Editorial | Published:

The Habits of Limpets


SOME observations made by the present writer at the Scottish Marine Station during July 1884, were published in NATURE for January 1,1885. These observations confirmed the statements previously made by various naturalists, from Aristotle onwards, that the common limpet (Patella vulgata) settles down on some eligible spot (its “scar”) between tide-marks, and makes a home, to which it returns after having been out to feed. The conclusion was drawn from various data that this “locality sense” is independent of smell, sight, and touch so far as the head-tentacles are concerned. Prof. Lloyd Morgan, in a letter to NATURE (“Homing of Limpets,” December 6, 1894), has shown that the limpet possesses an even greater power of “homing” than previous observers have suspected, and he believes that the head-tentacles are the sense-organs concerned.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.