- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
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.