How the moon’s light affects animals

The moon’s light influences lion prey behavior, dung beetle navigation, fish growth, mass migrations and birdsong.

 

Crowds of people gather to watch an evening spectacle on beaches in Southern California: Twice a month, typically from March through August, the sand becomes carpeted with hundreds or thousands of California grunion. Writhing, flopping, silvery sardine look-alikes lunge as far onto shore as possible. As the female fish dig their tails into the sand and release eggs, males wrap around females and release sperm to fertilize those eggs. About 10 days later, the eggs hatch and the little grunion get washed out to sea.

 

This mating ritual is set to the tides, with hatching timed to the arrival of the peak high tide every two weeks. But the ultimate force choreographing this dance is the moon.

 

Many people know that the moon’s gravitational tug on the Earth drives the tides, and with them, the life cycles of coastal creatures. Yet the moon also influences life with its light.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.sciencenews.org

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