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The life of “Jeremy”, the snail is left-handed, it is a story halfway between a soap opera, a tragedy and a scientific article. The mollusk was made internationally famous in 2016 when Angus Davison, of the Faculty of Life Sciences of the University of Nottingham (United Kingdom), made a public appeal to find him a partner. “Jeremy” he had a rare malformation, only a million, that her organs were on the opposite side to usual. This led, for example, that your shell lean towards the left instead of to the right. As everything was in the wrong place, could not mate with their counterparts of “normal”. After a number of vicissitudes which included rejection and infidelity, by the end of the spiral garden was able to raise a family before dying. Now, his progeny have taught scientists that that rare condition to speculate is not inherited, but that is an accident of development.

University Angus Davison of Nottingham

As explained in the journal “Biology Letters”, Davison wanted to give seed to the rare snail to understand the body asymmetry in other animals, including humans. Clear that to do this I needed to find another exemplar that is enroscara to the left. The search for a partner began in a radio program of the BBC and soon, “Jeremy” became a global sensation in the media and the social networks. More than 1,000 appearances in newspapers, radio, television and scientific journals around the world (including this medium) were made to echo the plight of the solitary animal. Even preparing a graphic novel with the snail as the protagonist.

In total, more than 40 snails left-handed were sent to Davison by nationals fans to the science and owners of farms of snails. The researcher raised the snails left handed individuals to test if their uniqueness is due to an inherited condition. For three years, hatched out almost 15,000 eggs of four generations of snails, including “Jeremy”.

A score of children

of Course it was not easy for the poor “Jeremy”. In the height of bad luck loving, two of her suitors will ignored for “getting tangled up” between them. Having overcome the disappointment, he found someone else. This new partner had 56 children, of which it is likely that a third of them were “fathered” by “Jeremy”, shortly before his death.

“After a long search of a partner and several mishaps on the way, ‘Jeremy’ finally produced offspring, I loved it, and the rest of the world,” says Davison. “We were able to use the offspring of ‘Jeremy’ and the other left-handed to discover how to produce these individuals with the mirror images. Our findings showed that, in general, is an accident of development rather than a hereditary condition, which causes a spiral of garden to be left-handed”, explains the researcher.

And he concludes: “we Help solve one of the riddles of nature, which was very satisfying. You could say that we try to recreate what made it different from ‘Jeremy’, but this was not possible. ‘Jeremy’ was special.”