Scientists have determined how a “magnetic compass” of birds.
An international team of scientists tracked the migration of warblers and established how these birds use their “biocampus” in order to determine its place on the map during the flight.
The researchers ‘ findings were published in the journal Current Biology.
In the study, biologists have caught several young birds, never depart to the place of wintering, and a few adult reed warblers, and saw how to change their behavior in a cage, able to simulate the magnetic field at an arbitrary point on the Earth’s surface. The researchers chose a point which was at a distance of 1.5 thousand kilometers from the location of the experiment.
Birds behave as if you really were to the North of the venue and experiment and turned South in order to compensate for the offset.
Likewise, as biologists say, behaved only adult birds, and the young Warbler was disoriented by the change of the magnetic field. This is an important distinction, as it shows that birds build in my head, a magnetic map of the Earth, and do not have it from birth.
Thus, the first time scientists were able to prove that birds can measure the difference between magnetic and geographic North and use it to determine their position on the track of migration. According to researchers, when the bird is approaching the point of hibernation or nesting, she starts to use other landmarks – the smells, the Sun or stars to calculate the exact position of its goal on the map.
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