Sea lice have time ‘and tide’ clocks

September 26, 2013
By

Speckled sea louseThe speckled sea louse emerges to feed as the tide rises over its habitat

The speckled sea louse, a marine cousin of the wood louse, has two body clocks – one for time and other for tides, say researchers at Aberystwyth University.

Some lice had their circadian cycle, the one used by land dwellers including humans to tell the time by changes in light and dark, switched off.

Despite being out of their habitat, the lice continued to swim every 12.4 hours as they would with changes of the tide.

The specimens were collected from a beach near Bangor in north Wales.

The speckled sea louse Eurydice pulchra grows up to 5mm in length and burrows deep into the sand at low tide and returns to the surface to swim and feed when the tide comes in.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

Our work has revealed that evolution created a greater diversity of clock types than we ever thought previously, ”

End Quote
Dr David Wilcockson
Senior research author

It turns dark during the day as a protection against UV light while it turns white at night and becomes a vigorous swimmer.

Dr David Wilcockson, aquatic biologist at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University, and senior author on the research, said the lice’s circadian cycle was switched off by using genetic, pharmacological and in vitro cell biology techniques.

Yet the lice carried on swimming in time to anticipated tide changes.

He said: “The discovery of the circadian clock mechanisms in various terrestrial species from fungi to humans was a major breakthrough for biology.

“The identification of the tidal clock as a separate mechanism now presents us with an exciting new perspective on how organisms define biological time. It is a completely unexplored field.”

‘Exciting science’

Researchers from Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cambridge and Leicester Universities, were involved in the study, which is published in the journal Current Biology.

The teams believe similar solutions to measuring tidal change may have evolved in unrelated species in the same environment.

Dr Wilcockson said: “There is tremendous diversity in the oceans and biology is so inventive that it may have come up with many different solutions exploiting various mechanisms to solve the same challenges of life.

“Our work has revealed that evolution created a greater diversity of clock types than we ever thought previously, so we really are on the threshold of some exciting science.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-24288492#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa The feed :

Tags:

Sponsored By:

The Deeter Group

Deeter Electronics Ltd. | Deeter Electronics Inc | Deeter Group Asia | Deeter Group Germany | Deeter Group Corporate

Head & Registered Office:
Deeter Electronics Ltd.
Deeter House,
Valley Road,
Hughenden Valley,
Bucks. HP14 4LW

Tel: +44 (0) 1494 566 046
Fax: +44 (0) 1494 563 961
E-mail: [email protected]


The Deeter Group with products ranging from: , , , continuous , 4-20mA , , , , , , , a , wireless sensor and much more.

If you want a standard or a custom level switch, float switch, level sensor, or wireless sensor, contact us via email [email protected] or call us now on 01494 566 046.

Company Name: The Deeter Group

Location: Hughenden Valley, UK

Deeter Electronics USA
Deeter Electronics USA
Wireless sensor system | Radio telemetry | Level switches | Level sensors | Liquid level sensor | Float switches | Controllers & indicators | Industrial weighing equipment | Electronic circuit design & manufacture | Software design | Reed relays | Ultrasonic level flow sludge & proximity sensors | Proximity sensors & switches | Reed switches | Litz wire | Wago Terminals | Mechanical & magnetic floats | Boiler control |

Deeter Electronics UK
Wireless sensor system | Radio telemetry | Level switches | Level sensors | Liquid level sensor | Float switches | Controllers & indicators | Industrial weighing equipment | Electronic circuit design & manufacture | Software design | Reed relays | Ultrasonic level flow sludge & proximity sensors | Proximity sensors & switches | Reed switches | Litz wire | Wago Terminals | Mechanical & magnetic floats | Boiler control |

Deeter Electronics Europe
Wireless sensor system | Radio telemetry | Level switches | Level sensors | Liquid level sensor | Float switches | Controllers & indicators | Industrial weighing equipment | Electronic circuit design & manufacture | Software design | Ultrasonic level flow sludge & proximity sensors | Proximity sensors & switches | Reed switches | Litz wire | Wago Terminals | Mechanical & magnetic floats | Boiler control |

Sensor Magazine Websites
Explosion Proof Sensors UK | Explosion Proof Sensors | Water Level Measurement | Liquid Level Sensing | Liquid Level Measurement | Liquid Level Sensors UK | Liquid Level Sensors Europe | Wireless Sensors | Sensor Magazine | Industrial Sensors



Water use