Magnetotactic Bacteria May Explain Unique Behaviors in Some Animals

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Magnetotactic Bacteria May Explain Unique Behaviors in Some Animals

Hanna C.


Quote:Researchers from Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom published their study in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B journal of Biological Sciences. Their findings are new evidence to support the symbiotic magnetic-sensing hypothesis.

Magnetotactic bacteria move according to the geomagnetic field lines of the Earth, such as the north and south poles. This may explain why migratory birds can sense which way is south or north and newborn sea turtles sensing where the ocean is.

Migratory animals also find clues in the stars and the position of the sun in various seasons. 'The search for a mechanism has been proposed as one of the last major frontiers in sensory biology and described as if we are 'searching for a needle in a haystack,'' explained Robert Fitak from the University of Central Florida's Department of Biology.

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