FEB 27, 2016 12:35 PM PST

Some Dogs and Primates Can Sense Magnetic Fields

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

What if we told you dogs and even come primates have the ability to see, yes see, magnetic fields?
 
New research having been published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that dogs and even some primates, such as orangutans, have special proteins in their eyes capable of seeing magnetic fields, which help them in their sense of direction.
 
For example, this ‘sixth sense’ is relatively useful for helping certain animals in figuring their altitude, direction, and even their location. It’s known more commonly as magnetoreception.
 
Many other animals are also known to have this sense, such as dogs and sharks among other animals. It’s used in migration and other forms of perception of change in the Earth’s ever-changing environment.
 
Researchers involved in the study closely examined the retinas of more than 90 mammalian species, and in the cones of some animals, such as dogs, cryptochrome Cry1a molecules were discovered – the molecule responsible for this sixth sense.  
 

Cryptochrome molecules were found in the retinas of many different mammals.


Although it’s not particularly known what animals like dogs and some primates use this ability for, one could only assume it has something to do with survival and predatory characteristics in these animals. Depending on the type of animal, it may be used for hunting, migration, or even general orientation perception.
 
Other research suggests that many dog-like mammals, such as bears, wolves, badgers, and foxes also had the cryptochrome molecule in their eyes, but notably, feline-style mammals, such as house cats, tigers, and lions did not.
 
The new strides in research suggest more animals than originally thought may have access to a new dimension of perception that we haven't even begun to understand.

Source: Nature

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 22, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 22, 2019
Ever Wonder What Happens Inside a Clam's Shell?
Most people think of clams as a gooey blob inside of a two-piece shell, but there’s actually a lot more going on inside that shell that you might com...
JAN 09, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 09, 2020
Australian Bushfire Update
Devastating wildfires continue to ravage the continent of Australia. The report from BBC News below, which aired earlier this week, gives an encompassing u...
FEB 02, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 02, 2020
Noasaurid Fossil Confirms Cretaceous Existence on Australia
A class of two-legged carnivorous dinosaur dubbed noasaurids are said to have existed in later half of the Cretaceous Era, but our understanding of their g...
FEB 02, 2020
Earth & The Environment
FEB 02, 2020
Land use in the tropics: what we could do better
Research published recently in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution reports that our collective misuse of tropical lands is negatively impacting the...
FEB 18, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 18, 2020
This Wasp Turns Cockroaches Into Zombies for its Larvae
We can’t think of anyone that likes cockroaches, but one insect in particular seems to scout them out specifically for its own bizarre reasons. The e...
FEB 25, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 25, 2020
These Ants Do Whatever it Takes to Survive
Symbiotic relationships between different organisms in the wild are a wonderful thing. They exist in just about every ecosystem around the globe, including...
Loading Comments...