Mexican cavefish conserve Energy by eliminating Circadian Rhythm
A new study has found that blind cave fish or Mexican tetra use about 30% less energy than other surface fish. The fish is capable of using less amount of energy by deactivating its circadian rhythm.
The Lund University in Sweden researchers have studied the fish and observed that the blind Mexican cavefish is able of saving energy because it doesn't use a circadian clock, a biological process which is responsible for coordinating the body's functions with the day and night cycle. A circadian clock mechanism is present in animals, plants, some kind of bacteria and fungi.
Researchers have found that the cavefish don't use a circadian clock to control its metabolism. To find about cavefish's metabolism, researchers measured its rate of oxygen consumption and metabolic rate. After measuring the rates, researchers compared them to that of a surface-dwelling fish.
To provide day and night cycle, both cavefish and surface-dwelling fish were exposed to varying light and dark condition. For some time, the fish were exposed to complete darkness. After studying them, researchers have observed that cavefish consumed less amount of oxygen as compared to the surface-dwelling fish. According to researchers, the fish consumed same amount of energy in day and night. The amount of consuming energy was about 30% less than the surface-dwelling fish.
Lund's department of biology's Damian Moran said, "This is the same as if you or I were put in a dark room for a couple of days. We would show this kind of cycle, because we have this clock inside our bodies".
Moran said lack of eyes in cavefish allows them to use their body's limited resources in more useful biological functions. Circadian rhythms of the fish were assumed to be always adaptive, Moran added.
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