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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Marine Turtle Migration

Several species of marine turtle accurately migrate thousands of kilometers for nesting. Some species return to the exact beach where they were hatched. There are various proposed explanations for the behaviour, including magnetic navigation. But an experiment by Papi et. al , in 2000, showed that (at least for Green Turtles) this is not the case. The experimenters attached powerful magnets to 7 turtles to mask any possible perception of the Earth's magnetic field. Satellite tracking revealed that they all performed their 2000 km migration without significant error.

"The navigational mechanisms used by these turtles remain enigmatic."

Source :Open-sea migration of magnetically disturbed sea turtles (J. Exp. Biol 203, 3435-3443.)

The biological systems behind turtle's extraordinary navigational skills remain unknown.


Also see : Pigeon navigationplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigPigeon navigation

Homing pigeons can very reliably find their way back to their adopted roosting place - even when they have been physically removed hundreds of kilometres away - and often without any knowledge of the removal route.

It's known that they use a variety of methods to navigate - including
and Monarch Butterfly migrationplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigMonarch Butterfly migration

"Monarch butterfly migration is the phenomenon, mainly across North America, where the subspecies Danaus plexippus plexippus migrates each summer and autumn to and from overwintering sites on the West Coast of California or mountainous sites in Central Mexico.
and The Sardine Runplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigThe Sardine Run

"The term ‘sardine run’ is part of the cultural heritage of the South African nation and refers to a natural phenomenon that is well known to the general public but still poorly understood from an ecological perspective. This lack of understanding has stimulated numerous hypotheses, often contradictory, that try to explain why (ultimate factors) and how (proximate factors) the run occurs.


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