor "desert." Yet, the species involved are similar worldwide and must, at some time, have crossed these wide, forbidding expanses. One possible mechanism for this mysterious dispersion came in 1987, when the research submersible Alvin chanced upon the remains of a 21-meter whale at a depth of 1,240 meters off California's coast. The whale's skeleton was covered with bacterial mats like those at the hydrothermal vents. Also sustained by the carcass were mussels, snails, and worms; all in all, a community much like those at the vents. Furthermore, many of the species partaking of the whale's energy and chemical resources are not normally found in that part of the Pacific. Subsequently, more "whale falls" with attached biological communities were found elsewhere. Calculations suggest that whale falls are more common that one might suppose -- perhaps occurring with average spacings of only 25 kilometers. They could very well be the stepping stones that allow hydrothermal vent communities to disperse across the abyssal deserts. (Smith, Craig R.; "Whale Falls," Oceanus , 35:74, Fall 1992) From Science Frontiers #88, JUL-AUG 1993 . 1993-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... and variants of animals plus 1085 plants. Over 1000 of these species of life are found nowhere else. The sediments de-posited on the lake floor are of astounding thickness. Bedrock lies 7 kilometers below the lake surface in some spots. With a maximum depth of 1637 meters, we find by subtraction places where more than 5 kilometers of sediment have collected. The diversity of Baikal's life is remarkable in itself, but there are two aspects of it that approach the anomalous: (1 ) Baikal's seals are 1000 kilometers of so from salt water. How did they get there and when? (2 ) Hydrothermal-vent communities have been discovered at a depth of about 400 meters in the northern part of the lake. These communities contain sponges, bacterial mats, snails, transparent shrimp, and fish; some of which are new to science. Baikal's thermal vents are the only ones known in freshwater lakes. Their rela tion to saltwater vent communities has not yet been explored. (Stewart, John Massey; "Baikal's Hidden Depths," New Scientist, p. 42, June 23, 1990. Also: Monastersky, R.; "Life Blooms on Floor of Deep Siberian Lake," Science News, 138:103, 1990.) Comment. Despite its inland position, the suspicion develops that Baikal was connected to the oceans in recent geological times. From Science Frontiers #72, NOV-DEC 1990 . 1990-2000 William R. Corliss ...
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... slopes is one a a frigid biological desert -- endless plains of sterile muck, broken once in a while by oasis-like deepsea vents, where weird tube worms thrive amidst clouds of chemosynthetic bacteria. This is a highly misleading portrayal. The situation, in fact, recalls what happened when biologists first released clouds of insecticides in rain forest canopies, thus precipitating a deluge of uncataloged insects into collecting nets waiting below. Now, instead of a mere million species of insects worldwide, entomologists are thinking perhaps 10 million or more. Will the same diversity prevail in the deepsea muck? C.L . Van Dover believes so: "Away from the vents, in the great ocean plains, life is much less dramatic and often scaled down to minute proportions -- threadlike worms, tiny snails, delicate, transparent clams. Yet, the diversity of animals in the cold abyssal muds, it now appears, may rival the celebrated biodiversity of the tropical rain forests." We now know virtually nothing about this fauna, how it survives, and how it evolved. Millions of undescribed species may be awaiting discovery by research submersibles and deep dredging. (Van Dover, Cindy Lee; "Depths of Ignorance," Discover, 14:37, September 1993.) Comment. Preconceptions about life and its talents have often blinded science as to the extent of life's domains. More revelations are sure to come when biologists begin looking at crevicular life -- those multitudinous species prospering in the earth's deep pores and crevices, where they draw energy from the earth' ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 13  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf090/sf090b98.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 52: Jul-Aug 1987 Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues Last Issue Next Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Contents Archaeology Costa rica's neglected stone spheres The calico debate, plus a little editorializing Astronomy Small icy comets and cosmic gaia Carbon in a new comet Meteorites also transport organic payloads Supernova confusion and mysteries "COMPACT STRUCTURES": WHAT NEXT? Biology Nose news Checklist of apparently unknown animals New vertebrate depth record Aggressive mimicry Parasites control snail behavior Geology Do large meteors/comets come in cycles? Complexities of the inner earth Geophysics Concentrated source of lightning in cloud More carolina waterguns More moodus sounds Inside a texas tornado Ship enveloped by false radar echo Psychology Dowsing skeptics converted Do dreams reflect a biological state? ...
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