Natures Compass: The Mystery of Animal Navigation (Science Essentials)

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But it is only in recent years that scientists have learned how these astounding feats of navigation are actually accomplished. With colorful and thorough detail, Nature's Compass explores the remarkable methods by which animals find their way both near home and around the globe.

Noted biologist James Gould and popular science writer Carol Gould delve into the elegant strategies and fail-safe backup systems, the invisible sensitivities and mysterious forces, and incredible mental abilities used by familiar and rare species, as they investigate a multitude of navigation strategies, from the simple to the astonishing. The Goulds discuss how animals navigate, without instruments and training, at a level far beyond human talents.

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They explain how animals measure time and show how the fragile monarch butterfly employs an internal clock, calendar, compass, and map to commence and measure the two-thousand-mile annual journey to Mexico--all with a brain that weighs only a few thousandths of an ounce. They look at honey bees and how they rely on the sun and mental maps to locate landmarks such as nests and flowers.

And they examine whether long-distance migrants, such as the homing pigeon, depend on a global positioning system to let them know where they are. Ultimately, the authors ask if the disruption of migratory paths through habitat destruction and global warming is affecting and endangering animal species. Providing a comprehensive picture of animal navigation and migration, Nature's Compass decodes the mysteries of this extraordinary aspect of natural behavior. James L.

Cryptochrome and Magnetic Sensing

Furthermore, the data strongly suggest that a vision-mediated mechanism underlies the magnetic compass in this migratory songbird, and that the putative iron-mineral-based receptors in the upper beak connected to the brain by the trigeminal nerve 6 , 7 , 8 are neither necessary nor sufficient for magnetic compass orientation in European robins. Wiltschko, W. Magnetic compass of European robins.

Science , 62—64 Magnetic compass orientation in birds and its physiological basis. Naturwissenschaften 89 , — Cochran, W. Free-flying migrating songbirds recalibrate their magnetic compass daily from sunset cues. Science , — Mouritsen, H. Magnetoreception and it use in bird navigation.

Kirschvink, J.


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Biogenic magnetite as a basis for magnetic field sensitivity in animals. Biosystems 13 , — Walker, M. Structure and function of the vertebrate magnetic sense. Nature , — Williams, N. Trigeminally innervated iron-containing structures in the beak of homing pigeons, and other birds. Brain Res. Fleissner, G. Ultrastructural analysis of a putative magnetoreceptor in the beak of homing pigeons. A novel concept of Fe-mineral-based magnetoreception: histological and physicochemical data from the upper beak of homing pigeons.

Naturwissenschaften 94 , — Mora, C. Magnetoreception and its trigeminal mediation in the homing pigeon. Ritz, T. A model for photoreceptor-based magnetoreception in birds. Resonance effects indicate radical pair mechanism for avian magnetic compass. Cryptochromes and activity markers co-localize in bird retina during magnetic orientation. Natl Acad.

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Nature's Compass: The Mystery of Animal Navigation

USA , — Liedvogel, M. Chemical magnetoreception: bird cryptochrome 1a is excited by blue light and forms long-lived radical-pairs. Magnetic compass of birds is based on a molecule with optimal directional sensitivity. A night vision brain area in migratory songbirds. Lateralised activation of cluster N in the brains of migratory songbirds.

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Heyers, D. A visual pathway links brain structures active during magnetic compass orientation in migratory birds. Feenders, G. Molecular mapping of movement-associated areas in the avian brain: a motor theory for vocal learning origin.

Dung Beetles Use Milky Way as Compass

Emlen, S. A technique for recording migratory orientation of captive birds. Auk 83 , — Thermal paper can replace typewriter correction paper in Emlen funnels. Barami, K. Hu protein as an early marker of neuronal phenotypic differentiation by subependymal zone cells of the adult songbird forebrain. Pasternak, T. Intensity difference thresholds after lesions of the visual Wulst in pigeons.

Migratory orientation of passerines at dusk, night and dawn. Ethology 98 , — Beason, R.

Nature's Compass

Does the avian ophthalmic nerve carry magnetic navigational information? Presti, D. Ferromagnetic coupling to muscle receptors as a basis for geomagnetic field sensitivity in animals. Nature , 99— Dennis, T.