Pigeons' sixth sense eludes scientists
April 13, 2012 | 8 comments
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It still isn't clear how pigeons are able to detect magnetic fields to help them navigate when flying.
Despite numerous studies scientists have yet to get to the bottom of the mystery. "At this stage it's still that needle-in-a-haystack problem," said Biologist Dr Jeremy Shaw. "It's one of those fundamental questions in biology that has persisted for many many years now." In 2003 German researchers believed they'd found the answer in iron-rich magnetoreceptors located within the beak, however despite several follow-up studies no conclusive evidence of these could be found.
How pigeons are able to detect magnetic fields to navigate their way home remains a mystery, say researchers. Biologist Dr Jeremy Shaw, from the University of Western Australia, and colleagues, report their findings today in the journal Nature.
Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
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