Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Corvallis, Ore. (UPI) Feb 6, 2013
U.S. scientists say they've confirmed salmon are using Earth's magnetic field to navigate across thousands of miles of water to find their rivers of origin.
Researchers at Oregon State University report exposing hundreds of juvenile Chinook salmon at the Oregon Hatchery Research Center to different magnetic fields that exist at the latitudinal extremes of their oceanic range.
Fish responded to the "simulated magnetic displacements" by swimming in the direction that would bring them toward the center of their marine feeding grounds, the university reported Thursday.
"What is particularly exciting about these experiments is that the fish we tested had never left the hatchery and thus we know that their responses were not learned or based on experience, but rather they were inherited," study lead author Nathan Putman said.
In the experiment, fish presented with an artificial magnetic field characteristic of the northern limits of the oceanic range of Chinook salmon were more likely to swim in a southerly direction, while fish encountering a far southern field tended to swim north, the researchers said.
The finding proves fish possess a "map sense" determining where they are and which way to swim based on the magnetic fields they encounter, they said.
"These fish are programmed to know what to do before they ever reach the ocean," Putnam, a postdoctoral researcher, said.
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|