The Moon is a Giant Sex Clock for Corals

Werewolves aren't the only creatures affected by the moon - corals have a synchronized mass spawning just after full moon.

But how do they know the phases of the moon, scientists wonder. Turns out, they have "eyes" that watch the moon:

Today, seven scientists from Australia, Israel and the United States report in the journal Science that corals have primitive photoreceptors, if not true eyes. In experiments, they found that the photosensitive chemicals respond to moonlight as admirably as, well, human lovers.

"This looks to be the smoking gun," Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a team member at the University of Queensland, said in an interview. "It triggers the largest spawning event on the planet."

Why is the moon important? Scientists used to think it has to do with the tides, but in some places the tides are high and in others low, so now, the current thinking is that it serves a a giant clock for sex!


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