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August 31, 2008


Scotobiology is the emerging field which studies the importance of darkness for organisms. It pretty much began with botany because there are some very important plant hormones made in darkness.

That is true for us animals, too, of course. Melatonin, an ancient hormone which is produced during darkness serves a large number of functions in mammalian bodies (and i suspect other animals as well) and the body's own melatonin can be a useful malignancy fighter.

Furthermore, there is some work indicating that artificial lighting may be playing a role world-wide in the loss of lightning bugs, i.e. fireflies though those insects are neither a bug nor a fly, but a beetle. One hypothesis is that the lights reduce the effectiveness of the mating signaling during their very short adult lives.

The more people look, the more important darkness turns out to be.

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