Two magnetoreception pathways in a migratory salamander

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Science  15 Aug 1986:
Vol. 233, Issue 4765, pp. 765-767
DOI: 10.1126/science.3738508


Male eastern red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) under controlled laboratory conditions exhibit unimodal magnetic compass orientation either in a trained compass direction or in the direction of their home pond. If the vertical component of the magnetic field is inverted, newts exhibiting the simple-compass response undergo a 180 degree reversal in orientation, whereas newts orienting in the home direction are unaffected by this treatment. These results indicate that newts use an axial compass mechanism for simple-compass orientation similar to that found in migrating birds. However, a distinct magnetoreception pathway with polar response properties is involved in homing and is possibly linked in some way to the navigational map.

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