Moonlight triggers coral encounters

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Even though corals do not possess eyes, their mating is stimulated by a romantic moonlit night, researchers reported Friday in the journal Science.

The corals contain ancient proteins called cryptochromes, which react to light, especially blue light.

Cryptochromes have also been found in mammals and insects where they affect the circadian clock that regulates the daily rhythms of life.

This finding indicates that the basic means used by mammals today to regulate daily patterns was in use at the beginnings of multicellular animals, the researchers said.

Source: LA Times