Articles

Martian Biology

Science  06 Apr 1962:
Vol. 136, Issue 3510, pp. 17-26
DOI: 10.1126/science.136.3510.17

Abstract

Of all the proposals put forth to account for the observed Martian phenomena, the idea of life on Mars seems to be the most tenable. And if this idea is accepted, we are immediately drawn to the conclusion that this life is a very well-adapted and flourishing one—not the struggle for existence so often suggested in light of the obvious difficulties earthly organisms would have in living on Mars. The suggested criteria seem to eliminate all the known life forms, but of all these forms, a higher plant would require the least modification in order to meet the criteria. The basic shape of the leaf of a higher plant seems suited to conditions on Mars, but the lower gravity might well result in some interesting modifications in morphology. Some life forms on Mars might resemble our own higher plants, but we should be prepared to encounter some interesting surprises in biochemistry.