Magnetic Sensing In Animals

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Magnetic sensing is a type of sensory perception that is present in many living organisms, allowing them to perceive magnetic fields and to use the information from earth’s magnetic field in orientation behavior.1 This can be found in many animals like migratory birds, sea turtles, honeybees and even bacteria. Migratory birds use magnetic clues to find their way south in fall and north in spring.2 The navigation ability of birds has been studied mainly in migratory birds and pigeons. Scientist attached metal rings to the birds' legs to find out where these birds travel to during their migrations. They discovered that many birds faithfully returned to the same breeding locations every year. Studies have also shown that these birds also use the same stopover and non-breeding locations on these migration trips. Although these migratory trips are hundreds to thousands of kilometers each way, somehow these birds know where they are going and which path they must follow to get there.4…show more content…
Magnetic Compass. One method used by animals to perceive and orient to Earth’s magnetic field is through specific light sensitive proteins called cryptochromes, which is located in the eye of a bird.5 The magnetic compass in birds requires the presence of short wavelength (blue or green) light in order to work properly. If only red light is present, birds are no longer able to orient. When a cryptochrome is hit by blue light, it becomes two radicals (molecules with a single unpaired electron), making it more

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