A Comparative Approach to Bird Navigation: Implications of Parallel Studies on Mammals

  • R. R. Baker
  • J. G. Mather
Conference paper
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)

Abstract

Recent conceptual developments in the study of animal navigation have drawn attention to the value of a comparative approach to bird navigation. Studies of rodents and humans show that birds are not unique in having a two-stage navigational process with Stage 1 (determination of the compass direction of home from the release site) being solved during the outward journey as well as, or instead of, by reference to a “map” at the release site. Evidence for humans and birds that a magnetic compass sense can be influenced by magnetic storms reduces support for the suggestion that this “map” may be based on magnetic coordinates. In humans, the magnetic compass seems to be reset overnight. Any factor, such as deflection of wind direction at the loft, that may affect this re-setting, should it also occur in birds, may produce spurious results through an influence on the magnetic sense. The magnetic sense organ of vertebrates may possibly be associated anatomically with the olfactory apparatus. Attempts to interfere with olfaction could also, therefore, interfere with the magnetic sense.

Keywords

Migration Cage Magnetite Tral Geophysics 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. R. Baker
  • J. G. Mather
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of ManchesterEngland

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