Thursday, February 10, 2011

Moonless Twilight May Cue Mass Spawning - Science News

Moonless Twilight May Cue Mass Spawning - Science News: Just two light-sensing pigments of the opsin type, one tuned to greenish and the other to a blue wavelength, would be enough to detect such a shift, the researchers calculate. In recent genetic analyses, opsin pigments have been showing up in abundance in invertebrates, often more abundantly than in people, Sweeney says.
Marine animals often spawn in sync with some phase of the lunar cycle, and twilight’s color changes slightly around the time of the full moon, Sweeney says. Moonlight has a slight reddish tinge. So the waxing moon, which appears in the sky before the sun sets, shifts twilight a little toward the red. A full moon, however, just peeps over the horizon as the sun sets. As the moon wanes, it rises after sunset, leaving twilight bluer.

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