Animal Magnetism Guides Migration

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Science  12 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5541, pp. 283-284
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5541.283a

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In this issue, two studies reveal how sea turtles and mole rats tap a basic navigational tool: Earth's magnetic field. Marine biologists report on page 364 that loggerhead sea turtles detect different magnetic fields, like boundaries, while migrating and use them to stay on course, a strategy that may guide one of nature's longest migrations. And on page 366, neuroanatomists identify for the first time an area of the mammalian brain that apparently processes magnetic field information.