The most human-friendly fish, dolphins, can sense magnetic field and are attracted towards magnetized objects, according to a new study published in Naturwissenschaften – The Science of Nature, on Tuesday. The study is based on experimental analysis conducted by Lead author Dorothee Kremers of the Universite de Rennes in the France, and on the basis of experimental behavioral evidence, he claims that marine mammals including Dolphins are magnetoreception i.e. they are capable of sensing magnetic fields.
To confirm whether dolphins can perceive magnetic field Kremers tested six dolphins in magnetized and demagnetized blocks. After the experiment he said, “Dolphins approached the device with shorter latency when it contained a strongly magnetized neodymium block compared to a control demagnetized block that was identical in form and density and therefore indistinguishable with echolocation. We conclude that dolphins can discriminate the two stimuli on the basis of their magnetic properties, a prerequisite for magnetoreception-based navigation.”
Study didn’t come as a surprise as many scientists already believed that cetaceans are magnetoreception, and they use this ability to find direction while travelling in oceans. Using Earth’s magnetic pull dolphins can sail through oceans.
“Dolphins are able to discriminate between objects based on their magnetic properties, which is a prerequisite for magnetoreception-based navigation,” Kremers explained in a statement. “Our results provide new, experimentally obtained evidence that cetaceans have a magnetic sense, and should therefore be added to the list of magnetosensitive species.”
Not only marine mammals are magnetosensitive, in April 2012 researchers reported in the journal Science that pigeons are also magnetosensitive, and they use this ability in finding the direction. Pigeons have specific neurons in their brains that can sense the intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field.