- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
ScienceShot: A Caste System That Wriggles
14 September 2010 7:01 pm
When Himasthla species B meets the California horn snail, things get ugly. The body snatching flatworm invades the snail's gonads, starts breeding, and eventually takes over the mollusk's entire body, foraging, eating, and growing along with it. Now researchers have found an even more impressive Himasthla trait: a surprisingly complex social structure. Reporting online tomorrow in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a team finds that Himasthla colonies are divided between a class of reproducers that are large and sluglike, and a soldier class that have skinny bodies, huge mouths, and never reproduce. The soldiers viciously defend the colony from other flatworm groups or species that would take over their host, swallowing enemies whole (as seen above). This caste system puts flatworms in the company of animals renown for their complex societies, such as termites and bees. Not bad for a creature with just a couple of ganglia for a brain.
See more ScienceShots.