Circalunidian clocks control tidal rhythms of locomotion in the American horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus.

Academic Article


  • While many intertidal animals exhibit circatidal rhythms, the nature of the underlying endogenous clocks that control these rhythms has been controversial. In this study American horseshoe crabs, Limulus polyphemus, were used to test the circalunidian hypothesis by exposing them to four different tidal regimes. Overall, the results obtained support the circalunidian hypothesis: each of the twice-daily rhythms of activity appears to be controlled by a separate clock, each with an endogenous period of approximately 24.8h. First, spontaneous "skipping" of one of the daily bouts was observed under several different conditions. Second, the presence of two bouts of activity/day, with different periods, was observed. Lastly, we were able to separately synchronize bouts of activity to two artificial tidal regimes with different periods. These results, taken together, argue in favor of two separate circalunidian clocks in Limulus, each of which controls one of the two bouts of their daily tidal activity rhythms.
  • Authors

  • Chabot, Christopher C
  • Ramberg-Pihl, Nicole C
  • Watson, Winsor
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • 2016
  • Keywords

  • circadian
  • circatidal
  • endogenous
  • entrainment
  • period
  • rhythms
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 75
  • End Page

  • 91
  • Volume

  • 49
  • Issue

  • 2