Temperature Compensation in Short-Duration Time-Measurement by an Intertidal Amphipod

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Science  16 Jun 1967:
Vol. 156, Issue 3781, pp. 1510-1512
DOI: 10.1126/science.156.3781.1510


The duration of the swimming response of an intertidal amphipod to increases in hydrostatic pressure apparently serves to measure the timing of wave uprush on the beach. Experiments have demonstrated that this response to a standard pressure-increase stimulus varies in duration only slightly with temperature over the range from 10° to 28° C, with estimated Q10 values of 1.3 to 1.5. Relative insensitivity to temperature, such as here described, seems to be an essential component of biological time-measuring systems (including endogenous circadian, tidal, and lunar rhythms) that are ecologically keyed to the timing of temperature-independent environmental factors.