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Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
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ScienceShot: Coral Time Sex to the Moon
11 February 2011 12:17 pm
The romance of a full moon sometimes gets the better of Acropora palmata. The 2-millimeter-tall polyp, which forms vast coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea, holes up in its marine fortress and waits for the moon to shift from its usual blue hue to a redder glow. Then it waits a bit more. If this red glow is followed by several days during which no moonlight is visible—an event that occurs only in the days following a full moon—these marine creatures know it's time for some serious synchronized sex. They release millions of eggs and sperm within a period of 20 minutes, ensuring that some young will survive parrotfish and other predators, researchers report this week in The Journal of Experimental Biology. That may explain why pilots often see red, 10-kilometer-long slicks of coral gametes a couple of days after a full moon.
See more ScienceShots.
*This item has been corrected 14 February. This coral is not the Acropora millepora and forming reefs in the Southern Ocean, but rather the Acropora palmata in the Caribbean Sea.