Tag: Biology

The mooncalf

mooncalf_198x198The word »mooncalf« is connected to a sad story, because in earlier centuries it was used for calves that were born malformed. It was assumed that the Moon was responsible for this, which was generally seen as a symbol of the feminine and dark side of life. Not exactly fair toward the Moon and unfortunately characteristic for the attitude wanting to assign the good to the masculine and the evil to the feminine.   [read more]

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»Actias luna« and »Actias selene« – two luna moths

actias-luna_198x198The moths »Actias luna« and »Actias selene« in the family of Saturniidae, carry the Moon in their name – maybe because they are attracted to light and we connect them with the night; although, they can also be active during the day. But perhaps it is because of the crescent shaped wings or the pattern on top  of the wings, which remind us of eyes that may have contributed to the naming. Luna is the moon goddess in Roman mythology, Selene is the equivalent in Greek mythology.   [read more]

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The glowing of scorpions

scorpion_198x198Scorpions have the quality that they are fluorescent and glow when in contact with UV radiation. This becomes clearly visible, when they are directly exposed to UV light. However, the UV components, which are contained in the sunlight and the moonlight, are hardly sufficient to produce this glow to an extent that it is visible to humans. Still, scorpions appear to detect the UV components and hence react to moonlight. [read more]

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The hunt of the antlion at the full moon

antlion_198x198The antlion is the larva of the myrmeleon, which belongs to the net-winged insects. This insect grows to be 0.6 inches and predominantly stands out because of its large jaw pincers, which let you anticipate its predatory disposition. The antlion is famous for its sophisticated method catching prey. It digs funnels in the sand that function like a trap for other insects (i.e., ants or spiders). When prey steps on the edge of the funnel, the antlion begins to throw sand on the animal from the bottom of the funnel. The thereby created movements, activate the slipping of the funnel walls and transport the prey directly into the fangs of the antlion, who then kills them with its poison. [read more]

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Moon trees

moon-tree_198x198Even though the idea would be wonderful: this is not about trees that grow on the Moon, but about trees on Earth that grew from seeds, which orbited the Moon exactly 34 times, in a small canister, during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. For this joint project by NASA and USFS (US Forest Service), the astronaut Stuart Rosa took hundreds of tree seeds with him on this journey. Seeds of five different species of tree had been chosen: loblolly pine, sycamore, sweetgum, redwood and douglas fir. The seeds survived the weightlessness and also when the canister that contained the seeds, got destroyed in the vacuum of the decontamination chamber. The seeds had to be picked up individually after this incident. [read more]

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Sharks and the full moon

fullmoon-shark_198x198Our article “Fishing during a full moon” has already indicated the discussion about whether moonlight might influence the behavior of fish. Now we have found a study, which was conducted by Australian scientists in 2013, who have examined the diving behavior of 39 gray reef sharks in Palau (an island country in the Pacific Ocean), namely with regards to environmental influences, like water temperature and also lunar happenings, in particular the full moon and the new moon. They tagged the sharks with transmitters and thus were able to measure where and how deep they dived during certain times. [read more]

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Water on the Moon

shackleton_198x198The exploration of foreign celestial bodies is particularly interesting for science, when there is the possibility of life could exist. An important condition for this provides the evidence of water (mostly in frozen form, because it contains oxygen).   One may simply say that where water exists, life could develop, or is already present. [read more]

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The moon jellyfish

moon-jellyfish_198x198Jellyfish are fascinating beings and although, nobody would actually like to come into contact with them, we are mesmerized by them and admire their shapes, colors and almost etheric bodies, which are floating through the water – like entities from another world. And lo behold, there is also one kind that the Moon lent his name to: the »moon jellyfish« (lat. aurelia aurita).

Also in various other languages, you can find the word »moon« in the name these jellyfish: [read more]

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Mola mola – the ocean sunfish (moonfish)

The »sunfish« is called »moonfish« in many languages. It is the biggest and heaviest bony fish in the world, weighing up to 2,500 kg and showing off up to 3 m length and 4 m height! It can grow over 100 years old. Its Latin name »mola mola« derives from its shape, which reminds of a »millstone«, but apparently, also the Moon was the force behind the naming: [read more]

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The Moon illusion

Have you ever wondered, after you took a photograph of the full moon that the Moon looks much smaller on the picture than as it appears to you in real? This effect occurs particularly when the Moon is above the horizon. This is a so-called Moon illusion, which is an optical illusion, meaning it can only be seen this way through our perception and is therefore not depicted on the photograph. [read more]

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Fishing during a full moon?

