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Orientation at an angle to the light in schools of Moenkhausia dichroura Kner: a model of a circannual clock

Orientation at an angle to the light in schools of Moenkhausia dichroura Kner: a model of a circannual clock

Acta Cientifica Venezolana 38(4): 484-489

A model of describing the operation of a circannual clock which could control the angle to light of migrating schools of Molenkhausia dichroura is presented. The model is based on previous experimental results in which groups of approximately 100 fish swam in a constant direction in a 1 m diameter annular channel illuminated with light at a constant angle all around the channel but, at a certain date they reversed swimming direction. Further, when the illumination angle was changed, at a particular angle they again reversed direction. A different group of fish caught at a different date, also showed direction reversals but at different angular values. In the present work it is shown that there is a proportional relationship between illumination angle, time of year and swimming direction. With this data a circannual clock which would control light responses in this fish is constructed. The clock would advance at one degree per day in natural conditions and at 0.71 degrees per day under the particular laboratory conditions. An adequate orientation in relation to migrations during wet and dry seasons in their natural habitat is predicted by the model.

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Accession: 068582784

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PMID: 3506368

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