RSS Magnetic cells give fish built-in sense of compass direction

Discussion in 'RSS Feeds' started by MASA Admin, 11 Jul 2012.

  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

    8 May 2007
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    We all know that migrating birds and*particularly*pigeons*have a keen sense of direction imparted onto them by a magnetic sense, and now new research has discovered similar super-nav powers in fish. Like the homing pigeons of the sea, the homing abilities of salmon and trout are well known but the mechanism for their extraordinary homecoming journey was not known, but new research has revealed that some fish have magnetic cells that act like tiny built-in compasses.

    Working with rainbow trout, researchers from*Ludwig Maximilians University Munich in Germany have identified specialized cells in these fish which have a concentration of magnetite near the membrane that imparts sensitivity to magnetic fields. Most of our reef fish are far removed from the migrating salmonids of temperate seas and freshwater river systems but it’s not inconceivable that our clownfish and angelfish could have a little magnetite in their cells too.

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