Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Astronomical Cycles

Daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal and annual rhythms that influence behavior and, in particular, patterns of reproduction and growth and development. Incremental lines of cyclic tissue growth are ubiquitous in tree trunks, shells, and skeletons; see dendrochronology, stria of Retzius, and perikymata, for example. The morbid disruption of normal metabolism can disturb growth rhythms; see Harris lines and neonatal line.

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