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No. 125: Sep-Oct 1999

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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! Snail heading home!

From Science Frontiers #125, SEP-OCT 1999. � 1999-2000 William R. Corliss