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Moonlight Romances on the Reef

Science Daily – October 19, 2007

An international team of Australian and Israeli researchers has discovered that ancient light-sensitive gene could be the aphrodisiac for the biggest moonlight sex event on Earth.

The gene appears to act as a trigger for the annual mass spawning of corals which stretches across the millions of square feet of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, just shortly after a full moon.

These genes are also present in humans, and are known as cryptochromes, and are light-sensing pigment mechanisms which predate the evolution of eyes. In a report published by the Science team headed by Marie Curie Scholar Dr Oren Levy of CoECRS and the University of Queensland, it says that the gene is stimulated by the blue light of the full moon, and seems to play a key role in triggering the mass coral spawning event, one of nature’s wonders. Corals detect the moonlight and get the precise hour of the right days each to spawn.

Dr Bill Leggat, working with Professor Hoegh-Guldberg (UQ) on Heron Island. Prof. Miller and Dr David Hayward, of the Australian National University said that this is an indicator that corals and humans are in fact distant relatives, sharing a common ancestor way back into evolution.

Are you family planning? For more interesting information on this see the above link, and then plan your next moonlight romance and make sure that your eyes face the full moon.

Sara-Lise Haith
Sara-Lise Haithhttp://www.divasindubai.com
Sara-Lise is the former News Editor for DeeperBlue.com. She is based in Dubai.