In the Northern hemisphere the rotation of the Earth determines a counter-clockwise spin on matter. Weather, ocean currents all are related in that spin. I wonder if my snail fossils preserve the original 'spin' of the earth's rotation and have a reserved momentum. Would that be useful in analyzing gravity/spin at that time period?

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    $\begingroup$ On the Physics site it was answered that the coriolis effect (spin) had no relation to gastropod development. That is why I am asking you. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 8:52
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    $\begingroup$ cross posted and answered correctly physics.stackexchange.com/questions/150355/… $\endgroup$
    – user889
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 8:58
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps you could expand the question to explain what you felt was lacking in the answer you received on physics.se. $\endgroup$
    – Pont
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 9:38
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    $\begingroup$ Most interesting is the punting back-and-forth. The Physics side wonders why my question is even valid; "we are not biologists or geologists". So the same question to the other disciplines is almost the same. I will reformulate my question after consulting with few friends that may get my crossover concept. What is still unanswered is from the physics point of view, thanks for your comments $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 8:00
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    $\begingroup$ You have valid answers from a physics point of view both here and your Q on physics.SE. That you seemingly dont understand the link between Coriolis and planetary rotation does not impact their validity. $\endgroup$
    – casey
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


If you're talking about the chirality of the shell, it has been shown that it was the expression of the dpp gene (Shimizu et al. 2013).
More trivially, if chirality had anything to do with the Coriolis effect, all gastropods from the Southern Hemisphere would be sinistral and all the ones from the Northern hemisphere would be dextral. Which is not the case.

Shimizu et al. 2013. Left-right asymmetric expression of dpp in the mantle of gastropods correlates with asymmetric shell coiling. EvoDevo, 4(15).

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    $\begingroup$ Interestingly, the sinistral/dextral coiling of foramnifera can be a function of temperature - allowing the ratio of s vs d to be used as a temperature proxy. I've always wondered about the accuracy of this technique though. $\endgroup$
    – winwaed
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ @winwaed Neogloboquadrina pachyderma coiling direction is indeed often considered to be a usable sea surface temperature proxy. Other foraminifera species however can have very different coiling direction pattern (see in particular Pulleniatina obliquiloculata for an interesting case figure). $\endgroup$
    – plannapus
    Commented Dec 6, 2014 at 12:41

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