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an innate mechanism of the body that regulates its rhythmic and periodic cycles, as that of sleeping and waking.
an inherent periodicity in the physiological processes of living organisms that is not dependent on the periodicity of external factors
the hypothetical mechanism responsible for this periodicity
biological clock
An internal system that controls an organism’s circadian rhythms, the cycles of behavior that occur regularly in a day. In mammals, the biological clock is located near the point in the brain where the two optic nerves cross. In many birds, the biological clock is located in the pineal gland. In protists and fungi, the individual cells themselves regulate circadian rhythms.

Note: Although the term biological clock refers to all innate timing mechanisms, it is often used when describing certain body functions that are subject to this rhythm, such as the loss of fertility with age.


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