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J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2007 Dec;193(12):1259-63. Epub 2007 Nov 10.

Locomotor activity rhythm and sun compass orientation in the sandhopper Talitrus saltator are related.

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Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e Genetica, Università di Firenze, Florence, Italy.


The sandhopper Talitrus saltator has an endogenous activity rhythm with a circadian periodicity. It is well known for its ability to compensate for the apparent movement of the sun during its migrations along the sea-land axis of the beach. Both chronometric mechanisms are entrained by the natural LD photoperiod. Using actographic recordings and tests of solar orientation of individuals kept under an LD 12:12 clock-shifted cycle, after 1-13 days of treatment, we demonstrate that the timing mechanism of activity rhythm and the chronometric mechanism underlying the sun compass are the same.

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