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Nature. 2004 Apr 29;428(6986):909-10.

Animal behaviour: geomagnetic map used in sea-turtle navigation.

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Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


Migratory animals capable of navigating to a specific destination, and of compensating for an artificial displacement into unfamiliar territory, are thought to have a compass for maintaining their direction of travel and a map sense that enables them to know their location relative to their destination. Compasses are based on environmental cues such as the stars, the Sun, skylight polarization and magnetism, but little is known about the sensory mechanism responsible for the map sense. Here we show that the green sea-turtle (Chelonia mydas) has a map that is at least partly based on geomagnetic cues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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