Does the full moon light have an influence on how fish bite when fishing? Some claim it is pointless to fish during a full moon, but others are adamant that their catches are particularly good during a full moon and can barely be surpassed.

It can be assumed that it is more the moonlight, which could bear an effect, rather than the astronomical event full moon itself (which can also take place during the day, as we have already outlined). Hence, it should hardly make a difference whether one goes fishing in the night before/after or during a full moon itself, because the amount of light is roughly the same and is more influenced by clouds and weather rather than by the exact constellation of planets. [read more]

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Children of the full moon

We would like to take a quick look at people who were born at the full moon. As to this, we remind you, contrary to widely spread opinion, that there are not more children being born at the full moon than at any other point in time during the lunar phases. Extensive studies over many decades have arrived at this result. Even though, many people may perceive or experience this differently – the numbers are unmistakably clear. We have already written an article about this »More births at full moon?«. So there are as many full moon children as there are new moon children etc. [read more]

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Baby’s sleep at the full moon

We have already reported about the subject »Sleeping at the full moon« with the insight that the phenomenon of a restless or bad sleep around the full moon apparently exists for many people, however, we are groping in the dark if looking at the background. Generally, sceptics claim that the insufficient sleep is connected to the fact that the people concerned are more or less aware of it being full moon and therefore eventuate a self-fulfilled prophecy. Those affected, counter that they often find out afterwards whether it was the full moon or it had not occurred to them yet to make this connection at all. [read more]

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Can you read in the full moon light?

Moonlight is with only 1 lux brightness a thousand times weaker than the sun light with more than 100,000 lux. Nevertheless, you sometimes get the feeling that it is so bright in the full moon that you should be able to read. We would like to give this a try and invite all full moon friends to start on a small reading test in the full moon light and to report back the results. [read more]

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Full moon bites

Although, one could assume that the following concerns vampires or werewolves, we occupy ourselves with another kind of bite, namely the bite of animals to humans. There is a study of the E.R. department of the Bradford Royal Infirmatory in Bradford, England from 1997–1999. Here, the question, whether animals bite more often at the full moon, has been investigated. 1,621 patients were looked at, who had been treated for animal bites. The majority of affected patients had been bitten by dogs (95.1 %), others by cats (3.4 %), horses (0.8%) and rats (0.7 %). The surprising aspect of this study is, that indeed a significant connections could be detected between the full moon happenings and the animal bites. Hence, this should be the first study, known to us, which provides such a result! [read more]

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How you sleep at the full moon

A lot is said about how full moon can or could influence the sleep of people. And like so often, opinions differ on this subject. Some are certain that they sleep poorly or have a restless sleep around the time of full moon and are not able to fall asleep for a long time. Others sleep like a log … in between there are many who are not aware of any of this and not able to  determine by their sleep patterns whether it is full moon or not. [read more]

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Why corals adore the full moon

Although, one could easily presume that full moon influences the reproduction of many creatures, this has really only been proven for some species. One assumes this is the case with wolves, specific insects or crabs and also many humans vow not being able to do anything other than to look for the closeness of the other (or the same) sex at full moon. But absolutely certain are scientist only about one animal species that may not even be considered an animal by many: the corals. Here it has been established that reproduction is dependent on water temperature and moon light. [read more]

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The heartbeat of the full moon

We have compared the amount of visitors from our full moon pages with the curve of an electrocardiogram (ECG) and came across an astonishing similarity. It almost appears as if the attention that we humans give to full moon would have its own heartbeat …

It is obvious that the interest in full moon can be linked to its rhythm. The average duration of a moon month is approx. 29.5 days, so a little bit more than four weeks and a little bit less than one calendar month. One can safely say, a lot of people are paying attention to the moon at full moon and clearly a lot less so during the other moon phases. [read more]

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