More than just a sun tan: ultraviolet light helps marine animals to tell the time of year

Post-doc and co-author Enrique Arboleda retrieving light measurement data. (c) Enrique Arboleda, Max Perutz Labs

Changes in daylength are a well-established annual timing cue for animal behavior and physiology. An international collaboration of scientists led by Kristin Tessmar-Raible at the Max Perutz Labs now shows that, in addition to daylength, marine bristle worms sense seasonal intensity changes of UVA/deep violet light to adjust the levels of important neurohormones and their behavior. The study is published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.

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