Sunday, 30 November 2014

Dogs can accurately sense Earth's magnetic field

Not only can dogs sense the earth's magnetic field, but they can actually use it to orient their bodies when they relieve themselves, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Czech University of Life Sciences and the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany, and published in Frontiers in Zoology.


Magneto-reception, or the ability to sense the earth's magnetic field, has been demonstrated in a wide variety of animals, including bees, birds and even some mammals.

"We discovered [by measuring Google Earth aerial pictures] that cattle align with the magnetic field lines a few years ago," researcher Sabine Begall said. 




"Since then, we studied hunting behavior in [the] red fox and found that they have a preference for N-E during their mousing jumps, and from there it was just a small step to study dogs. First, we looked also at other behaviors but the results were less promising than the 'pooping direction.'"

The current study is the first to demonstrate magneto-reception in dogs.

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