Aug 20 2012

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: that flexible molluscan body plan

(via Pelagic Animals)


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  1. 1
    Glen Davidson

    When sheer clothing isn’t enough, try the sheer body.

    Glen Davidson

  2. 2

    Coming or going?

    You aren’t saying that this was made according to a design plan, yet… The language itself is anthropocentric. It makes it hard not to describe anything as if it were designed.

    Teachers seem unable to avoid such things. I remember electrons being described as ‘feeling’ a magnetic field.

    Humans. How do they work?

  3. 3

    Aw crap, is it Monday all ready? I hope I went to work today.
    Guess I did.
    That looks like a monk praying while wind blows his robe up. His face is the yellow part.
    See? That what work does to me.

  4. 4
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Which way is up?

    “Body plan” is a technical term describing what distinguishes one phylum from another by the arrangement of major body parts. It does not imply a planner any more than “wave sorting” does.

  5. 5

    Since when was “discarded condom” a body plan? The possibilities for predation by this organism give me the shivers.

  6. 6
    Ray Ingles

    Speaking of molluscan body plans… this is a pretty good (free) science fiction book that has some interesting ideas about parallel evolution and such: Mother of Demons by Eric Flint. (If nothing else, I liked the point about biochemistry and the unlikelihood of humans being able to eat stuff from another world…)

  7. 7
    David Marjanović

    “The only thing that snails/slugs can’t do is fly.”

  8. 8

    I love the pretty photos, from the linked site and many others. But this scientist really, really wants to know what scale these creatures and body parts are. Scale bars might mess up pretty pictures, but there should be at least a caption to say “about 5 mm across” or “about 20 cm long,” etc.

  9. 9

    #7 ‘The only thing that snails/slugs can’t do is fly.’
    I wouldnt bet on that – I’ve lost plants to slugs and the only way they could’ve got at them is to have flown in.
    I have found them dangling from 20′ mucus strings in a greenhouse before too!

  10. 10
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    The only thing that snails/slugs can’t do is fly.


    As I said on Sb many moons ago, at my parents’, I’ve often seen the distinctive parabolic flight of Helix aspersa. The mechanics of takeoff are unclear, but, as a data point, they seem to be correlated with my mother tending the hostas.

  11. 11
    carinade almeida

    OMW. I never knew I was named for a floating sea-snail! “carina”ria – I rock (or rather ….I float)

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