The earth magnetic field, like for other animals (birds) another very interesting cue how fish find their way.
First pigeons, now sockeye salmon. It seems more animals are using cues radiating from the earth to navigate. While homing pigeons are now thought to use infrared sound waves to find their way over hundreds of miles, salmon returning from the Pacific to their freshwater breeding grounds may be using the earth’s magnetic field as a guide.
In a new Current Biology study, researchers looked at 56 years’ worth of federal fishery records, watching whether salmon returning to British Columbia’s Fraser River took a route on the north side of Vancouver Island or the south, as fish tended to frequent both. They also looked the geomagnetic field, which moves over time, but always in a predictable pattern. The field will be stronger in one place and weaker in another, then shift over the years.
They found that the salmon remembered what the magnetic field was like when they…
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