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Oceanic long-distance navigation : do experienced migrants use the earth's magnetic field?

Akesson, S., Luschi, P., Papi, F., Broderick, A.C., Glen, F., Godley, B.J. and Hays, G.C. 2001, Oceanic long-distance navigation : do experienced migrants use the earth's magnetic field?, Journal of navigation, vol. 54, no. 3, pp. 419-427, doi: 10.1017/S0373463301001473.

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Title Oceanic long-distance navigation : do experienced migrants use the earth's magnetic field?
Author(s) Akesson, S.
Luschi, P.
Papi, F.
Broderick, A.C.
Glen, F.
Godley, B.J.
Hays, G.C.ORCID iD for Hays, G.C. orcid.org/0000-0002-3314-8189
Journal name Journal of navigation
Volume number 54
Issue number 3
Start page 419
End page 427
Total pages 9
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Place of publication Cambridge, England
Publication date 2001-09
ISSN 1469-7785
0373-4633
Keyword(s) animal navigation
migration
orientation
Summary Albatrosses and sea turtles are known to perform extremely long-distance journeys between disparate feeding areas and breeding sites located on small, isolated, oceanic islands or at specific coastal sites. These oceanic journeys, performed mainly over or through apparently featureless mediums, indicate impressive navigational abilities, and the sensory mechanisms used are still largely unknown. This research used three different approaches to investigate whether bi-coordinate navigation based on magnetic field gradients is likely to explain the navigational performance of wandering albatrosses in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans and of green turtles breeding on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean. The possibility that magnetic field parameters can potentially be used in a bi-coordinate magnetic map by wandering albatrosses in their foraging area was investigated by analysing satellite telemetry data published in the literature. The possibilities for using bi-coordinate magnetic navigation varied widely between different areas of the Southern Oceans, indicating that a common mechanism, based on a bi-coordinate geomagnetic map alone, was unlikely for navigation in these areas. In the second approach, satellite telemetry was used to investigate whether Ascension Island green turtles use magnetic information for navigation during migration from their breeding island to foraging areas in Brazilian coastal waters. Disturbing magnets were applied to the heads and carapaces of the turtles, but these appeared to have little effect on their ability to navigate. The only possible effect observed was that some of the turtles with magnets attached were heading for foraging areas slightly south of the control turtles along the Brazilian coast. In the third approach, breeding female green turtles were deliberately displaced in the waters around Ascension Island to investigate which cues these turtles might use to locate and return to the island; the results suggested that cues transported by wind might be involved in the final stages of navigation.
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/S0373463301001473
Field of Research 069999 Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2001, Cambridge University Press
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30058252

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.