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Author Baker, G.C.; Dekker, R.W.R.J.
Title Lunar synchrony in the reproduction of the Moluccan Megapode Megapodius wallacei Type Journal Article
Year 2000 Publication Ibis Abbreviated Journal
Volume 142 Issue 3 Pages 382-388
Keywords Moluccan Megapode; Megapodius wallacei; birds; nesting; reproduction; animals; *Moon
Abstract The Moluccan Megapode Megapodius wallacei uses heat generated by the sun to incubate its eggs. It buries the eggs deep in the sand of sun-exposed beaches and open sandy areas on islands in the Moluccas, Indonesia. The eggs are laid at night and left to incubate for two to three months without parental care. We present evidence that the Moluccan Megapode exhibits lunar synchrony in the timing of egg-laying, its spatial distribution of egg burrows and in its behaviour at communal nesting grounds. More Moluccan Megapodes visit the nesting grounds on bright nights than during the new moon. Data collected on the spatial distribution and depth of egg burrows also exhibit lunar periodicity. On moonlit nights, the birds excavate burrows in communal groups and spend longer at the nesting ground digging deeper burrows. Lunaphilia and lunar periodicity of reproduction are rarely documented in birds. We discuss possible explanations for these behaviours in the Moluccan Megapode.
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ISSN (up) 0019-1019 ISBN Medium
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Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 52
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