Mythical Wednesday: Robins; the Magneto of the animal world?
November 26, 2014 4 Comments
A relatively new word, magnetoception was first referenced during the early 70’s. It’s an interesting and fascinating ability that allows an organism to actually sense the earth’s magnetic field.
It’s thought this is sense is what lets birds and insects migrate every year, and it has been observed in bacteria and invertebrates such as fruit flies, lobsters and honeybees, but out of all the creatures that have this ability, only the robin has the ability to actually see the magnetic field that encompasses the planet.
Yes, you heard me right.
Scientists have known for decades how homing pigeons use small magnetic particles in their beaks to guide them, but there is now research that states certain birds, robins in particular, were able to actually see the invisible lines.
An experiment was conducted where researchers injected a special traceable dye into the eyes of the bird (ouch), and into the region of their brain called Cluster N, and area known to be active when the birds orient themselves. As the birds got their bearings, the tracers traveled and met in a region of their brain responsible for vision, showing a link between the eye and Cluster N.
More interesting is this, there are some scientists who feel that these same elements are present in human eyes, and could very well be used the same way.
Looks like we might not need the GPS on our phones after all. Good, that damn voice drives me nuts…
What do you think?