Two Intriguing 'Lamarckian' Experiments
- The following experiments are mentioned in "The Great Evolution
Mystery" by Gordon Rattray Taylor (Secker & Warburg, London) but
without any citations. I'm sure I could find other examples, but
because its not possible to do 'everything at once', I was wondering
if anyone had heard of these experiments or where the primary sources
might be found.
About 60 years ago Harry Schroeder performed an experiment on willow-
moth caterpillars. At pupation these caterpillars crawl onto leaves,
pull the tips over, then wrap the rest of the leaves around
Schroeder waited until the caterpillars were on the leaves before
cutting the tips of the leaves off. The caterpillars responded by
using the sides instead. Pupation continued normally thereafter.
When the time to pupate arrived for the subsequent generation 4 of
the 19 offspring used the sides of the leaves in preference to the
Some time ago Frederick Griffiths performed an experiment on rats
whereby they were placed on slowly revolving turntables for periods
of up to 18 months or so.
When the rats were removed from the turntables their heads continued
to flick in the direction of rotation and so did their eyes. This
automatic flickering then appeared in their offspring.