Moonlight affects the opening and closing of oyster shells; Food


The gentle glow of moonlight on the water moved musicians, poets and painters – and it turned out to be molluscs. Researchers have discovered that the opening and closing of oyster shells are associated with the lunar cycle.

Scientists have been interested in biological clocks for centuries, and researchers in this area received the Nobel Prize for the study of 24-hour bodybuilding in 2017.

However, organisms do not necessarily have biological processes that are related only to the rhythm of day and night, circadian clocks. Other samples, including tidal connections, have been identified for species, including underwater crabs, and for phases of the phases for beings, including worms. Some have suggested that the latter may also affect people.

Now experts say that they have found evidence that oysters have not only turquoise clocks and tidal clocks, but are also adapted to lunar rhythms.

"It was a surprise that this is a moon effect," said Laura Payton, co-author of the research at the University of Oldenburg.

Payton and her colleague Damien Tran of the University of Bordeaux describe how they followed the behavior of the twelve Pacific oysters submerged from the French coast during the three and a half lunar cycles since the end of 2014.

The team used electrodes to track the openness levels of molluscs every 1.6 seconds and examined astronomical data to evaluate how much of the moon was illuminated.

The results show that the oysters were the most open in the construction – and the presence – of the new moons, and less open when the moon entered the first quarter and full phases.

The team says they show an ominous feeling of the moon – although much less intense than the sun's rays.

However, Payton said that the situation is complicated because the creatures were able to determine whether the moon is waxing or decreasing: oysters were generally more open in the third quarter than in the first quarter.

Payton said that one possibility was that benthic shells developed an internal lunar clock instead of passively relying on direct characters. In this case, I would add that the moon's light, which was detected by oyster, helped keep this clock in line with the environment instead of directly triggering the opening and closing of the shell – just like people use daylight to keep the inner 24-hour time track .

The group suggests an increased oyster opening, when the moon levels are lower, can be linked to the possibility of low food availability at low light levels: previous studies have shown that light affects the plankton's movement. "We know that oysters open valves when it's food," Payton said.

However, the study did not take into account the influence of the moon on the behavior of oysters in all seasons, or took into account the cloudy cloud – and thus the actual level of moon that had been experienced by molluscs.

David Wilcockson, a senior lecturer in aquatic biology at Aberystwyth University, said that there are still many secrets in this area. "We know that, for example, tides, lunar and circadian watches have separate mechanisms, but they are connected to some extent – and we do not know exactly how and at what level," he said.

Wilcockson said that human activity could lead to unexpected problems in marine environments – a survey that could be studied as a final study. "For example, if you have coastal lighting or lighting on marine structures, then of course we do not know what the impact of these is," he said.


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