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A magnetic pulse leads to a temporary deflection in the orientation of migratory birds



A magnetic pulse leads to a temporary deflection in the orientation of migratory birds



Experientia (basel). 50(7): 697-700



Migratory Australian Silvereyes were treated with a strong magnetic pulse designed to alter the magnetization of the small magnetite particles that are found in birds' heads. Prior to the treatment, the birds preferred the northeasterly migratory direction. The pulse initially resulted in a 90 degree clockwise shift of orientation; however, within about a week, the birds seemed to return to their original headings. These findings, which seem to suggest an involvement of magnetite in migratory orientation, are in contrast with previous findings which indicated that it is a light-dependent process. They are discussed in view of the current concepts on magnetoreception and on the role of magnetic information in avian orientation.

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Accession: 008044001

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DOI: 10.1007/bf01952877


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