How the Moon affects animal behavior
Many species of animals have biological clocks that are accurately tuned to the cycles of the moon.
22 April 2019 at 12:44
First circadian rhythms appeared in the oceans. The study of this phenomenon in the examples of sea animals allows you to learn more about evolution. One of the most interesting and still not up to the end understood mechanisms demonstrate the oysters.
Scientists from France over the past 3.5 months watching the life of these molluscs. They found that at least two species of oysters in the full moon kept the sash their shells almost completely closed, widely opening them in new moon. Moreover, the intermediate phases of the moon also affect this process: in the third quarter of the fold was opened wider by 20% than in the first.
The precise explanation for this cannot be found, although biologists and assume it has to do with the abundance of food. The phases of the moon, as solar eclipses affect the tides, and those in turn determine the life of sea creatures. For example, tiny crustaceans Talitrus saltator size up to 16 mm daily through a path length of 100 meters, moving with the tides.
Zooplankton, which prey on oysters and other predators, too, adjusts his life under the phases of the moon. Every night he rises to the surface to feed on algae, and at dawn, hiding from enemies in the depths. However, in the Arctic during the polar night the Moon never sets, zooplankton considering the full moon as the day and the time spent in the shelters.
Observation of these processes allow you to learn more about the interaction of living organisms with the surrounding world. Learn how circadian rhythms affect human behavior.