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Diel changes in plasma melatonin and corticosterone concentrations in tropical Nazca boobies (Sula granti) in relation
 

Summary: Diel changes in plasma melatonin and corticosterone
concentrations in tropical Nazca boobies (Sula granti) in relation
to moon phase and age
Elisa M. Tarlow,a
Michaela Hau,b
David J. Anderson,c
and Martin Wikelskia,b,*
a
Department of Animal Biology, 505 S. Goodwin Ave., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL 61820, USA
b
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Guyot Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544-1003, USA
c
Department of Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7325, USA
Accepted 7 May 2003
Abstract
We investigated the effects of moon phases and age on diel rhythms of plasma melatonin and corticosterone in free-living Nazca
boobies (Sula granti) on the Galaapagos Islands, Ecuador. Melatonin and corticosterone secretion are regulated by the circadian
system and the two hormones play a role in the control of locomotor activity and foraging, which can be influenced by moon phases.
These seabirds have a long life span and in many vertebrates circadian function deteriorates with age. The functioning of the
circadian system under different environmental conditions and changes related to age are poorly understood and hardly studied in

  

Source: Anderson, David J. - Department of Biology, Wake Forest University
Wikelski, Martin - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology